New HPE-Nutanix Partnership: 5 Things Partners Need To Know

CRN breaks down the five most important channel aspects of Nutanix and Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s first-ever strategic partner around software and servers.

HPE And Nutanix’s First-Ever Strategic Partnership

In the fast-growing hyper-converged infrastructure market, two industry leaders have formed a blockbuster partnership with major implications for the channel community. Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Nutanix Tuesday unveiled their first-ever global strategic partnership that will integrate Nutanix software on HPE servers.

Nutanix’s Enterprise Cloud OS software will be available through HPE GreenLake, the company’s consumption-based pay-per-use offering, to provide customers with a fully managed hybrid cloud solution. In addition, the two companies are creating integrated appliances that tie Nutanix software to HPE ProLiant and Apollo servers that channel partners can sell.

CRN breaks down the answers to five questions top of mind for HPE and Nutanix channel partners.

What’s The Benefit For Nutanix Partners?

Nutanix partners will now be able to offer Nutanix software on one of the world’s fastest-growing on-premises consumption-based, pay-per-use data center offerings in HPE GreenLake. With variable payments based on metered usage of the workload or resources, rapid scalability capabilities, and enterprise-grade management and support, HPE GreenLake delivers a cloud experience to customers’ data centers or co-location environments.

“GreenLake will be sold by channel partners. However, Nutanix’s sales team will work with HPE to make GreenLake customers successful,” said Greg Smith, vice president of product marketing for Nutanix, in an interview with CRN. “This is ideal for enterprises who want flexibility to consume Nutanix’s software as managed services in their own data center or co-location facility and pay monthly based upon the actual consumption of the capacity used.”

Nutanix partners will also be able to sell HPE ProLiant and Apollo servers fully integrated with Nutanix software as an integrated turnkey appliance. “Nutanix remains committed to provide both channels and customers the ability to deploy Nutanix software on the widest variety of platforms and to match the consumption models with the customers’ business needs. It’s all about choice for partners,” said Smith.

What’s The Benefit For HPE Partners?

A major windfall for HPE partners is they now have the option of selling Nutanix’s AHV hypervisor that the channel can leverage against the competition, such as Dell EMC and VMware. Nutanix’s Enterprise Cloud OS software includes the built-in, free AHV that will be delivered through HPE GreenLake.

Overall, HPE partners can now offer Nutanix’s leading hyper-converged infrastructure software on HPE’s most popular server lines and GreenLake, giving them a new toolset to attack the market.

“If you went into a data center that was heavily centralized on HPE with Nutanix’s original platform based on SuperMicro and others, you would lose sales cycles,” said Worth Davis, executive vice president and chief technology officer at Houston-based Computex Technology Solutions, an HPE and Nutanix partner. “You used to have to try to convince them that it was OK to do Nutanix on a [non-HPE solution], but now that’s gone. This is really great news for us.”

Why Did HPE And Nutanix Form The Partnership?

Nutanix’s Smith said the partnership was created after “both companies recognized the market demand for Nutanix software running on HPE servers.”

HPE is the second-largest server manufacturer in the world, owning 17.8 percent market share, according to IDC, while the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company is also the third-largest hyper-converged infrastructure provider. Nutanix is the second-largest HCI provider with 14.8 percent global market share. HPE and Nutanix are trailing market leader Dell Technologies, which includes Dell EMC and VMware, in HCI and server market share.

When asked if Nutanix’s relationship with Dell EMC will change, Smith said “all other OEM relationships do not change.”

“Channel partners will continue to have the flexibility to offer Nutanix across a variety of not only Nutanix appliances, but OEM-led appliances like Dell EMC, Lenovo and IBM,” Smith said. “This new family of integrated appliances is perfect for those customers who want that great Nutanix software experience that have a preference for HPE servers.”

What Are The CEOs Saying?

HPE President and CEO Antonio Neri and Nutanix founder and CEO Dheeraj Pandey released statements on the new relationship Tuesday.

“HPE created the modern on-premises, as-a-service consumption market with HPE GreenLake. Hundreds of global customers now leverage HPE GreenLake to get the benefits of a cloud experience combined with the security, governance and application performance of an on-premises environment, while paying for the service based on actual consumption,” said Neri. “Today, HPE is expanding its leadership in this market by providing an additional choice to customers seeking a hybrid cloud alternative that promises greater agility at lower costs.”

“Our customers tell us that it’s their applications that matter most. Our partnership with HPE will provide Nutanix customers with another choice to make their infrastructure invisible so they can focus on business-critical apps, not the underlying technology,” said Pandey. “We are delighted to partner with HPE for the benefit of enterprises looking for the right hybrid cloud solution for their business.”

When Can Partners Start Selling It?

Nutanix and HPE unveiled the partnership Tuesday. However, Nutanix’s software on HPE GreenLake and the integrated appliances utilizing Nutanix software on HPE servers will not become available for partners to sell until sometime in the third quarter of calendar 2019.

“We’re not announcing specific models right now, but they will be available starting in June. The two companies intend to bring to market a full family of HCI appliances to support all use cases,” said Nutanix’s Smith. “Nutanix will leverage HPE ProLiant and Apollo servers for large-scale data center applications as well as models built for even smaller remote/branch offices.”