Enterprise Kubernetes Done Right with Nutanix Cloud Native


By Michael Haigh & Maryam Sanglaji

Source: Nutanix.com

Will your organization be left behind?


As an increasing number of organizations turn to DevOps methodologies, it’s becoming clear those that are successful are gaining a competitive advantage over their peers. Consider this finding from the 2016 State of DevOps report: “High-performing organizations are decisively outperforming their lower-performing peers in terms of throughput. High performers deploy 200 times more frequently than low performers, with 2,555 times faster lead times. They also continue to significantly outperform low performers, with 24 times faster recovery times and three times lower change failure rates.”


However, this change cannot happen overnight, as it typically requires a drastic cultural shift, different application architecture, and a high degree of automation. The most successful DevOps organizations rely on “cloud native” applications, which are loosely coupled microservices with open APIs, traditionally deployed on public cloud infrastructure with a high degree of automation. The 2017 State of DevOps Report found that “Loosely coupled architectures and teams are the strongest predictor of continuous delivery. If you want to achieve higher IT performance, start shifting to loosely coupled services — services that can be developed and released independently of each other — and loosely coupled teams, which are empowered to make changes. The benefit of loosely coupled teams and services: higher throughput and higher quality and stability.”


Traditionally, the infrastructure required to successfully enable cloud native applications has been restricted to the public cloud. That’s no longer the case; with Nutanix Cloud Native, administrators can provide the infrastructure required to enable their developers to build the next generation of applications, all within their private datacenter. Nutanix Cloud Native includes one-click native Kubernetes, software-defined scale-out file, block, and object storage services, application monitoring, and database-as-a-service to automate and accelerate the development, delivery, and operation of applications. There is no other on-prem solution on the market today that provides all of these features in a single platform.


Nutanix Cloud Native is built with open APIs, meaning there are no new tools for a developer to learn. A cloud native application written for the public clouds will run — without code change — on Nutanix Cloud Native. This means the exact same application can be used to run predictively on-prem, and scale out to the public cloud to run elastically. Additionally, any automation written to speed the testing or deployment of cloud native applications will be portable across Nutanix Cloud Native and the public clouds.


Combined with DevOps methodologies, Nutanix Cloud Native will enable your organization to stay ahead of the competition by increasing throughput, reducing lead times, and reducing production failure rates — all without specialized expertise in the infrastructure required to deliver cloud native applications. Nutanix Enterprise Cloud provides a complete platform to run all types of workloads with extensive tooling and automation. Using Nutanix Cloud Native, developers can take advantage of on-prem, reliable tooling and automation required for fast development and management of scale-out applications. This includes simple and fast deployment of Kubernetes cloud clusters, reliable and scale-out persistent storage, observability for cloud-native applications — delivered with cloud-like simplicity using the Nutanix HCI platform. Let’s take a look at each of the technologies offered in the Nutanix Cloud Native solution:


Kubernetes made simple with Nutanix Karbon


Nutanix Karbon — now generally available — is an enterprise-grade CNCF certified Kubernetes distribution that simplifies the provisioning, operations, and lifecycle management of Kubernetes. Cyxtera is one of Karbon’s Tech Preview customers, and Karbon has already significantly improved their business agility. According to Zach Hilliard, Senior Director of SREs, “Leveraging Nutanix Karbon, we can deploy a Kubernetes cluster on Nutanix in just a few minutes. Prior to Karbon, this process was complex, tedious, and very time-consuming. Now, we are able to increase business agility and serve our developer on demand with their container requests.”

Easy deployment of Kubernetes platform


  • Karbon supports both development and production Kubernetes clusters, allowing for use case flexibility. The production clusters are highly available (HA) with both multi-master and multi-etcd, which are requirements for any enterprise application.
  • Typically, one of the most challenging and critical aspects of Kubernetes is persistent storage. Luckily, every Karbon Kubernetes cluster is deployed with the Nutanix CSI (Container-Storage-Interface) driver, which natively integrates with Nutanix Volumes and Nutanix Files to easily provide persistent storage.


