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Nutanix’s real competitor is not Cisco but AWS

Anton Granic, Senior Vice President for Americas West and Canada for Nutanix

LAS VEGAS – Pundits, press and analysts may be saying Cisco is now Nutanix’s biggest challenger since the release of HyperFlex. But if you ask one of Nutanix’s senior leaders the target is not Cisco but Amazon Web Services.

Anton Granic, the senior vice president of Americas West and Canada for Nutanix, named AWS as Nutanix’s biggest competitor going forward. “The company is not waiting for customers to go to AWS in Canada. We still have the hyper-converged channel players in North America and the value proposition for us is at a different level than AWS. It’s really about leveraging the likes of AWS and Azure, but in a lower cost model. That’s huge,” he said.

At the .Next Conference, Nutanix released the Enterprise Cloud Platform, which may look like AWS or Azure, but don’t call it a public cloud.

Raja Mukhopadhyay, the vice president of product management at Nutanix, told CDN the company’s long term goal is to set the same standard as the public cloud with Enterprise Cloud Platform and address all the new consumption models.

“We want to make that a reality for on-premise customers today and essentially have the software tell their system or environment to figure out what’s best at the time either on-premise or in the cloud,” he said.

The Enterprise Cloud Platform my act as a public cloud, but Mukhopadhyay said it’s not a public cloud.

Another challenge for Granic and Nutanix is the perception that the public cloud is cheaper. And, what Nutanix is trying to establish with Enterprise Cloud Platform is bringing all the benefits of the public cloud but at a lower cost and with the choice of being on premise.

“What happens is a customer signs that contract and in the first year experience lower costs, but as it goes into year three or year five the cost start to significantly go high. With Nutanix we offer cost protection and we look at the cost model over three years or five,” Granic said.

Mukhopadhyay said sometimes there is a test on a VM that should have lasted three days. No one turns it off and then it runs for three months. “Then they get a big AWS bill and don’t know what happened. It can be very hard to predict AWS costs without a button-down cost structure in place,” he said.

Granic said that Enterprise Cloud Platform will be channel partner dependent even though the base of Nutanix’s solution provider network is still figuring out their cloud path. “We are determined to be at the forefront of this with the channel, but there are still resellers focused on selling boxes with services. For us a partner who is successful has already started down the cloud journey,” he said.

What about Cisco and HyperFlex?

Granic told CDN that he welcomes Cisco into the hyper-converged market and found the acquisition offer to be flattering. “But this is Cisco’s fourth attempt at storage and they are doing it with a 1.0 product. We’ll take the Pepsi Challenge with that. With a fair challenge to compete we are confident in our prospects,” he said.