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August 29, 2023
Cisco and Nutanix have teamed up to deliver hybrid cloud capabilities.
Cisco is combining its compute and networking infrastructure with Nutanix’s cloud platform. The companies will sell the resulting solution to organizations needing help simplifying their operations and speeding up digital transformation, and they’ll do so largely through resellers, managed service providers and other channel experts.
Nutanix’s Dave Gwyn
“This global strategic partnership with Cisco provides an exciting opportunity for both us and our channel partners,” David Gwyn, senior vice president, worldwide customer success and channels, at Nutanix told Channel Futures. “For our channel partners, it provides expanded avenues of growth and profitability to help them build their business with Nutanix.”
Cisco and Nutanix won’t make their mutual product available for about another three months, but that gives channel partners time to understand the value proposition.
Consider that, according to the Flexera 2023 State of the Cloud report, hybrid cloud remains the go-to approach to cloud computing. To that point, 72% of respondents told Flexera they use both public and private clouds to handle their workloads.
Cisco and Nutanix are targeting that demographic with their new partnership. They see a need to reduce IT’s struggles, which have grown more complex as organizations rely on multiple clouds. The Cisco and Nutanix fix to the problem comes in the form of technology that simplifies and accelerates the delivery of cloud infrastructure and applications, the companies said when announcing their news on Aug. 28. Their strategy also includes delivering cloud operating models that feature flexibility, resiliency and top-notch customer support.
Cisco Compute’s Jeremy Foster
“Customers are asking for solutions that are simple, sustainable and future-ready,” said Jeremy Foster, senior vice president and general manager at Cisco Compute. “This partnership answers with a complete solution spanning virtual compute, networking and storage across customer data centers and public clouds.”
To do this, Cisco is combining its compute portfolio with Nutanix’s cloud software. That way, Foster added, “we can help customers develop a balanced approach to power modern workloads on-prem and in the cloud.”
Specifically, Cisco is integrating servers, and networking, security and management with Nutanix’s cloud infrastructure, cloud manager, unified storage and desktop services. The resulting fully integrated platform will reach customers already built. Because of that, Cisco and Nutanix channel partners will have the opportunity to develop what a Nutanix rep called “broader solutions.” That could include delivering managed services, even though the Cisco and Nutanix platform does not constitute a managed service in itself.
In terms of support, though, customers may choose among deployment options. Those include support for Cisco UCS rack and blade servers, as well as initial support for the vendor’s C-Series servers. Cisco also is planning support choices for the UCS X-Series.
Nutanix’s Tarkan Maner
“As organizations look to keep up with the pace of innovation, they need an integrated hardware and software platform to support application deployment anywhere,” said Tarkan Maner, chief commercial officer at Nutanix. “This partnership will deliver an expanded market opportunity for both organizations as they tackle the challenges of standardizing, simplifying and securing environments across the data center, in public cloud and the edge.”
Cisco and Nutanix did not disclose the financial terms of the partnership.
For Nutanix, the deal seems to come at an opportune time. The company has faced some upheaval over the last year, including laying off 4% of its workforce to make up for what analysts called excessive spending and fielding speculation that it might put itself up for sale. But its most recent earnings, released at the end of May, indicated Nutanix might be hitting its stride as it continues its efforts to shift from legacy products and pricing to a cloud and subscription model. And of the eight investment firm analysts that cover Nutanix, six rate the company’s stock as a buy.
Over at Cisco, diving deeper into cloud makes sense as the nearly 30-year-old IT vendor continues its transition, too, from hardware to software and subscriptions. Partners have benefited significantly from that shift as well.
A day after Cisco and Nutanix announced their hybrid cloud strategy, both stocks were trading higher.
Contributing Editor, Channel Futures
Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.
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