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Nutanix CEO Rajiv Ramaswami Talks Broadcom, VMware, And His Vision To Help Partners Drive Business

O’Ryan Johnson

“There are 200,000-plus customers that VMware has and many of them are going to be looking at what’s happening. There’s a dislocation in the marketplace. And there’s a potential opportunity here for Nutanix partners to gain more of that footprint,” Nutanix CEO Rajiv Ramaswami told CRN.

If Nutanix CEO Rajiv Ramaswami is weary of fielding questions about possible bidders in a takeover of the HCI developer, he isn’t showing it.

“It’s not appropriate for me to comment, but we are flattered by all the attention we’re getting,” he said smiling during an interview with CRN.

Ramaswami has a unique perch. He was a trusted VMware leader. Then, a year prior to the company being spun out from Dell, Ramaswami spun himself out to lead Nutanix, VMware’s chief HCI competitor.

VMware immediately sued Ramaswami, but months later dropped it and settled for an undisclosed amount. By October of this year, VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram called Ramaswami a “friend” while onstage at The Channel Company’s BoB Conference and praised Nutanix HCI products.

Ramaswami talked with CRN after stellar quarterly earnings in which Nutanix grew revenue 15percent and achieved positive non-GAAP income for the first time in the company’s history. In VMware’s most recent quarter the company recorded 1 percent growth in line with expectations. Ramaswami said he does not expect the uncertainty from Broadcom’s acquisition to win deals for Nutanix any time soon, but he is telling partners to keep an eye out for oppertunities.

“There are 200,000-plus customers that VMware has and many of them are going to be looking at what’s happening. There’s a dislocation in the marketplace. And there’s a potential opportunity here for Nutanix partners to gain more of that footprint,” he said.

Despite the good revenue numbers, the question came back to rumors of takeover, which by Friday of last week included the name of a possible buyer: Hewlett Packard Enterprise. One Nutanix partner hoped that particular combination would not come to pass, but if there is a deal in the making, Ramaswami isn’t saying.

“In some ways, you know, it’s a testimony to the fact that we’re doing something good in the marketplace,” he said.

Ramaswami talked about the future of the Nutanix channel, addressed the takeover rumors, talked about what partners can expect in 2023, and where Nutanix is already seeing success against VMware.

 
O’Ryan Johnson

O’Ryan Johnson is a veteran news reporter. He covers the data center beat for CRN and hopes to hear from channel partners about how he can improve his coverage and write the stories they want to read. He can be reached at ojohnson@thechannelcompany.com..

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