Nutanix ups the HCI space with new Software Innovations

Nutanix Cements Market Leadership with New HCI Software Innovations

Nutanix has announced major new capabilities in its popular hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) software, delivering significant innovations to the datacenter and cloud markets.

Specifically, these innovations will bring up to 50% faster performance, native virtual networking to simplify multicloud deployments, end-to-end security monitoring to support a Zero-Trust strategy, and expanded automation and budgeting capabilities for cloud resources. In addition to extending its HCI software stack to the public cloud, the company continues to set the bar for innovation in the fast-growing HCI market, putting true IT modernization within reach of all organizations.

HCI has become the standard for powering modern private clouds, and Nutanix software is recognized by more than 17,000 customers and leading industry analysts for its unmatched simplicity, scalability, resilience, and security, all of which conclude that Nutanix is an undisputed leader in the fast-growing HCI market. Most recently, the company was recognized as a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Hyperconverged Infrastructure, Q3 2020, in which it received the highest score across all three categories: current offering, strategy (tied), and market presence. The Forrester report shared: “Nutanix has maintained its position atop the HCI market with its innovation, R&D investment, sales momentum, partnerships, and acquisition of new customers from all segments and geographies … It has a clear, impressive roadmap for its product lines.”

With this announcement highlights Nutanix ’s commitment to innovation to meet emerging customer requirements and further disrupt the industry status quo. With these new HCI improvements, Nutanix customers will benefit from: 

50% Faster Performance

Nutanix has once again advanced its HCI architecture to exploit the latest in storage technologies, including NVMe based SSDs and Intel Optane SSDs. The resulting lower latency will deliver up to 50% faster performance for I/O intensive workloads, such as large databases and large-scale healthcare applications. The advancements also improve VM density to lower the overall total cost of ownership (TCO) for all applications. 

The company’s new Blockstore technology self-manages storage with significantly greater efficiency than traditional file systems. In addition, Nutanix HCI software adds support for Storage Performance Development Kit (SPDK), currently available to customers as a technology preview, an open source library developed by Intel that enables applications to access NVMe capacity directly, avoiding any operating system or kernel-level overhead to drive even faster workload performance. Together, Blockstore and SPDK reinforce the benefits of Nutanix’s software-defined architecture, enabling continuous advancements in both performance and resiliency.

“Through our recently announced Joint Innovation Lab, we are collaborating with Nutanix to integrate Intel’s latest and greatest technology on the Nutanix software stack,” said Chris Tobias, General Manager, Optane Solutions Division at Intel. “The advanced performance capabilities Nutanix announced today, in addition to ultra low latency Intel® Optane™ technology and high bandwidth NVMe storage technologies from Intel, will deliver our joint customers the HCI solutions they need to support their most intensive applications, allowing them to more readily innovate and develop new business models.”

Simplified Zero-Trust Security

Continuing its long-standing commitment to deliver secure infrastructure services, Nutanix announced Flow Security Central, a centralized SaaS-based management plane delivering compliance monitoring, network visibility, and security operations across both Nutanix-powered private clouds and public cloud environments.

A Zero-Trust strategy requires granular network policy controls and the ability to monitor and update those controls in real-time. Many organizations, however, struggle with application visibility and unified security management. Security Central provides customers with a hub for their security operations so they can easily assess the overall security posture of their Nutanix deployments, generate detailed recommendations to bring environments into compliance, and provide the network visibility and context needed to secure cloud networks and applications. 

In addition to Security Central, Nutanix also announced new security capabilities, currently under development, to help customers strengthen their Zero-Trust strategy. These include extensions to Nutanix’s native key manager and data encryption to deliver a simplified and secure environment for edge and ROBO deployments; AHV support for Microsoft’s Virtualization-based Security (VBS) and Credential Guard that helps protect Windows VDI desktops against sophisticated memory attacks. Lastly, the company announced new security certifications, including updated FIPS 140-2 certificates, the government’s acceptance of all Common Criteria evaluation work, as well as the completion of testing for a listing on the DoDIN Approved Products List (APL).

Virtual Networking to Simplify Cloud Deployments

Nutanix also announced that new virtual networking capabilities in Nutanix Flow, which are natively integrated into the Nutanix HCI software stack, are under development. Based on well-understood VPC (virtual private cloud) constructs used by major public cloud providers, Flow Networking will simplify the tasks of creating, isolating, and managing software-defined networks that connect applications running in private data centers and in public cloud environments, significantly simplifying networking for hybrid and multicloud deployments.

This new VPC technology is a result of the company’s multi-year investment in Nutanix Xi Cloud, which powers Nutanix’s cloud-based solutions. Integrated with the company’s AHV virtualization, it will provide customers with expanded options to connect their multiple clouds, incorporate advanced networking features, and support DevOps teams through agile networking that facilitates rapid and automated provisioning of new applications into multiple environments. 

Applications Insight and Automation

Nutanix also announced enhanced infrastructure operations management to better serve IT teams and application developers. Prism Ultimate, a new edition to Prism, adds advanced application insights and automation for troubleshooting application-related infrastructure bottlenecks. It also offers visibility of cloud IT resource consumption for targeted IT cost reductions and more accurate budgeting. Additionally, Nutanix Prism can monitor non-Nutanix environments, including popular virtualization stacks, giving Nutanix customers a single pane of glass for their entire infrastructure, including legacy infrastructure environments.

“Our engineers and architects are building the foundation for hybrid architectures to run their applications and manage their growing volume of data, something even more important now as IT is playing a more strategic role,” said Rajiv Mirani, Chief Technology Officer at Nutanix. “To help our customers transition to hybrid and multicloud operating models, Nutanix has made significant investments in research and development to advance our core software stack. These new capabilities will help further strengthen the performance and reliability of our software, extending our journey across networking, security, performance, and automation.”

New software-defined networking capabilities in Nutanix Flow are currently under development.