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Sanjay Poonen on 'Copycat' Nutanix And VMware's Independent Status With Dell EMC

VMware COO Sanjay Poonen talks to CRN about VMware versus Nutanix, his competitive drive, and VMware's strategy to stay independent from Dell EMC.

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Poonen On The Record

Sanjay Poonen is a renowned business competitor willing to stand up for VMware and its channel partners against any technology foes. VMware's chief operating officer said he has "tremendous respect" for his friend and hyper-converged competitor Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey, but isn't afraid to duke it out for market-share supremacy.

"When Nutanix has gone down stack to try to build their own hypervisor, across stack to build their own networking, and now going up stack to compete against [VMware] Horizon—we view it as sort of a copycat, wannabe VMware move," said Poonen in an interview with CRN.

Poonen, who is responsible for worldwide sales, services, support, alliances, marketing and communications at VMware, said the virtualization leader also plans to keep its "independent status" from Dell EMC. "We have to go in with a neutral sort of Switzerland-type of message, which is optimized for Dell EMC in Dell EMC accounts, but not tethered to them in non-Dell EMC accounts," he said.

The five-year VMware veteran talks to CRN about the company's differentiation from Nutanix, the channel "game-changer" of getting Amazon's RDS on VMware and VMware's strategy to remain independent.

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