Nutanix Adds Support for Google Anthos Distribution of Kubernetes

Nutanix has added support for Google Anthos, a managed instance of a Kubernetes environment, to its hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) platform running the company’s AHV hypervisor.

Greg Muscarella, vice president of product for Nutanix, says Google Anthos is gaining traction in on-premises IT environments as organizations look to extend the reach of existing investments in the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) service.

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Nutanix is committing to making Anthos available alongside its own distribution of Kubernetes, dubbed Karbon. In general, the shift toward hybrid cloud computing is accelerating Kubernetes adoption in enterprise IT environments, Muscarella says. In some cases, organizations will want to provision Kubernetes themselves, while others prefer to rely on a cloud service provider to manage provisioning.

Google launched Anthos last year as part of an effort to extend its Kubernetes reach to on-premises IT environments and to other cloud computing platforms.

Muscarella says IT organizations are opting for HCI platforms because hypervisors make it simpler to cohesively manage compute and storage, despite the ability to deploy Kubernetes on bare metal servers. The integration with storage also results in better performance than when IT organizations attempt to integrate compute and storage on their own, Muscarella says.

It’s apparent that Kubernetes will soon be running on fleets of virtual and physical machines. A recent survey published by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) found 81% of respondents are using more than 20 virtual or physical machines in their container environments. The same survey finds 92% of respondents are running containers in production environments, with 83% reporting they are also employing Kubernetes in those environments.

VMware is the dominant supplier of virtual machines in the enterprise today. However, Nutanix has been steadily closing the market share gap between its AHV hypervisor and those offered by VMware. There also are a number of open source hypervisors on the market, not to mention Microsoft’s proprietary hypervisor in the enterprise market.

IT administrators are also exerting more influence over their organizations’ Kubernetes clusters; once solely within the purview of DevOps teams, notes Muscarella. In many cases, unless there’s an especially compelling case to do so, IT teams that have already invested in proprietary frameworks to manage those hypervisors won’t want to acquire a separate framework just to deploy Kubernetes on a bare metal server.

In the meantime, IT organizations should expect to see more Kubernetes deployments at the network edge. Depending on IT teams’ ability to travel to sites where those nodes are running (or lack thereof), a managed service such as Anthos may be a more effective and efficient way to manage those deployments.

Regardless of where Kubernetes is run, the types of platforms on which Kubernetes will be deployed continue to diversify. That means IT infrastructure management methods have already changed drastically.

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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