Nutanix: More flexible server configurations for the local data center

The US enterprise cloud provider Nutanix used its annual .NEXT in-house exhibition to present innovations relating to its virtualization platform and cloud management. Four announcements featured: the AOS 6.6.2 operating system, Nutanix Central, Nutanix Cloud Platform, and Project Beacon. With them, Nutanix wants to improve its standing as a multi-cloud and infrastructure provider.

The first innovation affects all customers who operate Nutanix as a hyper-converged infrastructure platform in the local data center. Previously, all nodes in a Nutanix cluster had to be equipped with the same hardware. Differently dimensioned cluster nodes in order to be able to optimally respond to the needs of applications were not planned. As a result, Nutanix environments have traditionally been particularly effective for specific target applications, such as delivering virtual desktops, but less well-suited to running large database VMs.

Now customers can also use servers that are optimized for compute purposes or for storage requirements and mix them in the cluster. Nutanix is ​​thus saying goodbye to the previously preached convergence of server and storage systems in order to optimize the operation of a broader range of applications on its own platform. The prerequisite for this is an update to the Nutanix operating system Acropolis Operating System (AOS) 6.6.2, which brings support for dedicated compute cluster nodes that are operated with VMware ESXi or the in-house hypervisor Nutanix AHV.

With the Nutanix Cloud Platform, the company has been offering its infrastructure, management, automation and selected services such as the operation of databases and virtual desktop environments in several hyperscalers such as AWS or Azure for some time. With Nutanix Cloud Clusters (NC2), customers can move their applications in virtual machines and containers from their data center to Nutanix on AWS or Azure and back.

At the .NEXT, Nutanix presented the SaaS service Nutanix Central, which offers users a central administration and monitoring portal to control all Nutanix services centrally, regardless of where they are executed in the cloud, in the data center or in the edge .

The Nutanix Cloud Platform is also undergoing revisions. On the basis of the new AOS Release 6.6.2 and the resulting flexibility in the server systems, higher performance reserves are now available for operating databases. In addition, the protection of VMs via micro-sementation firewall rules can now be controlled more efficiently due to the revised firewall policy model.

The fourth major announcement was Project Beacon. Nutanix wants to expand its existing services with a platform-as-a-service and initially focus on the operation of databases and other data-centric services. The provider’s declared goal is to decouple the operation of applications and the data they require from the administration of the underlying infrastructure such as VMs and containers. Developers should thus benefit from increased convenience, because the direct administration of the infrastructure that was previously necessary is no longer necessary and the operation of the applications should be possible in any of the environments supported by Nutanix.

As a first step, the company wants to offer its Nutanix Database Service, which supports common databases such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server and several open source database systems, as a managed service within public clouds. Nutanix plans to include other services in Project Beacon afterwards.

Nutanix .NEXT took place in Chicago this year on May 9th and 10th and attracted over 2600 participants. Nutanix wants to bring its in-house exhibition to Barcelona next year – the date is scheduled for May 21-23, 2024.

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