Nutanix: Simplifying and Unifying the Cloud

Terry Allan Hicks, Former Gartner Senior Writer | Friday, December 23, 2022

Nutanix: Simplifying and Unifying the Cloud

Nutanix is one of a set of cloud service providers that have emerged in recent years to address the challenges enterprises face in shifting complex, heterogeneous systems, applications and processes to the cloud, and realizing the full benefits, including cost savings and improvements in operational efficiency, that cloud computing promises. Nutanix offers a comprehensive, user-friendly set of products and services that make it possible to migrate an enterprise’s data center to the cloud — public, private or hybrid — simply, rapidly, and with minimal disruption to its day-to-day operations. It can also build an entire new data center from scratch, if that’s what the enterprise needs. And Nutanix can do it all at massive scale, ensuring that the enterprise’s infrastructure can handle sudden surges in demand without straining its resources.

Enterprises of all types and sizes, from the largest multinationals to small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to public-sector entities, recognize that essentially all the technology they need — business applications, storage, networking and infrastructure — can now be delivered simply, effectively and inexpensively as cloud-based services. Since companies no longer need to maintain data centers and other complex, large-scale hardware and software installations, they don’t need the personnel to support them on-premises at their physical locations.

However, the cloud’s radically different IT delivery model also introduces new complexities and new challenges. Here are just a few of them: Some enterprises, especially businesses operating in highly regulated industries, need private clouds to ensure the security and privacy of their sensitive data. Other enterprises may opt for the cost savings of public clouds, or choose hybrid clouds, which involve some combination of public and private clouds and on-premises installations. But performance, interoperability and flexibility issues often arise when an enterprise shifts processes it’s been doing for years to the cloud, or when it interacts — as is increasingly the case — with partners, customer and even competitors across a far-reaching, highly distributed industry ecosystem. Perhaps most importantly, the shift to the cloud requires specialized IT and business process skills — in areas like network security, virtualization and disaster recovery — that most enterprises don’t currently have available in-house, and will usually find difficult to acquire and retain in an intensely competitive job market.

Nutanix’s comprehensive range of products and services are designed to simplify the cloud’s complexities, offering centralized management, one-click operations using a unified dashboard that looks and works the same way for all users, and automation powered by artificial intelligence (AI). Nutanix services, applications and infrastructure offerings provide the ability to manage virtually all of an enterprise’s end-to-end operations, including storage, compute, virtualization and networking, simply, efficiently and at scale. This means that Nutanix can move the enterprise’s entire existing tech stack — including its storage systems and network servers, its services and virtualization resources and more — to a hyperconverged cloud infrastructure, and handle the migration path, the day-to-day management of systems, applications and services, and the provisioning and deployment of new ones. End-to-end implementation of the entire tech stack does, however, require the use of Nutanix’s hypervisor. If a different hypervisor is installed, virtual machine (VM) and virtual networking management must be done inside that hypervisor.

Automation is central to many of the company’s products and services. Nutanix can automate IT support using advanced techniques like predictive analytics to anticipate surges in calls to the help desk and ensure that adequate personnel are always available. The result: End users can get back to work faster — Nutanix estimates that it can deliver reductions in system downtime of up to 40% — and IT professionals have the bandwidth to focus on more important value-added functions. Additionally, Nutanix’s unified cloud offering means that a single IT team can manage all of an enterprise’s applications and data across even the most complex multicloud environment. An important note: A broad-spectrum technology provider like Nutanix can meet most of an enterprise’s overarching cloud needs, but it’s usually unrealistic to expect a single provider to be the best at everything, so it may be necessary to consider narrow-focus best-of-breed providers for certain niche services. In the same way, while Nutanix’s products and services are interoperable with essentially all hardware the enterprise uses, some of its competitors may actually support a somewhat broader range of systems.

Nutanix has placed as a Visionary in one of Gartner’s Magic Quadrants for two years in a row, with the research and advisory firm highlighting Nutanix’s “ease of use and high-quality customer support experience” as one of its key strengths. Those qualities lie at the heart of Nutanix’s complete value proposition, across its extensive range of cloud services and applications. One important example is multicloud security: Nutanix can create software-based firewalls that protect the enterprise’s critical applications and data against emerging threats, across the most complex cloud environment, and do it without the enterprise having to hire or upskill specialists in cloud security. Nutanix security products use advanced AI techniques and ML algorithms to automate the analysis, identification, mitigation and reporting of security threats and ensure comprehensive regulatory compliance.

The list of products and services Nutanix offers is far too long to cover, or even mention in its entirety, in a single blog post. Instead, let’s take a look at three core elements of the Nutanix lineup:

Hyperconverged infrastructure 

Nutanix, like many other industry-leading cloud providers, builds on a hyperconverged infrastructure. This is a unified software-defined approach to deploying systems and applications, based on widely used and recognized industry standards and protocols, that integrates all the components of a traditional data center: storage, compute, networking and management. The use of industry-standard “building blocks” means that resources can be pooled, virtualized and containerized to deliver scale, resilience and load balancing. Resources can evolve to meet changing requirements, and can scale simply and rapidly, whether on-premises or in the cloud. The end result: A data center can be modernized — or built from scratch — with the on-premises environment seamlessly transferred or extended into the cloud.

Advanced application management and development 

The technology research firm IDC estimates that by 2025, there will be 750 million cloud applications in use, adding to the bewildering array of tools that IT teams and end users are already struggling to keep up with. Enterprises urgently need ways to reduce the time and money they spend developing, implementing and supporting all those applications. Nutanix’s hyperconverged infrastructure makes this possible with resources that include a cloud-based application development platform, a center of excellence (CoE) that enables an enterprise’s engineers, architects and developers to collaborate directly with Nutanix’s specialists on app-centric infrastructure automation and lifecycle management projects, and a rapid development environment dedicated to creating cloud AI and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Unified multicloud platform 

Cloud is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, and every enterprise will have very specific cloud requirements, technical capabilities and other considerations that need to be taken into account. Nutanix recognizes this reality, offering a comprehensive, hyperconverged multicloud platform that can comprise any combination of private, public and hybrid cloud and on-premises installation. This unified platform includes tools for managing storage, databases, enterprise applications and desktop services and many more functions seamlessly across the entire operating environment. Nutanix’s software is interoperable with virtually any type of server, hypervisor or cloud, and is entirely cloud native. That last component is especially important, because cloud native applications — designed from the ground up to be deployed and managed in the cloud — are far simpler, faster and less expensive to implement, to adapt to new business purposes and to scale to meet changes in operating requirements. The result is greatly improved agility and resiliency, minimized system downtime and reduced IT overhead costs. Nutanix reports that it can reduce cloud spending by 35% or more and deliver $477 return on investment (ROI).

The bottom line: Nutanix offers a complete end-to-end set of products and services for enterprises that are looking to move all or part of their systems and applications to the cloud, to do it simply and efficiently, and to use the cloud as a platform for future innovation.

ExitCertified offers a wide range of course to help enterprises, their IT organizations and their end users get the most from Nutanix products and services:

Authorized Trianing partner Prem
Nutanix Hybrid Cloud Fundamentals (NHCF)