While this in itself is huge news for Nutanix and their channel partners, the goal is to have HANA certified for production environments in the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS with their 5.9 release.
Nutanix has finally able to announce something many partners and customers knew was coming –and have been eagerly awaiting. SAP has certified testing, development and other non-production SAP HANA workloads on the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud. Nutanix says that the two companies are “deep in the process” for validating production HANA databases. The announcement was made at last week’s SAP SAPPHIRE event.
“For Nutanix and our customers, this is a hallmark moment for our enterprise cloud software,” said Greg Smith, Nutanix’s Vice President of Product and Technical Marketing. “It definitively proves that our software architecture can power the most demanding enterprise applications. It’s a validation of the ability of our solution to power the most demanding enterprise apps. This removes any doubt that hyperconverged infrastructure is here to say in the enterprise.”
This validation aspect is important for the market to take notice. While HCI was pegged from its inception as a technology for projects and non-mission critical apps, Smith said that they have long moved beyond that point.
“Over half of the applications that run on Nutanix HCI today are business critical enterprise applications,” he said. “Many of them are already SAP, and we have many SAP customers who want that additional support.”
Those SAP applications already running in Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS software are for SAP NetWeaver environments, including S/4HANA application servers, and all relational databases on AHV, VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V.
“It has been more than two years since we completed the certification for NetWeaver, and ever since that point, we wanted to get something on HCI for HANA,” said Greg White, Solutions Marketing Principal at Nutanix. “They formally committed to this in the latter half of last year. We got the KPIs early this year and have been working on this since.”
While at this point, the certification is just for non-production environments, Smith said that is expected practice, and is what customers and partners have wanted.
“When SAP validates a new platform standard, their template is to first give blessing for non-production environments, and that’s what we have achieved here,” Smith said. “We can run SAP HANA today for non-production use cases. But that’s a huge benefit for customers. That’s where customers start their journey. They want to get comfortable in pre-production before they can promote it to a production environment. So now they can begin their journey today to put their HANA applications on the more modern architecture of Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS software.”
For Nutanix channel partners, who are the company’s entire route to market, this is huge news.
“This will be just massive for us,” said Terry Buchanan, Vice President Technology and General Manager at Toronto-headquartered partner Zycom, which has been Nutanix’s Canadian partner of the year for five years in a row. “This is something that we have been waiting for for a long time, and that many of our customers have been asking us about. We have customers now who have just been waiting for this announcement.”
Nutanix doesn’t anticipate that the certification for production environments will require any changes to their software, and that it is simply a matter of completing the validation process, which Smith said is in the latter stages.”
“We expect that full official production support will come with our 5.9 release,” White said. “That’s the target for general availability, although we will be able to pilot before that.”
The complete certification process will involve both full validation of the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform validation and the AHV hypervisor, followed by certification for specific hardware platforms that customers can buy. Nutanix has indicated that their strategic partners Lenovo and Dell EMC will offer SAP HANA on Nutanix appliance solutions on their Intel Skylake 4-socket and 2-socket systems. More server partners will be announced.
“In every conversation I had at SAPPHIRE with a customer or partner, they asked about HANA,” White added. “That’s where the market is going.”