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Nutanix and Lenovo to sell hyper-converged appliances

Nutanix deal to put storage software on Lenovo servers with products aimed at datacentre use cases plus a 200-strong dedicated sales team could put pressure on its partnership with Dell

Storage provider Nutanix has announced a partnership with hardware maker Lenovo which will see the two companies market a series of hyper-converged appliances.

The partnership will result in “a substantial investment in platforms and joint marketing and sales,” said Nutanix marketing director Greg Smith, who added that the deal will be backed by a 200-strong sales team.

Several products will result from the deal, with Nutanix software on Lenovo server hardware. The products will be tailored for different use cases – such as databases, big data analytics, enterprise applications and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) – with differing amounts and types of CPU, memory, and flash and HDD storage.

The range of Nutanix/Lenovo appliances will be launched in December 2015.

Nutanix will provide the software for the appliances with a choice of hypervisor – VMware, Microsoft or its own KVM-based Acropolis – that will include on-board storage. Storage connectivity will be provided by 10GbE. Customers will be able to build clusters of appliance nodes to scale compute and storage.

This is Nutanix’s second major deal with a hardware supplier, as it already has a partnership with Dell through which the supplier sells servers with Nutanix’s storage software on board.

Smith indicated the Lenovo deal is distinct from the Dell one, however. “This is the result of a clean business design, in which both companies want to disrupt the status quo. There’s no storage business in Lenovo, so there’s no conflict here,” he said.

Nutanix was one of the pioneers of the so-called hyper-converged infrastructure, which combines compute, storage and networking in one box. This is a trend in part inspired by the modular hyperscale architectures pioneered by web giants such as Google and Facebook.

Other players in the market include Simplivity, Pivot3 and VMware with its EVO:Rail.

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