Introducing Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes Clusters On Nutanix

Nutanix and Microsoft Partner To Give Customers Simple, Flexible Hybrid Cloud Kubernetes

March 3, 2021 | min

As cloud native enterprises seek to establish hybrid cloud Kubernetes® environments, they run into two main challenges. First, standing up and maintaining a production-grade Kubernetes stack - which requires compute, persistent storage, networking, observability, and security controls for containers and pods - is a complex project, especially when trying to use legacy 3-tier infrastructure as the foundation. Second, operating Kubernetes clusters across public and private clouds often entails juggling different management solutions and other undesired overhead on the part of operators.

With the introduction of Microsoft® Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes clusters and its validation of Karbon Kubernetes clusters running on Nutanix® Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI), Nutanix and Microsoft solve these problems, offering customers a fast and smooth path to hybrid cloud Kubernetes success.

Nutanix’s industry-leading HCI is ideal for running Kubernetes, given its resilience and ability to scale linearly and simply (almost without limit). Nutanix HCI includes Karbon®, Nutanix’s Certified Kubernetes management solution which substantially simplifies Kubernetes management processes throughout its entire lifecycle. Karbon’s intuitive workflows help users tackle storage and network configuration, high availability, Kubernetes version upgrades, nodes’ OS upgrades, and more. Karbon makes it possible to deploy a production-ready Kubernetes cluster in less than 10 minutes even by administrators with little to no Kubernetes experience, as opposed to the weeks or months it would typically take with a manual approach.

Nutanix HCI, Karbon, along with Nutanix’s trio of storage solutions, Files™, Volumes™, and Objects™ products, form the foundation of an on-prem enterprise Kubernetes stack ready for integration into a multicloud configuration.

Extending Azure to Nutanix-based Kubernetes Environments With Azure Arc

Nutanix Karbon is now technically validated for running Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes clusters. Via Azure Arc, Azure customers can now seamlessly extend Azure’s data services and management capabilities to their on-prem Kubernetes clusters.

For cloud native organizations seeking a fast path to hybrid cloud Kubernetes, this is an excellent approach that offers substantial benefits. First, Nutanix HCI is an ideal foundation for Kubernetes, and Karbon-- an integrated component-- enables users to configure, deploy, and manage Kubernetes clusters in a fraction of the time it would take with a do-it-yourself approach involving legacy infrastructure. Second, Azure customers can extend their Azure investment and user experience to their on-prem datacenters. This hybrid cloud configuration offers users significantly more flexibility in scaling and migrating cloud native workloads, along with the ability to monitor all clusters and manage policies via a single interface.

Today, Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes is generally available.

At a glance, here’s how it all works: first, customers use Nutanix Karbon to configure and deploy their Kubernetes clusters on top of Nutanix HCI. Then, the clusters can be brought into the purview of Azure’s monitoring and policy management capabilities via Arc. This hybrid cloud configuration is shown in figure 1 below.

FIGURE 1: Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes Clusters on Nutanix HCI

“Nutanix has earned a reputation for making infrastructure configuration and management simple and intuitive,” says Arpan Shah, General Manager, Azure at Microsoft, “and their approach to operationalizing Kubernetes on premises is no exception. This is an advantage for customers looking to manage Kubernetes applications consistently across the cloud and on-premises. With Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes, customers can centrally configure and deploy applications to their Nutanix deployments, enabling a seamless hybrid experience.”

For an in-depth technical overview of how to configure Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes clusters on Nutanix HCI, please check out the short technical overview video by Jose Gomez, Nutanix Technical Marketing Engineer.

Common use cases for extending Azure to Arc-enabled Kubernetes clusters running on Nutanix HCI include:


Monitor clusters across hybrid environments using Azure Monitor


Deploy and enforce policies for Kubernetes clusters across hybrid environments


Deploy applications and apply configuration by using GitOps-based configuration management

Learn More

Nutanix is a showcase sponsor of the Microsoft Ignite conference. Check out our Featured Partner Page and watch our 20-minute On-Demand Session featuring Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes clusters on Nutanix HCI.

Take Nutanix HCI with Karbon for a Test Drive

If you’re considering Nutanix HCI for the foundation of your on-prem cloud-native environment, take it for a test drive! The Nutanix Test Drive™ program puts you in the driver’s seat, offering you a hands-on experience with the tools you need to build your cloud—infra, ops, data, apps, DR, and more. 

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