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Dell extends Nutanix hyper-converged OEM deal

LAS VEGAS — Dell answered one question about its post-EMC merger product lineup Wednesday at the Nutanix .NEXT conference.

Alan Atkinson, Dell vice president of storage, appeared on stage alongside Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey to reveal Dell will extend its OEM deal to sell Nutanix hyper-converged systems. That revelation comes with Dell poised to pick up a bunch of new hyper-converged products from EMC and VMware.

“Customers love the XC Series (using Nutanix software),” Atkinson said. “We started with one product and now we have seven products. I’m thrilled to say we’ve reached an agreement to extend our OEM relationship.  We’ll keep rolling it forward.”

Atkinson left the stage without saying how long the OEM extension will run, but a Nutanix spokesperson said the extension is for “multiple years.”

Dell and Nutanix originally signed a three-year OEM deal in 2014. Nutanix has since added a similar deal with Lenovo.

The Dell-Nutanix relationship was threatened by Dell’s pending $67 billion acquisition of EMC. Both EMC and its majority-owned VMware have hyper-converged products that compete with Nutanix. EMC sells VxRail and VxRack systems built on VMware’s VSAN and EMC ScaleIO software. Dell already re-brands VSAN Ready Node systems and resells EMC’s VSAN and ScaleIO boxes.

Atkinson said he has been asked about the future of the Dell-Nutanix deal often since Dell disclosed plans to acquire EMC last October.

“That’s a question I get once an hour,” he said at .NEXT.

Even Panday has been asking. “We’ve been talking to Michael (Dell) on an everyday basis,” he said.

The Dell-EMC deal is expected to close in August.

In its Securities Exchange Commission filing detailing its plans to become a public company, Nutanix listed the Dell-EMC deal as a risk to its business.

“Dell is not just a competitor but also is an OEM partner of ours and the combined company may be more likely to promote and sell its own solutions over our products or cease selling or promoting our products entirely,” the filing reads. “If EMC and Dell decide to sell their own solutions over our products, that could adversely impact our OEM sales and harm our business, operating results and prospects, and our stock price could decline.”