Why Red Hat Nutanix Alliance Puts ‘Heat’ on VMware: Partners

Red Hat and Nutanix are to combine forces to pressure the virtualization superstar VMware in the battle to see who will be the hybrid cloud computing kingpin in enterprise Kubernetes and containers.

“It really takes one of the best, full-stack Kubernetes solutions with Red Hat and positioning Nutanix KVM with their AHV hypervisor as the platform of choice – that will be a competitive differentiator,” said Rick Gouin, chief technology officer at Waltham, in Mass. established Winslow Technology Group, a premier VMware and Nutanix partner. “It lends a lot of credibility to the Nutanix offering when combined with OpenShift. It’s something that will lead companies that start using that full-stack Kubernetes solution to perhaps take a more serious and credible look at Nutanix’s great solution. So I think that will be a nice differentiator.”

Gouin said channel partners will now have two “strong solutions” in containers and enterprise Kubernetes to bring to customers with VMware and now Nutanix and Red Hat.

“We definitely plan to bring both platforms to market and provide more options. This is almost in line with the VMware discussion where this is all focused on more standards and open standards based solutions,” says Gouin, who has been a top systems engineer and technologist for over 20 years. “So to have customer choice built around a common set of standards, protocols, and to be able to offer these different routes to those standards and protocols is great. So more customer choice, more competition and more credible and reliable options in this area.”

[Related: 70 Percent Of Scale Computing Clients Come From VMware: CEO Jeff Ready]

Nutanix and Red Hat recently unveiled a new strategic partnership in which both companies cross-certify and closely integrate Red Hat Enterprise Linux (REHL), OpenShift and the Nutanix Cloud Platform solutions, aiming to increase sales and adoption of Red Hat’s Kubernetes platform. and Nutanix’s hyper-converged infrastructure.

Red Hat’s OpenShift is now the preferred choice for full-stack Kubernetes on the Nutanix Cloud Platform, while the Nutanix platform is now the preferred choice for HCI for REHL and OpenShift. Customers can contact both companies for support around deployment, interoperability, or to manage virtualized and containerized workloads on hyperconverged infrastructure.

Channel partners said Nutanix and Red Hat — which is owned by IBM — combined with a mix of hybrid cloud software and open source capabilities can largely match VMware’s portfolio. While the price tags related to new joint offerings from Nutanix and Red Hat are yet to be seen, partners say Nutanix and Red Hat’s solutions are generally priced lower than VMware.

“So we have VMware customers who want to cut costs all the time and one option is that RHEL runs on AHV,” said a top executive of a global solutions provider that partners with Dell Technologies, VMware, IBM, Red Hat and Nutanix, who refused to be mentioned. “Nutanix and Red Hat come together to say, ‘Hey, we have something new with more open standards, which will be integrated and supported by us together, which is generally probably cheaper than the VMware stack or [VMware] ESXi. You should look at this new option for enterprise Kubernetes.” … That confuses VMware. Who wins that TCO [total cost of ownership] and container bake-off capabilities – I’m not sure yet, but it’s a real option now.”

“But you have to remember that VMware is everywhere and my customers trust them and love the direction they are going,” said the CEO.

VMware has invested millions in its container and Kubernetes strategy in recent years, including the blockbuster launches of Tanzu and Project Pacific.

VMware subsidiary enables enterprises to run Kubernetes in vSphere and manage Kubernetes across multiple clouds, both public and private, while automating the delivery of containerized workloads for customers. Tanzu is rapidly gaining market momentum as enterprises and developers around the world are leveraging Tanzu’s Kubernetes capabilities to build modern applications faster than ever before.

Tanzu was included in five of VMware’s top 10 deals in the first quarter of fiscal 2022. In addition, Tanzu was selected this year by US Army Futures Command to enable a software factory where they can leverage modern cloud-native development practices.

VMware is also innovating through acquisitions, including this year’s purchase of cloud-based application boot security Gauze7 in an effort to boost Tanzu.

“The integration of Mesh7’s contextual API behavioral security solution with Tanzu Service Mesh will enable VMware to deliver high-fidelity understanding of which application components communicate with which via APIs,” said Tom Gillis, senior vice president and general manager of VMware’s Networking and Security. business. when the purchase was revealed. “Developers and security teams will each gain a better understanding of when, where and how applications and microservices communicate through APIs, even in multi-cloud environments, enabling better DevSecOps.”

The Nutanix Cloud Platform consists of the Acropolis operating system (AOS) and the AHV virtualization platform. With the new partnership, AHV is now a Red Hat-certified hypervisor that offers full support for Red Hat OpenShift and RHEL, providing customers with a full-stack solution for containerized and virtualized cloud-native applications.

Channel partners say VMware will prevail in enterprise Kubernetes in 2021, but once the Nutanix-Red Hat partnership kicks off, market competition is likely to intensify in 2022.

It is important to note that Nutanix CEO Rajiv Ramaswami joined the company less than a year ago, having led VMware’s products and cloud services from 2016 to late 2020 as Chief Operating Officer.

“This partnership brings together Red Hat’s leading cloud-native solutions with the simplicity, flexibility and resilience of the Nutanix Cloud Platform,” Ramaswami said in a statement. “Together, our solutions provide customers with a full-stack platform for building, scaling, and managing containerized and virtualized cloud-native applications in a hybrid multicloud environment.”

As the CEO of VMware, which jointly leads all VMware business units that develop products, cloud services and cloud operations, Ramaswami knows VMware’s strategy inside out. Additionally, VMware to be spun off from Dell Technologies later this year in a move that will make VMware an independent company for the first time since 2004.

“This kind of competition is good for the channel,” says Winslow’s Gouin. “We see both as strong solutions. There’s a whole range of different technical questions and architectural issues, and even all the way down to customer preferences, that will lead us to perhaps recommend one solution or the other.”

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