Easy operations of Kubernetes platform


  • Integrated networking, monitoring, logging, and alerting is critical for operating any Kubernetes platform. The beauty of Karbon is the seamless integration of this entire stack while maintaining simplicity and efficiency.
  • Day 2 operations are critically important to the success of an organization’s digital transformation. Zero downtime upgrades for the Karbon control plane and the Kubernetes nodes’ operating systems are extremely important when you are running enterprise applications. Additionally, it’s imperative to be able to scale up or down the number of Kubernetes workers on-demand. Karbon makes both of these operations simple and efficient.


Simple, Secure, and Scale-out Object storage for Cloud Native applications with Nutanix Buckets™


Nutanix Buckets –currently in tech preview– is a software-defined object storage solution that non-disruptively scales-out while lowering overall costs. It’s designed with an S3-compatible REST API interface to handle terabytes to petabytes of unstructured data, which is ideal for backup, long term retention, and DevOps use cases. Customers using Buckets can natively leverage erasure coding, compression, and deduplication to optimize their capacity utilization.


  • Simple to deploy: With Buckets, Nutanix brings its famed one-click simplicity to manage an ever-growing unstructured data footprint. Using the Prism interface, customers can plan for storage growth in a predictable manner and start gaining insights from the underlying data.
  • Secure with integrated IAM: Buckets adds onto an already hardened Nutanix stack with Identity & Access Management policies that can be customized for individual developers, teams, and organizations.
  • Scale-out storage with a single namespace: Buckets makes it easy for customers to start with a small, 1TB Object Store deployment, and then scale out to a multi-PB deployment while still maintaining the same namespace and performance. All data can be stored encrypted at rest, with a native key management service, avoiding any third party cost and complex management.


Cloud Native application monitoring with Xi Epoch


Nutanix Xi Epoch is an application monitoring service that provides visibility into health metrics without relying on code instrumentation. Real-time, auto-discovered service dependency maps and golden signals of application health mean reduced average time-to-resolution, better visibility, and key health metrics.


  • Auto-Discovered Application Maps: Epoch generates live application maps to provide instantaneous visibility into your application health without any code instrumentation. Create and share maps by filtering and grouping by tags and traffic attributes; search and discover services and their dependencies; monitor real-time traffic flow between all internal and external services; and time travel to compare behavior — for example, before and after deployment.
  • Visibility into Microservice-Based Cloud Native Applications: Epoch provides visibility into the interactions between components in distributed architectures, without dependency on a specific language or framework implementation. As a result, the operations team can quickly ensure reliability and availability of any application in any cloud environment.


Elegant & Efficient One-click Database Operations with Nutanix Era


Nutanix Era makes Nutanix Enterprise Cloud the ideal platform for running databases. Nutanix Era is a software suite that automates and simplifies database administration, bringing one-click simplicity and invisible operations to database provisioning and life cycle management (LCM). With one-click database provisioning and Copy Data Management (CDM) as its first services, Nutanix Era enables DBAs to provision, clone, refresh, and restore their databases to any point in time. The API-first Nutanix Era architecture can easily integrate with your preferred self-service tools, and every operation has a unique ID and is fully visible for auditing. More importantly, this API-first architecture allows developers to get access to their preferred database on-demand, providing an agile environment for the development of cloud native applications.


  • One-click Database Provisioning: Era allows database admins (DBAs) to create a standardized catalog for their database services. DBAs can create gold profiles for their database engines and thus standardize compute, network, and database parameter sizing. Era makes databases cloud-ready, provides mobility, and offers the ability to create instant clone copies of databases.
  • Database Copy Data Management: The marquee feature of Era, Time-machine, captures all database states for any given service-level agreement (SLA) and allows DBAs to not only create fully functional database copies, but also refresh existing copies. Time-machine’s sophisticated technology preserves databases, powering them quickly and precisely.