Nutanix, best known for its hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) software (and formerly hardware) has unveiled a Kubernetes Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering based around its Karbon distribution of the container orchestration platform.
Up to this point, Karbon has been aimed at operational staff who are required to spin up and manage Kubernetes clusters across various environments, be they different vendors' cloud services or on-premises infrastructure, but the new PaaS service is aimed more at developers, said CTO Rajiv Mirani during a press call in advance of the company's .NEXT 2020 conference, which kicked off as a virtual event today.
"This is really a set of PaaS services that a developer can use while building their applications," he said, adding that most modern applications today aren't self-contained, but instead rely on services provided by the host platform.
Mirani gave the example of developers building a microservice-based application on AWS. They might use RDS to manage databases, S3 for bloc storage and rely on numerous other AWS dependencies that effectively tie them into that platform. Karbon Platform Services reduce this reliance, he explained. "What our PaaS layer does is essentially provides related set of services."
Among the managed services offered are Kubernetes-as-a-Service, Containers-as-a-Service (CaaS), serverless functions, AI, message bus, ingress and egress, service mesh, observability and security services. These services will allow applications to be easily ported between different cloud and on-premises environments, Mirani said. Karbon Platform Services are also extensible, meaning that other services can be connected up, including those from the wider Kubernetes ecosystem or organisations' own bespoke solutions.
Not released yet but in the pipeline is another as-a-Service offering, this one around Calm. Calm (for cloud application lifecycle management) is an application management and orchestration solution, which currently runs on Nutanix. A hosted version is in development, which should reduce some barriers to entry by removing that dependency, said Mirani.
"What we're doing with Calm-as-a-Service is providing it as a SaaS that runs in the cloud but can orchestrate all your infrastructure even if it doesn't have any Nutanix components at all."
Another announcement concerned refinements and additions to the company's HCI software which Nutanix claims increase performance by up to 50 per cent for high I/O workloads, provides native virtual networking to simplify multi-cloud deployments, and offers end-to-end security monitoring. The performance improvements are the result of enhancements designed to take advantage of the latest in storage technologies, including NVMe based SSDs and Intel Optane SSDs, the company said in a press release.
A fourth reveal concerns a partnership with Microsoft designed to ease the management of hybrid cloud deployments of Nutanix, which promises "seamless application, data and licence mobility as well as unified management across on-premises and Azure environments, using Nutanix Clusters on Azure". Clusters and services will be manageable through Azure Arc, a control pane unveiled by Microsoft in November that brings Azure cloud services and management to any infrastructure, extending Microsoft's support for hybrid cloud.
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