Nutanix, IBM Release Cloud Alternative to Intel

Storage technology vendor Nutanix Inc. (NTNX) and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) inked a multiyear partnership this week in which the Armonk, N.Y.-based company will sell its software code running on IBM servers.

The deal marks the first time there will be an alternative to Intel Corp. (INTC) chips on the hyperconverged market for computing infrastructure. The companies say that Nutanix’s Enterprise Cloud Platform software, combined with IBM Power Systems will deliver “a turnkey hyperconverged solution targeting critical workloads in large enterprises.”

New Offering for Big Data and Analytics

Nutanix’s latest alliance follows recently inked OEM deals with other IT giants, including Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (HPE) and Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO), in which the company supplies storage software to run on top of its partners’ hardware. In securing partnerships with big names such as Dell and IBM, Nutanix is able to leverage a powerful global sales team and access a larger platform for the distribution of its products. (See also: Analyst: Nutanix Is Now a Prime Target for Cisco.)

As for IBM, the Nutanix deal demonstrates its first push into the converged infrastructure space, wherein a single machine is used for storage, networking and computing capabilities.

Nutanix’s head of marketing, Howard Ting, told Barron’s in an interview that is it “a big deal” in the converged marketplace to have a non-Intel offering for the first time. While traditionally, devices run on Intel’s x86 microprocessors, IBM’s power chips will run compute cycles on the open-source Linux operating system. The combined offering, optimized for tasks such as big data and analytics, is intended to support “cognitive” workloads, such as a banks that run financial models through deep-learning algorithms. (See also: Firms Face Decelerating Cloud Spending: Analyst.)

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