Is Google Cloud eyeing up Nutanix?

Is Google Cloud eyeing up Nutanix?

Tech giant linked with hybrid cloud-motivated acquisition

Thomas Kurian (Google Cloud)

Thomas Kurian (Google Cloud)

Credit: Google Cloud

Nutanix has been lined up as a potential $9 billion acquisition target of Google Cloud amid heightened media speculation across the technology industry.

The proposed buyout — speculated by analyst firm Trefis — centres around plans to enhance hybrid cloud offerings in an alliance set to “scratch each other’s itch”.

“We think Nutanix could fit in well with Google’s hybrid cloud strategy,” wrote Trefis, via an analyst note.

Citing Nutanix as a “leader” in the hyper converged infrastructure market, Trefis said key personnel within each vendor could also help fast-track the deal, including Sunil Potti, former chief product officer of Nutanix who has now joined Google Cloud. Likewise, Brian Stevens, vice president and CTO of Google Cloud was recently appointed to the board of directors at Nutanix.

Furthermore, the appointment of Thomas Kurian as CEO of Google Cloud in late 2018 has also added weight to the theory that the vendor will increase hybrid cloud investments to drive enterprise growth.

“Before Thomas Kurian was brought in, Google’s cloud business was known to be facing difficulty in selling to enterprises despite the company’s superior technology,” Trefis stated. “Nutanix could also potentially benefit from the cumulative learnings - leading to assimilation of technological prowess.

“The cumulative impact of heightened hybrid technology and coupled with experience sales personnel could lead to an improvement in sales for the combined cloud sales for the two companies.”

The move could also make sense from a market positioning perspective, according to Trefis, with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure both holding “preferred relationships” with VMware, a long-time rival of Nutanix.

Furthermore, IBM’s recent acquisition of Red Hat — designed to bolster hybrid cloud capabilities — could also pose a threat to Google Cloud’s plans to extend market share in the enterprise.

Despite the recent release of a hybrid cloud platform in the form of Anthos, Trefis said Google Cloud still “needs an established player in the data centre market to fulfil its goal of reaching out to the private clouds”.

“A potential acquisition could also benefit Nutanix, as the company has been witnessing sales slowdown due to salesforce-related issues and a transition to a subscription model,” Trefis added. “Although the company’s most recent results beat estimates, the management admitted that there is more room for improvement.

Increased media speculation aside however, Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey was quick to downplay the rumours.

“A lot of this is just speculation, so we don’t comment on speculation,” said Pandey, when speaking to CRN. “In terms of making sure that we are playing in a multi-cloud world, we are working with all three of the hyper-scalers very closely.”

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