HPE and Nutanix end 'strange competition' with hybrid cloud partnership

Marian McHugh
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HPE and Nutanix end 'strange competition' with hybrid cloud partnership

'As a partner of both it was a balancing act not to be seen doing too much of Nutanix and vice versa', says Dutch partner PQR as two vendors ink global agreement

HPE and Nutanix's new collaboration to offer enterprise customers a new hybrid cloud offering has been met with positive partner reaction.

The offering sees HPE offer Nutanix-as-a-service to customers via its GreenLake platform.

GreenLake allows partners to sell on-premise infrastructure through a consumption model, meaning customers can increase and reduce their requirements as necessary.

The deal also sees Nutanix offer its software pre-installed on HPE servers.

Marco Lesmeister, commercial director at Dutch MSP PQR, told Channel Partner Insight that the news is "extremely interesting".

"Up until now, there was a strange competition between the two," he explained.

"We have been asking them to get together and make sure Nutanix software runs on HPE hardware because that would be the ideal situation.

"HPE had their own hyperconverged strategy and products, and then Nutanix came along and started competing because they used all types of hardware - except for HPE - to run on.

"As a partner of both, it was a balancing act not to be seen doing too much Nutanix business in the eyes of HPE, and vice versa."

"We have been asking for them to get together and make sure NX software runs on HPE hardware because that would be the ideal situation.

Greg Smith, VP of product marketing at Nutanix told Channel Partner Insight that the vendors' agreement is aimed at giving their customers as much choice as possible.

"This is targeted at enterprises that want the flexibility to consume Nutanix software as a managed service in their own datacentre and pay monthly based on consumption, fully supported by HPE's channel," he explained.

"The Nutanix appliances are ideal for enterprises that want to build their datacentre with our software and deliver their apps with our cloud but have a preference to run it on HPE hardware. We can now deliver that as a turnkey solution."

The joint offering will be deployed in the customer's own datacentre or co-location facility, and Smith was eager to emphasise the opportunities it presents to both sets of partner bases.  

"What's important to the channel is that for the first time they can bring the best-in-class hyperconverged solutions on HPE hardware and have it backed and supported by both companies," he stated.

"We're also proud that we've engineered our software to be flexible so not only can it run on this enormous array of hardware platforms but it's licensed in such a way that the software itself is portable, so you can take licences that are initially run on one platform and move it to a different appliance for different use cases and needs."

"Partners can go to a prospective Nutanix customer and once that customer decides they want a hyperconverged solution to modernise their infrastructure and they choose our software, then the next decision is to select the best platform.

"For a Nutanix partner, it just makes it a lot easier to sell Nutanix software because it removes friction and if that partner is also a HPE partner then they can represent both the software and hardware components of that new appliance and profit from that opportunity.

PQR's Lesmeister has already had a taste of how effective this vendor combination is with partners, having already implemented projects where Nutanix software was running on HPE hardware.

"Because of the fact that they were competing with each other no one ever dared to speak out and say it worked," he said.

"We have been implementing it with customers under the radar for a couple of months already, so we are glad that it is now officially working and will probably improve the performance and functionality of the products."

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