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Nutanix Acropolis services expand for cloud, developer needs

Like many storage and data center vendors, hyper-converged vendor Nutanix is taking the next steps to give its platform multi-cloud capabilities.

Nutanix today laid out its plans to add services for developers to its Enterprise Cloud OS software. These include a Nutanix Acropolis Object Storage Service and Acropolis Cloud Compute. The hyper-converged pioneer will also add a Nutanix App Marketplace to its Calm cloud application and orchestration service.

“The Nutanix roadmap is evolving, looking at public cloud services as a deployment model for applications,” said Greg Smith, Nutanix vice president of product and technical marketing. “We want our customers’ data center to operate like a public cloud. This is a continuation of the Nutanix journey to build an enterprise cloud that provides much of the same capabilities that customers expect from public cloud services, but in their own data centers.”

The new Nutanix Acropolis features will not be available until 2018. Smith said the marketplace will start in 2017 with 20 validated pre-defined app blueprints, and add “a significant number” soon after.

Nutanix will provide an Amazon Web Services S3-compatible API to help application development teams use Nutanix storage for on-demand object storage as they would use the public cloud. Smith said the Nutanix Acropolis Object Storage Service can store billions of objects in a single namespace.

“People want to write to S3 through a standard API,” Smith said. “We’ve embraced that interface. Now the Nutanix Cloud Storage OS can store and manage all those large unstructured data files with a single namespace.”

Nutanix Acropolis Cloud Compute (AC2) consists of compute-only nodes that can run in a Nutanix cluster. AC2 nodes are for CPU-intensive applications such as in-memory analytics, large-scale web services, and Citrix XenApp. Most hyper-converged nodes include storage and compute. Nutanix does already offer capacity-only storage nodes but has not had compute-only nodes.

Smith said Nutanix will have several AC2 configuration options, and customers will still require a minimum of three storage nodes in a cluster. AC2 is built on Nutanix’s AHV hypervisor and will initially be available only on Nutanix-branded appliances. Smith said Nutanix hopes its OEM hardware partners Dell EMC and Lenovo will eventually make compute-only nodes available.

“This is to provide additional compute resources to support apps and services that require a lot of CPU but not storage with it,” Smith said. “The new compute resources will benefit application developers as well as infrastructure managers.”

The Nutanix App Marketplace will include applications defined via standards-based blueprints that developers can quickly consume in self-service fashion. These published validated blueprints will include developer tools such as Kubernetes, Hadoop, MySQL, Jenkins and Puppet. Nutanix customers can also publish apps on the marketplace to share them internally.