Nutanix CEO skewers box-based hyperconvergence rivals

Dheeraj Pandey says only Nutanix, VMware offer full convergence stack; labels Simplivity positioning ‘smoke and mirrors’, ‘baloney.’

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Nutanix founder and CEO Dheeraj Pandey doesn’t want you to get too excited by today’s hyperconverged infrastructure offerings because they’re just ‘a pit stop’ on the way to making all infrastructure invisible. Pandey, whose company is preparing for an initial public offering, talked with IDG Chief Content Officer John Gallant about the competitive landscape in hyperconvergence today and he pulled no punches in assessing rivals like Simplivity and VCE. In Pandey’s view, only VMware is on the same path of building, essentially, the operating system for hybrid cloud but Nutanix is starting from a clean slate. Pandey also discussed Nutanix’s partnership with Dell Technologies and explained why Cisco has no love for his company these days.

I want to ask you the same question I recently asked the head of EMC’s VCE business unit. Can you explain to our readers what are the most appropriate use cases for hyperconverged infrastructure and where is it not appropriate?

People tend to focus too much on the what, and when I say what, it doesn’t mean hyperconverged itself. We have to focus on the why. Why is any of this happening? Basically, people don’t want too many components and too many boxes. IT needs to abstract itself out of stitching together things from ground zero. In that sense, just like the word ‘smart’ in smartphone went away over time, the word hyperconverged in infrastructure will fade away over time as well.

What we’re seeing is the coming together of things very similar to the way they all came together with iPhone, which eventually became a platform on which other devices became pure software. There are similar amalgamations happening in data center infrastructure because there are too many silos. You’ve seen the same phenomenon with the public cloud where everything is invisible. You don’t care what boxes, what operating system, what hypervisor, what storage arrays are being used in the underbelly of Amazon AWS. Developers just use APIs. Infrastructure is becoming code and people just want to program the code itself.

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