ZeroStack to make its private cloud software available on Dell, HPE hardware

ZeroStack’s software has been sold to date on SuperMicro white box hardware, but requests from both partners and customers have led ZeroStack to broaden it out to Dell and HPE, with select other vendors likely on the way.

Steve Garrison

Steve Garrison, ZeroStack’s VP of Marketing

Mountain View CA-based ZeroStack, which brought its ZeroStack Cloud Platform for the simple installation and operation of a scale-out private cloud to market last year, has announced that its software is now available to be sold on Dell and HPE hyperconverged hardware.

“We started out running on SuperMicro, although we didn’t make that public before,” said Steve Garrison, ZeroStack’s VP of Marketing. “When customers have a lot of data that is moving back and forth to a private cloud, sometimes a white box is preferred.”

Both partners and customers have been requesting branded options. ZeroStack sells entirely through channel partners, and some of them who have relationships with Dell and HPE wanted to have the option of initially deploying the software on a branded box.

“We also found that in about 30 per cent of our engagements, customers also wanted a different hardware choice,” Garrison said.

Accordingly, ZeroStack will now make its Z-Fabric Cloud Platform software available on the Dell FX2 and C6320 platforms and what at this stage are unspecified systems from HPE. Garrison explained the vague nature of the HPE announcement stems from ZeroStack not wanting to make preannouncements on hardware that are still a few months out. The Dell product is available sooner.

It’s likely that other deals will be worked out with select vendors.

“Lenovo is another company we could work with in the future for example,” Garrison said. “As we grow and run into new partners with different regional partners it would behoove us to do that. Customers want choice, and as a fast-growing company, we want to give them what they want.

Garrison indicated that these vendor deals are simply agreements between the companies, with no engineering integration required.

“All we are doing is connecting the dots, migrating the software onto the platforms, and making it possible for the Dell and HPE channels to sell the hardware with us on it,” he said. “The software itself requires no tweaking to do this. We could, in the future, see where there could be a large hardware compatibility list over time.”

Garrison said it’s unlikely they will just open it up and slap their software on any hardware requested by a partner or customer, however.

“We are very protective of our brand, as it is the face of the company,” he said. “Hybrid cloud is fairly new, and anything which makes channel integration complex, or raises questions in protest, creates headwinds to the sale. We are removing those headwinds.”

The ZeroStack Cloud Platform is based on OpenStack. It is delivered through hyper-converged ZeroStack Cloud Building Blocks that integrate compute, clustered storage, software-defined networking and management software in a control plane. The management and infrastructure functionality are on-prem, while the operations and user workflows are in the cloud.

Garrison said that the response since release has been strong, with considerable interest in Canada.

“We are seeing a lot of activity in Toronto – especially in the managed service provider community who can host this,” he stated. “Canada is an important market to us.”

The Z-Fabric Cloud Platform on Dell hardware will be generally available in September. It will be available on HPE hardware in the fourth quarter of the calendar year.