Empowering the Organization With a Well-Crafted Multi-Cloud Strategy: Q&A With Nutanix’s Induprakas Keri

The cloud offers a variety of advantages, including scalability, flexibility, cost effectiveness, and security. But today’s enterprise cloud initiatives have become more strategic in nature, requiring the public cloud to become its new “hub of innovation.”

With this, IT leaders have realized it’s difficult to create these hubs in the cloud without migrating a significant portion of their applications to the cloud. And once those applications have been moved, the true costs of working in the cloud are realized. So what happens next? IT is forced to weigh innovation with costs all over again, this time in the cloud as opposed to their previous manner, on-prem. This is where a well-thought-out, multi-cloud strategy can serve as a cost-effective, yet innovation- first, solution.

Induprakas Keri, SVP and GM of hybrid multi-cloud for Nutanix, discussed how a hybrid multi-cloud solution could revolutionize how data is stored, managed, and accessed for business insights. Keri oversees Nutanix’s industry-leading hybrid cloud infrastructure for both on-prem and public cloud deployments.

What do you think are the benefits and pitfalls of pivoting to a multi-cloud solution?

Eighty-five percent of organizations are already in multiple- cloud and on-premises environments. For many, this was not a choice, but a reality, and [was needed] to address different business needs, geographies, regulatory requirements, and more. There is simply not one cloud that can fit all. Organizations require flexibility and cannot be locked into a single cloud provider.

However, this flexibility comes at a cost. This can lead to operational complexity, as organizations need different teams to manage different clouds or data centers; increased cost; and decreased security. Leveraging a cloud operating model with one platform to manage all apps and data across clouds enables organizations to benefit from leveraging multiple clouds while simplifying operations and reducing complexity.

What is the best strategy to follow when implementing a multi-cloud solution initiative?

A hybrid multi-cloud approach, or leveraging one platform to run all apps and manage data across clouds, can help organizations make the most of the flexibility of multi-cloud while addressing some of the underlying challenges around complexity. The key is intentionality and planning for reality. A true hybrid multi-cloud strategy should be about the medium- and long-term planning of what happens over months or years.

First, organizations need to make realistic assessments of their cloud adoption strategies. In many cases, modernizing a legacy application portfolio—while enticing—is cost-prohibitive, and a lift-and-shift approach is preferable. At the same time, modern applications are mostly containerized and are best developed in the public cloud. So, when organizations need to enable rapid innovation, the public cloud platforms might be better suited for this.

This journey starts with simple things like APIs and making sure that key application capabilities have API wrappers.

Modern applications should be containerized as much as possible so that they are portable. Application deployments need to be automated through CI/CD pipelines to avoid manual errors and reduce costs.

Organizations should also strive to standardize both their cloud operations and security operations. The cloud is fundamentally different from what traditional on-prem used to be, so organizations need to think about it differently, especially when security is involved. Having one platform to run all apps and data across clouds can help address some of these common challenges.

How can Nutanix help with this?

Nutanix offers organizations a single platform for running apps and data across clouds to reduce complexity and simplify operations. By offering a platform that bridges cloud, edge, and on-premises environments together, organizations can manage complexity and make better decisions over their data and cloud strategies. With the right technology to bridge the gaps, companies can maximize the value of their technology investments, fuel innovation, and focus on business outcomes.

What is the concept of an “accidental multi-cloud”?

The challenge of enterprise technical debt can be applied to cloud computing as well, in the form of the accidental multi-cloud infrastructure. This is caused in part by the race to get to the cloud in the wake of the pandemic, coupled with the unprecedented explosion of applications and data that are being created each year. Add in software mergers and acquisitions, and IT can, in no time, realize their cloud infrastructure is much more complex than they first thought. The accidental multi-cloud drives the need for organizations to have one platform to manage all their apps and data across clouds—a hybrid multi-cloud.

What are your predictions for multi-cloud solutions and innovations in 2024 and beyond?

One likely outcome is that AI is the “ultimate” hybrid cloud use case. You use public data to create a foundational model, but that’s not going to be enough for your business. You need to refine and augment the model, and that can only really be done in your data center, because refinement needs data that is specific to your organization. The moment you do this refinement with Infrastructure as a Service, you have lost control of your data. And then all the inferencing with the refined models happens at the edge.

Scale-out architectures will probably win in the hybrid, multi-cloud world. Unlike “scale-up” architecture, where the expansion is vertical and involves adding more power to an existing machine (such as more CPUs), scale-out infrastructure is horizontal and involves adding more machines or nodes to a network to increase capacity. Because it’s a hybrid cloud app—and because the models have to traverse all the way from the edge to the data center to the public cloud—you really need to do this with scale-out infrastructure.

Lastly, hybrid multi-cloud platforms that enable application portability and managed data movement across public clouds and between public and private clouds will become the norm, and enterprises will manage their application lifecycle across a hybrid infrastructure. Said differently, a legacy app might well migrate to the public cloud to support innovation, and a net new app might start in the public cloud and might well migrate back on-prem for cost or security reasons.


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