Nutanix accelerates hybrid cloud with Microsoft Azure

A simpler, faster and more cost-effective path to hybrid cloud adoption now available

October 12, 2022 | min

Today, Nutanix launches the most significant update yet to its Nutanix Cloud Clusters™ (NC2) hybrid cloud software, now enabling organizations to run the Nutanix Cloud Platform™ software on the Microsoft Azure® cloud service. With support for both the AWS and Azure clouds, NC2 is a true hybrid multicloud platform. It provides easy access to Azure services from customer VNets running enterprise applications. There’s a simple migration path for applications without modification, and expanded license portability with a consumption model choice.

Organizations are increasingly investing in the public cloud to solve business and IT challenges for improved operational flexibility, agility and cost-efficiency. According to 1,700 IT decision makers polled for the 2022 Enterprise Cloud Index report, 83% agree that hybrid multicloud is the ideal operating model.

There are several decisive factors behind public cloud adoption, ranging from the desire to get out of owning and running datacenters to leveraging cloud-native services to aid in new application development:

On-Demand Infrastructure & Scaling
  • Burst infrastructure quickly to meet unexpected demand
  • Power seasonal workloads only when required
Disaster Recovery (DR)
  • Provide geographical distance for backup and DR
  • Enable simpler failover, failback DR

Datacenter Consolidation

  • Reduce CapEx spending on datacenters, IT hardware
  • Reduce OpEx spending on IT personnel, power and cooling
  • Alleviate IT burden of managing multiple sites
Cloud Services Integration
  • Provide infrastructure platform adjacent to Azure-native services for rapid application integration
  • Leverage modern application development tools native in cloud

Geographical Requirements

  • Try new products or target markets in geographies without upfront CapEx investment
  • Maintain sources of record close to sources of consumption
  • Maintain business and IT compliance without owned infrastructure

Expanding into a public cloud requires careful planning and preparation ranging from an evaluation of required cloud skills and toolsets to new UI management silos required for on-premises versus cloud infrastructure management. Inconsistent application performance, IT operations, compliance, security, DR procedures and monitoring tools can leave IT trying to connect disjointed solutions together.

One of the most common cloud adoption challenges we hear about is the time, resource and costs required to refactor an existing application set from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud. Understanding existing application dependencies as a part of the application development cycle is complex and time consuming. As one Nutanix customer stated, “It previously took us a year to refactor one application and I have hundreds.”

Read more about these challenges and why organizations choose to overcome them using application mobility in a blog published by Venugopal Pai, Nutanix chief evangelist and VP of customer service, titled “Why customers value application mobility in hybrid multiclouds”.

Creating a consistent hybrid cloud platform

NC2 is a hybrid cloud platform that provides organizations with a consistent way to run applications in any combination of private and multiple public clouds – all operated and managed as a single cloud. It supports the most common hybrid cloud use cases:

  • Disaster Recovery (DR): Where an organization can quickly build out a disaster recovery site in the public cloud using minimal infrastructure which is scaled out automatically and on-demand during a failover event.
  • On-Demand Elasticity: Used to extend existing on- and off-premises environments within minutes to handle temporary infrastructure needs, such as dev/test, seasonal, mergers & acquisitions or other ad-hoc requirements. Nutanix Intelligent Operations can automatically burst infrastructure and applications into the public cloud to cater to unexpected surges in demand.
  • Migrate and Modernize: To support the migration of traditional applications to the public cloud in the quickest way possible and without the expensive and time-consuming process of application refactoring. Once in the cloud, applications can be integrated with cloud-native services as necessary.
  • End-User Computing (EUC): Including Desktops-as-a-Service (DaaS), IT can seamlessly and flexibly create Citrix DaaS environments to suit customer workload needs.

Use of Microsoft Azure BareMetal Infrastructure layered with Nutanix Cloud Platform software provides a common, consistent control plane that empowers IT operators to seamlessly deploy and manage unified storage, database and desktop services. Migrate VMs,  modernize applications and containers across the hybrid cloud without expensive retooling or reworking and delivering freedom from vendor lock-in.

With just a few easy steps, an IT operator can connect to an existing cloud account, deploy NC2 on Azure and start deploying applications. NC2 features built-in network integration and a consistent security model between on-premises and cloud environments.

Dwayne Lessner, Nutanix technical marketing engineer, created several demo videos that show the step-by-step process of setting up NC2 on Azure, migrating workloads to the new environment, and then configuring it as a remote DR site.

NC2 on Azure is different because it’s the same

Nutanix takes a unique software-based approach to the cloud that addresses the individual demands for an effective hybrid solution. With the same Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) layer across on-premises and public clouds, IT teams get a consistent data and management plane.

