Managed Services Provider offers channel partners and customers fast track to hybrid cloud using Nutanix Enterprise Cloud and AHV Hypervisor
- Aessenta gets a scalable multitenanted hybrid cloud platform for low capital outlay with minimal operational overheads
- Aessenta is able to compete on level terms with big public cloud vendors
- Customers get on-demand access to hybrid cloud resources without the need for own on-premise infrastructure
- Customers get maximum flexibility with simplified pricing and no hidden virtualisation charges plus self-service management through delegated access to Prism management console
Nutanix Enterprise Cloud offered to customers as a multi-tenanted managed service
- Prism management plane
- AHV hypervisor
Aessenta Cloud customers are able to host operating systems and applications of their choice, just as if deploying the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud on-premise.
Nutanix Enterprise Cloud is a win-win solution. As a service provider we get a readymade, scalable and easy to manage multi-tenanted infrastructure enabling us to compete on level terms with the big name cloud vendors. Our channel partners and customers, meanwhile, get access to the state of the art cloud technologies needed to deliver digital transformation but as a service and without the need to retrain and upskill to work with public cloud platforms.Richard Eyres, Technical Director, Aessenta
Over the past decade cloud computing has become synonymous with services from big name public cloud providers. Companies such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft, whose cloud platforms dominate the market when it comes to delivering digital transformation. As a result smaller vendors, like Aessenta, need ©2019 Nutanix, Inc. All Rights Reserved to compete, not just on price, but by providing flexible, ready to run, solutions that meet the specific needs of businesses wanting to fast track their transformation plans. Doing that using legacy server, storage and virtualisation technologies is a big ask, hence why start-up Aessenta turned to the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud running on Fujitsu Primergy appliances to power its Cloud platform, as Richard Eyres, Technical Director, explains:
“We realised that, for us to compete in the cloud services market, we needed a platform that was simple and easy to manage yet still able to match the on-demand scalability of the likes of AWS, Google and Microsoft Azure,” said Eyres. “That wasn’t possible using legacy servers, storage and virtualisation, but with the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud it was a no-brainer.”
Putting the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud to work as a means of delivering a multi-tenanted hybrid cloud platform proved remarkably straightforward, both in terms of hardware and software.
“We already had an MSP relationship with Fujitsu,” commented Majid Akhtar, Aessenta Managing Director, “which, as a fully accredited Nutanix partner, was able to provide a preconfigured Enterprise Cloud cluster based on its x86 Primergy servers. Importantly, for us this is also backed by a single support contract for the whole solution stack, massively reducing time to resolution should problems occur.”
The Fujitsu appliances came ready configured with Nutanix Acropolis Cloud OS, Prism management and Calm orchestration software leaving the technical team to just slot them into the company’s co-location racks and existing networking infrastructure. Three nodes were installed to start with, but the cluster can be quickly and easily expanded as demand rises, simply by adding extra nodes.
When it comes to virtualisation the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud supports both VMware and Microsoft hypervisors but Aessenta opted for the built-in AHV hypervisor which is equally capable but also confers additional benefits to the overall solution.
“One of the plusses with AHV is the elimination of costly licencing fees which helps considerably when it comes to competing with the big public cloud platforms,” explained Eyres. “The hypervisor is also fully integrated making it easy to manage virtual resources from the same management console as the rest of solution stack.”
As a result just one operator is required to keep an eye on the Nutanix cluster using the integrated Prism management software which, according to Eyres, was also instrumental when it came to building a multitenanted service.
“We were expecting issues making the Nutanix software fit our needs but that wasn’t the case,” he commented. “The Prism software does most of the hard work, enabling us to delegate management to the customer for the resources they use, thereby reducing TCO and enabling us to compete on level terms with the big public cloud vendors.
Once the Fujitsu appliances had been installed, it took just hours to get the Aessenta Cloud service up and running and it wasn’t long before customers were putting it to use. A result Majid Akhtar attributes to the company’s simpler, more flexible, service model compared to the big public cloud providers which, typically, sell large portfolios numbers of complex products often with associated transactional charges.
The Aessenta model, by contrast, is based purely on the number of virtual processors, RAM and storage customers require. Moreover, channel partners and customers alike can use this allocation as they like to create their own VMs and allocate resources to support applications with no extra hidden costs. They can also scale their allocation to match demand simply by purchasing additional resources.
“The software-defined Nutanix Enterprise Cloud allows us to be more nimble and attract customers that might be put off by more restrictive offerings and it’s already striking a chord,” comments Akhtar. “Our seven-day free trial, for example, has an over 90% retention rate reflecting a huge appetite for this new type of readymade cloud service – a service which would be much harder to deliver without the Nutanix software.”
It’s early days for the new Aessenta Cloud, but Eyres and his tech team are already planning to add to the cluster. “We have several large trials running, any one of which could push us over capacity, but that’s not a problem,” he says, “it’s just a matter of sliding more nodes into the rack to make additional processors, memory and storage immediately available.”
The provider is also looking to enhance the availability of its inherently very resilient Enterprise Cloud cluster by replicating data to a separate disaster recovery site and, at the same time, adding further to its portfolio of backup and disaster recovery services. Beyond that the company is keen to take advantage of the many cloud-native, process automation and AI technologies available as part of the Nutanix solution, again, offering these as services to channel partners and customers going forward.