Google is ready to accept that some big enterprises need help getting their critical workloads to the cloud.
Its parent Alphabet on Wednesday announced a partnership with Nutanix, whose data center hardware and software provides a hybrid approach that bridges the gap between on-premise servers and machines in big cloud data centers.
The deal is another indication that Nutanix, which held its stock market debut last year, is now embracing the public cloud as a viable infrastructure choice. Simultaneously it reflects how Google is becoming more receptive to the needs of enterprises.
"With public cloud, you have to meet them where they are -- that's becoming increasingly clear," Nan Boden, Google's head of global alliances, told CNBC in an interview. She said that in recent years Google had not cut major deals with data center hardware providers.
In the public cloud, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services represent Google's biggest competition. Microsoft has been working to make its public cloud and private cloud tools match, while AWS has developed hardware and even trucks to facilitate the migration of data into its cloud.
Google, to date, has been less active in supporting cloud architectures that involve companies' existing on-premises infrastructure.
Nutanix does intend to support application deployment on AWS and Azure, although at this point it's working most closely with at Google.
Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey told CNBC that he's been particularly impressed with the head of Google's cloud, Diane Greene, who was previously co-founder and CEO of VMware.