The Nutanix-VMware battle escalated a notch or 10 with a Nutanix blog that accuses VMware COO Sanjay Poonen of “bullying” Nutanix customers on LinkedIn and email.
Late Monday, Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey posted a blog that begins with his musing about human dignity (it was posted on MLK Jr. Day), taxation without representation, and his company’s no-vTax movement. This is essentially its protest against VMware software licensing costs.
“Heavyweight hypervisors and expensive virtualization software are an unfair tax on app administrators,” Pandey wrote. “Virtualization is meant to be invisible. It should not have specialist administrators nor an explicit IT spend.”
And then the gloves come off.
‘Frontal Assault’ on VMware, Dell
“Unfortunately, VMware sees this architectural argument as a frontal assault on their company,” Pandey wrote. “It was highly unusual for their COO Sanjay Poonen to have connected with our customers on LinkedIn and send this email.”
The blog shows a copy of the email he says Poonen sent to Nutanix customers. VMware did not immediately respond to questions about the email.
“I wanted to let you know that your name and your company’s brand is being used in a vitriolic anti-VMware and anti-Dell campaign by Nutanix,” reads the email, whose sender identifies himself as the COO of VMware. It’s referring to this campaign, which urges businesses to “ditch the vTax.” Pandey calls the campaign a “new way of life.” The email, however, repeatedly calls it “vitriolic” and a “frontal attack on both VMware and Dell.”
The email “humbly” asks customers to tell Nutanix to remove their names from the campaign and adds: “We don’t want it to affect your brand, as also your partnership with VMware AND Dell — today or into the future.”
Pandey counters the vTax rebellion is not about Dell. “This argument that No-VTAX is about Dell is as preposterous as saying that HPE, Lenovo, NEC, Fujitsu, Huawei, Inspur, and other competing server manufacturers should stop supporting VMware, now that Dell is an investor in VMware.”
But what he really takes issue with is what Pandey calls “the veiled threat” about the campaign affecting customers’ brands. This, he wrote, “is an act of bullying that has no place in a world where the customer is all powerful. Such bullying is what creates movements, rebellions, and eventual independence from unfair taxation.”
Hug It Out?
Oh, and for the record: Nutanix’ product strategy is multi-server and multi-hypervisor. “We hug vSphere as hard as we hug AHV,” Pandey wrote, referring to the the two companies’ respective hypervisors.
All of this hearkens back to another Nutanix fight with another Dell Technologies’ brand: Dell EMC. This one also played out in dueling blogs and emails. It centered on which vendor could rightfully claim the title of hyperconverged infrastructure market share leader.
And it ended with both companies’ describing the other as a “great partner,” despite the spat.