Nutanix reported strong second quarter fiscal 2018 earnings yesterday as well as plans to acquire multi-cloud management startup Minjar, which sells a service that lets customers compare costs across public clouds.
The company isn’t saying how much it will pay for Minjar. But the startup will play a major role in Nutanix’s plans to help enterprises “hyperconverge clouds,” Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey said in an interview with SDxCentral.
Calm is Nutanix’s multi-cloud management tool. Xi is its public cloud service that allows customers to move on-premises workloads to Google’s public cloud, slated to launch this year.
Minjar, Pandey explained, will complement these two cloud services by providing cost, budgeting, governance, and compliance features. It will also make it easier to migrate workloads between on-premises data centers and public clouds.
Minjar and Hyperconverged Clouds
As enterprises move toward multi-cloud, they will want to hyperconverge all of these environments, Pandey said. And this requires a control plane. In Nutanix’s case, this includes Calm and Minjar.
“Today cloud is a destination, but in the next four years people will say ‘I don’t want lock-in. I want a virtualization layer on top of the cloud itself.’ That is the opportunity of hyperconvergence of multiple clouds,” he said. “The cloud becomes a means to an end. It won’t be discussed as a panacea or a destination. There is an immense opportunity to go and hyperconverge all these clouds with a single OS and a single pane of glass. Minjar is the conversation starter for what is the right economic model for your computing needs.”
2018 Q2 Earnings
In addition to announcing the acquisition, Nutanix also reported better-than-expected revenue of $286.7 million during the second quarter, growing 44 percent year-over-year — and validating the company’s pivot to a software-centric strategy that it announced during its first-quarter 2018 earnings call.
The company ended the second quarter with 8,870 end-customers, adding a record 1,057 new end-customers during the quarter. It also signed five software and support deals worth more than $3 million, of which three were worth more than $5 million. All of these were with Global 2000 customers.
On a conference call with investors, Pandey named a $10 million deal with a “major integrated beverages company” as the largest deal of the second quarter. “This $10-million-plus deal was one of the first for Nutanix as a brand-new customer,” he said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. “A critical success factor for this deal was a richness of our software-defined storage services.”
In an interview with SDxCentral after the earnings call, Pandey also discussed a Dell Technologies-VMware merger or reverse merger and what it would mean for his company, which has been positioning itself as a cheaper, easier alternative to VMware’s hybrid cloud software stack.
If the companies merge, one scenario would be essentially maintaining the status quo. Under this one, the combined companies would continue selling Dell EMC servers with software from VMware, Microsoft, and Nutanix, Pandey said.
“The other scenario would be they will only be building servers for one OS [operating system],” he added. That one OS would be VMware. “This would become fertile ground for us as the other server vendors say, ‘look we really need an alternative to VMware.’”
“Under either of these scenarios, we will be in good shape,” Pandey said. “But right now I’m betting that Dell will continue to want to be the biggest server platform on the planet and therefore do things beyond VMware.”