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Nutanix takes its Community Edition software to the cloud

Nutanix is expanding the Community Edition of its hyper-converged software to the public clouds, allowing customers to test its platform on Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud.

Nutanix launched its free Community Edition in June, so customers could try out the software for free on their own x86 hardware instead of purchasing an appliance from Nutanix or its OEM partner Dell. Through a technology partnership with Ravello Systems, the hyper-converged pioneer is now offering the Community Edition in the public cloud for approximately $1 per hour.

Nutanix senior director of technical marketing Greg Smith said more than 10,000 organizations have registered for the Community Edition, but Nutanix also received many requests to make it available as a virtual appliance in the cloud.

“We wanted to simplify the process by which a person could deploy Nutanix in a popular public cloud,” Smith said. “Ravello allowed us to take our existing software and stand up our whole environment on Google or Amazon.”

Ravello Systems uses what it calls a cloud application hypervisor to move multiple-virtual machine applications along with storage and networking to a public cloud.

Ravello director of product marketing Shruti Bhat said a user does not need an Amazon or Google cloud account to use the Nutanix Community edition. The cloud subscription and billing goes through Ravello. A Nutanix “blueprint” is published on Ravello’s catalog, and the customer clicks a drop-down box to publish on Amazon or Google. That provides access to the latest Nutanix Acropolis hypervisor and Prism management software and user interface.

Community Edition is a full-featured version of Nutanix software, but does not include the vendor’s support. Community users cannot upgrade to a licensed version of the product, but can purchase an appliance from Nutanix or Dell.

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