Hewlett Packard Enterprise's $1.09 billion acquisition of Nimble Storage is set to alter the balance of power in the all-flash data center market.
Partners said the blockbuster deal is sure to have repercussions on Nimble's partnerships with HPE competitors such as Cisco Systems.
"It's a total land grab," said Michael Knight, president and CTO of Encore Technology Group, a Greenville, S.C.-based solution provider, No. 376 on the 2016 CRN Solution Provider 500. "Nimble partners with Cisco and a lot of other providers with ecosystem integrations. In the storage space, this is just as big as Aruba being acquired by HPE. All the OEMs that work with Nimble are taking four steps backward right now thinking what the hell just happened?"
The acquisition is HPE's fourth acquisition in the past month as it moves quickly to grab the most disruptive technologies aimed at providing HPE technology leadership in the hybrid cloud market.
The deal comes even as HPE's recently completed $650 million acquisition of hyper-converged provider SimpliVity forces competitors like Cisco, Lenovo and Huawei – who had teamed with SimpliVity -- to alter their hyper-converged path. The Nimble acquisition is going to have the same kind of market reverberations, said partners.
"This is definitely going to shake up the all-flash market," said Knight. "Cisco just got hit with the SimpliVity acquisition and now Nimble, and they are not obviously on great terms with Dell EMC so they are going to have to make some choices. There are a lot of players that had tight integrations with Nimble."
Knight said he sees HPE as a major disruptive force in the infrastructure market. He said HPE was attracted to Nimble's breakthrough Nimble Cloud Volumes offering – a new storage-focused cloud service aimed at making it easy for customers to switch between multiple clouds. "That's a high-value storage play with connectivity to the cloud," he said. "HPE is going after the market. HPE is going after every innovative pure-play provider and bringing them into the fold."
Michael Goldstein, CEO of LAN Infotech, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla. ,solution provider, said he sees the Nimble acquisition as another HPE infrastructure game-changer.
"Nimble has a great product -- this is going to really help drive sales growth for HPE in the all-flash data center market," said Goldstein. "This tightens HPE's hold as a one -top data center shop. This is going to help our HPE business. It brings something new to the table. It provides HPE with new hot technology to drive growth."
Mont Phelps, founder of NWN, Waltham, Mass, No.68 on the 2016 CRN SP 500, said he sees the acquisition as another jewel in the technology crown of a more nimble HPE.
"Nimble is a strong innovative player in that all-flash market," he said. "This is about HPE taking an emerging technology and providing it with a significant market position and then scaling it."