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Nutanix's cloudy clusters now officially at home in Azure

HCI upstart adds a hybrid option that could be of interest to nervous VMware customers

Nutanix's ambition to bring its stack to all major clouds has taken an important step forward with news its Cloud Clusters (NC2) are now generally available in Microsoft’s Azure.

Microsoft on Tuesday announced its NC2 service is now live, meaning Nutanix users can spin up clusters that look and feel like the rest of their infrastructure – be it hosted on-prem or in AWS— but which runs on a bare metal server in an Azure bit barn.

Nutanix argues the approach reduces the barrier to cloud adoption by allowing customers to extend or migrate workloads to an opex-centric cloud model without having to learn the ins and outs of Azure or needing to manage two different software stacks.

Nutanix allows license portability between environments, making the go-live of NC2 on Azure a chance for customers to diversify their use of the upstart’s hyperconverged hybrid cloud stack.

Nutanix NC2 can also run at Equinix, OVHcloud, and Cyxtera.

The idea of running third party environments atop clouds is not new: VMware on AWS went live in 2017. Virtzilla has since teamed with Google Cloud and Azure for similar offerings, while IBM Cloud and Alibaba Cloud offer less-deeply-integrated VMware-powered clouds. So do over 4,000 smaller cloud provides.

While Nutanix can’t match VMware’s reach, the mere fact that Microsoft sees NC2 as a likely source of business for Azure is a strong endorsement, even if customers only consider the Microsoft cloud for disaster recovery or capacity bursting.

Availability of NC2 in Azure could attract VMware customers weighing their options in the wake of Broadcom’s planned acquisition. Despite repeated assurances from VMware executives that Broadcom won’t hike prices, as we’ve previously reported the company has a track record of doing just that. Many VMware users remain nervous about what the Broadcom acquisition will mean.

NC2 on Azure is available in the cloud provider's Australia East, South East Asia, East US, East US 2, West US 2, and North Central US regions, with additional locations expected to come online in the near future. ®

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