Nutanix, Microsoft partner around hybrid solution using Nutanix Clusters on Azure

Nutanix follows up their recent partnership with AWS with a second major cloud infrastructure partnership, designed to emphasize the importance of the company’s focus now on hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey speaking at virtual .NEXT 2020

The big theme at the virtualized Nutanix .NEXT 2020 event which kicks off today, is emphasizing the company’s continued transition from being an HCI [hyper-converged infrastructure] provider to focusing on hybrid cloud infrastructure. Their product announcements at the event focused on that theme. And so did a major new partnership announcement between Nutanix and Microsoft around the Azure Cloud. It 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.

“It’s beyond hyperconverged – it’s really hybrid cloud infrastructure,” stressed Dheeraj Pandey, who remains Nutanix’s CEO, chairman and founder, notwithstanding his recent announcement that he intends to retire as CEO in the near future.

The Microsoft partnership follows up an earlier one with AWS, which last month made Nutanix Clusters available on a public cloud platform for the first time. The Microsoft partnership will see Nutanix Clusters become available on Azure and the development of Nutanix-ready nodes on Azure to support Nutanix Clusters and services. Customers will also be able to deploy and manage Azure instances from Nutanix’s management interface.

“Putting all of Nutanix inside Azure – all our software – that’s what really excites us,” Pandey stated in the virtual event. “They will be able to run not just Nutanix there but also connect to native Azure services – all through a single bill, single identity and single experience we call crave. That’s the big deal. That’s what we want to talk about with all of you to take HCI to the next level.”

“We are incredibly excited about the partnership, working together with a shared goal of empowering our customers to embrace a hybrid model to achieve their business needs,” said Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of the Cloud and AI Group at Microsoft, in an appearance with Pandey at the event.

Guthrie stressed that this kind of partnership where two known commodities leverage each other’s strengths is what customers want in a COVID environment.

“This is not a time to go greenfield and just spend money to get an outcome,” Guthrie said.  “Customers want to leverage existing investments to get to value as fast as possible.”

To this end, Microsoft and Nutanix will collaborate to offer customers seamless sales and support experiences. Microsoft Azure customers will be able to use their existing Azure credits, as part of Microsoft Azure Consumption Commitment (MACC), to purchase Nutanix software. Nutanix customers in turn will be able to port their existing term licenses to Nutanix Clusters on Azure or get on-demand consumption of Nutanix software through the Azure Marketplace. Nutanix and Microsoft Azure will also partner to provide customer support.

Nutanix and Microsoft will also enable managing servers, containers and data services on Nutanix HCI, on-premises or in Azure, through the Azure Arc control plane. This integration will allow customers to extend key Azure services to their Nutanix environment including running Azure Arc servers, Azure Arc containers and Azure Arc data services, and adopting Azure cloud practices on-premises.

“Enabling Nutanix on Azure is going to allow customers to take advantage of cloud scalability without complexity, running Nutanix natively on Azure using the same tools you are familiar with,” Guthrie said. “Over time, you will be able to  use all the other platform services that Azure provides as well.”

All features and capabilities are currently under development, and is presently in preview with select customers. Others can sign up to be notified when Nutanix Clusters on Azure is available for public preview.

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