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Nutanix builds hooks to SDN and cloud with Flow, Era and Beam

Hyper-converged pioneer builds in functionality from acquisitions with Flow software-defined networking, Beam cloud monitoring and Era database provisioning and data protection

Hyper-converged infrastructure pioneer Nutanix has launched Flow software-defined networking, Era database platform-as-a-service, and Beam cloud monitoring software-as-a-service offerings.

The three add-ons to the core Nutanix OS-based infrastructure comprise: Flow, which provides software-defined networking functionality around app-level security and provisioning; Beam, which provides visibility into public cloud usage; and Era, which provides database provisioning and data protection.

Nutanix Flow is software-defined networking that majors on micro-segmented security services at application level. It is built into the Nutanix OS operating environment.

According to Nutanix product marketing vice-president Greg Smith, the driver is the changing nature of threats to organisations’ IT environments that calls for protection per application.

“The need for application-centric security is driven by a change in the overall security threat environment,” he said. “The majority of threats used to be external, but now CIOs are well aware of the ability for attacks to be launched from adjacent applications.”

Smith described Flow – based on IP acquired from Netsil in March – as “like a stateful firewall bound to each application”, and micro-segmented security as Flow’s “most notable feature”.

However, Flow also allows customers to view the health of network performance in the Nutanix domain and to provision networks for new applications, with updated security policies, for example, to devices such as firewalls and load balancers.

Meanwhile, Nutanix Era is a platform-as-a-service offering for database provisioning and lifecycle management. Currently, it supports Oracle and Postgres databases, but MySQL and SQL Server support is planned.

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Era is also built into Nutanix OS. Customers will be able to provision database instances, and also manage backup and restore and troubleshoot deployments.

A key feature is copy data management for databases that, for example, allows organisations to reduce multiple duplicate copies of databases on its systems.

Data protection features in Era allow for snapshotting of databases and retention of multiple point-in-time copies to restore to.

Finally, Nutanix Beam – based on functionality acquired via Minjar in March – works in AWS and Microsoft Azure public clouds to provide visibility into usage – how much and by whom, costs incurred, and projections for future use.

Currently, it works only in the public cloud services mentioned, but the plan is to extend that to Nutanix-based private cloud environments.

Nutanix was one of the pioneers of hyper-converged infrastructure, which bundled together compute and storage in a node that could be build into clusters with the ability to grow in scale-out fashion.

Last year, it announced plans to extend Nutanix capability to the public cloud, with hybrid cloud functionality in Xi Cloud.

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