Nutanix - Driving Business Innovation with an Enterprise Cloud

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  • Driving Business Innovation with an Enterprise Cloud

    By Jessica Carroll, Institute Fellow

    Presented in conjunction with:

  • Driving Business Innovation with an Enterprise Cloud

    Institute for Digital Transformation 2

    New Demands for a New Era

    While technology has evolved dramatically since the dawn of the modern computer, its fundamental business drivers and the corresponding approach to data center design has remained largely unchanged. Today, technology is the underpinning of competitive advantage and market differentiation. As a result, organizations are looking at everything anew, seeking ways to leverage technology to give the organization a decisive edge in a quickly shifting digital environment and are placing three new demands on the IT organization.

    #1 Demand for Innovation.

    IT holds the capability to drive new opportunities for customer-focused innovation across every part of the enterprise. CEOs know that the future growth and success of their business is rooted in the technologies that can transform product and service innovation. Because of this, IT is expected to re-invent itself by minimizing the emphasis placed on automating processes and re-emerge as the revenue enabling business generator. All heads are turned to the CIO to drive the business into the digital era and deliver on this truth.

    #2 Demand for Relevance

    The expectation is that IT not only understands the business needs but is also the force that anticipates the market trends. The expectation is that IT provides strategic direction on how to leverage advancements in cloud, mobile, big data, social media and now the Internet of Things (IoT) to elevate business offerings that will delight the customer, ahead of the competition. This is a new role for CIOs and IT teams, whose focus has been fi rst and foremost servicing the business with reliable systems and secure data. In the digital everything of today, the service-oriented IT of yesteryear is not enough.

    We have seen that for companies willing to take the digital leap, such as a longstanding giant like General Electric or a cutting edge cloud-based start-up such as Uber, IT has the potential to provide competitive growth in untapped product and service offerings never seen before. IT is being asked

    Is the data center a source for agility and innovation in the modern digital enterprise?

    Previously seen as a resource-draining engine, IT has opportunity to re-invent the data center as the critical linchpin for enterprise competitive advantage.

    In this paper we will look at moving beyond the industrial age design of traditional infrastructure and how you can pivot your organization by using an

    Enterprise Cloud strategy to unlock rapid growth in the digital age.

  • Driving Business Innovation with an Enterprise Cloud

    Institute for Digital Transformation 3

    to both unearth these opportunities and have the acumen to translate new technology levers into solutions for driving business growth.

    But, in turning this demand into a reality there is a challenge to eliminate the cost, speed, and scale barriers of legacy systems. To do so it is necessary to free up the resources and staff consumed with maintaining the old to instead, embrace the new as its top priority. Continuing to expend effort on the support of existing systems wont generate the product and service delivery relevance that is now demanded. Because of this CIOs know that they need to put less focus on data center infrastructure and operations and instead shift more resources and time to new applications and services in partnership with the business. Continuing to expend effort on the support of existing systems wont generate the product and service delivery relevance that is now demanded. See IT Allocation chart below.

    Deliver and support IT services

    Develop and maintain IT solutions

    Deploy IT solutions

    Manage enterprise information

    Manage business resiliency and risk

    Develop and manage IT customer relationships

    Manage IT knowledge

    Manage the business of IT


    18% 18%




    Percentage of Total IT Cost Allocated to Each Process

    Note: Deliver and support IT services includes managing IT infrastructure and involves preventative maintenance, facilities management, configuration management, and managing the organizational

    workload and operation of physical assets, irrespective of their physical location. If 34% of IT time is allocated to simply maintaining IT, a % larger than any other single practice, you can infer significant

    business growth potential if even a portion of that time was pivoted to new product or service offerings.

    Source: APQC 2014 Report: IT Allocations Article K04736.

