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Nutanix builds up cloud offering for Africa’s untapped market

Nutanix president and CEO Rajiv Ramaswami.
Nutanix president and CEO Rajiv Ramaswami.

On the back of an announcement of new capabilities (one-click storage scaling and rich role based access control for database management across hybrid multi-cloud environments) within its Nutanix Cloud Platform, hybrid multi-cloud computing focused services and solutions provider Nutanix has emphasised its intention to tap into the opportunity that Africa offers.

Speaking during the company’s .NEXT global virtual event, CEO Rajiv Ramaswami reiterated the company’s position regarding the continent and said it remains channel partner focused, and ready to meet an increase in growth in demand for cloud services and increased migration amid rapid digital transformation.

"I certainly see South Africa and all of Africa (as) almost virgin territory here in terms of lots of potential opportunity. For us, as a market it is under penetrated, and so we see opportunity. We have a heavy channel partner focus model, we rely a lot on our channel partners, we are focused on enabling our channel partners to become more self sufficient to be able to deliver solutions."

According to World Wide Worx’s Cloud in Africa 2020 report released in October last year, 33% of organisations had multiple cloud providers (between two to ten). 69% of respondents claimed to have multiple enterprise agreements with cloud providers.

The report found that Africa’s multi-cloud uptake slightly trails Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) as a whole – F5’s latest State of Application Services report found that 88% of EMEA firms are now leveraging multi-cloud environments. However, the gap is set to close in the coming years as cloud deployments increase in frequency and technical maturity.

“With major datacentres having been rolled out in South Africa over the past 18 months, and more to come, the region as a whole will become a hotspot of cloud growth,” said Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx and lead analyst on the project. “Encouragingly, while South Africa will clearly be the springboard for that growth, we can also see massive demand looming across Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Nutanix has prepped its cloud platform and said the new capabilities will make it easier for customers to simplify data management, and optimise database and big data workload performance for the most critical applications.

“.. the enhanced platform will deliver unstructured data tiering from on-premises to cloud, up to a 2x storage performance increase for database workloads and 3x for big data workloads without requiring complex reconfiguration, as well as Nutanix Data Lens, a new unstructured data governance service,” the company stated.

In addition, database service Nutanix Era now delivers one-click storage scaling and rich role based access control for database management across hybrid multi-cloud environments for database engines like PostgreSQL®, MySQL®, Microsoft® SQL Server, and Oracle® Database.

“Customers require a variety of ways to store data - both structured and unstructured - and are looking for ways to simplify management without needing to rely on different vendors to do so,” said Rajiv Mirani, Chief Technology Officer at Nutanix. “The new features in the Nutanix Cloud Platform extend our data centric innovation to high performance applications to deliver a unified platform with comprehensive data services for all workloads and all variety of data.”

Bolstered performance for databases, big data workloads

Nutanix says customers looking to modernise their IT infrastructure and run large scale databases will be able to easily do so without requiring complex changes in their databases’ storage configuration, resulting in up to a 2x performance increase. Customers will also be able to benefit from lower storage latency by taking advantage of hardware advances such as Intel® Optane™ technology combined with Nutanix’s preferential data placement.

It added: “In addition, Nutanix is making it vastly simpler to run data analytics workloads, including Hadoop® and SAS Grid workloads. A new replication factor storage mode in the Nutanix platform results in up to 3x faster data processing while reducing costs. Finally, Nutanix Objects, the company’s S3 compatible object storage solution, supports high-performance petabyte-scale storage for building data lakes. Customers working with modern analytics applications, such as Apache Spark, will benefit from dramatically increased query and large batch processing performance with S3 Select and optimised S3A support.”

The company said it will help customers manage unstructured data growth, with native support for data tiering to Nutanix Objects, AWS S3, and Azure blob storage, as well as to manage disaster recovery for file shares on Nutanix Files with 1-min Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and self-service restore.

“Enterprises are looking for ways to more efficiently and securely manage the rapid growth of size, velocity, and variety of data, as well as simplify the operations across on-premises and cloud,” said Eric Burgener, Research Vice President, Infrastructure Systems, Platforms and Technologies Group at IDC. “Nutanix is taking important steps to deliver comprehensive data services across both structured and unstructured data on a single platform with a common management interface that stretches across on-premises and cloud.”

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