Cisco and Nutanix Converge on Hyperconverged Hybrid Cloud Bundle

Cisco and Nutanix Converge on Hyperconverged Hybrid Cloud Bundle

The News: Cisco and Nutanix will sell an integrated hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) family of products combining Cisco’s SaaS managed compute and networking solutions and Nutanix Cloud Platform software-defined storage.

Cisco Compute Hyperconverged with Nutanix will include SaaS-managed compute and networking from Cisco with Nutanix’s software-defined HCI software. The Nutanix Cloud Platform consists of Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure, Nutanix Cloud Manager, Nutanix Unified Storage, and Nutanix Desktop Services with Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and the Cisco Intersight SaaS cloud operations platform. Cisco Compute Hyperconverged with Nutanix will be available on Cisco UCS rack and blade servers, initially on C-Series servers with future support planned for the X-Series modular servers.

The companies said they expect their global sales teams will be able to offer the combination of products and services by the end of November 2023. They are targeting the systems at organizations looking to use HCI for hybrid and multicloud deployments. The press release announcing the partnership is available here.

Cisco and Nutanix Converge on Hyperconverged Hybrid Cloud Bundle

Analyst Take: Cisco has its own HCI product called HyperFlex, which uses HCI software that Cisco acquired from startup Springpath. Although the Nutanix deal might raise questions about the future of HyperFlex, a Cisco representative said Cisco’s HyperFlex roadmap has not changed.

Nutanix and Cisco previously had a loose partnership, with common channel partners selling Nutanix software on UCS servers. The new deal is the first formalized partnership between the two companies.

The mainstream HCI market now consists largely of VMware vSAN and Nutanix software-defined storage sold on major vendors’ storage platforms, which creates coopetition because some server vendors also sell HCI software.

Cisco, HPE, and Lenovo all sell Nutanix Cloud Platform and vSAN on their servers. Nutanix is a close partner of HPE, which has its own SimpliVity HCI software. HPE sells Nutanix software through its GreenLake program, and the HPE ProLiant DX Gen11 product line consists of Nutanix Cloud Platform on HPE ProLiant and Alletra server technology.

The Lenovo ThinkAgile HX is Nutanix software on Lenovo ThinkSystem servers. Lenovo does not have its own HCI software but sells HCI products based on VMware vSAN and Microsoft Azure Stack.

Nutanix also directly sells its original platform, the NX family, using Super Micro servers as the underlying hardware.

In its early days, Nutanix had a strong partnership with Dell before Dell acquired EMC with its competing storage and VMware products. Dell’s major HCI systems are VxRail (using vSAN) and PowerFlex (Dell’s HCI software).

The Cisco deal was disclosed 3 days before Nutanix issued an impressive earnings report, increasing revenue 28.2% to $492 million last quarter. Nutanix also completed its first fiscal year non-GAAP operating profit, with net income of $169 million for the fiscal year that ended July 31. Nutanix eclipsed its own forecast with both its quarterly revenue and yearly revenue of $1.863 billion. For the current fiscal year, Nutanix forecast revenue from $2.085 billion to $2.115 billion.

Nutanix also recently launched GPT-in-a-Box to help customers tune large language models (LLMs) for API applications. GPT-in-a-Box consists of the Nutanix Cloud Platform and storage running on servers with NVIDIA GPUs and open source software such as PyTorch and Kubeflow to deploy and run AI workloads.

The Nutanix-Cisco partnership should help both companies. It gives Nutanix a formal sales arrangement with another top server vendor. Cisco now has strong partnerships with the two leading HCI software players, VMware and Nutanix. It allows Cisco to become a greater participant in the HCI and hybrid cloud markets, even if its HyperFlex platform has not challenged the leaders.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other insights from The Futurum Group:

Nutanix .NEXT 2023: Focus on Multi-Cloud Puts the New in Nutanix

Cisco Earnings: AI, Security, and Cloud Fuel Milestone Results

VMware Disaggregates HCI with vSAN Max

Author Information

Dave’s focus within The Futurum Group is concentrated in the rapidly evolving integrated infrastructure and cloud storage markets. Before joining the Evaluator Group, Dave spent 25 years as a technology journalist and covered enterprise storage for more than 15 years. He most recently worked for 13 years at TechTarget as Editorial Director and Executive News Editor for storage, data protection and converged infrastructure. In 2020, Dave won an American Society of Business Professional Editors (ASBPE) national award for column writing.

His previous jobs covering technology include news editor at Byte and Switch, managing editor of EdTech Magazine, and features and new products editor at Windows Magazine. Before turning to technology, he was an editor and sports reporter for United Press International in New York for 12 years. A New Jersey native, Dave currently lives in northern Virginia.

Dave holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Journalism from William Patterson University.


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