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Cisco Discontinues HyperFlex to Focus on Nutanix-Based HCI

Cisco Discontinues HyperFlex to Focus on Nutanix-Based HCI

The News: Cisco announced the end-of-life dates for its HyperFlex hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) product less than 3 weeks after entering a partnership with HCI rival Nutanix. The HyperFlex end-of-life announcement is posted on the Cisco website.

Cisco Discontinues HyperFlex to Focus on Nutanix-Based HCI

Analyst Take: An immediate question following the August 28 launch of the Cisco-Nutanix partnership was, “What happens to HyperFlex?” Cisco’s response was “there is no change to the HyperFlex roadmap, and it remains globally available.” We now know the HyperFlex roadmap called for dumping the product and offering customers an option to migrate to the Cisco Compute Hyperconverged with Nutanix system. The new Cisco Hyperconverged product packages Nutanix HCI software with Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) servers and Intersight management software.

The HyperFlex end-of-life milestones are:

  • September 11, 2024: Cisco discontinues HyperFlex sales.
  • September 11, 2025: This date is the last day for HyperFlex software maintenance releases or bug fixes. After this date, Cisco at its own discretion, may release critical security vulnerability fixes.
  • February 28, 2029: This date is the last day for renewing HyperFlex subscriptions and receiving support. After this date, all HyperFlex subscription and support services are unavailable, and the product becomes obsolete.

Cisco published a Nutanix Migration Guide for HyperFlex customers who want to move to Cisco Compute Hyperconverged with Nutanix on qualified HyperFlex M6 hardware. Those customers must purchase a Nutanix software license. Customers can also repurpose HyperFlex systems as standard UCS servers. Cisco offers migration services for customers to migrate to Cisco Hyperconverged with Nutanix.

Previously, Nutanix software was available on Cisco UCS rackmount M5 generation servers through a self-certification process completed by Nutanix. Now, Nutanix software is available on current M6 generation Cisco UCS rackmount servers with full lifecycle support from Cisco sales to Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC). Nutanix will be available in additional configurations and future generations of Cisco servers as well.

Nutanix Cloud Platform and Cisco HyperFlex software support most of the same storage features, although Nutanix includes erasure coding and storage-only nodes that HyperFlex lacks.

The HyperFlex end-of-life makes the partnership better for Nutanix than it originally appeared. Cisco sales teams will be fully focused on selling Cisco Compute Hyperconverged with Nutanix now that it is the company’s preferred HCI product.

The Cisco-Nutanix partnership also raised speculation that it is a try-before-you-buy arrangement that could end in Cisco acquiring Nutanix. Interestingly, Cisco reportedly tried to buy Nutanix for a then-impressive $1 billion price tag before Nutanix went public in 2016. As a public company that generated $492 million in revenue last quarter, Nutanix would be considerably more expensive now. Bloomberg reported in December 2022 that Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) sought to acquire Nutanix, which had a $6.5 billion valuation at the time.

Cisco eventually acquired startup Springpath for its HCI software and launched HyperFlex in 2016, 5 years after Nutanix shipped its first HCI system. HyperFlex never gained great traction in a market dominated by VMware vSAN and Nutanix HCI software that run on servers from Dell, HPE, and Lenovo. Cisco also sells vSAN Ready Nodes, and Nutanix sells its own integrated HCI systems on rebranded Supermicro servers.

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:

Cisco and Nutanix Converge on Hyperconvergence

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

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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