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Nutanix Acropolis AOS OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Nutanix Acropolis AOS is #1 ranked solution in top Software Defined Storage (SDS) tools and HCI Software. IT Central Station users give Nutanix Acropolis AOS an average rating of 8 out of 10. Nutanix Acropolis AOS is most commonly compared to VMware vSAN:Nutanix Acropolis AOS vs VMware vSAN. Nutanix Acropolis AOS is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 60% of users researching this solution on IT Central Station. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 30% of all views.
What is Nutanix Acropolis AOS?

Nutanix delivers invisible infrastructure for next-generation enterprise computing, elevating IT to focus on the applications and services that power their business. Nutanix’s software-driven Xtreme Computing Platform natively converges compute, virtualization and storage into a single solution to drive simplicity in the datacenter. Using Nutanix, customers benefit from predictable performance, linear scalability and cloud-like infrastructure consumption.

For more information visit: www.nutanix.com

Nutanix Acropolis AOS was previously known as Nutanix AOS, Nutanix Acropolis.

Nutanix Acropolis AOS Buyer's Guide

Download the Nutanix Acropolis AOS Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Nutanix Acropolis AOS Customers

St. Lukes Health System, the City of Seattle, Yahoo! Japan, Sligro, Empire Life, Hyundai AUS, and many others.

Nutanix Acropolis AOS Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Nutanix Acropolis AOS pricing:
  • "This product is expensive, but they do have discounts. At one point, I saw that they were giving a 70% or 80% discount, which is a good thing, but maybe they should have a more realistic price and then a 5% to 10% discount."
  • "The pricing of Nutanix is not cheap but there are options available."

Nutanix Acropolis AOS Reviews

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Samuel Rothenbuehler
CTO Enterprise Cloud at Amanox Solutions (S&T Group)
Real User
Top 5Popular
What you might not know about Nutanix that makes it so unique

Pros and Cons

  • "Nutanix has several unique capabilities to ensure linear scalability."
  • "There is a need is to be able to consume Nutanix storage from outside the cluster for other, non-Nutanix workloads."

What is our primary use case?

As a systems integrator we use Nutanix on a daily basis since 2013 as out main, strategic and only infrastructure solution for virtualization and it's related storage component. We can offer most use cases today on Nutanix including VDI, server virtualization, big data and mission critical.

How has it helped my organization?

As a system integrator, Nutanix offers a highly standardized solution which can be deployed in timely fashion compared to legacy three-tier, generation one converged, and most competing hyper-converged solutions. This allows us to move quickly with a small team or architects, and implementation specialists for large projects.

What is most valuable?

Some years ago when we started working with Nutanix the solution was essentially a stable, user friendly hyper converged solution offering a less future rich version of what is now called the distributed storage fabric. This is what competing solutions typically offer today and for many customers it isn't easy to understand the added value (I would argue they should in fact be a requirement) Nutanix offers today in comparison to other approaches.

Over the years Nutanix has added lots of enterprise functionality like deduplication, compression, erasure coding, snapshots, (a)-sync replication and so on. While they are very useful, scale extremely well on Nutanix and offer VM granular configuration (if you don't care about granularity do it cluster wide by default). It is other, maybe less obvious features or I should say design principles which should interest most customers a lot:


Upgradeable with a single click

This was introduced a while ago, I believe around version 4 of the product. At first is was mainly used to upgrade the Nutanix software (Acropolis OS or AOS) but today we use it for pretty much anything from the hypervisor to the system BIOS, the disk firmware and also to upgrade sub components of the Acropolis OS. There is for example a standardized system check (around 150 checks) called NCC (Nutanix Cluster Check) which can be upgrade throughout the cluster with a single click independent of AOS. The One-Click process also allows you to use a granular hypervisor upgrade such as an ESXi offline bundle (could be a ptach release). The Nutanix cluster will then take care of the rolling reboot, vMotion etc. to happen in a fully hyper-converged fashion (e.g. don't reboot multiple nodes at the same time). If you think how this compares to a traditional three tier architecture (including converged generation 1) you do have a much simpler and well tested workflow which is what you use by default. And yes it does automatic prechecks and also ensures what you are updating is on the Nutanix compatibility matrix. It is also worth mentioning that upgrading AOS (the complete Nutanix software layer) doesn't require a host reboot since it isn't part of the hypervisor but installed as a VSA (regular VM). It also doesn't require any VMs to migrate away from the node/host during and after upgrade (I love that fact since bigger cluster tend to have some hickups when using vMotion and other similar techniques especially if you have 100 VMs on a host) not to mentioned the network impact.

