Dell is giving the nascent hyper-converged infrastructure business a big booster shot of maturity with the unveiling of a reseller and OEM agreement with Nutanix, one of the technology's top up-and-comers.
However, it also could open the possibility of channel conflicts between the two vendors and their partners despite efforts to manage the deal-registration process.
Dell Tuesday said it will OEM the hyper-converged infrastructure software stack from Nutanix and integrate it on Dell servers for sale through its large channel partner base, making Dell potentially one of the top providers in the market.
The Nutanix relationship expands on Dell's software-defined storage strategy that also in part depends on a relationship with a technology partner, in this case Nexenta, said Travis Vigil, executive director of product management for Dell Storage.
Dell's upcoming hyper-converged infrastructure appliances, the XC Series Webscale Converged Appliances, will bring advanced software-defined storage capabilities to customers, Vigil told CRN.
"We'll be offering to the market a converged appliance with compute and storage in scalable bricks," he said.
This is an awesome partnership, said Michael Tanenhaus, principal at Mavenspire, an Annapolis, Md.-based solution provider and longtime Dell partner.
"We've watched the Nutanix offering for some time," Tanenhaus told CRN. "We're an exclusive Dell partner, and as such it was hard to offer a competing solution. This is the best of both worlds. Nutanix software on Dell hardware. Everyone will make a lot of money."
Having a Nutanix offering is important because Nutanix seems to have become a go-to market partner for companies in the VMware world, Tanenhaus said. "A lot of our customer base already has some Nutanix in their organization," he said.
The Dell-Nutanix solution is especially interesting because Nutanix has developed a software-defined solution that Dell, a much larger company, will now bring to market, Tanenhaus said.
"It's the software that makes the magic, not the hardware," he said. "A lot of customers are wondering how software-defined works. Dell is willing to partner with Nutanix to provision and manage workloads with a software-defined architecture behind it, mixed with Dell's logistics and hardware capabilities."
This is a big opportunity for Dell partners, said Chris Pace, founder and CEO of Centre Technologies, a Houston-based Dell solution provider.
NEXT: Dell Channel Partners: Nutanix A Huge Opportunity For Dell