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Why web-scale technologies will help Malaysian companies: Nutanix interview

AvantiKumar | July 21, 2014
Nutanix’s MD for Asean & India, Lim Pun Kok, explains why the company's web-scale IT approach is better for building and managing datacentre infrastructure.

Nutanix Image modified 

Image - Modern architecture image from Nutanix


Datacentre infrastructure solutions firm Nutanix recently arrived in Malaysia to announce the availability of its Nutanix Operating System (NOS) 4.0 - a new release of the intelligent software - that powers its Virtual Computing Platform. The company said its offerings to Malaysian companies included the benefits of web-scale IT to virtualised datacentres as a simple turnkey solution without compromising enterprise-class functionality or requiring a radical overhaul of the environment,

Nutanix Operating System (NOS) 4.0 also included a host of new features and improvements, with end-to-end system analytics and multi-cluster management in the control fabric, along with tunable resilience and powerful distributed data services in the data fabric.

During the recent announcement in Kuala Lumpur, Nutanix's managing director for Asean & India, Lim Pun Kok, said:  "The future of simple and cost-efficient virtual datacentres is now, and organisations in Malaysia are taking advantage of web-scale technologies to achieve the scale and agility their business environments demand,"

Computerworld Malaysia asked Lim Pun Kok for some brief insights on what Malaysia's enterprise leaders could gain from web-scale IT compared to traditional IT.


PK Lim - Nutanix modified 

Photo - (PK) Lim Pun Kok, MD for Asean & India Nutanix

What is web-scale IT and how does it really help companies today?

In essence, web-scale IT is a better approach to designing, building and managing datacentre infrastructure pioneered by web companies and cloud providers such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook (to name a few).

Web-scale IT started out as an innovative do-it-yourself alternative to handle scale and agility needs for which traditional IT was a poor fit.  Web-scale IT is not just about scale, nor is it solely for web companies.

At its core, web-scale IT brings simplicity back to the datacentre, and enterprises of all sizes can benefit from the agility and cost advantage that it delivers.  Key attributes of web-scale IT include a hyper-converged architecture based on x86 commodity servers that brings compute close to storage. This architecture eliminates the complexity of storage networks and enables incremental predictable scalability as infrastructure needs grow.

In addition, everything about it is "software-defined" allowing you to move workloads, networks, and storage, all with the touch of your mouse. Web-scale IT systems are self-healing and don't have single points of bottleneck. They also use extensive automation and rich analytics to enable easier management, thus lowering the total cost of ownership.

Why is it relevant for Malaysian organisations to consider web-scale infrastructure solution?

There is a sea-change occurring in the datacentre.  Applications such as VDI, Big Data, Server Virtualization, Hybrid Applications and Multi datacentre Disaster Recovery are requiring new levels of performance and reduced complexity. 

These applications are already in place throughout Malaysia but are failing because the existing infrastructure was not built for these applications and their associated demands.  What is needed is infrastructure similar to what the large could providers such as Google have built.  But you no longer have to be a cloud provider or to implement web-scale infrastructure by yourself to get the benefits of web-scale. Turnkey enterprise solutions bring you the "Google-like" goodness with enterprise capabilities at any scale!

Which industry sectors in Malaysia would benefit most from web-scale IT technology and what are you views on adoption rates here?

All vertical industries are prime for Web-scale technology because almost all have embarked on VDI applications, Big Data applications, ROBO applications and other applications requiring high linear performance for these compute and storage intense applications.

As regards adoption, web-scale infrastructure solves most of the problems in the datacentre that have been evolving over the last 10 years.  The architectures in place today just were not designed to handle today's applications, so more expensive equipment is needed to try and overcome the performance and complexity issues. 

The breakdown of the network, escalating costs continue to get worse as more departments and applications are added.  Every aspect of management becomes overwhelmed.  Web-scale is all about predictable linear performance, consolidated and simplistic management as affordable costs, when are completely flexible because they are all software defined.  They operate on commodity hardware, not expensive specialized hardware.  According to a major analyst [Gartner], the market is US$6 billion just in 2014 and growing at a 50 percent rate, and this is just with the marketing in its infancy.

We expect a faster uptake in Malaysia as it's truly aggressive status and emerging country.  Malaysia's rapid growth in all sectors, much like other robust countries are overwhelming their current infrastructure, causing IT projects to fail, become stalled, or have terrible performance at high costs.  Web-scale infrastructure has literally arrived just in time.

 What are Nutanix's future plans for this area?

Malaysia as an emerging country is very important to Nutanix.  Malaysia has quickly adopted new technologies to stay competitive in areas of Finance, Gas & Oil, Healthcare, with other emphasis in education and government.  Web-scale infrastructure enables these government and enterprises to respond rapidly to growth changes and demands faster than as ever previously possible with legacy IT technology.  IT and application deployments can now happen in 30 minutes instead of 90 days.  Costs are far cheaper to deploy, consume far less datacentre space, are very "green" (less energy and heat), provide linear, predictable performance and manages multiple elements of the datacenter with a single pane of glass.

Given Malaysia's growth opportunities, plans are underway to establish an office in the coming months.

As a takeaway:  the enhancements from our approach bring business agility, operational effectiveness and the ability to handle unpredictable growth to enterprise environments running business-critical applications.

There is a common misconception that the benefits of web-scale infrastructure are limited to environments with massive amounts of data and millions of concurrent users. However, according to Gartner [May 15, 2013 research report, Use Web-Scale IT to Make Enterprise IT Competitive With the Cloud], "web-scale IT is not just for large companies or IT organisations. It also doesn't presuppose a need for massive computing power, although that may also be a need."


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