The late, great Lord Mancroft, once defined PR as "The art of arranging the truth, so that people like you". That is in essence what is happing here.
As an (ex) Dell EMC salesperson, the ability of Dell/Cisco etc to bundle portfolio deals across category, then wrap these (or parts of these) in 'eat all you can' complex enterprise license with HW deals, is legendary.
So, as stated above, Dell can and do give away stuff, BUT, they can only recognise legal reported revenues on sum total of customer invoice. ie the parts that are then allocated internally to products lines, cannot exceed total. There are strict reporting and audit rules on this.
However, reporting to market share analysts is slightly different. Straightforward HW/SW deals (and that is all Nutanix can do) are clean cut. Whether one vendor reports out separately their closely coupled SW, as separate-to-HW revenues is another dodge that the "We are a SW" company" giants have deployed for years, to make them look good against SW-only corps.
When you have multi-categories and do large enterprise deals, it is practically difficult for outsiders to pick apart. As long as they don't over-report, the vendors are free to feed back to the unit-based market share junkies, their own rearrangements of the truth.
In this faux world of IDC and Gartner et al, the vendors can cite a number of mutli-million deals, any of which may contain HCI components at zero customer cost, as an HCI-centric deal at the total overall value of that deal.
Put more simply, Dell ECM book a $50m global multicategory deal with SHCB bank, including universal forward licensing, that contains I unit of HCI licensing, and that can be a great big all-HCI deal, when reported to unit analysts. It could be a great mainframe deal also, or a great dedupe deal, or a great cloud deal (hello Oracle) if one byte hits a Cloud.
What they never report is how the sales force get their fill. The internal fights for category-to-sales quota share of these deals are never reported, but show the real truth behind the market share BS.
Nutanix don't have enough scale, categories with which to cross-subsidise, neither do they have sufficient global account experience or penetrations, to get up to these tricks. Yet...