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back to article Enterprise giant Dell climbs in bed with upstart Nutanix: But what does it MEAN?

So mega-corp Dell and converged storage software startup Nutanix are now buddies. If you spend any time reading the internet's virtualisation bloggers, you can expect everything from a hearty "attaboy, Nutanix" to the casting of vehement aspersions and prognostications of various flavours of doom. It's an important moment for …

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Anonymous Coward

Good for Nutanix, Bad for Dell

What this means is that Dell is incapable of building a hyper-converged system on its own, even though it owns the hardware stack to make this possible. The shame of it is that when Dell went private, this is exactly the type of solution they should have been able to bring to market on their own without the scrutiny of a publicly traded company. Translation: The new Dell is as incompetent with their strategy as the old Dell. Too bad for Michael Dell who really had a chance here to change the way Dell brought solutions to market.

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Re: Good for Nutanix, Bad for Dell

" even though it owns the hardware stack to make this possible."

Please show me where their stack includes the sw, (man years of), to deliver hyper-converged systems?

I suppose HP will knock one out soon too?

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Bronze badge

Re: Good for Nutanix, Bad for Dell

In speaking with the HP storage and cloud folks at Discover they firmly believe that the Storevirtual platform is hyper converged. It may not be as pretty perhaps as these startups, but they have sold a lot of these systems(likely more than Nutanix and Simplivity combined a few times over). Their vision includes seamless replication and peer motion between that and 3PAR as well, though that doesn't exist yet today.

I'd say whether or not it is hyper converged is somewhat debatable (same goes for VSAN), but at the most basic level it seems to be (storage+servers running on the same hypervisor w/o dedicated external storage).

Don't know what Dell has these days I haven't been following them closely, but it seems like they continue to struggle to execute on the storage front, unfortunately they do seem to have some decent tech via acquisitions(outside of equallogic).

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Gold badge

Re: Good for Nutanix, Bad for Dell

As usual, Nate Amsden's vision is clear on this. HP have Storevirtual. That's why the rumors about buying SimpliVity never made sense. Dell has nothing like it. Server SANs are going to be an important part of the future storage mix. Dell needs to be able to play there, but they want to do it without a lot of risk.

I see this is absolutely fantastic for Dell, with a huge amount of pros and virtually no cons. I can't see why you believe otherwise. The next generation of these units, as shipped by Dell will be build all on Dell hardware. But short of buying Maxta, where would they get the software?

If they did buy Maxta, they'd have to convince the world to care about Maxta, when there's Nutanix, SimpliVity and ScaleIO as established names and VMware's VSAN as the up-and-coming software-only solution to watch.

With Nutanix, Dell gets a pre-canned winner, with a proven track record and a massive established customer base. Nutanix has cleared the minefield. They have name-brand recognition all on their own. All Dell has to do is get it validated on their hardware configs, train their sales staff and sell the thing.

*poof* Dell has an answer to the converged space that is the equal of anything anyone else has, overnight...and you can be damned they're getting decent margins.

This Silicon Valley obsession with being the only player, owning the complete vertical stack and edging out all competitors is both tedious and pointless. The goal is to make as much money as possible with as little risk as possible. This is an absolutely excellent way to do exactly that for Dell.

Do you believe dell a "failure" because they don't write their own desktop operating system to go in all their nodes? What about their own hypervisor, or their own server OS? Why are they using x86 chips sourced from Intel when they could get an ARM license and build their own fabs. Wouldn't that guarantee them ever copper squeezed out of every sale?

The pittance of margin they give up to Nutanix to license their software is barely worth mentioning. It's a cost of doing business...a business Dell couldn't even be in if they didn't get Nutanix's IP, or buy Maxta.

Addendum: We need to draw a line between "converged" and "hyper-converged". To by "hyper-converged" you need not only storage and compute together, you need backup, WAN acceleration and so much more. VSAN on it's own isn't hyper-converged, neither are Nutanix, ScaleIO or Maxta. Only SimpliVity is shipping out of the box, ready to go with all of that today.

VMware's stack as a whole, when married to some other software EMC has and put on Supermicro servers to make MARVIN will be. Nutanix + Dell's various software offerings also will be. Neither solution is "there" yet. Even ScaleIO doesn't ship as a "hyper-converged" offering just yet, though I expect it to in short order. As for Maxta...give me a couple of months...

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sounds to me like Nutanix will look to remove its cost of building hardware and leverage the Dell engine to crank out hardware and take on the R&D in that space allowing them to focus on the software side of things.

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