Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Blockbuster: Dell To OEM Nutanix Software

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"This adds an end-to-end solution to Dell's portfolio that allows Dell to compete against companies out there that are really disrupting the industry," Pace told CRN.

Nutanix has a very intelligent approach to the hyper-converged infrastructure business, said Paul Clifford, president of Davenport Group, a St. Paul, Minn.-based solution provider and longtime Dell partner.

Customers' data stores continue to grow, which means they need new ways to manage their storage that can help them control costs, Clifford told CRN.

"Nutanix is very good at this," he said. "Dell is very good at this. It makes sense for them to work together. A single approach to storage for customers with broad needs is not going to work."

Dell this month will start reselling the Nutanix appliances with the Nutanix brand, but by the fourth quarter of 2014 will offer its own branded version using the Nutanix software stack and Dell commodity servers, Vigil said.

The Dell version and the Nutanix version of the hyper-converged infrastructure solution will have the same feature set, because they run the same software, with the primary differences being that the Dell versions will come with the Dell brand name, Dell support and Dell PowerEdge servers as the hardware base, he said.

That could lead to channel conflict, some channel partners said.

While Dell will likely to work to minimize channel conflicts, they will still happen, said Aaron Cardenas, CEO and founder of P1 Technologies, a Hermosa Beach, Calif.-based solution provider and channel partner of both Dell and Nutanix.

"This is good for Nutanix, but in no way good for Nutanix's partners," Cardenas told CRN.

Dell customers typically prefer to, and in some cases have to, go to Dell for their technology, Cardenas said.

"This can hamper us in finding the best prices for customers," he said. "With new vendors in the market, customers take a risk, and to offset that, they accept really good deals. Having Dell getting their pound of flesh doesn't help us get the best deals. Dell will ask us to sell the Dell version to our Nutanix partners."

Cardenas said that having the Dell name on the solution will help grow the hyper-converged infrastructure business.

NEXT: Potential Channel Conflicts Between Dell, Nutanix

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