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Nutanix platform has been extended from the origina offer (appliance based single vendor only) to add more flexibile options… with more nodes options (also storage or compute only) and with different hardware vendors (including Dell-EMC, Lenovo, Cisco, HPE).

Starting with Cisco and HPE the options where more “software only” with certified hardware platform.

But now the software only option (announced May 2017) is something real and whether you choose Nutanix software as part of a turnkey appliance solution or to run on your own installed platforms, Acropolis and Prism editions provide a range of capabilities to match your needs.

And this is not limited to the AHV hypervisor only, but for multiple hypervisors (Nutanix AVH, VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer).

The customer can buy the hardware direcly from the vendor and the software licences from Nutanix using predefined SKUs (Licence Edition, Support Level, Length of Support Term). Then the Vendor/Nutanix partners (or Nutanix services) installs Nutanix software on the selected hardware.

For Dell server’s actually only generation 13 PowerEdge series is listed:

But of course there is the entire XC series that still remain and it’s already upgraded to generation 14:

  • XC640-4 and XC640-4i (1U/1-node) – Designed for smaller, remote, and brand office deployments, which are non mission-critical. XC640-4: 3-node cluster deployment; XC640-i: 1 node deployment.
  • XC640-10 (1U/1-node) – Optimized for compute-and performance-intensive workloads in VDI, test and development, enterprise hybrid cloud, and server virtualization.
  • XC740xd-12 (2U/1-node) – With up to 60TB per node, it’s ideal for storage-heavy applications, such as Microsoft Exchange®, SharePoint, data warehouse, and data analytics.
  • XC740xd-24 (2U/1-node) – Designed for performance-intensive applications, including Microsoft SQL Server®, and Oracle® OLTP, and other database applications.
  • XC740xd-12C (2U/1-node) – Provides up to 60TB of cold tier storage expansion for XC Series clusters.
  • XC740xd-12R – Non-clustered single-node replication target with up to 60TB capacity.
  • XC6320 (2U/4-node) – Optimized for deployments where compute and storage density is required, including software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), hybrid/private cloud, etc.

So why add other servers as possible nodes for Nutanix? There isn’t an official answer, but we have to consider some facts.

First, Nutanix does not allow yet to mix different hardware vendors nodes in the same cluster. Second, the available options on G13 based XC appliances is limited compare to the options in the G14, and it’s not so updated. Third, Dell has so many other options for SDS and Nutanix OEM partnership may be not necessary renewed in the future (anyway has been recentetly renewed, so for some years will be still effective).

Have more nodes option, also with old hardware permit to preserve customers investments and reuse existing servers as new Nutanix nodes… without the need to build new XC models based on old hardware.

But in the future will also permit to Nutanix to still keep Dell as a possible platform, also in the case of the OEM partnership can be closed.

For more information see also this blog post.