Nutanix’s desktop as a service (DaaS) offering, now available in South Africa, will help companies to formalise the rollout of work-from-home (WFH) initiatives.

Xi Frame lets CIOs deliver virtual apps and desktops to clients no matter where they are, provisioned via the public cloud or hosted within their Nutanix data centre.

The announcement follows increasing demand from local customers, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, for an enterprise-grade work-from-home (WFH) solution to support a remote desktop environment that they can roll out quickly and scale on the fly.

Nutanix is offering customers a free 30-day trial of Xi Frame, capped at five users.

Xi Frame is a proven DaaS solution that offers customers access to applications on any device and from any location and helps support a client’s desire to enable cloud- and digital-first environments.

“It is going to be very hard for businesses to put the work from home genie in the bottle, which has created the requirement for virtual workspaces that can safely and seamlessly integrate with their data, applications, and storage environments,” says Paul Ruinaard, regional sales director: sub-Saharan Africa at Nutanix. “Xi Frame is a proven technology that has enjoyed extensive success globally.

“Now with the local launch, we are providing South African businesses a multi-cloud DaaS offering that will deliver the flexibility needed to better manage and deploy remote desktops, helping customers build better business resiliency for their organisation, today and beyond the current pandemic.”

Available locally on-premises or through Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services, Xi Frame provides a simple DaaS solution that is scalable, highly interoperable, and cost effective. With Xi Frame, customers can bring their own cloud subscription(s) and/or Nutanix HCI infrastructure and enjoy the flexibility of the best-fit cloud for their virtual desktop requirements.

“Cloud is increasingly relevant as companies move workers off-premise,” Ruinaard adds. “The pandemic is seeing organisations starting to harden and industrialise their WFH strategy.”

He points out that companies have become accustomated to the software subscription model, and Xi Frame extends this by making the whole desktop available as a service.

“Organisations have quickly come under pressure to move to WFH during lockdown. Traffic is not reducing now, so it doesn’t look like they are coming back on-premise. So we need to make WFH enterprise-ready. DaaS makes that a lot easier and quicker.”

With baked in analytics tools, a customer can monitor user usage, track all administrative actions and optimize elastic scaling parameters to control costs. When coupled with Nutanix Beam, the company’s multi-cloud optimisation and management tool, a customer can better control and manage a full multi-cloud environment helping minimise cloud costs and reduce security risks.

In addition, with a robust control plane delivered as a service, customers are no longer bogged down with the management burden associated with traditional VDI environments including infrastructure management and the associated support costs.

Craigh Stuart, chief technology officer of Nutanix: sub-Saharan Africa, points out that Xi Frame allows DaaS to be provisioned in the cloud as well as on-premise.

This is enabled by the Control Plane, which is now running natively in the cloud, which can deliver desktops across all the cloud hyperscaler environments.

“Why would you pivot to multi/hybrid cloud desktop as a service?” he asks. “Operationally, organisations need to be able to deliver end user experience the is consistent regardless of where it is. They want one unified management console.

“Then there is the need for scalability. In traditional models you would have your own infrastructure on-premise and scale your virtual desktops. But capacity constraints mean you would have to add more infrastructure to support WFH.

“The multi/hybrid cloud approach lets us leverage infrastructure the hyperscalers provide.”

Xi Frame also allows CIOs to manage security and the cost governance, Stuart adds.

Other benefits of Xi Frame include:

  • * Ease of use – Xi Frame boasts an intuitive administrative interface that supports zero touch maintenance without the need for highly skilled technical skills.
  • * Proven at global scale – Customers can provision thousands of users per account in under an hour. Spin up secure cloud workspaces in any local or global cloud region.
  • * Elastic by design – With Xi Frame, clients can pay as they go based on actual consumption of the service.
  • * Developer friendly – Clients can use their existing files, connect to Identity as a Service (like Azure AD or Okta), or extend their enterprise network to the cloud with Xi Frame.
  • * Built for security – Numerous features including non-persistent VMs, data segregation, controls over local/remote data movement, auditing logs and more have enabled Frame to meet stringent security standards including SOC 2 Type 1 and 2, SOC 3, ISO 27001, ISO 27017, and ISO 27018.
  • * Enterprise-ready – With Xi Frame you leverage the only multi-cloud Windows workspace service running at a global scale, reaching users in more than 200 countries.