Nutanix Brings Its Hyper-converged Infrastructure Software To Cisco UCS Platform (Without Cisco)

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Cisco UCS C240 server

Nutanix Thursday unveiled its hyper-converged infrastructure software stack for Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) C-series servers. Cisco,however, had no hand in bringing the offering to life.

The software is available on Cisco's C-series UCS servers, including the C220 and C240, said Howard Ting, chief marketing officer at Nutanix, San Jose, Calif. Those servers roughly map to Nutanix's own NX3000, NX6000, and NX8000 appliances, he said. Integration with Cisco's B-series blade servers, as well as servers from other vendors including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, will be available in the future, he said.

The offering is not being sold by or in partnership with Cisco, Ting said. 

In fact, CRN reported Wednesday that Cisco privately disavowed the Nutanix UCS offering to channel partners, saying it would offer no advertising or joint technical support for it.

"This is a meet-in-the-field relationship," Ting told CRN. "There's no joint marketing. Cisco is not selling or reselling our solution. We're announcing a new route to market for Nutanix, meeting in the field on Cisco UCS."

[Related: 23 Powerful Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Products]

Indeed, Nutanix does not expect Cisco to want to support the Nutanix solution, Ting said.

"We don't expect endorsement from Cisco," he said. "In fact, we expect the opposite because they have their own solution and want to help it mature. But we understand customers want to get the best solution, and we feel Nutanix is the best solution."

The Cisco solution Ting referred to is Cisco HyperFlex, which Cisco introduced in March. HyperFlex combines Cisco UCS server and networking technology with software-defined storage technology from Sunnyvale, Calif.-based SpringPath. Nutanix arch-rival SimpliVity also has a go-to-market relationship with Cisco.

Ting said he expects Cisco UCS partners to choose Nutanix over HyperFlex, which he called a relatively immature product.

"We don't think HyperFlex has the capabilities or robustness of Nutanix," he said. "If I had to name one glaring problem, it would be that HyperFlex is limited to eight nodes. Nutanix has no hard limit. We have customers with up to 1,600 nodes. We have a multi-year lead on the technology."

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