Creating a Common Experience Across Clouds With Nutanix Clusters on AWS

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Hybrid cloud deployments offer many advantages—but they also require spending time and money managing multiple locations. Often, organizations have a different platform for each location, which typically means completely different processes for each platform. In addition to purchasing extra tools, employees must be trained on various systems. Using multiple tools usually results in lower productivity. Businesses that use multiple cloud providers have even more challenges because of the differences between clouds deployments. For example, API calls are handled differently by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.

To overcome these issues, many organizations are now utilizing Nutanix Clusters on AWS (NCA) to create a common way of performing tasks across different clouds and environments. Nutanix’s hyperconverged platform eliminates the need for disparate management between on-premise and cloud, as well between cloud services providers. By putting the Nutanix software on top of the cloud ecosystem, Nutanix handles the heavy lifting—and users do not have to understand the subtle differences between different clouds.

To further explain, I have asked my colleague Derek Raebel, a senior systems engineer at Nutanix, to elaborate. “The point is to have a common management platform across the private cloud vendors you work with and the public cloud vendors you work with. Today that’s AWS; in the next six months Azure will be included in that with more to come. The Nutanix experience stays the same regardless what hardware you’re running on or what cloud you’re running in,” he says.

With its self-healing architecture for clusters running on AWS, the system automatically resolves most issues without user intervention. To implement data resiliency, NCA deploys cluster hosts across as many partitions as AWS exposes for their bare metal instances. Each AWS partition corresponds to a rack in Nutanix ensuring replicas are across AWS failure domains.

Determining the Best Cloud Configuration

By adding in the orchestration automation software Nutanix Calm (Cloud Application Lifecycle Manager), organizations create even more unified processes for their multiple clouds. “Calm acts as an API translator with a construct called Blueprint to draw out what you want your end state to look like, whether that be a LAMP stack or a single server deployment,” Raebel says.

Calm then translates the API to implement the Blueprint in multiple environments, such as Azure, Google or VMWare. Regardless of where you are running your cloud, Nutanix provides the same experience.

By merging on-premise design practices with cloud strategies, you create similar fault-tolerant principals with AWS as your on-premise infrastructure. You have likely already developed fault-tolerant domains for your on-premise infrastructure, such as data center colocation. As you develop a service in AWS, you can use availability zones (i.e., discrete data centers) to make the connectivity highly available across different fault-tolerant regions in the AWS data center. “It’s really the merging of on-prem design practices you can mirror to AWS and its fault-tolerant principles,” Raebel says.

You can also create a cluster on a separate availability zone and mirror between clusters. If the availability zones are in the same region, the low latency allows you to synchronize replication across the clusters in real time.

Providing More Cost-Effective Disaster Recovery

Business continuity is a core element of a comprehensive disaster recovery (DR) strategy. Because NCA allows organizations to only pay for the resources used, many Nutanix clients appreciate the total cost of ownership from deploying Nutanix Clusters on AWS for DR. Traditional DR strategies require a significant capital outlay for duplicate production gear as an insurance policy. “Every company should have a DR strategy. If you don’t have a DR strategy, please put one together—and Nutanix Clusters on AWS can be a part of that,” Raebel says.

Nutanix hyperconverged infrastructure typically replicates your on-premise configurations, meaning if you used 15 on-premise servers, your cloud infrastructure would likely include approximately 15 servers. The cloud configurations give you the flexibility of reducing your footprint, because you do not have to keep all servers running when cold. Instead, you can configure a three-node cluster. When a disaster is declared, you can turn on the required capacity. “When the disaster is over, you can spin it down. The organization’s only cost incurred is from what was running in the cloud during the period you were running there,” he explains.

With an on-premise cold DR configuration solution, the order, delivery and installation of new servers can take weeks in a best-case scenario—and often much longer when attempting to make your cold DR solution all hot and active. With NCA, you simply  spin up additional nodes in Nutanix Clusters Portal, then send the replication data to the services so you can quickly get your business back up and running in a matter of hours. IDC cites that an hour of downtime can cost a large organization upwards of $100,000—so a timely DR solution can result in huge savings.

