Nutanix Unfurls PaaS Based on Kubernetes

Nutanix today unveiled at its online .NEXT 2020 conference a managed platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment based on an instance of Kubernetes that enables IT teams to deploy a PaaS on-premises in a local data center, in a public cloud or in an edge computing environment.

Company CTO Rajiv Mirani says Karbon Platform Services are designed to be a natural extension of the Karbon platform for deploying Kubernetes clusters on top of its hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) architecture that was launched earlier this year. The Karbon Platform Services include managed instances of Kubernetes and a PaaS along with support for serverless functions, a message bus, ingress, service mesh, observability, security services and the ability to build and deploy artificial intelligence (AI) applications, says Mirani.

That approach will make it easier for IT organizations to deploy and manage legacy monolithic and emerging microservices-based applications constructed using containers alongside one another, adds Mirani. While most organizations are building new applications using microservices it’s not likely the number of monolithic applications being run by enterprise IT organizations will decline anytime soon, he notes.

As part of a broader push into managed services, the company also today announced Calm as a Service, a previously announced application management and orchestration platform for DevOps teams that Nutanix is still developing, will also be available as a hosted service.

Nutanix also announced it has improved the performance of its HCI platform by 50% by adding support for NVMe-based solid-state drives (SSDs) and Intel Optane SSDs, along with a technology preview for the Storage Performance Development Kit (SPDK) developed by Intel that makes it easier for applications to access NVMe-based storage systems.

The company also announced Blockstore, a facility that automates the management of storage more efficiently than traditional file systems, and Nutanix Flow, a set of virtual networking capabilities that have been embedded within its HCI platform.

Finally, Nutanix announced Flow Security Central, a management plane delivered as a cloud service to address compliance monitoring, network visibility, and security operations across private clouds and public cloud based on Nutanix HCI software. Flow Security Central is designed to extend Beam, an existing management framework that Nutanix already makes available.

Other security tools that Nutanix revealed it is developing include extensions to its native key manager and data encryption capabilities for remote computing environments and support for Microsoft’s Virtualization-Based Security (VBS) and Credential Guard that helps protect Windows VDI desktops against sophisticated memory attacks.

Nutanix in many ways is moving down the same path as archrival VMware to extend its virtual machine platform running instances of Kubernetes into a framework that enables IT organizations to embrace hybrid cloud computing. In contrast to VMware, however, many of the capabilities required to achieve that goal are being integrated into the core HCI platform to make it easier for Nutanix to manage those environments on behalf of customers versus requiring organizations to acquire separate offerings that are then layered on top of a virtual machine platform.

Overall, Nutanix claims to have more than 17,000 customers. It’s not clear how many of those customers are employing the entire Nutanix stack of offerings on top of the core HCI platform. However, the company is clearly betting that as cloud-native applications based on containers being to be deployed at scale in enterprise IT environments, the number of organizations that will prefer to engage Nutanix to manage IT infrastructure on their behalf is about to significantly increase.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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