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Nutanix offers virtual private cloud HCI, multi-cloud workload management

AOS 6 enables enterprises to build virtual private clouds, while Era update eases data management software for hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

Nutanix is releasing enhancements to its AOS operating system and Era database management service designed to make it easier for enterprises to manage data, workloads, and business continuity security tools in hybrid cloud environments via software-defined networking capabilities.

AOS and Era are both components of the Nutanix Cloud Platform. AOS 6 -- unveiled during .NEXT -- is the new version of the vendor's hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) software and is designed to simplify network management across multiple clouds and enable enterprises to build virtual private clouds.

A new network virtualisation feature, called Flow Networking, has VPN capabilities that allow customers to extend their virtual networks to public and private clouds without the need of dedicated physical appliances, allowing for software-defined network (SDN) management.­­ The new feature is built on Nutanix's AHV hypervisor and lets network administrators manage hybrid-cloud infrastructure through a single interface.

Flow Networking can be used to manage enterprise database workloads on premises and in the cloud, according to Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research. “They can re-use automation assets (software solutions) across that compute plane -- giving them flexibility, compliance, performance, and cost savings,” Mueller said.

With 62 per cent of enterprise workloads globally still on premises, it will take some time to move the majority of these to the public cloud, said IDC research director Sharath Srinivasamurthy.

“Organisations are looking at hybrid multi-cloud strategy depending on the workload, as it offers more flexibility," Srinivasamurthy said. "Hence, a common control plane to manage seamless operations across different environments is extremely critical, especially when organisations are looking at extending the boundaries of their virtual networks across public and private clouds.

"As the world moves towards software defined everything, reducing dependency on specialised hardware not only enables cost savings but also helps in providing cloud-like agility across all environments.”

AOS 6 offers multi-cloud disaster-recovery updates

AOS 6 includes multi-cloud business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) capabilities and automated zero-trust security policies. The BCDR capabilities allow organisations to take advantage of the public cloud as a secondary site, offer native metro clustering support for the built-in AHV hypervisor enabling automatic failover in the event of a disaster, and end-to-end encryption capabilities for disaster-recovery traffic.

IDC’s Srinavasamurthy said COVID-19 forced many organisations to look at public cloud as an option for disaster recovery. Utilising the public cloud as a disaster-recovery option helps customers to keep their operational costs under control, he noted.

Nutanix also introduced a disaster-recovery dashboard to allow organisations to check their disaster recovery configuration and status across primary and secondary sites.

Its Nutanix Cloud Platform with AOS 6 will allow for micro-segmentation,a method of creating secure zones in data centres and cloud deployments that can isolate workloads from one another and secure them individually through a machine learning-based planning engine that analyses network traffic and recommends security policies to protect virtual-machine workloads against potential attacks.

Nutanix also announced automated zero-trust security policies along with a partnership with security vendor Qualys to automate threat detection and manage vulnerabilities with machine learning.

“The need to create and run micro-segmentation policies based on network traffic and recommending security policies to protect workloads based on machine learning, what we call AIRO (analytics, response, intelligence, and orchestration), is the need of the hour. In this context, Nutanix’s integration with Qualys’ vulnerability management, detection, and response (VMDR) solution is a step in the right direction,” said Srinavasamurthy.

Era updated for multi-cloud data management

Nutanix updated its database management service, Era, which is used to manage popular database engines such as PostgeSQL, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle Databases across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

Nutanix CTO Rajiv Mirani said Era, which is available now, can be used by customers to scale database storage online with a single click and has support for role-based access control facilitating security and compliance. Era now supports multi-region fail-over capabilities.

Constellation’s Mueller said that more databases are running than ever before and this consumes more expensive resources. “A solution such as Era makes it easier for CXOs to run databases and manage operations,” he said.

Further upcoming updates include Nutanix Data Lens, a cloud service to help customers understand their data better, whether it resides on premises or in the cloud, and to give insights into access patterns, data age, data types, and more. Nutanix expects Data Lens will simplify data lifecycle management as well as protect against ransomware attacks by detecting and blocking suspicious files and alerting on anomalous activity.