Linearly scalable

Nutanix has several unique capabilities to ensure linear scalability. The key ingredients are data locality, a fully distributed meta data layer as well as granular data management. The first is important especially when you grow your cluster. It is true that 10G networks offer very low latency but the overhead will count towards every single read IO so you should consider the sum of them (and there is a lot of read IOs you get out of every single Nutanix node!). If you look at what development is currently ongoing in the field of persistent flash storage you will see that the network overhead will only become more important going forward. The second key point is the fully distributed meta data database. Every node holds a part of the database (the meta data belonging to it's currently local data for the most part and replica information from other nodes). All meta data is stored on at least three nodes for redundancy (each node writes to it's neighbor nodes in a ring structure, there are no meta data master nodes). No matter how many nodes your cluster holds (or will hold) there is always a defined number of nodes (three or five) involved when a meta data update is performed (a lookup/read is typically local). I like to describe this architecture using Big O notation where in this case you can think of it as O(n) and since there are no master node there aren't any bottlenecks at scale. The last key point is the fact that Nutanix acts as an object storage (you work with so called Vdisks) but the objects are split in small pieces (called extends) and distributed throughout the cluster with one copy residing on the local node and each replica residing on other cluster nodes. If your VM writes three blocks to its virtual disk they will all end up on the local SSD and the replicas (for redundancy) will be spread out in the cluster for fast replication (they can go to three different nodes in the cluster avoiding hot spots). If you move your VM to another node, data locality (for read access) will automatically be built again (of course only for the extends your VM currently uses). You might now think that you don't want to migrate that extends from the previous to the now local node but if you think about the fact that the extend will have to be fetched anyhow then why not saving it locally and serve it directly from the local SSD going forward instead of discarding it and reading it over the network every single time. This is possible because the data structure is very granular. If you would have to migrate the whole Vdisk (e.g. VMDK) because this is the way your storage layer saves its underlying data then you simply wouldn't do it (imagine vSphere DRS migrates your VMs around and your cluster would need to constantly migrate the whole VMDK(s)). If you wonder how this all matters when a rebuild (disk failure, node failure) is required then there is good news too! Nutanix immediately starts self healing (rebuild lost replica extends) whenever a disk or node is lost. During a rebuild all nodes are potentially used as source and target to rebuild the data. Since extends are used (not big objects) data is evenly spread out within the cluster. A bigger cluster will increase the probability of a disk failure but the speed of a rebuild is higher since a bigger cluster has more participating nodes. Furthermore a rebuild of cold data (on SATA) will happen directly on all remaining SATA drives (doesn't use your SSD tier) within the cluster since Nutanix can directly address all disks (and disk tiers) within the cluster.

Predictable

Thanks to data locality a large portion of your IOs (all reads, can be 70% or more) are served from local disks and therefore only impact the local node. While writes will be replicated for data redundancy they will have second priority over local writes of the destination node(s). This gives you a high degree of predictability and you can plan with a certain amount of VMs per node and you can be confident that this will be reproducible when adding new nodes to the cluster. As I mentioned above the architecture doesn't read all data constantly over the network and uses meta data master nodes to track where everything is stored. Looking at other hyper converged architectures you won't get that kind of assurance especially when you scale your infrastructure and the network won't keep up with all read IOs and meta data updates going over the network. With Nutanix a VM can't take over the whole clusters performance. It will have an influence on other VMs on the local node since they share the local hot tier (SSD) but that's much better compared to today's noisy neighbor and IO blender issues with external storage arrays. If you should have too little local hot storage (SSD) your VMs are allowed to consume remote SSD with secondary priority over the other node's local VMs. This means no more data locality but is better than accessing local SATA instead. Once you move away some VMs or the load on the VM gets smaller you automatically get your data locality back. As described further down Nutanix can tell you exactly what virtual disk uses how much local (and possibliy remote) data, you get full transparency there as well.

Extremely fast

I think it is known that hyper converged systems offer very high storage performance. Not much to add here but to say that it is indeed extremely fast compared to traditional storage arrays. And yes a full flash Nutanix cluster is as fast (if not faster) than an external full flash storage array with the added benefit that you read from you local SSD and don't have to traverse the network/SAN to get it (that and of course all other hyper convergence benefits). Performance was the area where Nutanix had the most focus when releasing 4.6 earlier this year. The great flexibility of working with small blocks (extends) rather than the whole object on the storage layer comes at the price of much greater meta data complexity since you need to track all these small entities through out the cluster. To my understanding Nutanix invested a great deal of engineering to make their meta data layer extremely efficient to be able to even beat the performance of an object based implementation. As a partner we regularly conduct IO tests in our lab and at our customers and it was very impressive to see how all existing customers could benefit from 30-50% better performance by simply applying the latest software (using one-click upgrade of course).

