IT complexity is hurting the business

Binny Gill, Nutanix (Image: Nutanix)

Despite working really hard, IT tools are not up to modern demands, says Nutanix cloud CTO

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12 April 2019 | 0

Despite the advent of as-a-service delivery models and ubiquitous cloud access, many organisations still struggle with IT complexity resulting in slow provisioning, frequent failures, scaling difficulties, upgrade issues and high capital expenditure.

IT is working really hard, said Binny Gill, CTO, cloud services, Nutanix, but IT’s tools are not up the job.

The enterprise data centre needs to be “radically simplified”, said Gill, speaking at the Nutanix .NEXT event in Dublin. He cited an IDC survey from early 2018 that found 80% of organisations are moving some application back on premises.

“Nutanix has been working on the AWS-like experience inside your data centre,” Binny Gill, Nutanix

Gill said that software architectures need to change to handle intelligent software on commodity hardware that can be provisioned in minutes that is fault tolerant for low-touch operation. This needs to be application centric to run applications at any scale, with automated workloads and management, native platform services and rich ecosystems around applications.

The great hope, said Gill, is the example of today’s smart phone, which is in effect some 40 odd devices converged into one.

Building on its hyperconverged infrastructure base, Nutanix began to develop the Enterprise Cloud Operating System.

“Nutanix has been working on the AWS-like experience inside your data centre,” Gill.

Managing the virtualised infrastructure and networking is something that is still hard, he said. Gill said that looking at the problem and working on AHV (Acropolis Hypervisor Virtualisation), “the more we looked the more we realised that it was not just the hypervisor, but also networking that needed attention.”

It soon became apparent that what Nutanix was doing was developing an enterprise cloud operating system.

“Business wants to grow fast – IT cannot get in the way of that,” said Gill.

What the enterprise DC looked like, said Gill, was a stack of components from disparate sources. 

“We were trying to provide all of these components in an OS. That’s what you get with public cloud, you don’t have to put it all together from different vendors.”

By having that public cloud experience on premises, Gill argues, it makes it far easier to leverage public cloud to transition to a hybrid or multicloud scenario, as workloads or transformation ambitions demand.

“When we talk about Enterprise Cloud OS, it is not just limited to private cloud, it is going to be managing both sides and multiple clouds. That is why we have been focusing on layers of the stack that are multicloud as well. Which is a stark differentiation with what Amazon or Azure does — they are focused only on their own cloud.”

The Nutanix approach to solving this with the Enterprise Cloud OS was to build it with public cloud architecture and design principles. It features a distributed infrastructure fabric that has enterprise-grade storage, network security and orchestration, native virtualisation, and data protection and disaster recovery.

Speaking to TechPro, Gill said that networking and security elements of the stack were the areas that required most attention to bring them up the standard necessary.

He argued that just as virtualisation made the server, to some extent, “invisible,” so soon initiatives such as Enterprise Cloud OS will have a similar effect for the cloud.

“In the future the cloud will become invisible,” said Gill. “The simpler it can get, the better it is for the business.”

“We believe this is not only possible, but our mission,” he concluded.



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