Nutanix makes its first foray into acquiring other people’s technology with a pair of deals designed to enhance their storage-class memory systems and improve their cloud automation and management capabilities.
Over the last year, Nutanix has moved well beyond its hyper-converged roots, articulating a vision of fundamentally changing the datacentre with an enterprise cloud platform that will provide an Amazon-like private cloud there. Today, it is strengthening that platform with the announcement of two companies, PernixData and Calm.io. Terms of neither deal was disclosed at this time.
“Here at Nutanix, we have an ambitious plan in terms of our strategy going forward, which is making infrastructure invisible,” said Sunil Potti, Nutanix’s Chief Product and Development Officer. “We believe we are in the early innings of this. There is a shared vision between all three companies on achieving this goal, while keeping it all simple and delightful.”
PernixData and Calm.io become the first two acquisitions that Nutanix has made.
“We are extremely proud of our core,” said said Dheeraj Pandey, Nutanix’s Founder, CEO and Chairman. “The bulk of our investments have been organic, but a select few will be inorganic. PernixData and Calm.io have teams that have really hustled hard. They will help us to execute on our vision of having the agility and automation of the public cloud with the control, security and long-term economics of on-prem.” More specifically, they will let Nutanix pioneer new software stacks for storage-class memory systems, enhance its Application Mobility Fabric with crosscloud workload migration and bring rich, cloud-inspired orchestration and workflow automation to their Prism management software.
PernixData, which like Nutanix sells entirely through channel partners, has two core products. PernixData FVP, which has been shipping for three years, is a storage and VM acceleration platform. It creates a low latency, fault tolerant I/O acceleration using high-speed server media which takes read and write into the server tier out of storage, leading to very fast and scalable VM performance. Their newer platform is Architect. It provides real-time analytics for all virtualized applications and storage devices, irrespective of underlying hardware, for full visibility and control of virtualized applications.
“While we bring applications and data together in the same servers, we have to hustle hard to get closer to the CPU,” Pandey said. “PernixData helps us there because they are very strong around storage class memory. It gives them a unique advantage in online application migration.”
The PernixData acquisition had been rumoured in the media for weeks, and Poojan Kumar, PernixData’s CEO and co-founder, said the acquisition should not have been a surprise to many in the industry.
“Our technologies are seen as complementary, and our cultures very compatible,” Kumar said. He stressed they had synergies around people, ambition and culture, and around products and innovative technology.
“We both believe in getting applications and data close to each other,” he added. “As the world moves beyond flash into the next generation high speed server technologies, we will help it take advantage of hardware innovation with just software.”
Nutanix intends to use Calm.io’s focus on DevOps automation to bring an application-first approach to choosing, managing and consuming IT infrastructure – enabling customers to pick the right cloud for each application. They will use it to add cloud automation and management capabilities to Nutanix’s existing software stack to deliver application and service orchestration, runtime lifecycle management, policy-based governance, comprehensive reporting and auditing services.
“Calm.io thinks deep about applications and visual design of application work flows,” Pandey said. “They democratize orchestration, without writing too much code. The lightbulb moment for us came when we saw how deep they had integrated Nutanix into their own story.”
“Coming together with Nutanix aligns with our joint vision for invisible infrastructure, where things should just work,” said Aaditya Sood, Calm.io’s CEO and founder. “There has to be a better way to run a modern infrastructure.” He said they would focus on eliminating the drudgery and complexity that is still inherent in infrastructure, eliminating what he called ‘the complexity tax,’ and letting customers focus on business applications, because that’s what they care about, since that’s where value comes from.
More details, especially for current PernixData and Calm.io customers, will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.