Companies will offer seamless operations between on-premises data centers and Azure cloud
Nutanix has inked a deal with another major cloud player, announcing an agreement this week with Microsoft that will offer enterprises a hybrid cloud solution that will stretch from on-premises environments into the Azure public cloud.
The Lowdown: The partnership with Microsoft is the latest move by Nutanix in its efforts to leverage its hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) roots to become a major provider of hybrid cloud software. The company’s announcement comes about a month after Nutanix unveiled a similar deal with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world’s largest public cloud service provider. Azure is the second largest.
The Details: Customers will be able to use Nutanix Clusters on Azure for seamless application, data, and license mobility and unified management capabilities in their own data centers as well as in Azure.
The partnership covers a number of areas, including:
> Nutanix Clusters on Azure: Nutanix’s hybrid cloud infrastructure will be extended to Azure, with the companies developing Nutanix-ready nodes on Azure to support both Nutanix Clusters and services. Workloads running on those clusters will be able to leverage Azure Hybrid Benefit (to bring Windows Server and SQL Server on-premises licenses to Azure) and extended security updates. In addition, organizations will be able to deploy and manage Azure instances from Nutanix’s management interface.
> Procurement and support: Azure customers will be able to use existing Azure credits as part of the Microsoft Azure Consumption Commitment to buy Nutanix software. Nutanix customers will be able to port existing term licenses to Nutanix’s Azure clusters or get on-demand consumption of Nutanix software through the Azure marketplace. Both companies will provide customer support.
> Azure Arc integration: Nutanix and Microsoft will enable users to manage servers, containers, and data services on Nutanix HCI – on premises or in Azure – through the Azure Arc control plane.
The Impact: Most companies are embracing hybrid cloud strategies, extending their IT environment from their own data centers out into – often – multiple public clouds. According to Flexera’s 2020 cloud report earlier this year, 87% of survey respondents said they have a hybrid cloud strategy; 93% said they have a multicloud strategy. In a similar survey by Nutanix in December 2019, 85% of survey participants said that hybrid cloud was their ideal operating model.
The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the trend. Seamless operations between on-premises and cloud environments are key to these strategies, so partnerships like the one between Nutanix and Microsoft will be important to both organizations and the channel partners they enlist to help with their hybrid cloud efforts.
Background: Nutanix announced the Microsoft alliance during its .NEXT 2020 virtual conference. Other news coming out of the show include the company creating a Kubernetes Platform-as-a-Service offering, enhancements to its HCI software, and a new partner program.
The Buzz: “With this partnership, Microsoft and Nutanix show our commitment to delivering a true, unified hybrid and multicloud environment,” said Tarkan Maner, chief commercial officer at Nutanix. “We know customers are looking for solutions to truly — and simply — advance their cloud journey. This partnership helps us deliver a single software stack across public and private clouds, resulting in increased agility, streamlined operations, and significant cost savings.”
“Many companies face complexities when managing hybrid cloud environments across private and public clouds. We are excited to collaborate with Nutanix to give customers flexibility and a seamless experience with hybrid Nutanix and Azure solutions,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of cloud and AI at Microsoft.
“At CarMax we pride ourselves on providing our customers with the best experience in buying or selling a car,” said Ken Shaffer, associate vice president of technology at CarMax. “We are excited about what the partnership between Nutanix and Microsoft will bring, with Nutanix Clusters for Azure and beyond. I envision this hybrid cloud solution will accelerate our teams’ ability to try new innovative ideas and bring them to our customers, by increasing agility, scalability, and reliability while reducing risk.”
“Société Générale has decided to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy,” said Khaled Soudani, group deputy CTO at Société Générale. “To implement such a strategy, companies need partners like Nutanix and Microsoft, who can help them build, operate, secure, and monitor a hybrid cloud environment, and effectively deliver on their promises of agility and scalability, while meeting stringent regulatory, security and performance requirements.”
“At United Network for Organ Sharing, technology is vital in support of our mission. Technology makes it possible to match life-saving donor organs to transplant candidates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” said Tiwan Nicholson, director of IT service operations at United Network for Organ Sharing. “Given the critical nature of our work, a reliable, scalable, and flexible IT infrastructure is a must-have, making a truly unified hybrid cloud solution ideal. Nutanix’s collaboration with Microsoft on bridging together private and public clouds with Nutanix Clusters on Azure would help us leverage the benefits of hybrid cloud while simplifying our daily operations.”