What's Next For Nutanix, Darling Of The Red-Hot Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Market?

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Ever since Nutanix launched its first products in 2011, the San Jose, Calif.-based startup has claimed its hyper-converged infrastructure technology -- some of which was developed by former Google and Facebook engineers -- would reshape the balance of power in the data center.

Now, many Nutanix partners are wondering: Is this the year the startup has its long-awaited IPO? Or will one of the enterprise vendors Nutanix is disrupting step up with an offer the startup can't refuse?

Most of the half-dozen Nutanix partners CRN spoke with this week believe an IPO is the more likely scenario. All agreed that with five rounds and $312 million in venture capital funding under its belt, and a $2 billion valuation, Nutanix's asking price would likely be more than what any of the logical acquirers would be willing to pay.

[Related: Dell Expands Nutanix-Based Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Line]

In the meantime, Nutanix is focused on continuing the momentum it's gained in the enterprise, Steve Kaplan, vice president of channel and strategic sales at Nutanix, told CRN Tuesday.

Nutanix exited January on a $300 million annual bookings run rate and is seeing a growing number of Fortune 500 customers, according to Kaplan. VCE, the joint venture between VMware, Cisco Systems and EMC -- which is now majority-owned by EMC -- continues to be one of Nutanix's biggest competitive targets.

"We're seeing more and more diehard VCE customers starting to transition to Nutanix," Kaplan said.

NEXT: Why Are VARs Making The Switch?

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