Pushing beyond hyper-convergence - How BEarena is developing a platform for enterprise with Nutanix

Pushing beyond hyper-convergence - How BEarena is developing a platform for enterprise with Nutanix

Darren Ashley reveals how early adoption of hyperconverged technology has lead to a platform play.

Darren Ashley - Managing Director, BEarena

Darren Ashley - Managing Director, BEarena

For those in the IT industry, Nutanix has for a long time, been an infrastructure play and about simplifying data centre infrastructure.

However, according to one of the vendor’s top partners in Australia, the technology is now about so much more.

Sydney-based partner, BEarena, was recently named Nutanix partner of the year for the third year running at the vendor’s recent partner summit in Sydney.

The company’s managing director, Darren Ashley, told ARN, one of the things that was gratifying from the summit was the turnout.

“We had 600 people, last time we had the summit in Sydney there was probably only 100,” he said.

“We feel that we are at the inflection point with this type of technology due to the amount of customer advocacy we had there.

"We had CBRE, Hyundai and Relationships Australia, who are all BEarena clients, on a customer panel. There were only three and BEarena owns all three of those.

Darren Ashley - Managing Director, BEarena
Darren Ashley - Managing Director, BEarena

"There was a general feeling that this was the right way to go. I sat down with a number of customers at lunch and they were saying they were so pleased they had made the choice three or four years ago when, at the time, they felt it was not a risk as such but was definitely a different way to go.

"There is a general feeling now that this is the way forward. For us, to be at the forefront of that and to control so much of the market, being the number one partner for the last three years, it is an incredible endorsement of the decision we made to partner with Nutanix.

"This started as a hyperconvergence journey, but what has happened is that an opportunity has arisen to take it so much further than that."

The Apple of the enterprise

For Ashley, Nutanix is much more than a simplification or convergence of components within a data centre - it is a platform for future development, much like Apple developed in the consumer space with the iPhone.

Apple's original iPhone redefined what the mobile phone should be
Apple's original iPhone redefined what the mobile phone should be

"Previously you had a music device, a telephone, multiple different devices and Apple were the first to converge that on one device," he added.

"Once they had done that it was the first step on the road and what they started to do was to open up that device to make it a platform on which others could develop.

"You had people developing a fitness app for example that works on the phone."

However, with the Nutanix platform, just as with the iPhone, Ashley said there are rules of engagement.

“If you are going to develop an app, you have to stay within the boundaries which Apple have defined and that is you have one button and a screen you can swipe and you have to work within those boundaries," he added.

“That is what Nutanix are doing, it is all about simplicity, you can come in and you can develop an application that will work with the technology, but is has to remain simple, it has to work within the prism.

“That’s really where it is going, having a platform that other vendors can come into and add value but within the boundaries of the Nutanix framework.

“That is really attractive, not only to me, but to our customers that want to maintain that simplicity. That’s really what it is all about for us."

Replicating the consumer experience

Business applications of all forms are increasingly taking on the look and feel of those consumers have been familiar with for some time.

One of the keys to Atlassian’s success - achieved in part through its partners - is that the user interfaces of its products like Jira and Confluence mirror those seen in the consumer space.

Ashley said this consumer user experience had driven enterprise customers to demand similar results from their mission critical programs.

Darren Ashley - Managing Director, BEarena
Darren Ashley - Managing Director, BEarena

“The talk [at the conference] was about taking away the day to day duties of the traditional IT silos like storage teams and moving them to more business facing roles where they are adding more value.

“All of the comments from the customer panel and others were that they never look at it. It just sits in the data centre, it runs itself, and we can get on with doing more important things," he mentioned.

Virtualising the public cloud

Ashley said that the technological journey from infrastructure to platform begun once Nutanix had virtualised storage and commoditised the hypervisor. He went on to say that the next step was to virtualise the public cloud.

“AWS has really become the public cloud provider of choice, but what we are trying to do [through deploying Nutanix technologies] is offer that kind of experience, but within a hybrid cloud.

He said that if customers choose to offload services to either AWS or Microsoft Azure, or migrate between the two, Nutanix would be the platform to drive that.

“Nutanix really is an enterprise cloud provider, and that is why we are so excited about the award is that we understand that and we are not sure many other partners in Australia do, and that is what we are driving forward with.”

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