Hybrid cloud and Kubernetes containers are the path forward, said Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey on the company’s fourth quarter fiscal year 2017 earnings call. Nutanix closed its first year as a public company with $767 million in revenue, up 72 percent from fiscal 2016.
“Calm, Xi, and Kubernetes containers form the trifecta of our product strategy for the next several years,” Pandey said on the conference call.
Calm is the company’s multi-cloud management tool. Xi is its public cloud service that allows customers to move on-premise workloads to Google’s public cloud. Nutanix announced both at its .NEXT 2017 conference in June.
If this strategy sounds familiar it’s because it echoes VMware’s vision for its future laid out at VMworld 2017: hybrid cloud and containers.
Earlier this week VMware rolled out VMware Cloud on AWS, which VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger called the “ultimate hybrid solution.” It also announced a new container service with Pivotal that will allow customers to deploy and manage Kubernetes on-premises. The two companies collaborated with Google on the service.
Is Nutanix positioning itself as the next VMware? Pandey seemed to indicate as much on the call with investors.
“In the coming 12, 18 months you will see us become a full-fledged networking and security vendor just like you’re seeing from VMware as well,” he said.
From HCI to Hybrid Cloud
Pandey also reported a strong close to fiscal 2017 on the call. Nutanix’s revenue surged to $226.1 million, growing 62 percent year-over-year from $139.8 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. Billings reached $289.2 million, growing 40 percent compared to the same quarter last year.
Nutanix started as a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) startup before moving into enterprise networking. The company’s operating system now includes a hypervisor, software-defined storage, operations and systems management, and networking and automation capabilities, Pandey said.
“We’ve always had this fundamental view that hyperconvergence is not a destination, it’s a milestone in the journey for a true cloud experience,” he said. “It’s not about software-defined storage alone, it’s also about hypervisor software-defined networking, security, automation, operations, and systems management, and also migration.”
Pandey also downplayed competition from Cisco, which recently acquired HCI software company Springpath, and Dell EMC, which tightly integrates some of its HCI systems with sister company VMware’s software. In addition to its own branded appliances, Nutanix software runs on Cisco, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Lenovo, and IBM hardware.
“It’s about the entire operating system and increasingly it’s about the same OS running on both public and private cloud,” he said, pointing to Microsoft, with its Azure public cloud and Azure Stack on-premises offering, as an example.
“Cisco’s current offering is very far from this,” he said. “They are too focused on the form factor. They and HPE and NetApp are still playing a hardware game off HCI. I think the real game that’s being played in pure software is about the entire operating system itself.”