Nutanix enters hyperconverged secondary storage market with Nutanix Mine service

Nutanix Mine provides backup-as-a-service, extending the company’s recent services focus, in a strategy that it says will enhance other third-party backup providers and not compete with them.

The Nutanix Mine interface

​Nutanix​, which pioneered the hyperconverged market for primary storage, inspired several well-funded startups to become the ‘Nutanix of secondary storage.’ Today, Nutanix has made an apparent move to become the Nutanix of secondary storage, with the announcement of the forthcoming launch of Nutanix Mine, a new open service that integrates secondary storage into the Nutanix platform.

“With this, Nutanix is entering the secondary storage market,” said Greg Smith, Nutanix’s Vice President of Product and Technical Marketing. “We are providing it as an integrated service as part of our HCI [hyper-converged infrastructure] solution, extending it with to secondary storage to deliver backup. This addresses the complexity of managing separate systems to back up business data.”

While Nutanix made its name as the pre-eminent evangelist of HCI, with a stated goal of becoming the Google of the private cloud, they extended that to the public cloud by building out their Prism infrastructure management software, with Nutanix Calm, Beam and Flow. Together, these Prism components enhanced orchestration, governance and security with the public clouds, as part of Nutanix’s overall hybrid strategy.  Nutanix Xi, which is being rolled out in stages, further enhanced the cloud story, making Nutanix available as a cloud-based service.

Within the context of that strategy, last month’s announcement of a major new strategic partnership with HPE, which will include Nutanix partners being able to sell Nutanix software on HPE servers had a very retro tone to it, with its emphasis on appliances and the data centre. This new announcement continues that theme – which is certainly consistent with the broader Nutanix hybrid cloud strategy – but which also has that data centre focus. At the same time, the services element is congruent with more recent strategy.

“We are innovating in the data centre with HCI as the foundation, and the goal of providing greater simplicity and helping our customers build a private cloud,” Smith said. “That has been our vision. At the same time, our customers have more than their private cloud. They have an IT strategy positioned on multiple clouds – public and private – and we have been focusing on that for the past 10 months. With Mine, we are extending that strategy to provide secondary storage as an integrated service. Customers adopt HCI to simplify their life, and services are part of that simplification. So it made sense to add that.”

Nutanix Mine integrates with the Nutanix data fabric and Nutanix Prism, enabling data centre managers to manage both through a single pane of glass.

“Mine really takes this integration to the next level,” Smith said. “Secondary storage is a very well populated market because what customers have lacked is this strong integration capability. As part of Mine, our vendor partners will integrate into our data stack and integrate into Prism.”

Nutanix clearly does not view Mine as a shot across the bow to all backup providers, and five are being announced as participating partners. HYCU and Veeam are the first wave when Mine launches, which is projected to be in calendar Q3 of 2019. Veritas, Commvault and Unitrends are identified as coming in a  future release.

“We are inviting partners to work with us, which is why Mine was created,” Smith said. “It provides an open platform to anyone who wants to work with us.

“As initial partners, we looked at which partners had the most eagerness to start engineering efforts with us,” Smith added. “HYCU was purpose-built for our platform, and we have a lot of common customers with Veeam.”

The opinions of Rubrik and Cohesity – the two principal hyper-converged secondary storage vendors in the market – are of particular interest here. They may view the new Nutanix service as another way to take their own offering to market, or as a direct competitive threat. ChannelBuzz will endeavour to find out, now that the news is public.

Finally, while the Nutanix Mine name might initially lead some to think that Nutanix is moving into the crypto-currency business, Smith said that it has a distinct meaning around the value of secondary storage data.

“Mine is the idea that ‘my data’ is precious to each user, because they can leverage it and mine it for insights,” he stated.

While Mine was the big announcement today, Nutanix is also extending two other services, Xi Frame and Xi Leap, to add multi-cloud support.

“Frame is our Desktop-as-a-Service offering, which is born in the cloud and enables us to deliver virtual desktops from public clouds,” Smith indicated. “Frame is now available as a worldwide service, to deliver secure desktops from customers’ own data centre and public clouds, with full support for AHV. This makes VDI a true hybrid cloud service.”

“It’s all integrated, as opposed to being piecemeal project,” said Dheeraj Pandey, Nutanix’s co-founder and CEO.

“This is not a tech preview,” said Nikola Bozinovic, VP and GM of Frame. “It is available today.”

“We are also announcing that our Leap cloud-based Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service has added new availability zones, beyond U.S. West, U.S. East and the UK, to Italy, Japan and Germany,” Smith said. “This is Nutanix fulfilling its commitment to provide cloud services to all the globe. Customers and partners should expect this continuing investment across all regions.”

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