Response to the news of the free edition has been exceptionally strong among Canadian partners.
Nutanix has announced the public beta of its free Community Edition software, which makes a limited-scale, four node maximum version of Nutanix’s hyperconverged software stack available for free use.
“This is something that has been requested for years by our partners and end users,” said Anton Granic, senior director at Nutanix Canada. “On our part, there is some brand building involved in this, but the main benefit is that it will allow us to crowdsource suggestions for improvements that will lead to a better customer experience, by tapping into a larger resource pool to tell us how to make the product better. This will help us continue to innovate at a pace the legacy players just can’t keep up with.”
Granic also contrasted Nutanix’s openness with their technology with some of their hyperconverged competitors.
“We are blatantly transparent with everything we do, in contrast to some other hyperconverged players who don’t share any details about how their solutions work,” he said. “The channel is bombarded every day with claims by other companies who are jumping into the space, including companies who have been around longer than us without making much of a mark, and are repurposing their technology into the hyperconverged space out of desperation. No one else, however, is talking about how to improve the customer experience like we are.”
The Community Edition software is designed to be deployed in 60 minutes or less, and is aimed at specific types of users, like application developers, students and academic researchers, and channel partners. Nutanix’s NEXT online forum provides support through operational guidance and management best practices, and features discussions and debates between tech evangelists, customers, and partners.
“Our partners will use this for testing and learning, and a key part of that is trying it out on different hardware platforms to give their customers more choice,” Granic said. “In Canada, with its predominant midmarket demographic, we are seeing strong partner demand. Over this long weekend, I had 6-7 questions come in from key partners about how they could get access, so that they could dig into the features and capability. That’s a really telling sign, people calling on their holiday, that the Canadian market is open to this type of approach.”
One thing the Community Edition is not designed to do is help partners take Nutanix more downmarket.
“This isn’t tied to getting access to a smaller market,” Granic said. “We are having success now in the SMB. Four nodes maximum is standard and typical for lab environments, as the purpose is not to expand these and run production environments on them.”
Community Edition will be released as a public beta on June 8th, the first day of the Nutanix .NEXT User Conference. Interested users can sign up online immediately to be placed on the waitlist at www.nutanix.com/communityedition.
“The waitlist exists because there is a limitation to how many people will get the initial pass, so we will be able to provide the support,” Granic said. “It’s not done on a strict first come, first serve basis though, and our strategic partners and strategic customers will get access. We don’t foresee any extended waits at all in Canada, and are looking at accommodating all requests.”
Granic said that the first-ever .NEXT Conference, which is being held in Miami June 8-10, will be a huge industry event. Between 500 and 600 attendees are expected.
“In addition to the release of the Community Edition beta, we will also have a couple major announcements that will serve notice about Nutanix’s plans, and give a peek into where hyperconverged is going which will turn the industry upside down,” Granic said.