Nutanix Opens A War On Multiple Fronts With New Product Features

What's .NEXT for you?
The Nutanix .NEXT conference t-shirt. (Photo: Justin Warren)

Nutanix announced today, at its .NEXT conference, that version 4.7 of its hyper-converged software platform, the Acropolis hypervisor and associated PRISM management component, will extend outside of its traditional hyperconverged infrastructure into containers and storage services.

Acropolis Containers Services is the name of the new container-targeted function, which will permit “containerized applications and emerging microservices architectures” to be deployed directly on Nutanix gear. How exactly this will work is unclear, so I’ll need to dive into this in more detail with the company during the conference. Given that DockerCon is running this week as well, this announcement feels timed to take advantage of the interest in containers that’s running hot at the moment.

The company makes what I feel is a big call in this announcement, saying that “While the majority of services are now virtualized and will be moving to containers…” [emphasis mine]. I disagree, though in conversation yesterday with Eric Wright, Principal Solutions Engineer/Technology Evangelist at VMTurbo, he mentioned that we, as an industry, “are going to make a lot of mistakes with containers while we figure out how best to use them.” His analogy was that of P2V migrations that happened in the early days of virtualization, where people just grabbed an existing server and made it virtual, without taking advantage of the different operational possibilities of virtual machines.

I suspect the method for containers is going to be similar: take an existing workload, wrap it in a container, and now everything is better… because containers are apparently magic. There are going to be a lot of disappointed people when the illusion is broken.

Nutanix has paired this container announcement with a storage one: Acropolis Block Services, because “certain applications such as Oracle RAC and DB2 may continue to run on bare metal servers due to specific application needs or licensing constraints” according to the press release. Nutanix are also going to release OpenStack drivers, which I assume means Cinder drivers, but I’ll be chasing up more about that.

This sounds a lot like Nutanix becoming a SAN to me, which is hugely ironic given the company’s early No-SAN marketing.

No-SAN no more?