Rarely does an executive of a dominant company step aside to lead its biggest competitor. But that’s exactly what Rajiv Ramaswami, then chief operating officer for products and cloud services at VMware, did late last year when he took over the position of chief executive at Nutanix.

I was lucky enough to speak to Rajiv at the Nutanix investor conference last week. I shared the observation that he must have had a lot of respect for his number one competitor to make this move.

“Very much,” he told me. “I’ve always seen Nutanix as a staunch competitor who has a lot of customer loyalty and good, solid products that do what they’re supposed to do and that customers love.”

Customers seem to love what Nutanix sells. The company tells us that it has over 19,000 customers today, with minimal churn year over year. Nutanix prides itself on customer service and raises its net …

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