Hyperconverged infrastructure: New products and partnerships drive invisible IT

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Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) has been around for over a decade. The traditional 3-tiered infrastructure made from piecemeal components is giving way to the single pane view.

But organizations can still go further with HCI.

At Nutanix .NEXT 2019, CEO Dheeraj Pandey ran through the company’s 10-year history, lauding Nutanix’s work making environments’ compute, storage, and virtualization “invisible.” But more work is still needed to turn complex parts of environments deep in the stack into a simple click — particularly as it relates to microsegmentation.

In the meantime, Nutanix is expanding its partners and products, adapting to the growing field, and meeting new industry needs, like the increased adoption of IoT devices.

New Nutanix partnerships

Announced at .NEXT 2019 alongside a Veeam partnership, Nutanix Mine will enable one-click simplicity for primary and backup infrastructure. Nutanix will exclusively use backup partners to drive the secondary storage space solution, competing with products from Cohesity and Rubrik.

While the offering is currently in beta, I expect it will go GSA later this year with Veeam, and HYCU, Commvault, Unitrends, and Veritas will follow — a strong partner lineup.

Though the news preceded the conference, Nutanix’s HPE partnership has gotten a lot of buzz. HPE will officially support Nutanix’s software stack in HPE GreenLake, a pay-as-you-go consumption model, so customers that prefer to utilize HPE in their data centers in conjunction with Nutanix can do so.

This is great news for customers that want alternative hardware options, especially if they’re an HPE shop, and if they want more control over their data minus the concerns of having to manage the public cloud. GreenLake provides HPE customers with flexibility to simplify their IT infrastructure using Nutanix’s Acropolis (AOS).

This new partnership will enable customers to have a true hybrid cloud experience with more choice in the HCI market.

Nutanix has always had a long list of partners, and it’s great to see the company adding to it. With additional Nutanix partnerships undoubtedly in the works, keep your eyes peeled for new functionalities from the HCI business.

Hyperconverged infrastructure for AWS and IoT

Until recently, you couldn’t operate Nutanix’s Xi Cloud Services on AWS. This was an obvious gap in Nutanix’s offerings, but no more: Now, customers can use Xi on AWS bare metal servers, spinning up extra clusters and bursting them into AWS without having to buy new hardware or leave their current AWS account.

Through this update, Nutanix also lets companies hibernate the clusters in S3 and spin them up only when those resources are needed.

At .NEXT 2019, Nutanix also revealed that Xi IoT now works on AWS and Google Cloud, which allows customers to run IoT applications in their data center. Like all HCI solutions, Xi IoT operates to eliminate complexity — in this case, it hides tedious programming methods by providing developers with a low-code development platform.

I saw a demo of a gesture recognition application that uses built-in Xi IoT input and output connectors to turn a TV on and off with hand gestures. It was a great visual at the conference, and if you want to try out the app, it looks like you still have a chance to do so.

The last expansion of note from Nutanix was for Xi Leap, which is a Disaster Recovery as a Service product. It’s now available in other geographical regions like Italy, Japan, and Germany, and supports ESXi, a bare-metal hypervisor, so customers can utilize VMware in Xi Leap.

Why the focus on hyperconverged infrastructure

Nutanix showcased a number of compelling products at .NEXT 2019, and what the company accomplished in the past decade for HCI is impressive. But there’s still more work to do on the network side, like establish one-click microsegmentation, for example.

By adopting more HCI, companies improve their business value and decrease complexity, making it easier to pursue digital transformation. With shrinking IT staff, disparate legacy systems demanding specialization, and more movement to the cloud, many organizations are turning toward HCI.

How soon until all IT infrastructure is boiled down to a click or two? I can’t say, but sales of hyperconverged systems grew 52.7% year over year in Q4 2018, and the dream for invisible IT is still going strong.

Want to learn more about these new products and partnerships? Get in touch with your SHI account executive.