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March 25, 2015


Michael Webster

Nutanix has over 1000 employees globally and Chuck has heard from a small selection. I am one of those employees, but I think this whole discussion falls into insignificance when you consider the impact of what Chuck has said about support. Chuck has said that any non-OEM partner is not able to provide their customers with VMware support of any kind, not entitled to support their customers, and their customers are in a gray area. Every non-OEM partner. So that means the majority of VMware's partners. This is quite absurd and completely not true of course. Nutanix, Simplivity and others are just VMware partners. They are entitled to provide whatever support their customers agree to. VMware is not the monopoly on commercial arrangements between customers and partners. More importantly customers of OEM's are not at all entitled to ring VMware Support, even if they wanted to. Not saying that OEM support is bad, it's just the fact, customers with OEM support can't call VMware Support. Their OEM is totally responsible for all support interactions. Whereas any non-OEM partner, provided the customer has a current support agreement, their customers are fully entitle to call VMware Support and fully entitled to all VMware Support benefits. They have a direct line of communication at their disposal. I don't really care about a VMware vs Nutanix argument or spat when there is a much larger issue at play here and it impacts every VMware partner and customer and the majority of VMware's revenue earning capability, which is from all of these partners. There simply is no gray areas at all. Customers with VMware Support contracts, regardless of their hardware vendor, can go direct to VMware Support if they choose. They can also choose to call their hardware vendor. Customers with OEM Vendor Support must call their hardware vendor and are not entitled to call VMware Support at all. There is nothing bad with that, it's just the way it is. Our OEM Vendor Dell offers excellent support, is entitled to provide OEM VMware Support and also supports the Dell XC Series Appliances powered by Nutanix software. So really, Nutanix regardless of which hardware it's deployed on, has no gray areas with VMware Support... Period.

Chuck Hollis

Hi Michael

The thing that drives me crazy about this conversation is that every Nutanix employee works as hard as they can to twist the facts . Everyone else seems to get it, though. The result isn't pretty. Your peers' attempt to continually misinterpret my statements isn't really helping your cause.

My view is that facts are facts. Twist them all you like, they still retain their original form. Not a single Nutanix employee (yourself included) has not refuted the facts here. Uncomfortable truths?

Once again, with gusto!

Entities that sell VMware licenses are entitled to provide support. That includes OEM, channel partners and everyone else who makes a business decision to sell VMware licenses. This is not an unreasonable model, if you think about it.

Entities that don't sell VMware licenses aren't entitled to provide VMware support. That also is not an unreasonable model, either.

You or I or anyone else could conceivably set up shop tomorrow as a VMware support entity. Heck, we might even be good at it, but -- in all honesty -- we wouldn't be entitled to do so unless we sold the licenses.

Nutanix does not sell VMware licenses. Channel partners, OEMs and other entities do. Pretty binary, yes?

Yes, we all work together to help mutual customers -- that much is the norm.

But please take a moment to consider what you're pitching to customers: single appliance, single support experience. Maybe not so much ... but that's the message you're sending to your customers.

It is undeniable that VMware products are a core part of your "product" in most instances. Nutanix is not entitled to provide support for all components of the core product.

Nutanix can certainly invest in doing so and hope that people don't ask hard questions. People like me, for example.

That ambiguity may be OK with some customers, not OK with others. But you need to disclose the truth, which has not been entirely evident up to this point.

Transparency in all things.

Am I missing something here?

-- Chuck



Interesting blog and comments. In simple terms, (a yes or no answer would be great), does "not entitled" to support VMware products mean "not permitted" or "not allowed"??


Chuck Hollis

The answer is "not entitled", which means pretty much what it says.

Any entity can set themselves up as providing VMware support (or support for any other product, for that matter). The question some people will have will be around the official relationship behind the offer.

-- Chuck

Tim Davoren

The word 'entitled' and the phrase 'provide support' seem to be at the core of your parley gentlemen.

'Entitled' generally means legal entitlement...This is presumably the context in which Chuck uses the term.

'Entitled' can also mean free choice...This is the context in which Michael/Josh/Lukas use the term.

So, 'Provide support'...well, what does that mean?

1. Market and re-sell VMware SnS SKUs? i.e 'provide' in a commercial transaction?

2. Handling inquiries from VMware SnS customers whilst claiming some sort of commercial endorsement your service by the manufacturer of the software? i.e 'provide' as in fulfil on behalf of the software manufacturer, the obligations of commercial support (aside from software updates)

3. Helping someone/anyone who may/may not own a VMware SnS contract (or for that matter any VMware product), with whatever they need help with. i.e 'provide' support to the extent to which you're feeling generous.

I think the situation is thus; VMware do not entitle Nutanix to do 1 or 2. Nutanix is doing 3....and they're entitled to do that and whatever the hell else they'd like.

"Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to".


Colonel Nathan R Jessup

An Actual Customer

Hi all-- an Actual Customer here who's not working for any of the HCI vendors but I am a customer of VMware and many other big players.

I just read two pages of comments plus the article. It's interesting to read these comments talk about customers so I figured I'd chime in as one.

Regarding #5 - Being a VMware customer who's had the Nexus 1000v I can say for 100% that having to deal with two different vendors to support one product sucks. Period. Whenever there was (I say was because we finally scrapped the 1000v for the VMware vDS) an issue with the 1000v our Network guys (Cisco people) always said it was a VMware problem. So we call VMware and they say it's a Cisco problem. Sometimes they'd call in a tac and sometimes we'd have to-- Regardless, Cisco would then turn around and say, "we just implement their APIs-- it's there problem."

So any way of avoiding that, as a customer, is a good thing to me.

Aside from the "Customer Service - #5" topic-- I also find it interesting that none of the other points are discussed in any of the comments. Like the vMotion & Locality hits to performance...

Software Toko

I am very happy to read an article on this website, this article is very satisfying for the reader, thanks for the enlightenment that has been described in this article.

I think you're confusing a few things here. Because Nutanix is not a vSphere OEM, you're not entitled to provide direct support to customers. That's the business decision Nutanix made. Some people will care about this, others maybe not so much.
Software Toko

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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