Paul Ruinaard, Regional Sales Director Sub-Saharan Africa at Nutanix

Nutanix, a leader in enterprise cloud computing, today announced a number of products and development that it says will “give customers access to more agile and efficient ways to support their teams to enable innovation, while maintaining the core infrastructure layer that powers it all.”

The announcements were made at a virtual Africa Press Roundtable. The roundtable was part of the  Global.NEXT conference, the company's signature annual event, taking place from the 8th to 11 September.

Paul Ruinaard (Regional Sales Director at Nutanix Sub-Saharan Africa), Craigh Stuart (Systems Engineering Manager at Nutanix SADC & WECA), Rowen Grierson (Regional Director at Nutanix West, East & Central Africa), and Fatima Mkandla (Channel Sales, Manager at Nutanix Sub-Saharan Africa) represented Nutanix at the roundtable.

Ruinaard noted that while Nutanix global had made a couple of major announcements at the ongoing .NEXT event, they also wanted to focus on their business strategy and their future vision. The announcement created what seems like two versions of Nutanix and the 2.0 version is just beginning, he noted.

“It's important for us to continue to deliver that innovative approach where we can start to leverage the new hardware coming out in the market and being able to deliver it far more effectively because we've been agile,” Stuart said.

“As much as we talk about the new product portfolio and all the stuff that we're doing, we're still we're still quite heavily focused on ensuring that the core delivers what it needs to and as things get better in terms of the hardware that we have access to.”

The portfolio

Heading the line-up, Nutanix announced major new capabilities in its hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) software. These innovations will deliver significant innovations to the datacenter and cloud markets, the company said. 

Specifically, these innovations will bring up to 50% faster performance, native virtual networking to simplify multicloud deployments, end-to-end security monitoring to support a Zero-Trust strategy, and expanded automation and budgeting capabilities for cloud resources.

In addition to extending its HCI software stack to the public cloud, the company said the development will set the bar for innovation in the fast-growing HCI market, putting true IT modernisation within reach of all organizations.

Secondly, Nutanix announced the launch of its Kubernetes-based multicloud Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) with automated system-managed security. Called Karbon, the PaaS accelerates the development and deployment of microservices-based apps across any cloud, according to Nutanix.

This offering provides software developers with a turnkey-managed services experience, on-premises, and in the public cloud to build and run cloud native applications while enabling them to decouple applications from the underlying infrastructure. It also provides IT operations teams with a simplified and consistent application lifecycle management and security framework.

Thirdly, Nutanix announced a new partner program it says was designed to re-define their partner engagement journey. Called Elevate, the new program simplifies engagement for Nutanix’s entire partner ecosystem using a consistent set of tools, resources, and marketing platforms provided in the new Nutanix Partner Portal, the company explained.

Ruinaard noted that business is moving from the legacy model, where they invested in three or five year contracts. “We've now gone to a cloud consumption model, which is a subscription-based model.” Thus, participating in the Elevate programme should not add to the operational costs for their partners, he said.

“At a sales level, our partners would be able to look at the business and gain insight for opportunities. We've got enhanced profitability. That means that we are giving our partners more protection for doing business with Nutanix,” said Ruinaard. “On the services side, we've got an enhanced Services Program, which is an opportunity for our partners to make money. So the programme is really a simplification of how we engage at this point in time.”

The fifth and final announcement was about Nutanix's new partnership with Microsoft Azure for a Seamless Hybrid Experience. The partnership will enable both companies to deliver a hybrid solution with seamless application, data, and license mobility as well as unified management across on-premises and Azure environments, using Nutanix Clusters on Azure, the company said in a media statement.

“With this partnership, Microsoft and Nutanix show our commitment to delivering a true, unified hybrid and multicloud environment,” said Tarkan Maner, Chief Commercial Officer at Nutanix. “We know customers are looking for solutions to truly — and simply — advance their cloud journey.

This partnership helps us deliver a single software stack across public and private clouds, resulting in increased agility, streamlined operations, and significant cost savings.”

Grierson outlined the potential benefits presented by Nutanix's new developments for the continent. Nutanix has been in South Africa for more than five years, with Central Africa regional operations started just under two years ago.

“We've seen a lot of customers on legacy infrastructures in Nigeria, Ghana, and other countries,” Grierson said. “Because the public cloud providers don't have data centers in (their) country, organisations  accept the high latency or host one or two applications in Europe or potentially South Africa. This actually opens the opportunity for a lot of local providers to set up local cloud type or public cloud type services,” he said.

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