Nutanix channel chief Christian Alvarez wants partners to know that the company’s newly announced container deal with IBM’s Red Hat gives them and their customers more choices in the competitive hybrid, multi-cloud market.
“This partnership, I often refer to it internally as a game-changing partnership in today’s hybrid multi-cloud world,” Alvarez told CRN in an interview. “This partnership has meat on the bones. What does it mean to our partners — I would have to say that, first and foremost, customers want choice, customers are demanding choice. And not just from manufacturers like Nutanix but from the partners that they’re buying from.”
Enterprises prefer Red Hat OpenShift, Alvarez said. And he views the deal as complementary with existing partnerships with vendors including Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lenovo.
“A lot of our customers are running Nutanix on HPE’s great hardware, leveraging Greenlake with Lenovo,” Alvarez said. “And Red Hat runs on all of these platforms. With Kubernetes and what the customers demand, HPE is going to benefit from this.”
Nutanix partners reached by CRN praised the deal. Tim Joyce, founder of Orinda, Calif.-based Nutanix partner Roundstone Solutions, told CRN in an interview that if the deal brings Nutanix attention from Red Hat users not already using the company’s products and services, the customer base will grow.
In Joyce’s experience, potential clients that try Nutanix end up moving their entire infrastructure over, he said.
“Users that have tried Nutanix by and large love it,” Joyce said. “This partnership is perfect for getting more people to try it.”
Worth Davis, president of the solution provider business at Houston-based Nutanix partner Computex Technology Solutions, told CRN he’s glad to see two of the largest virtualization companies coming together. He doesn’t see a lot of overlap between Red Hat and Nutanix in products and customers, which should result in a meaningful expansion of capabilities and customer base.
“The additional capabilities should mean less use of third-party apps,” Davis said. “I’d like to see even more integration with more Red Hat products. A lot of people run Red Hat for a variety of reasons. Nutanix could help make a more manageable environment.”
Here’s what Alvarez told CRN.
What’s the new Red Hat partnership mean for your channel partners?
If you look at Nutanix history our heritage was built on listening to our customers and listening to our partners as well. And this is just yet another great example.
This partnership, I often refer to it internally as a game-changing partnership in today’s hybrid multi-cloud world. This partnership has meat on the bones. What does it mean to our partners — I would have to say that, first and foremost, customers want choice, customers are demanding choice. And not just from manufacturers like Nutanix but from the partners that they’re buying from.
And I would say this is also another great tool for our partners to put into their toolbox. This is a really brilliant and beautiful way for partners to now expand their value. But their total addressable market now, I mean the aperture is going to open up and the new offerings that they’re going to be able to provide to their existing and future customers is going to be amazing.
Red Hat OpenShift is really a preferred choice to the enterprise. And when you look at Kubernetes as part of their full stack on the Nutanix cloud platform, it’s awesome. It’s robust and it’s exactly what partners need based on what customers are asking for.
Is there a lot of overlap in the channel ecosystems of Red Hat and Nutanix?
I’m not going to speak for Red Hat and their partner ecosystem. I will certainly talk about Nutanix. We see a lot of interest. A lot of questions have come in today from our partners on, ‘What does this mean? How are you going to enable me? How are you going to train my people? What is the value proposition? What does the first day pitch now look like with your partnership with Red Hat?’
Now being certified by Red Hat and really enabling the full support of the Enterprise Linux solution Red Hat, this is the differentiator. This is the game changer. What partners will be able to go and do in the data center in the enterprise for customers, is really the market opportunity for them.
What’s the timeline of the rollout for this partnership between Nutanix and Red Hat?
Our engineering teams are working together. We’re not going to get into anything that we haven’t disclosed already. But I can tell you that there’s a lot of work going on around engineering and things that we’re planning on announcing as it relates to interoperability.
If you look at the hypervisor adoption as a percentage of total nodes in Nutanix, it’s about 52 percent. And that’s coming at the end of Q3. That’s outstanding.
What’s this mean for Nutanix’s partnership with HPE? What does it mean that Red Hat is now the “preferred choice” for enterprise full-stack Kubernetes on Nutanix Cloud Platform?
We love our platform providers. HPE, Lenovo, just to name a few. We certainly believe that this will drive more scale. A lot of our customers are running Nutanix on HPE’s great hardware, leveraging Greenlake with Lenovo. Incredible, great technology. And Red Hat runs on all of these platforms. With Kubernetes and what the customers demand, HPE is going to benefit from this. Lenovo. This is all great. Red Hat is certified on HPE and Lenovo as well as Nutanix. So this is a perfect match for all of us, including our platform providers. And Greenlake is going to be an even bigger value add for customers and our partners. That’s a very powerful offering from HPE.
Nothing is replacing. This is all complementary. Giving our customers more choice, that’s what it’s all about. That’s what customers want. And we hear it all the time from them.
What’s this news do for your competitive standing?
Today’s announcement is really about two great companies, Red Hat and Nutanix’s strategic partnership. I’m not going to talk about the competition. But we’re giving our partners, our platform partners, our customers, we’re giving them choice. And we couldn’t be more thrilled with what this means for the market.
How can partners get the most out of this partnership? Should they expect new certification options or go-to-market resources?
We always enable our partners, that’s fundamental to everything we do here at Nutanix. The first step was today’s announcement and mission accomplished. We’re really proud of it. And we’d love to come back to you soon with more information on what we’re going to be announcing around this area.
Can partners look forward to more collaboration between Nutanix and Red Hat? Maybe even IBM?
Definitely they should be reaching out to their Nutanix channel sales managers. They should be reaching out to their partner account managers at Red Hat. I’m sure many of them already have. And there’s things that we’re going to be doing to work and get the lines of communication opened up with our awesome colleagues over at Red Hat. Everyone’s really excited about today’s announcement.
What do partners need to know about technology benefits they’ll see from this Red Hat partnership?
There’s a lot of work being done on interoperability. We know that providing support to our customers and our partners providing support to their customers is important. And today’s announcement is really going to close that gap and provide the partners with more tools and information to really provide world class customer support.
We’ve maintained a 90-plus percent net promoter score. It’s something that we’re really proud of and everything that we do with this type of strategic partnership is always thinking about, ‘What is the customer’s experience going to be like?’ And this is absolutely what the partners can expect.
This is a strategic partnership of two great companies, and it has meat on the bones. It is an absolute game-changing partnership in today’s hybrid, multi-cloud world. We couldn’t be happier and more thrilled than now to be closer with Red Hat.