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Nutanix claims growth in ASEAN amid growing cloud adoption

Nutanix’s business in ASEAN grew by over 40% as the region’s enterprises warm to hybrid and multi-cloud services

Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) pioneer Nutanix is riding on the rising adoption of cloud computing in Southeast Asia to bolster its growth in the region.

According to Neville Vincent, its vice-president for South Asia, Nutanix’s business in ASEAN grew by over 40% during the third quarter of its fiscal year 2020, with growth in some countries reaching as high as over 50%.

In an interview with Computer Weekly, Vincent said the growth came from enterprises that are warming up to multi-cloud and private cloud deployments as they work out the economics of different cloud deployment models.

“Private cloud is your own home while hosted, managed and public cloud services are the hotel,” he said. “What some people are finding is they’ve been spending an awful lot of money staying in hotels…but now realise that the economics behind it doesn’t make sense.”

While Nutanix has made a mark for itself in HCI, it has gone beyond that to offer software that lets enterprises build and automate multi-cloud architectures, as well as orchestrate and automate workloads across a hybrid cloud environment.

“Once enterprises modernise their infrastructure with HCI, the next thing they want to look at is how they can automate processes, the database and applications, and move towards a simpler, more agile and cost-effective IT infrastructure,” said Ho Chye Soon, Nutanix’s country manager for Singapore. 

On how Nutanix’s strategy to support workload orchestration across public and hybrid cloud environments differs from that of others like IBM and VMware, Vincent likened the company’s software to an operating system such as Android.

“In the Android world, you’re free to choose whatever hardware platform you want,” Vincent said. “We see ourselves as being truly platform independent, whereas some of our competitors will want you to go with a fully integrated stack, with their own hardware and software.”

Vincent said engagements with Nutanix customers often start with architectural discussions around an operating system that is portable across multiple platforms, with software licenses that can be applied across cloud services. “It starts as a multi-cloud operating system discussion, not a singular appliance discussion.”

Increasingly, Vincent said those discussions also revolve around edge computing as more enterprises across ASEAN deploy applications such as video analytics to ascertain soil quality through the colour of leaves in the case of a vegetable plantation. “Those conversations encompass the enterprise, from the core to the edge – and that’s our differentiation as well.”

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Vincent said more ASEAN enterprises are also adopting virtual desktop infrastructure, a common HCI workload, to support their remote workforce.

In March 2020, Nutanix expanded the availability of its Xi Frame virtual desktop service in Asia-Pacific and Japan, as the region’s businesses struggle with the fallout from Covid-19.

The service is now available in five new cloud regions – two on Google Cloud, with locations in Osaka, Japan and Seoul, and three on Microsoft Azure, with locations in South Korea Central, and South and Central Australia.

Vincent noted that while the service is not flying off the shelves, it has been appreciated by customers, some of whom have signed up for the offering. “It has helped them, but that’s not what has fuelled the significant growth that we've seen,” he added.

According to IDC, the private cloud infrastructure market will grow at compound annual growth rate of about 17% through 2023, reaching $22.6bn – close to just half of that of public cloud infrastructure.

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