Creating Additional Layers of Protection

By using Nutanix Flow, a software-defined virtual network security product, you can secure your VMs with micro segmentation for both on-premise and in NCA.

Instead of using two different tools and strategies for on-premise and cloud, you can use a common platform and process regardless of your cloud provider and infrastructure.

If your servers are attacked by ransomware, Flow quickly quarantines the VM on the network to prevent malicious code from spreading through your network and other trusted VMs. You can then use forensic tools to investigate the VM and repair damage before getting the VM back on the network.

The ability to adapt quickly is invaluable to any organization, and an IT infrastructure that can flex accordingly is critical. By using NCA, organizations create the continuity and flexibility needed in today’s environment. And because you only pay for services used, organizations save money while providing a superior experience for users.

Nutanix Continuity and Flexibility

The ability to adapt quickly is invaluable to any organization, and an IT infrastructure that can flex accordingly is critical. NCA allows organizations to create the continuity and flexibility needed in today’s environment. And because you only pay for services used, organizations save money while providing a superior experience for users.

Evolving Solutions Author:
Jim Pross
Systems & Storage Consultant

Microsoft Continues to Innovate and Differentiate Their Offerings

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Microsoft’s Ignite Conference 

Last week, I attended Microsoft’s Ignite conference in Orlando, FL. It was the first time Evolving Solutions has attended the conference, and it reflects our continuing commitment to deliver hybrid cloud solutions to our clients. Public cloud is not new news, but I believe we’ve reached a new phase of public cloud maturity where multi and hybrid cloud options are being properly weighed by businesses today.

Each of the top cloud providers (Microsoft’s Azure, AWS, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and IBM) has transitioned from evangelism to steady competitive growth. The push by each provider to get client workloads, particularly data, onto their platform is certainly a continued theme. The Microsoft Ignite conference was a great opportunity to understand better how Microsoft is innovating and continuing to differentiate their offerings.

The Announcement of Azure Arc

Microsoft’s investments in Azure were readily apparent, as was their continued focus on Data and AI. They continue to lower the barrier to using advanced data capabilities, creating options, but also requiring important considerations on which platform is the best for an individual business. One of the most interesting items showcased was Microsoft’s announcement of Azure Arc.

Azure Arc enables deployment of Azure services anywhere and extends Azure management to any infrastructure, simplifying complex and distributed environments across on-premises, edge, hybrid, and multi-cloud. With Azure Arc, customers can now realize the benefits of cloud innovation, including always up-to-date data capabilities, deployment in seconds (rather than hours), and dynamic scalability on any infrastructure. These benefits support Evolving Solutions’ Hybrid Cloud focus and add to our offerings to achieve your cloud requirements.

The other big take -away from the week is from a Cybersecurity perspective. There will be insurers (not Microsoft) that will offer insurance for data breaches, which will bring significant changes to security practices and requirements. Of course, it’s not possible to get the business value from any of this innovation without adopting a proper Cloud Architecture, the governance, and practices to ensure your business requirements are properly fulfilled and implemented in the cloud.

While the classes and presentations were top-notch, one of my favorite activities was to visit “The Hub.” The Hub was where Microsoft had all their experts at different booths ready to do a deeper dive in any MS technology. Also, other vendors had their booths for all of their “add-on” Microsoft & Azure tools and offerings.

Moving Forward

I’m excited about some of the new Azure capabilities that provide components of this and I’m looking forward to the options they provide for our clients. If you have any questions about the conference or how you can continue to move forward in your cloud journey, feel free to reach out to me.


Phil joined Evolving Solutions in 2019 to develop solutions for our clients across hardware and software, both on and off-premise. He brings over 15 years of creating architectures to solve complex business problems, including modernization, high-performance computing, integration, and automation.