    #3 Demand for Instant Flexibility

    Prioritizing for innovation requires an underlying platform that can quickly scale, meet customer SLAs, and lower operating costs. CIOs are looking to bring cloud-like simplicity and agility to their data centers and are looking beyond traditional processes, solutions, and vendors to enable nimble delivery. The cloud promise of flexibility and cost savings has caught the attention of business and IT executives alike, but once contracts are inked they are finding it is not as easy as it sounds to integrate and manage.

  • Driving Business Innovation with an Enterprise Cloud

    Institute for Digital Transformation 4

    The Cost of Legacy

    Traditional data center architecture was designed with industrial era thinking. Infrastructure of the past fit the needs of back office IT where applications and services were slow to change. Infrastructure was hand-crafted from within the enterprise and required capital and a long term labor investment. Because there were minimal outside expectations or pressures for change, infrastructure grew incrementally based on an internal IT time-clock. Legacy infrastructure threatens the ability to compete as a digital enterprise because the traditional design does not allow for the speed, scalability, and flexibility now required.

    A Conundrum of Options

    Businesses are looking to reduce capital expenditures yet increase the fabric of how they can adapt to their customers needs. All eyes are on IT to respond quickly to deliver environments that support product and service ideation in hours or days not months or years.

    An all-in cloud strategy may seem tempting as a complete solution, but managing across multiple cloud vendors adds layers of complexity both in SLA delivery, data flow, and privacy and security concerns. Placing core applications in the cloud can mire internal resources in time consuming integration and support management.

    In contrast, does the on-premises data center work as an internal cloud platform; can the existing systems be re-purposed as a cloud enabled environment to solve for modern demands? The ideology around on-premises cloud becomes problematic to implement when you inventory your current infrastructure environment. But there are other options.

    A Fresh Perspective

    The multi-month lifecycle of the traditional infrastructure blueprint is not intrinsically designed to deliver on the cloud promise. Attempting to redesign your environment to answer these pressures using traditional hardware will only continue the financial and labor drain on your organization. To build an on-premise cloud platform requires a new architectural approach that can embrace self-service provisioning and rapid scaling.

    Minimizing infrastructure integration and capital investments, without ceding ground on delivering great infrastructure, is possible if services can be re-provisioned in new ways. This requires a shift in the approach to the architectural design and a fresh perspective on what we know about hardware.

    Based on the Intel Solid-State Drive DC S3710 Series product specification

    Shift to Speed

    Hard Disk Drives~200 iops

    Solid State Drives85,000 iops*

    *Nutanix configurations use Intel SSD Data Center Family drives

  • Driving Business Innovation with an Enterprise Cloud

    Institute for Digital Transformation 5

    The New Enterprise IT Stack A New Way of Seeing the Data Center

    This new innovation enabling data center must be organically different than past designs. The new data center must be invisible in terms of the time and resources to both implement and manage, so that attention can turn to the core priorities of the business. This doesnt negate the need to continue to provide a reliable seamless platform. However, organizations need to envision the environment as a new Enterprise IT Stack that brings all elements of the technology infrastructure together to be managed intuitively. The focus of this new Enterprise IT Stack must be now placed squarely on speed, scale, and flexibility, which can in turn deliver the new digital applications and services that power the business.

    A Hybrid Strategy

    To capitalize on the best of technologies today CIOs must adopt an Enterprise IT Stack with a hybrid approach. In this strategy public cloud should be utilized to reduce the time and resources devoted to managing low value elements of the stack. There are many systems that are perfect candidates for the public cloud, such as human resource systems, back-up and disaster recovery, anti-spam, and even email, where integration is simple and there is value in un-tethering IT from the routine support duties these programs require.

    Critical core business applications however, are candidates for on-premises delivery where integration efforts and service levels can be directly controlled and secured. But, delivery built on legacy infrastructure wont provide for the flexibility needed. Instead, transformation happens in the design behind a reborn digital data center, where a highly agile, scalable, and reliable internal infrastructure is created on-premises for those elements of the stack that provide competitive and differentiating value to the enterprise.

    This hybrid approach is the Enterprise IT Stack of the digital era.

