5 Things To Know About The Nutanix-Red Hat Container Deal

In a shot against VMware, the new strategic partnership will include promoting Red Hat OpenShift as the ‘preferred’ option for running Kubernetes on the Nutanix Cloud Platform.

Nutanix, Red Hat Get Cozier

As the hybrid cloud market continues to heat up, Nutanix and IBM-owned Red Hat are announcing a major move that will involve treating each other as “preferred” solutions—a clear shot against rival VMware. Nutanix and VMware compete heavily in the markets for hyperconverged software, hybrid cloud solutions and hypervisors, and executives from the two companies have frequently traded criticisms of each other’s platforms. Meanwhile, executives such as former IBM President James Whitehurst have also slammed VMware in the past—such as a comment in October that VMware’s approach to containers “impedes your ability to really move to the new world.”

Now, Nutanix and Red Hat are teaming up to serve customers with a “powerful solution” meant to enable “building, scaling and managing cloud-native applications on-premises and in hybrid clouds,” the companies said in a news release Thursday. At the heart of the new strategic partnership is an effort by the two vendors to work together more closely in the area of container technology, including Kubernetes container orchestration and the deployment of containerized workloads on hyperconverged infrastructure.

VMware declined to comment on Thursday.

What follows are five key things to know about the Nutanix-Red Hat container deal.

Combining ‘Industry-Leading’ Technologies

Nutanix and Red Hat characterized the new strategic partnership as a way to bring together “industry-leading” technologies from both vendors—ultimately “enabling installation, interoperability and management of Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Nutanix Cloud Platform, including Nutanix AOS and AHV,” the companies said in the news release.

The deal combines Red Hat’s “industry-leading cloud native solutions” with the “simplicity, flexibility and resilience of the Nutanix Cloud Platform,” said Rajiv Ramaswami, president and CEO of Nutanix, in the release.

Put together, the solutions create a full-stack platform for building, scaling and managing applications—both containerized and virtualized cloud-native applications—in hybrid and multi-cloud environments, Ramaswami said.

Paul Cormier, president and CEO of Red Hat, said the strategic partnership with Nutanix “brings a leading hyperconverged offering to the open hybrid cloud.” The move will drive “greater choice for our joint customers in how they deploy their containerized workloads,” which will be backed by a “joint support experience,” Cormier said in the news release.

OpenShift Given Preference By Nutanix

A major focus of the Nutanix-Red Hat strategic partnership is a move by the two vendors to give greater preference to each other’s solutions when it comes to enabling the development and management of cloud-native applications for customers.

In connection with the partnership, Red Hat OpenShift will now be treated as the “preferred choice for enterprise full stack Kubernetes” on the Nutanix Cloud Platform.

Customers seeking to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift on hyperconverged infrastructure “will be able to use an industry-leading cloud platform from Nutanix,” including both Nutanix AOS and AHV, the companies said in the news release.

Other key partnerships for Nutanix include Hewlett Packard Enterprise, with Nutanix solutions tying in to HPE offerings such as the GreenLake cloud services offering.

IBM-Red Hat partners recently told CRN that they see a robust OpenShift sales pipeline, continued hybrid cloud momentum and bright prospects for future growth under Cormier as Red Hat CEO. Herndon, Va.-based Vizuri has been seeing double-digit growth in its Red Hat OpenShift business as a result of the programs put in place by Cormier, said Joe Dickman, senior vice president of Vizuri.

“There are more customers in the queue than qualified resources to deal with them because there are more people now interested in Red Hat OpenShift,” Dickman said.

Nutanix ‘A Preferred’ HCI Solution For Red Hat

While Nutanix plans to give greater preference to Red Hat OpenShift as part of the strategic partnership, the collaboration will see Red Hat returning the favor by giving preference to the Nutanix Cloud Platform as a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solution for flagship Red Hat offerings.

Under the partnership, Nutanix Cloud Platform will be treated as “a preferred choice for HCI” for both Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift, the companies said in the news release.

“This will enable customers to deploy virtualized and containerized workloads on a hyperconverged infrastructure, building on the combined benefits of Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud technologies and Nutanix’s hyperconverged offerings,” the companies said in the release.

Nutanix AHV Gets Red Hat Certification

In another element of the new strategic partnership, the Nutanix AHV hypervisor is now a “Red Hat certified” hypervisor, the companies announced. This will enable “full support” for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift on the Nutanix Cloud Platform, according to the announcement.

The certification provides customers with “a simplified full stack solution for their containerized and virtualized cloud-native applications,” the companies said in their news release. “This certification delivers Red Hat customers additional choice in hypervisor deployments, especially as many organizations explore innovative, modern virtualization technologies.”

Joint Engineering And Support

Nutanix and Red Hat also pledged to follow a joint engineering roadmap—to provide “robust interoperability,” the companies said—while enabling improved support for joint customers, as well.

In terms of joint engineering, Red Hat and Nutanix “will focus on delivering continuous testing of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift with Nutanix AHV,” the companies said, adding that they “will also collaborate to deliver more timely support by aligning product roadmaps.”

And speaking of support, Nutanix and Red Hat said they plan to offer a “more seamless support experience” that will provide quicker resolution of issues for joint customers.

“Customers will be able to contact either company with support issues,” the companies said in their news release. “The two companies are collaborating to deliver a best-in-class support experience for the interoperability of the certified products.”