So remember when I talked about Nutanix going into the software-only market? Today, they’re taking another step in that direction by signing an OEM deal with Dell. Not only are they combining technical powers (running Dell PowerEdge hardware with the Nutanix secret software sauce on top), they’re also joining forces in “sales, marketing, support and service investments, as well as alignment of product roadmaps“.

I think this is very smart for both parties, since Nutanix can leverage Dell’s established go-to-market capabilities, and Dell can leverage Nutanix’s innovative technology (since Dell is still working on integrating their own storage portfolio into a single storage architecture). Dell makes a good point by putting their hardware, services and support central to the solution as an end-to-end data center partner. Having Dell on-board will help gain the trust of potential customers.

These new Dell servers will be called the ‘XC-series’ and combine compute, storage and networking into a single offering, powered by Nutanix software.
The appliances will be available in a wide range of price capacity and performance specs. The regular Nutanix flexibility also apply to these machines, and they run VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and KVM hypervisors. The Dell XC Series appliances are scheduled for world-wide availability in the fourth quarter of 2014 and will be sold by Dell sales teams and channel partners worldwide.

“This agreement with Dell highlights our shared commitment to disrupt traditional datacenter architectures and accelerate the adoption of web-scale infrastructure in the enterprise,” said Dheeraj Pandey, co-founder and CEO of Nutanix. “Dell is the right partner to leverage our software-driven technology, and introduce powerful converged infrastructure appliances with a wide range of price and performance options geared toward supporting a variety of critical enterprise workloads.”

You can read up on the press releases (Nutanix, Dell) and a blogpost or two from the vendors.