Partners: Cisco HyperFlex End-Of-Life Is ‘Big Opportunity’ For Nutanix
Joseph F. Kovar, Gina Narcisi
“Cisco has read the market …Is it more important to sell HyperFlex or to sell Cisco UCS compute with Nutanix’s leading HCI software? HCI has been a good market, but Cisco can get more wins with Nutanix,” one partner tells CRN.
Cisco Systems has issued end-of-life and end-of-sale dates for its Hyperflex hyperconverged portfolio as the company leans on its newly announced partnership with Nutanix aimed at hybrid multicloud computing.
HyperFlex, which combined Cisco UCS compute and networking technology with its own HCI software and storage nodes as an integrated package, has been competing with leading technologies from Nutanix and VMware.
The move to end-of-life HyperFlex makes sense for both Nutanix and Cisco, especially given how the two work together, said John Woodall, vice president of solutions architecture west at General Datatech, a Dallas-based solution provider and long-time Cisco partner.
As a partner, General Datatech has seen more Nutanix than HyperFlex in the market, Woodall told CRN.
“Cisco has read the market,” he said. “Is it more important to sell HyperFlex or to sell Cisco UCS compute with Nutanix’s leading HCI software? HCI has been a good market, but Cisco can get more wins with Nutanix. It’s a balanced approach to achieving a leading market presence with Nutanix.”
“This is big opportunity for Nutanix with the Nutanix multicloud platform being made available on the Cisco global price list with the Cisco reps, the Nutanix reps and our reps all getting compensated on a Cisco Nutanix deal,” said a top sales executive for a SP500 sales chief who did not want to be identified. “It’s a win-win-win for Cisco, Nutanix and the channel.”
The SP500 sales chief said the Cisco Nutanix partnership brings together two of the solution provider’s strongest channel partners into a powerful joint alliance that could drive big sales growth for his company. “They are both good partners for us,” he said. “This is good news for us, Cisco and Nutanix.”
The end-of-life announcement, which was first made May and updated this week, includes end-of-sale and end-of-life dates for Cisco’s various HyperFlex Hardware Components. The last day to order the affected products will be March 12, 2024. The company said that customers with active service contracts will continue to receive support from the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) via the terms of their service contracts.
Cisco and Nutanix in August revealed that the two companies would be collaborating to offer an integrated hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) product line using Cisco’s SaaS-managed compute and networking infrastructure — Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) with Cisco Intersight — and the Nutanix Cloud Platform, which includes Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure, Nutanix Cloud Manager, Nutanix Unified Storage and Nutanix Desktop Services. The solution will be sold by Cisco and its partner community, according to the tech giant.
Cisco expects the joint offering to be available this Fall.
A Cisco spokesperson told CRN that the company made the decision to discontinue its Cisco HyperFlex HCI product family based on evolving customer needs and market dynamics.
“This decision has been timed to best support our customers, partners, and employees. Cisco remains committed to simplifying hybrid multicloud operations and is providing a path for customers with the recently announced partnership with Nutanix to deliver the industry’s most complete, best-in-class HCI solution. Cisco will support existing Cisco HyperFlex customers over the next five years and will offer platform migration support and services with our solution partners in the channel,” the Cisco spokesperson said in an email.
Long View Systems, a Calgary, Alberta-based Cisco and Nutanix partner, has had many customers request a combination of Cisco and Nutanix for their hyperconverged needs, said Lane Irvine, network business solutions director for Long View Systems.
“The announcement is very timely because we are seeing that [combination] be successful where the use cases make sense. Customers want to have a strong hyperconverged platform and Nutanix does a great job of that and having that platform on [Cisco] UCS,” he said.
Cisco is realizing that storage is not its “strength,” said Irvine. “Storage is not where they’re going to win,” he said.
Rather, Cisco is looking to their partners for support, Irvine said. “Since it’s not going to be their real big win, [it’s about]: ‘How do we get a partner that’s going to help us in that environment where hyperconvergence makes sense?’ And then they’re going to continue to look to their converged infrastructure as the key focus area for them going forward,” he said.
Long View Systems wasn’t seeing strong adoption of Cisco Hyperflex among its customers. Instead, the firm is seeing customers move towards converged infrastructure solutions from the likes of NetApp and Pure Storage, Irvine said. “We’re seeing a lot more drive towards those as the underlying storage platform, rather than trying to integrate into a single, standalone platform with hyperconverged,” he said.
Woodall said Cisco has a large portfolio of technology and remains a big player in HCI with Nutanix.
“This gives Cisco the ability to lead with the best of both worlds,” he said. “The market is tough. And Nutanix has done a great job of extending itself with its technology.”
Steven Burke contributed to this report.