A simple control plane manages the creation of and connectivity configuration to clusters in the public cloud, while day-to-day operations are carried out via the Nutanix Cloud Manager ™   (NCM) platform. This approach normalizes the operational processes used for management, regardless of where the underlying infrastructure is located or which hypervisor or hardware vendor platform is used.

Simplify IT operations

  • A consistent management plane works across on-premises and Azure clouds
  • Provide a consistent security model, user and access permissions  across your entire cloud
  • Enables a unified consumption experience via Azure marketplace

Accelerate Cloud adoption

  • Migrate workloads quickly to cloud without costly application refactoring
  • Benefit from existing skills and toolsets, moving applications as-is
  • Nutanix license portability allows Nutanix licenses to be moved between on-premises infrastructure and Azure clouds 

Lower Total-cost-of-ownership

  • Achieve price-performance-resilience results by leveraging Azure BareMetal Infrastructure
  • Automatically scale-up and shrink infrastructure on-demand to avoid under-utilized infrastructure
  • Eliminate application refactoring costs by migrating existing applications to Azure

NC2 on Azure includes an integrated overlay network that simplifies configuration and connectivity between on-premises and Azure. It also eliminates the need to use Azure ExpressRoute for connectivity between other Azure VNETs, further simplifying connectivity to other Microsoft services.

It can be very expensive to guarantee application performance in the public cloud. There are different pricing tiers of compute, storage and networking IOPS. To meet the minimum required of each for an application, a higher tier may have to be selected.

As the number of virtual machines are scaled up, this micro-waste in resources can result in a less than optimized infrastructure and spending beyond what is necessary. The use of Azure BareMetal Infrastructure enables IT teams to carve up the resources in a more efficient manner to support improved price-performance-resilience optimization.

Efficiency improvements are reflected in the NC2 on Azure total cost of ownership, as validated in analysis carried out by the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), which found up to a 53% lower NC2 on Azure TCO compared to other offerings.

NC2 availability: Where, what and when?

At launch, NC2 on Azure is available in several North America Microsoft Azure regions, including Azure East US, West US 2 and North Central US, with support for other global Azure regions being developed.

Two Azure BareMetal Infrastructure configurations are available that enable a wide variety of use cases. Configuration details include a choice of Ready Nodes for Nutanix AN36 and AN36P. These feature 36-core Intel™ 2.3-GHz or 2.6-GHz processors for 72 vCPUs. A choice of 576 GB or 768 GB RAM. 25 Gbps networking with redundancy and choice of SSD and high performance NVMe storage.

Clusters of Ready Nodes created from the above configurations can manage workload types ranging from end-user computing desktops to high performance databases and applications that demand the very best from storage and networking bandwidth and latency.

Pricing flexibility

There are two parts to the NC2 on Azure pricing: The Nutanix software layer and Azure BareMetal Infrastructure. Nutanix licensing has two purchasing options; directly with Nutanix or through Microsoft as shown in the diagram below:

Organizations with a cloud strategy can utilize their existing Nutanix licenses for their NC2 on Azure deployment by simply migrating them to the Azure BareMetal Infrastructure. This industry-unique license portability allows Nutanix licenses to be reused between on-premises and NC2 on Azure clouds to increase efficiency and reduce license costs when moving applications to the cloud.

If new software licenses are required for the Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure, they can be purchased either directly with Nutanix or with Microsoft via the Azure Marketplace. A choice of either pay-as-you-go (PAYG) or cloud-commit ensures customers have the greatest flexibility when selecting their licenses. Customers can purchase both Nutanix software and Azure BareMetal infrastructure from the Azure Marketplace, and Azure Hybrid Benefits to maximize their existing investments and deploy quickly.

Either of the Nutanix software purchasing routes require a licensing option for Microsoft Azure BareMetal Infrastructure, either on-demand for greatest flexibility, or reserved nodes on a 1-or 3-year plan.

Next steps 

There’s a considerable amount of information to unpack in this announcement, from understanding the solution to why it can benefit your cloud strategy and how it is differentiated.

Learn more about NC2 and how it can simplify your organization’s hybrid cloud strategy.

If you are attending Microsoft Ignite 2022, either in-person in Seattle or virtually, check out the Nutanix sessions for further insight, and be one of the first to see NC2 on Azure live with a demo at 800 Pike St, room Yakima 2.

The easiest way to get started with NC2 on Azure is via a no-commitment free test drive. See first-hand the simplicity of creating hybrid cloud environments for your applications and how to accelerate your cloud adoption with NC2 on Azure.

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