Intelligent

Since Nutanix has full visibility into every single virtual disks of every single VM it also has lots of ways to optimize how it deals with our data. This is not only the simple random vs sequential way of processing data but it allows to not have one application take over all system performance and let others starve (to name one example). During a support case we can see all sorts of crazy information (I have a storage background so I can get pretty excited about this) like where exactly your applications consumes it's resources (local, remote disks). What block size is used random/sequential, working set size (hot data) and lots more. All with single virtual disk granularity. At some point they were even thinking at making a tool which would look inside your VM and tell you what files (actually sub file level) are currently hot because the data is there and just needs to be visualized.

Extensible

If you take a look at the upcoming functionality I wrote about further down you can see just some examples of what is possible due to the very extensible and flexible architecture. Nutanix isn't a typical infrastructure company but more comparable to how Google, Facebook and others engineer and build their data centers. Nutanix is a software company following state of the art design patterns and using modern frameworks. Something I was missing when working with traditional infrastructure. For about a year now they heavily extended what they call the app mobility fabric which comes on top of the distributed storage fabric I mentioned above. This layer allows to move workloads between local hypervisors (currently KVM<->ESXi) and soon between private and public cloud as well. You can for example use KVM based Acropolis Hypervisor clusters for all your remote offices to get rid of high vSphere licensing costs without loosing the main functionality and replicate the VMs to a central vSphere based cluster. The replicated VMs can then be started on vSphere and Nutanix takes care of the conversion. The hypervisor is commodity just like your x86 servers.

Visionary

When Nutanix released version 1 of it's hyper converged product in 2011 it was a great idea and a good implementation of the same. Most people in IT didn't however expect that it will become the approach with the highest focus throughout the industry. Today the largest players in IT infrastructure push their hyper converged products and solutions more than any other and while there are still other less radical approaches (e.g. external all flash storage), it is foreseeable that they will be less and less important for the big part of IT projects. Nutanix is the leader in the hyper convergence space but having converged storage within your x86 commodity compute layer is by far not the only thing Nutanix has done since then. Their own included hypervisor is a pretty interesting alternative for all those who don't want to spend lots of dollars on vSphere licenses. While it will not yet suite all of your use cases you might actually be surprised at how much of the functionality vSphere offers today (distributed switch, host profiles, guest customization, HA etc.) you care about is already included out of the box with the added value of greatly reduced complexity (yes I am calling vSphere complex compared to Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor).

Standardized

Since Nutanix is purchased solely as an appliance solution (even though they are only making the software on top). You are always dealing with a pretested, preconfigured solution stack. You do have choice when it comes to memory, CPU, disk and GPU and you get to select from three hardware providers (Nutanix directly, DELL and Lenovo) but they are all predefined options. This allows to guarantee a high level of stability and fast resolution of support cases. As a Nutanix partner this is worth a lot since the experience we get from one customer is valid for any other customer as well. It also allows us to be very efficient and consistent when implementing or expanding the solution since we can put standardized processes in place to reduce possible issues during implementation to a minimum. Once the Nutanix hardware is rack mounted at the customer their software automatically installs the hypervisor of choice (KVM, Hyper-V or ESXi) and configures are necessary variables (IP addresses, DNS, NTP etc.). This is done by the cluster itself, the nodes stage each other over the local network.


And last but not least: With outstanding support

The support we get from Nutanix is easily the best from all vendors we work with. If you open a case you directly speak to an engineer which can help quickly and efficiently. Our customers sometimes open support cases directly (not through us) and so far the feedback was great. One interesting aspect is the VMware support we receive from Nutanix even if the licenses are not sold by them directly. They analyze all ESXi/vCenter logs we send them. If the bug isn't storage related we also open a case with VMware to continue investigating. They do have the possibility to directly engage with VMware by opening a support case directly (Nutanix->VMware) which we saw on multiple occasions. The last case we witnessed was a non-responsive hostd process (vCenter disconnects) where the first log analysis by Nutanix pointed out a possible issue with the Active Directory Integration Service. We then opened a VMware case which was handeled politely but after two weeks when there wasn't much progress other than collecting logs and more logs we remembered what the Nutanix engineer suggested and there was our solution. Disabling Active Directory Integration did the trick. I wouldn't say VMware support isn't good as well but we are always glad that Nutanix takes a look at the logs as well because at the end of the day you are just happy if you can move on and work on other things, not support cases. 


