How Nutanix and AWS Public Cloud and Private Clouds Compare

Public cloud

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 multicloud?” But more often than not, the question boils down to choosing a combination of public or private cloud, both of which can be expanded into hybrid and multiclouds. 

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. Put simply, it is much easier and quicker to add or remove resources in a public cloud than it is in a traditional on-prem environment.

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 consistent resource capacity. 

what is public cloud

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 and what makes the most sense for their business or enterprise. 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, especially those with data compliance, security, and privacy concerns. 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 a hybrid multicloud platform that runs on hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). The Nutanix HCI merges compute, storage, networking, and virtualization, and can be optimized with a portfolio of hybrid and multicloud services for application orchestration and automation, cost governance, security compliance, desktop virtualization, and more.

Businesses that choose Nutanix may purchase pre-configured servers from the manufacturer of their choice and deploy the Nutanix HCI software on it. 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 around 200 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:












Management tools







For more information, check out this Nutanix Public Cloud Usage Report to learn how businesses spend across these cloud service categories and the various steps they take to optimize their cloud consumption.

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 up or down 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 Hybrid Multicloud

To understand the Nutanix Hybrid Multicloud, we first have to introduce the Nutanix infrastructure. Nutanix is best-known for its hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) 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 HCI makes infrastructure “invisible” by collapsing compute, storage, networking, and virtualization onto a single, software-defined platform..

Nutanix suite of hybrid and multicloud services are designed to make using a cloud computing model easier for businesses to manage. The lineup of these Cloud services all aim to create a public cloud-like experience in an on-premises environment through automation and orchestration tools and extend the same experience across multiple public clouds. There are four products that fall under this umbrella:

  • Beam: A cloud service that  optimizes resource utilization, and provides smart insights to reduce cloud spend across private and public clouds.
  • Frame: A desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) offering, Frame lets end users access applications on any device and at any location. Businesses can also virtualize workspaces for their team in under an hour which has become business critical during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Karbon: This is an enterprise Kubernetes management solution that enables turnkey provisioning, operations, and lifecycle management of Kubernetes. 
  • Leap: Leap is a no-install Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) solution that takes the burden of disaster recovery off the organization so that they don't need to worry about business continuity.

Advantages of the Nutanix Hybrid Multicloud Solution

Nutanix customers reap benefits from the Nutanix architecture overall, but its Hybrid Multicloud Solution offers a unique repertoire of perks. Below are the most commonly cited benefits:

  • Managing a cloud is often a time-consuming task. Nutanix simplifies cloud management, and in many cases, automates otherwise manual tasks, so businesses can refocus their efforts onto other, more high-value projects.
  • Regardless of the cloud vendor a business is using, Nutanix 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-native services.
  • Many of the products in the Hybrid Multicloud Solution 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, the Nutanix solution is 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 an extensive product catalog, 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
Security Governance
Flow Security Central
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

Related resources

How Nutanix Works: The Definitive Guide to Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Cloud Usage Report 2020 for AWS & Azure | Nutanix

7 Most Common Cloud Adoption Mistakes

Nutanix Clusters:Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure for the Multicloud Era

Tips for Getting Private Cloud Costs Under Control

Do These 9 Things to Reduce Your AWS S3 Spend

Learn more about Cloud Security

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