    The Future of Your Data Center

    One of the most significant differentiators the cloud has brought forward is the subscription model, where you pay for what you use. The new digital era data center must also include this pay-as-you-grow model. The days of over-provisioning assets for estimated future growth are over. Pay-as-you-grow on-premises will allow IT to morph the characteristics of the system from compute-heavy to storage-heavy as needs dictate, and lead to a direct positive impact on the corporate bottom line.

    Turning your on-premises architecture into a design that can accommodate this model is one of the most exciting, yet challenging aspects of solving for the modern demands of the digital business. This is where you can shift IT to an agile innovation and revenue enabler; this is where IT delivers one of the most basic and important value propositions to the business.

    To meet these demands and to solve for this economic shift, a new Enterprise Cloud infrastructure model is required. A model that is:

    Reliable and highly scalable

    Designed to respond perfectly to the adaptive fast moving digital era

    Crafted to support a financial plan that improves the balance sheet

    Integrates seamlessly between public and private cloud

    Designed to position IT to take the lead in driving business innovation

    Enterprise IT Stack

    Low Value

    High Value



    Digital Data Center

  • Driving Business Innovation with an Enterprise Cloud

    Institute for Digital Transformation 6

    With Enterprise Cloud the ease, speed, scale, and cost of cloud delivery can be replicated inside your own data center without the concerns of data integration, security, and SLA management that are characteristic of public cloud implementations. Attaining this transformed future is possible now.

    The Nutanix Enterprise Cloud platform includes the latest Intel XeonProcessor and high performance Intel Solid State Drives

    Enterprise Cloud: The Missing Link

    Enterprise Cloud natively combines compute, storage and virtualization into a complete hyperconverged solution where the promises of the public cloud advantage are realized, on-premises.

    Implementation time is no longer a months-on-end delivery cycle as the hyperconverged solution integrates compute, storage, and virtualization into an easy-to-deploy, single appliance that can be brought to life and scaled out within your data center in just days. Once installed, the architecture allows for scalability through turn-key modular growth, which responds to customer demand elegantly because of the ability to scale outward, not time and cost intensively upward, like infrastructure of the past.

    An Inteltechnology-based Nutanixinfrastructure delivers 8x faster deployment at 50-60% lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

    Source: The Path to Hyperconverged Infrastructure, Nutanix 2015

    The simplicity of the scale-out design is expandable capacity both at the individual node and the modular level. Traditional server, storage, and network configurations were segmented, but hypeconverged infrastructure is founded on an integrated eco-system that is natively tuned to grow effortlessly.

    On a larger view, the modular nodes are architected to work in tandem with other nodes within the entire scale-out cluster. This means that as you add nodes, rather than working in silos like networks of the past, the nodes integrate as a whole. The more nodes you have the more your compute, storage, and virtualization power can grow. Network bottlenecks are eliminated because the star components (compute, storage, virtualization integration) are engineered from the start as one cohesive virtualized unit across the greater platform.

    Utility Consistency

    The reliability of the Enterprise Cloud is founded in the self-healing redundancy behind the design. Enterprise Cloud infrastructures self-heal because of the native integration and the seamless access to resources across the nodes. With a platform that is naturally architected with both fault-awareness and fault-recovery, IT has the ability to reduce dedicated resources for monitoring and support of the platform.

    With utility consistent performance, Enterprise Cloud infrastructures become the competitive enabling platform of the transformed organization because it is engineered from inception to be the reliable and scalable innovation hub of the business.

  • Driving Business Innovation with an Enterprise Cloud

    Institute for Digital Transformation 7

    Of course redundancy planning still needs to be part of the strategy, and depending on the size and scope of your infrastructure and the applications that live on them, an understanding of continuity planning is paramount. Despite the self-healing nature of an Enterprise Cloud data center, putting all of your systems and data on one cluster of nodes will not provide a disaster recovery solution. It is imperative that you include a disaster recovery...


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