His broad technology, business and industry experience provides a valuable perspective to our clients working to implement innovative technologies to support their success. Like what you read? Follow Phil on LinkedIn at






Hybrid Cloud Solutions Create Opportunities for the Omaha Technology Industry

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In Omaha, Nebraska and around the world, the technology industry is indeed going through an exciting time as hybrid cloud and hyper-converged infrastructure solutions create new opportunities for businesses and enterprises alike. As I start to take a trip down memory lane, we can remember when the leading edge of technology was being able to do basic things like word processing (remember the uses of all those function keys) or having limited computing in a back closet somewhere. Gone are the days of dial-up modems, restrictive cell phone roaming charges, and single-purpose computing resources. Enter hybrid cloud solutions and you know the technology industry has truly come a long way from those historic days!

We can now access information from our fingertips. With the ability to instantly share information with anyone across the globe, we can create multiple business computing environments virtually in-house and in the cloud. Because of the advancements of communications, computing, and hybrid-cloud, we now live and work in an era where there are so many great choices on how to implement the technology. Our market has exciting opportunities to transform Omaha businesses with new technology solutions and practices such as hyperconverged infrastructure,  that are more business-centric.

Here is a more in-depth look at what achievements and choices I see now that are leaving a mark or making change easy to modernize operations.

Multiple competitive solutions:

  • Options with Azure, AWS, Google
  • Ease of use
  • Financial moves from CapEx to OpEx

Customers moving to a Hybrid Cloud solution can find:

  • Flexible solutions
  • Retain proprietary environments on-prem
  • Match workloads with the best options
  • Effective IT cost management (what make the most sense)
  • Cost-effective Disaster Recovery

Those utilizing Hyperconverged Infrastructure Solutions can now:

  • Have tightly integrated compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources
  • Easily deploy on-prem solutions
  • Implement simplified management

I am excited about what changes in technology we have seen this year. As a result, Omaha businesses can utilize these hybrid cloud and hyperconverged infrastructure solutions to transform their businesses in the coming new year.  If you are ready to engage and modernize your operations, Evolving Solutions is here to help you where ever you are on that journey.


About the Author – Phil Fisichella, Enterprise Architect. Phil is a crucial part of the Evolving Solutions team in Omaha and can help you along your transformative and exciting technology journey. Learn more about Phil and what he thinks about technology for today and into the future.

Storage in a Hybrid Cloud World Webinar

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To continue to innovate for the future, organizations must have a solid storage strategy. Effective storage choices help organization drive business continuity, implement DevOps Analytics, migrate key workloads and implement a true hybrid multi-cloud environment.

Join IBM and Evolving Solutions to learn more about driving innovation within your storage infrastructure to improve efficiency, deliver deep analytics and integrate machine learning as part of your hybrid multi-cloud strategy.

2019 Technology Update – Hybrid Cloud: A Transformation Journey

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Technology has never moved at a faster pace.  The breakneck speed at which innovation continues to drive transformation highlights more than ever, that it is not cost-effective to continue to install the latest and greatest technology year after year.  With advancements in operating systems, hybrid cloud technology, and the onset of data being used as a resource, the path ahead is becoming difficult to navigate.

Organizations are left scrambling to stay in front of the trends while ensuring their teams are agile and find the most efficient means to ensure their systems are functioning at their best.

This year, our annual Technology Update will not only focus on which innovations are driving trends with our keynote speaker, Alex Salkever, who is a well-regarded futurist and author, but we will hear from a variety of industry experts who know what it takes to get through complex technology transformations successfully.


Medina Golf and Country Club
400 Evergreen Rd
Medina, MN 55340
Registration & Breakfast
Technology Update Seminar
Lunch & Demos
Networking and Golf
Awards, Beverages & Appetizers

We will be at a new location this year, the Medina Golf and Country Club, home of the MN Golden Gopher Classic!  So come and check out the superb educational sessions we have planned for the morning, and stay to network and golf the newly renovated course.