Note: I strongly encourage you to take a look at the Nutanix Bible (nutanixbible.com) where all mentioned aspects and many more are described in great detail.

What needs improvement?

Nutanix has the potential to replace most of today's traditional storage solutions. These are classic hybrid SAN arrays (dual and multi controller), NAS Filers, newer All-Flash Arrays as well as any object, big data etc. use cases.

For capacity it usually comes down to the price for large amounts of data where Nutanix may offer higher than needed storage performance at a price point which isn't very attractive. This has been address in a first step using storage only nodes which are essentially an intelligent disk shelf (mainly SATA) with its own virtual SDS appliance preinstalled. Storage nodes are managed directly by the Nutanix cluster (hypervisor isn't visible and no hypervisor license necessary). While this is going the right direction, larger storage nodes are needed to better support "cheap, big storage" use cases. For typical big data use cases today's combined compute and storage nodes (plus optionally storage only nodes) are already a very good fit! 

The Nutanix File Services (Filer with active directory integration) are a very welcomed addition customers get with a simple software upgrade. Currently this is available as tech preview to all Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV) customers and will soon be released to ESXi as well. This is one example of a service running on-top of the Nutanix distributed storage fabric, well integrated with the existing management layer (Prism) offering native scale out capabilities and One-Click upgrade like everything else. The demand from customers for a builtin filer is big, they are looking to not depend on legacy filer technology any longer. We are looking forward to seeing this technology mature and offer more features over the coming months and years.

Another customer need is to be able to consume Nutanix storage from outside the cluster for other, non-Nutanix workloads. These could include bare metal systems as well as non-supported hypervisors (e.g. Xen Server etc.). This functionality (called Volume Groups) is already implemented and available for use by local VMs (e.g. Windows Failover Cluster Quorum) and will soon be qualified for external access (already working from a technical point of view including MPIO multi pathing with failover). It will be interesting to see if Nutanix will allow active-active access to such iSCSI LUNs (as opposed to the current active-passive implementation) with the upcoming release(s). Imagine if you upgraded your Nutanix cluster (again this would be a simple One-Click software upgrade) and all of sudden you have a multi-controller, active-active (high-end) storage array. (Please note that I am not a Nutanix employee and that these statements describing possible future functionality are to be understood as speculation from my side which might never become officially available.)

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a partner for six years based in Switzerland. The author of this review previously worked five years at a large storage vendor as System Engineer specialized in Storage, Virtualization and VCE converged infrastructure.
CB
Solutions Architect at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Stable, straightforward to set up, and scalable

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup is straightforward."
  • "I'd like it to be more API-based."

What is our primary use case?

For our company, basically, we run all of our production VMs on it. Also, we have two demo networks that we do a lot of testing and whatnot for.

How has it helped my organization?

From an operator's perspective, we released from two to one person managing it, and pretty much the main benefit is the ease of use, ease of install, and ease of protecting, et cetera. 

From a grander view, it's allowed our customers to actually reduce the amount of software that they have to purchase. Not only do they have to purchase the hypervisor, and if they're in VMware, in most cases, they're purchasing disaster recovery tools and a whole bunch of other things. However, Nutanix has it all built-in so that users have one area to manage and maintain.

What is most valuable?

There are lots of different pieces. From a Disaster Recovery perspective, it is very valuable. Some of my customers are getting into Flow. We don't use Flow, however, we're testing it. Flow is their micro-segmentation, which is very useful for protecting your VMs and the traffic that goes to them. From an automation perspective around deploying virtual machines, Calm is pretty good as well.

The initial setup is straightforward.

The solution is very stable. 

The product scales very well.

What needs improvement?

Everything has room for improvement.

I could probably name quite a few things from a Nutanix perspective. The area of improvement that they're working on now is more of the files index and more of the API integration into those. From on-prem to public cloud, they already have AWS Nutanix clusters, however, a lot of customers are going to be utilizing a public cloud at some point and they're basically deploying Azure Nutanix clusters as well soon. That's an improvement that they're working on. That said, from an administration perspective, the software's pretty big. It would be great if they could add more features and API integrations to the higher-level products.

I'd like it to be more API-based. They need more additional features around their APIs and additional integration in some of the automation platforms that are out there. Nutanix is a solution where the hyper-converged portion of it is mature. They're working towards the cloud integration portion. 

I would like to see more improvement in that area of being easier to manage, or easy to implement, and easy to orchestrate in an AWS or an Azure type scenario.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about three years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's probably the most stable, hyper-conversion environment I've seen on the market. I base that on the storage portion of the hyper-conversion environment.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution scales well.

