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IBM and Nutanix to announce new partnership today

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May 16, 2017

IBM and Nutanix are expected to announce today a new alliance that will see Nutanix design hyperconverged systems out of IBM Power servers, its first non-Intel-powered servers.

The news didn't surprise much since some industry observers had hinted to that effect last month.

However, specific details of what will be delivered and when have not yet been revealed, but er understand that Nutanix will bring its hyperconverged stack to Big Blue's Power systems complete with its own software-defined storage solution to make private clouds out of IBM-powered servers.

Nutanix may also make it possible to consider x86 and Power as a single pool of resources. Time will tell if that's the case.

And this new alliance was probably struck for a few reasons. Big Blue already knows that its Power systems don't have a stellar future-- well not the one that some might expect, anyway.

Utility-grade x86 and the operating systems it can run on have mostly caught up to the resilience and scalability of the Power ecosystem. There's little reason to keep running it, other than the fact that many Power systems are tightly coupled to core applications.

So-called 'tight coupling' could mean that Power systems and the apps they run can't easily access public-cloud-like standards, or let app developers adopt cloud-native tools.

IBM Power users also see the elasticity and pay-as-you-go models falling from public clouds and probably want that in their own data centres as well.

If Power users can't get that from IBM, it makes it more likely they'll consider migrating away from the platform, even if that means the pain of moving to a tier-one app.

However, Nutanix has a few issues of its own. The advent of Dell-EMC, with its multiple own-brand hyperconverged products, plus HPE buying SimpliVity, means that it now faces competitors with colossal resources, and in Dell's case, it simply means little reason to continue nourishing a competitor.

An IBM/Nutanix partnership therefore makes a lot of sense, especially for Nutanix. Big Blue gets a way to show Power users that they can start to adopt cloudy models, and a new way to demonstrate public shareholders that the bound-for-legacy-status Power platform has a longer future than might previously have been imagined.

Additionally, Nutanix gets a new channel to talk to big companies about their core apps, which may cheer up its own people. This looks like a good move. IBM will also reap some benefits as well.

Source: Nutanix.


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