How Nutanix and AWS Differ: Private Cloud vs. Public Cloud

Public cloud

The Public vs. Private Cloud Debate: What is Public Cloud?

When businesses evaluate which cloud vendor makes the most sense for their business, they’re really asking this question: “Should I choose public, private, hybrid, or multi-cloud?” But more often than not, the question boils down to choosing between public or private cloud, both of which can be expanded into hybrid and multi-clouds. 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is considered a pioneer in public cloud services. Along with Microsoft Azure, AWS is among the top public cloud providers most companies think of first. Public cloud is one side of the coin, and for many businesses, it makes the most sense for their needs. A public cloud means businesses are no longer responsible for managing or hosting their cloud. Instead, a cloud service provider, such as AWS, will take care of these tasks. Also, businesses with large amounts of unpredictable workloads with hard-to-define capacities often choose public cloud due to improved elasticity.

However, public clouds aren’t always a feasible option. At least 75% of all organizational workloads fall into the “predictable” category, which includes things like emails, Big Data, and analytics. Predictable workloads are used everyday, and they make the most sense in a private cloud environment that has a smaller workload capacity.

what is public cloud

The Public vs. Private Cloud Debate: What is Private Cloud?

When businesses are trying to decide between a public or private cloud, what they are really looking at are their workload requirements. A private cloud is among the most widely adopted cloud architectures. Hosted and managed inside an organization’s data center, a private cloud ensures no resources are shared with others, which is among the many reasons a business may choose a private cloud. Businesses may build their own private cloud or may choose to adopt one from a third-party vendor.

Private cloud

On the other side of the coin, Nutanix offers an Enterprise Cloud Operating System that runs on hyperconverged infrastructure. Enterprise Cloud merges compute, storage, networking, and security, and can be optimized with Nutanix’s Xi Cloud Services, a portfolio of orchestration and automation services and products. Xi Cloud Services can help businesses transition their private cloud environment into a hybrid or multi-cloud. 

Businesses that choose Nutanix may purchase pre-configured appliances from Nutanix, from another manufacturer of their choice, or simply deploy the Nutanix software on another vendor’s servers. Ultimately, these choices are important for setting up a private cloud first and then migrating into a hybrid cloud environment if a company chooses to do so.

What is Amazon Web Services (AWS)?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) falls under Amazon’s lineup of products. It’s a public cloud platform developed on multiple as-a-service offerings, including infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS). Like other public cloud offerings, AWS allows businesses a pay-as-you-go consumption model.

AWS launched originally in 2002, but the first product did not launch until 2006. To gather customer input about AWS, Amazon hosts a yearly event dedicated to its cloud service, called AWS re:Invent. This event gives customers the opportunity to share their feedback about using AWS. And today, AWS customers can choose from over 100 services and products.

There are numerous services that fall under AWS’s web of products, but each falls under one of these 9 primary categories:



















Not to mention, there are multiple use cases that make choosing AWS attractive. Most applications of AWS include site hosting, media sharing, content and media distribution, search engines, and social networking. 

Advantages of Amazon Web Services (AWS)

There are many benefits that make selecting AWS, and public cloud as an extension, alluring. Below are a few of the most commonly cited benefits AWS customers enjoy.

  • Small-to-medium-sized businesses, in many cases, will prefer public clouds like AWS because they allow these businesses to use their infrastructure and services with zero CapEx. 
  • As mentioned previously, AWS utilizes a pay-as-you-go consumption model. If businesses do not need a large amount of capacity, they will pay less, and vice versa. 
  • Public clouds like AWS are notably flexible, allowing businesses to scale on-demand based on their resource and/or traffic needs.  
  • AWS offers APIs in an array of programming languages, helping programmers manage their infrastructure by launching new instances, tackling backups, and other tasks.

Nutanix and the Cloud: What is Nutanix Xi Cloud Services?

To understand Nutanix Xi Cloud Services, we first have to introduce the Nutanix infrastructure. Nutanix is best-known for its hyperconverged infrastructure offering, which acts as an important, powerful building block for an on-premises cloud architecture: private cloud.

What is Nutanix Xi Cloud Services?

In addition, the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Operating System is a platform that makes infrastructure “invisible” by collapsing compute, storage, networking, and security onto a single, software-defined platform. Enterprise Cloud is offered as both a turnkey appliance or 100% software-defined.

Officially launched in 2018, Xi Cloud Services is a suite of services designed to make using a cloud computing model easier. The lineup of Xi Cloud Services all aim to create a public cloud-like experience in an on-premises environment through automation and orchestration tools. There are five products that fall under the Xi Cloud Services umbrella:

  • Beam: A cloud service that identifies and remediates security gaps, optimizes resource utilization, and provides smart insights into cloud costs regardless of vendor.
  • Clusters: Usable on AWS, Clusters helps facilitate a hybrid cloud environment by creating interoperability between private and public clouds, allowing operators to move VMs, applications, and licenses as needed.
  • Frame: A desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) offering, Frame lets end users access applications on any device and at any location. Businesses can also create virtual workspaces for their teams in under an hour. 
  • IoT: This platform uses AI-driven processing to deliver real-time business insights and simplify operations.
  • Leap: Leap is a no-install Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) solution that takes the burden of disaster recovery off the organization.

Advantages of Nutanix Xi Cloud Services 

Nutanix customers reap benefits from the Nutanix architecture overall, but its Xi Cloud Services offer a unique repertoire of perks. Below are the most commonly cited benefits:

  • Managing a cloud is often a time-consuming task. Xi Cloud Services simplify management, and in many cases, automate otherwise manual tasks, so businesses can refocus their efforts onto other, more high-value projects. 
  • Regardless of the cloud vendor a business is using, Xi Cloud Services can still be utilized. Even if an organization is using a public cloud like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP), they can still utilize the Nutanix library of cloud services.
  • Many of the products in the Xi Cloud portfolio come natively integrated with the Nutanix platform, so existing customers do not have additional steps or licenses to go through before leveraging the products. 
  • Businesses are able to expand their on-premises cloud architecture into a hybrid or multi-cloud without migratory hiccups or complexity. In addition, Xi Cloud Services are all designed to simplify an often-complex hybrid or multi-cloud environment without additional staffing or costs.
Nutanix Xi Cloud Services

Product Breakdown: AWS vs. Nutanix

Below is an abridged list of similar capabilities offered by Nutanix and AWS. As AWS has a product catalog of over 100, the chart does not capture each product name. Notably, AWS provides product categories and features that Nutanix does not, including the Ground Station satellite, game server hosting, and AR and VR capabilities. 

Product Capabilities/Features AWS Nutanix
Cost Management Service Xi Beam
IoT Xi IoT
Machine Learning Xi Cloud Services
Security Governance Xi Beam
Migration and Transfer Nutanix Move
Storage Files, Volumes, Objects
Disaster Recovery Xi Leap
End-User Computing Xi Frame
Automation and Orchestration Calm, Prism Pro, Era, Karbon, Xi Beam
Networking and Security Flow

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