Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Nutanix made it official today. The companies announced a formal partnership to sell hybrid cloud as a service as well as HPE servers running Nutanix’s software stack.
There are two parts of this partnership. One will see HPE selling Nutanix’s Enterprise Cloud OS software including its AHV hypervisor through HPE GreenLake. This is the vendor’s as-a-service portfolio that includes everything from infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) to hybrid cloud and what HPE calls “workloads-as-a-service” — things like backup, SAP Hana, database, and big data management. Customers consume these managed services in a pay-as-you-go model with metered usage.
“GreenLake is growing like a rocket,” said Paul Miller, VP of marketing at HPE. “It’s been in the marketplace for a couple years now, we have customer value around it, and it’s a $2.5 billion business for us. We offer VMware’s hypervisor, Microsoft’s hypervisor, backup with Veeam, containers.”
In all, HPE counts 14 partners in its GreenLake ecosystem, and today’s announcement adds Nutanix to the club.
“We’re extending the ecosystem with Nutanix to offer greater customer choice in the market,” Miller said. “It’s based on customer demand.”
Additionally, as part of the agreement Nutanix’s channel partners will now directly sell HPE servers combined with Nutanix’s Enterprise Cloud OS software as an integrated appliance. Both offerings will be globally available in the third quarter of 2019.
“This global partnership is really the culmination of seeing enterprises demand tighter integration between HPE and Nutanix,” said Greg Smith, VP of marketing at Nutanix. “It allows the two companies to bring a Nutanix software experience to market in two different consumption models: GreenLake with the Nutanix software stack as a managed service, and then Nutanix can deliver to our customers a turnkey appliance by enlisting our Enterprise Cloud software with HPE servers.”
This also gives Nutanix another market-leading server partner as it moves to a software-only business model. “Our strategy is predicated on bringing the widest array of customer choices. And that means choice on consumption model and also the widest selection of appliance hardware,” Smith said.
But it’s also quite a pivot from where the companies stood a couple years ago.
A Lot Can Change In Two Years
At that time Nutanix said its software could run on HPE servers. This was and is true, but the hardware-software combo wasn’t sold as an integrated appliance.
HPE’s Miller fired back, writing a blog titled “Don’t be misled…HPE and Nutanix are not partners.” The blog, which has since been removed, accused Nutanix of trying to mislead customers and also touted the superiority of HPE’s hyperconverged infrastructure product, SimpliVity, which competes with Nutanix’s.
Nutanix and HPE SimpliVity still “compete every day in the marketplace for hyperconverged deals — we haven’t been shy in having conversations about that,” Miller said, adding that HPE’s hyperconverged business recently posted its best quarter ever. “But we want to give the customer base who has chosen Nutanix a better experience. Our servers are open platform, we want to give customers choice and drive as much goodness to our customers while we grow our server business.”