VMware COO Slams 'Copycatting' Nutanix Following Frame Acquisition

The gloves were off on Friday as one of VMware's top executives knocked Nutanix's acquisition of desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) specialist Frame, saying the move proves that Nutanix is "copycatting" VMware, late to enter the DaaS market and that the purchase will ruin its Citrix alliance.

VMWare Chief Operting Officer Sanjay Poonen posted the comments on Twitter and was responding to Nutanix's tweet saying that it was excited to add Frame and its team to the hyper-converged infrastructure pioneer.

Interesting news, my POV: 1) "copycatting" continues - first SDDC, next Hybrid Cloud, now EUC. We're flattered! 2) Late to enter "DaaS". pioneered it in 2013. Its now bigger Digital Workspace (Mobile + Identity & more) 3) Goodbye + alliance

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[Related: Nutanix Acquires Frame To Boost Desktop, VDI And Multi-Cloud Offerings]

When asked for a response, Nutanix said, "We’re on the same page as our partner, Citrix: https://twitter.com/citrix/status/1025400637725519872." – referencing Citrix's dismissive tweet, which says, "He's at it again; bless his heart."

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He’s at it again; bless his heart.

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The social media spat began after Nutanix announced its intent to buy cloud-based desktop and application delivery vendor Frame to enhance its multi-cloud solutions and deliver DaaS to customers. Nutanix will leverage Frame to make DaaS available within its Nutanix Xi Cloud Services, which will support one-click desktop instances on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Nutanix will also extend Frame's technology to Google Cloud Platform.

Founded in 2012, Frame formed a partnership with VMware last year in which Frame powers VMware's App Express service as part of Workspace ONE.

One solution provider who partners with VMware, Citrix and Nutanix said Poonen's tweet "validates" Nutanix's approach with Frame.

"So you got this industry gorilla taking pot shots at you. Nutanix should be like, 'Hey, they see me!' It validates their approach," said the top executive, who did not wish to be identified. "I would also challenge Poonen's software-defined data center notion. Nutanix is absolutely leading the way in a lot regards around that space. There's no doubt about it."

The executive is currently working on multiple opportunities with customers around Citrix and Nutanix joint solutions. The two vendors have several technology partnerships including a joint Nutanix and Citrix solution leveraging Acropolis and a complete Citrix user workspace.

"What we've seen is that those two companies are aligned pretty tightly," said the executive. "They seem to be really lock-step. Nutanix is definitely leading with the Citrix product and I think that's going to continue to be the play for on-premise VDI solutions with Nutanix. … There continues to be room for a traditional, on-premise VDI environment. I don’t think this acquisition really impedes on that at all."

Frame, named one of Gartner's 2016 Cool Vendors in Endpoint Computing, was built from the ground up to support multi-cloud delivery models, allowing IT teams to deliver virtual desktops from public clouds and their own enterprise data center – with common tooling and management constructs.

"We are committed to providing our customers with a robust multi-cloud DaaS offering through Frame while working with our partners to enable best-in-class enterprise VDI," said Sunil Potti, chief product and development officer at Nutanix, in a statement. "Frame's cloud-native technology represents everything we believe to be true in the market -- customers want easy-to-use, high-performance and cost-optimized solutions that just work across the entirety of their infrastructure."

Nutanix also made headlines this week with the departure of President Sudheesh Nair after seven years of driving sales and helping build the hyper-converged market. Nair will become the CEO of rising big data star ThoughtSpot.