Nutanix will launch its software-defined storage solutions on Dell branded servers after signing global original equipment manufacturer agreement with the hardware giant.
Its software will now power a new series of converged infrastructure appliances built on Dell PowerEdge servers and will be called the Dell XC Series of Web-scale Converged Appliances.
Nutanix senior vice president, marketing and product management, Howard Ting, told ARN the partnership was a “big moment” for Nutanix, Dell and the industry.
“This is a big moment in their turnaround story, from going private, now they are doing a very aggressive partnership in a rapid emerging space around software defined storage, hyper converged products,” he said.
“It’s a big moment for them and it’s a big moment for Nutanix.”
He said Nutanix had grown very rapidly in the past few years, but that there were limits to how quickly a company could grow when it reached a certain scale.
“We’re doing a couple hundred million annually of sales and to continue to grow at the rapid pace that we have grown would become more challenging as the numbers got bigger, and we feel like this is a great opportunity to more aggressively go capture some of the total addressable market, which we think is $10 billion,” he said.
“The long term addressable market is $50 billion and growing and that’s all the servers and storage spend around virtualised workloads so it’s a monster TAM.
“We could continue to go and get that on our own, but this really accelerates our growth and solidifies our position in the enterprise datacentre.
The partnership allow integration of enterprise-class storage capabilities with high-performance server resources in an easy to deploy, scale-out appliance.
Joint customers will be able to run nearly any virtual machine on a cluster of XC appliances.
Storage and server capacity can be expanded by adding additional nodes, one at a time, with zero downtime.
Web-scale architectures were pioneered in large cloud and web companies, like Facebook, Google and Amazon. All data management and storage features will be delivered by Nutanix’s distributed software that will runs on each Dell XC series appliance.
Ting said the reason for the partnership was to gain global reach and footprint and, the “marketing megaphone” that Dell would bring to the partnership.
“It’s an amplication of our go-to-market capabilities and it’s bringing us into the new countries and accounts that we would otherwise have a much more difficult time accessing, so it’s really helping us accelerate our growth.”
Ting said the catalyst was the explosive demand for his companies products.
“We really feel like there’s a great opportunity here to really redefine the datacentre here and do it in a really aggressive way,” he said.
“Dell was a great partner for us in terms of technology and vision alignment and culturally they behave a lot more like a startup than the big company that they are.
"We felt like Dell was the right partner for us to bring Nutanix technology to the masses.
"The technology will be comparable to what is offered through the company’s existing channel.
“We will put Nutnaix software on Dell powered servers X86 servers and the appliances we bring to the market will be fairly comparable to what we already have in the market today. What it does for the some customers it makes the technology accessible.”
Ting said protection of existing channel partners was literally a deal breaker when signing off on the new agreement.
The agreement included a deal registrations system aimed at preventing conflicts between Australian resellers and Dell.
"So, if an Australian reseller has registered an opportunity we will not grant registered pricing to Dell,” he said.
“If they so choose to pursue that account they are going to have to take a loss on that opportunity and Dell, as a company that works on critical margin targets, they are no going to want to do a lot that so this will prevent Dell form coming in and stealing the business.”
He said in the deal did not change the company’s view on go to market and that it was 100 per cent dedicated to the channel.
“We want to continue to go to the market and be very dedicated to the channel and that deal registration - those were walk away terms for us,” he said.
“If Dell did not agree to those terms we would not have struck this deal. Without that deal registration our existing channel gets exposed.”
When asked if the agreement would have any impact on the company's current distribution deal with Whitegold Solutions he said: "I don’t think so, I know our regional sales teams are preparing our existing channel for this announcement,” he said.
“My assumption is they see this as win because it really grows and greatly enhances the profile of Nutanix technology and there’s a great opportunity for us to capitalise on that.
“If we were selling into a $1 billion total addressable market, then maybe you could think there’s not enough to go around.
“But given it’s a 50 billion TAM, there’s plenty of market opportunity to go around for everyone.
He said the strategy would have to be looked when revenue hit levels around $5 billion.
“But today when we’re doing a couple of hundred million,” he said.
“We are really just scratching the surface and I think there’s so much opportunity for everyone. As long as our existing channel partners continue to make the investments in certification and training I think their businesses will continue to grow and I think this will amplify their growth.”