Nutanix .NEXT is starting today in Anaheim, and of course this is the first big event since Nutanix acquired Frame—now called Xi Frame—back in August. The news of the day is that Xi Frame will now be able to run desktop virtualization workloads on-premises, on top of the Nutanix Acropolis hypervisor (AHV). They’re calling this Nutanix Xi Frame for the Private Cloud.
Certainly there will be additional details emerging throughout the event, so we’ll update this post once we learn more. But for now, here’s what we know based on the press releases that Nutanix shared with the media.
Xi Frame plans, updates, and questions
In 2018 when the acquisition was announced, Nutanix talked a bit about the Xi Frame roadmap. They announced their intent to extend Frame to Nutanix’ own Xi Cloud and to Google Cloud Platform, in addition to existing support for Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure.
While support for desktops on AHV on-premises is big news, this week I’m curious if we’ll hear more about Google GCP support, or perhaps even anything about Nutanix-hosted virtual desktops and apps.
Another question we’re following is how Nutanix will evolve the go-to-market strategy for Xi Frame. Back in August, Nutanix said that Xi Frame would address mid-market DaaS customers (in addition to all the traditional Frame use cases like ISVs), while they would continue to support VMware Horizon and Citrix virtual apps and desktops for enterprise customers.
But considering the way that Nutanix is competing with VMware on the hybrid infrastructure front (things have gotten awkward), it wouldn’t be hard to imagine them competing against Horizon, as well. So, we’ll have to see what other features they have to on the roadmap—after all, Nutanix did write that they “look forward to disrupting yet another layer of the enterprise stack.”
Back in January, Liquidware briefly mentioned in a press release that they had entered into an OEM agreement with Xi Frame. Xi Frame will use Liquidware ProfileDisk to support non-persistent desktops and address all of the Office 365 Outlook and OneDrive issues we’ve talked about for years.
In March, I caught up with Ruben Spruijt, CTO of Frame (now a senior technologist at Nutanix). He told me that they were doing a lot of enterprise-oriented work behind the scenes, which was in the making before the acquisition. These include things like support for large-scale deployments, domain join support, updates to how multi tenancy is handled, server 2016 support, and the aforementioned profile support.
Also, Xi Frame is working their way through the FedRAMP designation process, which would open them up to US government customers.
Lastly, Nutanix did have a stumble when they announced a lower forecast for their fiscal third quarter, attributed to a marketing issues. That’s obviously in a different arena than the Xi Frame roadmap, but it’s certainly on some people’s minds going into .NEXT this week.
This years also marks the 10th year anniversary of Nutanix, so there's also a lot of reflection on how HCI really enabled the VDI market in the last decade.
Stay tuned for more from Nutanix .NEXT
Again, for now I’m just going off of the initial press releases. I’m working on getting additional details, and I’ll update when I have more to share.