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Dell EMC’s XC (Nutanix) HCI box protects MS Hyper-V VMs

This blog post is part of our Essential Guide: Microsoft Ignite 2017 conference coverage

Dell EMC today enhanced its Nutanix-powered XC hyper-converged platform by adding data protection features for Microsoft Windows Hyper-V.

The news, made during Microsoft Ignite, shows Dell EMC is keeping its commitment to maintain its partnerships with vendors Dell also competes against. Nutanix competes with other Dell EMC hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) appliances – mainly VxRail – and Hyper-V competes with Dell-owned VMware’s hypervisors.

The news also comes as IDC shows Dell EMC overtaking Nutanix for the hyper-converged market share lead. According to IDC’s Converged infrastructure systems tracker second-quarter figures released Tuesday, Dell EMC led with 29% of the $763.4 million HCI market compared to Nutanix’s 20.9% share. Dell EMC’s HCI revenue grew 149% year-over-year in the quarter, compared to overall HCI growth of 48.5%.

But the Dell EMC XC Series – which began as an OEM deal between Dell and Nutanix in 2014 – continues to sell well. Dan McConnell, Dell EMC VP of converged platforms, said the Dell EMC XC Series generated more than $100 million in revenue in the second quarter. Judging by IDC’s numbers, Dell EMC’s overall HCI revenue would be around $220 million.

“It’s a sizeable meaningful business that continues to grow at high rates,” McConnell said of the Dell EMC XC Series.

Dell EMC positions VxRail with VMware vSAN HCI software as the HCI appliance for VMware shops and Dell EMC XC as HCI for other hypervisors.

The new Dell EMC XC Data Protection Management Console integrates Dell EMC Avamar and Data Domain backup into the Nutanix Prism Management Console. That enables Avamar software to back up data from Hyper-V to Data Domain targets and tier data to Microsoft Azure and Dell EMC Virtustream public clouds. The Dell EMC XC management console launches as an application from inside Nutanix Prism.

McConnell said data protection policies can be set automatically and applied to any new virtual machines brought online. He said the console will eventually support the Nutanix AHV hypervisor following more development work between AHV and Avamar. But the first version due in the fourth quarter of 2017 only supports Hyper-V.

Also, the XC Series Azure Log Analytics Solution will integrate with Microsoft Operations Management Suite-based automation tools to enable trend analysis and proactively detect problems.

McConnell said Hyper-V customers make up from 10% to 30% of XC customers in any given quarter.

“As we look to take hyper-converged infrastructure more down market, we encounter the need to run on Hyper-V a lot more,” he said.

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