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New Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index Adds Fuel to Great Multicloud Debate

IT pros tell the vendor they use multicloud most. But can it really be done well? Even some MSPs aren’t convinced.

Kelly Teal

January 18, 2022

4 Min Read
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Can multicloud really be done well? That’s an ongoing topic of debate in the partner world. To be sure, there is no clear or simple answer. But Nutanix, in its latest Enterprise Cloud Index, says multicloud represents the most common cloud computing deployment model.

On Tuesday, Nutanix, a publicly traded hybrid multicloud computing provider, unveiled findings from its fourth annual Enterprise Cloud Index. The report assesses global cloud adoption among enterprises. This year’s survey indicates that over the next three years, multicloud use will jump to 64%. Moreover, it’s already the primary approach to cloud computing, enterprises told Nutanix.

But there’s a drawback to multicloud, one with which MSPs are all too familiar. Nutanix’s respondents (1,700 IT decision makers from around the world) said managing cloud across different environments is complex and challenging. A majority (87%) told Nutanix that multicloud success requires simpler management across mixed-cloud infrastructures.

Multicloud Debate

That points to the crux of the multicloud debate. MSPs are asking whether it’s possible to support various brands with the necessary levels of expertise, including knowledge in security, integration, interoperability, DevOps and more.

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Ensono’s Duan Van Der Westhuizen

“I used to believe multicloud was the next wave,” Duan van der Westhuizen, senior vice president of public cloud at MSP Ensono, said at the inaugural Channel Partners Cloud Roundtable in November. Ultimately, though, “it’s too complicated,” he said.

SADA CEO Tony Safoian agreed.

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SADA’s Tony Safoian

“It’s very hard, operationally. … You have to be super sophisticated,” he said.

Such complications spurred SADA to turn into a Google Cloud-only MSP in 2019.

When it comes to multicloud challenges, enterprise respondents to Nutanix’s survey cite the following difficulties:

  • Managing security (49%)

  • Data integration (49%)

  • Cost across different clouds (43%)

Multicloud ‘Here to Stay,’ and Other Enterprise Cloud Index Discoveries

MSPs will find those issues familiar and the debate about multicloud likely won’t let up soon. Nutanix maintains that the solution lies in a hybrid multicloud model — which uses both public and private environments with interoperability features. That, of course, sums up Nutanix’s business model.

“The Enterprise Cloud Index shows that multicloud is here to stay — and the only operating model that is expected to increase in the coming years,” Nutanix channel chief Christian Alvarez told Channel Futures. “But most companies are facing challenges when managing multiple clouds, private and public. The top challenges are security and data integration for nearly half of respondents, followed closely by cost for 43%. Helping address these challenges with technology solutions to bridge the gap between multiple clouds is a huge opportunity for partners to bring value and ease of management to their customers.”

Some other findings from the latest Enterprise Cloud Index likely won’t surprise partners too much, either. For instance, because of COVID-19, almost all organizations (91% of respondents) have moved at least one application to a new IT environment in the last 12 months. MSPs oversaw many of those migrations. What that figure does underscore is “the need for uniform management and operations across different cloud environments to avoid costly and time-consuming efforts to move applications,” Alvarez said.

And some welcome insight that affirms trends MSPs already are seeing: Almost three-quarters of IT decision makers say their organizations now perceive IT as more strategic than they once did. Indeed, the pandemic has proven the value of technology – cloud, in particular – and its ability to keep people productive and connected regardless of location.

On that note, 61% of respondents told Nutanix they continue to offer more flexible work setups because of the impact of COVID-19. Indeed, the omicron variant has prompted conglomerates including Facebook to cancel their plans to bring people back into the office. That means more opportunity for MSPs to help customers support remote and hybrid work models.

Nutanix looked to research firm Vanson Bourne to conduct the survey for its fourth-annual Enterprise Cloud Index. Analysts polled 1,700 IT decision makers in multiple industries, business sizes and geographies.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Kelly Teal or connect with her on LinkedIn.

 

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MSPsChannel Research

About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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