The partners say the hyperconverged stack will include built-in AHV virtualization — this is Nutanix’s enterprise-ready hypervisor. It aims to make it easier for enterprises to manage artificial intelligence (AI) and other big-data driven workloads.
Sixty-two percent of businesses will use AI technologies by 2018, up from 38 percent in 2016, according to a Narrative Science survey.
“We want to bring all the goodness of the public cloud — businesses can start small, they can grow quickly, it brings agility to their business — Nutanix wants to bring those benefits to enterprises’ on-premise infrastructure,” Mukhopadhyay said. “Those benefits don’t need to be just available in the public cloud.”
Some targeted customers include the financial sector, health care, retail, supply chain and manufacturing. “A lot of these verticals already use IBM’s Power platform to run mission-critical applications as well as the more emerging cognitive applications,” Mukhopadhyay said.
The companies don’t have a set launch date for the HCI system; Mukhopadhyay said they hope to have an announcement about product availability by Nutanix’s .NEXT 2017 conference in June.
Nutanix, which went public in September 2016, has said its long-term goal is to make the enterprise network as easy to use as public cloud services. Best known for HCI, the company moved late last year into the networking stack.
“With the planned design, the ease of the public cloud will be available to IBM customers in their own data centers,” according to a Nutanix blog post about the HCI system.
Next-Gen Data Centers
HCI systems have a market forecast of nearly $6 billion by 2020. “IT teams now recognize the need, and the undeniable benefits, of embracing the next generation of datacenter infrastructure technology,” said Stefanie Chiras, VP for Power Systems at IBM, in a statement.
The partnership gives Nutanix’s its first non-Intel power servers. Nutanix’s customers use IBM technology and servers; they wanted to run Nutanix’s enterprise cloud software across the entire data center, Mukhopadhyay said: “This is the only solution on the market that can harmonize your entire data center across the entire gamut of applications.”
Following a disappointing performance in its most recent quarter, the IBM deal also boosts Nutanix’s HCI prowess as competitors like HPE’s SimpliVity, Cisco’s Hyperflex, and Dell EMC scale up their HCI efforts.
For IBM, it’s the next step in the company’s strategy to dominate the cognitive computing/Artificial Intelligence (AI) space. This includes its Waston Internet of Things (IoT) platform.
IBM announced last October that it was investing $200 million to make Munich, Germany, its global headquarters for its Watson IoT business. At the time, the company said it had about 6,000 customers using the platform, an increase of 2,000 customers in just eight months.
During IBM’s first quarter 2017 earnings call in April, senior vice president and CFO Martin Schroeter said the company added 50 new clients to the Watson IoT platform in the quarter.