Blog

Announcing Nutanix Cloud Connect

By Prabu Rambadran

Today, we announced Nutanix Cloud Connect – a capability that enables native hybrid cloud architectures by seamlessly integrating public cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), with Nutanix-powered private cloud environments. You can read the press release here. I wanted to dive deeper and spend a little more time around what this announcement means to you and your business.

Majority of Nutanix customers are looking at a hybrid cloud strategy for their business. Everyone agrees that there are certain workloads that will always remain within customer’s datacenters due to performance, security and compliance requirements. But specific use cases are starting to emerge where a hybrid cloud strategy seems appropriate. Using public cloud as a backup destination, as a DR site, for hosting scalable web-tiers (with back-end staying on-premises), for Dev-Test scenarios etc. are some of the scenarios that are gaining traction.

Nutanix was built with a bold dream of enabling customers to run any App at any scale on any cloud.  Nutanix now has over 800 customers, several of them owning over a million dollars worth of Nutanix gear for running workloads such as SQL, SAP, Exchange, VDI, Big Data and Private cloud environments across hundreds of nodes. With Cloud Connect we are enabling customers to embrace public cloud by making it look as if it is a logical extension of their own datacenters. The first use case that we are addressing in this release is Backup.

Nutanix customers have had the ability to backup and replicate their virtualized workloads to remote sites for a while now. Several of our customers have gotten rid of their traditional backup and DR products and instead use the built-in functionality available from Nutanix. With Cloud Connect, customers can now use the public cloud as a destination and seamlessly backup and recover their Virtual Machines as if it is another site that they own.  Depending on the workload and the associated SLAs, customers can tune the backup schedule and retention periods.  All the management happens centrally from within Nutanix Prism.

So what does it mean to you?

Natively integrated hybrid cloud management for consistent IT workflows: You will use a single product and a single management console for managing storage, compute, backup and DR. From within Nutanix Prism, you can set-up Cloud Connect, backup workloads to public cloud or a remote site, parse through protected items and perform quick recovery, make changes to protection schedules. Compare this with the management clutter that you are dealing with today. An important point that I want to stress here is that unlike other vendors, Nutanix doesn’t just do a dumb block-level transfer of data to the public cloud. Once the public cloud credentials are entered in Prism, a Nutanix Controller VM (CVM) cluster automatically is spun-up in the public cloud. The Nutanix CVM cluster in the private cloud then communicates with the CVM cluster in the public cloud and transfers data as if it were transferring it to a remote cluster. With the CVM cluster running in the public cloud, sky is the limit in terms of functionality that can be lit up in the future!

Unlimited and efficient cloud-based data storage with incremental ‘forever’ snapshots: You have complete control over how long you keep the data in the public cloud. It could be for a day, for a month, for a year or forever. Support for long-term back-ups in public cloud eliminates the need to have separate tape based infrastructure thereby simplifying management overhead and OpEx significantly.  After the initial data transfer, only data that has changed is sent saving precious network bandwidth. Additionally, even if workloads move within or across clusters, Nutanix keeps track of it and continues to transfer only the increments.

WAN-friendly operation with over-the-wire compression and de-duplication: Data is deduplicated and compressed before it is backed-up in the public cloud as a result of which you can save over 75% in both network bandwidth usage and storage footprint. Additionally, you can also throttle the network bandwidth consumption of backup to ensure that App performance is not affected in anyway.

Flexible policy management: You have the ability to control and fine tune the back-up schedule and retention policies to meet the needs of the App. The backup schedule can be as low as 15 minutes enabling you to choose a frequency that best meets the infrastructure capacity and SLAs. You can also schedule the backup to run during non-business hours. Again, it is not a “one size fits all approach”. Pick a solution and configuration that works the best for your business.

This is a big release for us. Nutanix uses the same design principles and technologies that fuel some of the biggest public cloud environments in the world enabling enterprise private clouds to operate at an efficiency and simplicity that is associated with public clouds. We believe we have come a full circle now by enabling customers to build a hybrid cloud strategy by connecting their private clouds to public clouds.

Over the next several weeks, I will dig deeper into Cloud Connect and Data Protection with Nutanix and talk about specific use cases, best practices, ecosystem, etc.. So stay tuned!