Less than a week after Nutanix issued a press release announcing their independently validated ability to run on Cisco UCS, Nutanix has been booted from the Cisco Solution Partner Program.
Cisco has its own hyperconverged solution utilizing UCS hardware, bundled together through an agreement with software company Springpath, which they call Hyperflex.
So it makes sense that they would see Nutanix as a competitor in this space and remove them from their partner program. But why would they still allow other competition in the partner program?
SimpliVity, Maxta, and Pivot3 are also strong competitors, but remain in the Cisco Solution Partner Program (SPP). So what made Cisco turn the cold shoulder to Nutanix?
Perhaps there is some bitterness stemming from a couple of failed attempts at acquiring Nutanix. Back in the first half of 2015, Cisco unsuccessfully tried to acquire both the No. 1 and No. 2 startups in the hyper-convergence market: Nutanix and SimpliVity.
Dell's upcoming merger with EMC also introduces more competition with Nutanix, as VCE is a leader in the converged infrastructure space. However Dell recently extended their OEM agreement with Nutanix and does a good amount of business through that partnership.
If Dell and EMC are able to play nice with Nutanix, my concern is that Cisco is painting themselves into a corner.
The converged/hyperconverged market is rapidly gaining adoption and it will become increasingly harder to displace hyperconverged infrastructure once it has landed. The ease of rip and replacing servers and SANs every 3 to 5 years will quickly become a thing of the past.
If Cisco isn't going to aggressively attack the hyperconverged market, we may see the decline of their UCS platform fall just as fast as it rose to success.
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