To expand the clusters, you don't really have limits as you would in other products from a scalability perspective. There are still best practices around how big you want to scale it. However, the expansion process is pretty simple and straightforward.

I have probably about 10 people utilizing it within my company and their roles range from infrastructure admins to solution architects that do testing as well as some engineers that we do consulting with. If you look at our customers quite, it ranges. It depends on the products they deploy, however, they might have infrastructure admins, DBAs, or automation engineers. It just depends on how big the deployment is and what products they're using.

We have four clusters. For customers that have 250 to 300 hosts that are running, it's pretty much one person to manage and maintain that system. You can pretty much maintain it with one FTE.

Internally, we will likely expand usage. We have plans to actually spin up on clusters within public cloud infrastructure to protect our systems. From an expansion perspective that just depends on where our business goes and how many more resources we need. From a customer perspective, expansion is going to be more when they start utilizing more of the cloudlike features such as Kubernetes or databases service through Era, or even Calm. That's where things will expand.

How are customer service and support?

Technical support is very good. It's probably one of the best.

I see a lot of technical support. I see a lot of the people or older legacy companies that have been around for a while, and technical support will usually go downhill.  There's probably a handful of them that are really good. 

If you look at their scores online, they're always rated pretty high and it's hard to do that.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were on VMware, prior to this product. It was getting to the point of being a hassle to maintain, and this solution simplified things considerably.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not overly complex or difficult. It's straightforward and takes about two hours to deploy.

The deployment for my company, and we're a smaller company, with a total of 60 VMs at most, took about a week total. That involved moving off of VMware to HV including the migration of the virtual machines. That was just done due to the timeframes. You could do those at night. Ultimately, the cluster and everything was set up within a day and ready to go. Then, the move process for those VMs just took a little bit of time to move into. I have other customers who are running migrations that take a little bit longer, however, you're talking 2,500 to 3000 VMs. That's more of a two to three-month process to get those moved. That said, the migration goes pretty quickly and that's pretty small from a migration perspective with a whole new platform.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I cannot speak to the exact pricing of the product. However, as a partner, we do have access to reduced costs.

There are additional costs. Nutanix is a software-driven company. They do sell hardware, however, in most cases, you bring your own hardware. The cost of the solution might be a little bit higher than what you would look at from just a straight out VMware, however, you're getting a lot more and you're reducing the fact that you don't need VMware in that mix. 

The hypervisor that's provided with Nutanix is free. As the costs roll-out, Nutanix is actually a better TCO than any of the other solutions in the market that are even comparable.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We actually evaluated quite a few different hyper-converged infrastructures prior to bringing on Nutanix as a partner and they are the best in the market from that perspective.

What other advice do I have?

I'm a partner of Nutanix. I'm a user, however, I'm also a seller of Nutanix.

We are on version five. I can't remember the exact version number. We have both five and six. I have multiple clusters that are running within our infrastructure and then I have multiple clusters that are running within my customers' infrastructure.

While we currently use Azure for our cloud, we will likely use both Azure and AWS in the future.

I'd advise potential new users to do their homework and make sure that they don't necessarily listen to what the manufacturers are saying. Go find out for yourself.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten. I wouldn't say it's a ten. I'm a pretty hard scorer. There are features and functionality where VMware makes things easier. Other solutions make things a little bit easier from a deployment perspective or something along those lines, however, that's just due to the fact that they've been in the market for a long period of time and their solution set has built or has grown from that perspective. They are highly ranked as they reduce the amount of maintenance and administration that you have to keep it running.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Learn what your peers think about Nutanix Acropolis AOS. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
554,382 professionals have used our research since 2012.
BM
IT manager at a transportation company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Easy to maintain and update

Pros and Cons

  • "One of the most valuable features of Nutanix is that it's easy to use. I love this solution—it's easy to maintain and update, and I think it's almost perfect."
  • "I'm sure there are a lot of things that could be improved, but I'm actually very satisfied with this product. There may be some possibilities to move the virtual server dismounting points or to move the server from one group to another, but I can't think of any special improvements or update features."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case for Nutanix is for running Windows servers. Nutanix is deployed on-premises. 

How has it helped my organization?

Nutanix was a very good business solution for our site. It's an expensive system, but it provides power savings, in terms of the low costs for running it, and it was a good business investment. 

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features of Nutanix is that it's easy to use. I love this solution—it's easy to maintain and update, and I think it's almost perfect. 

What needs improvement?

I'm sure there are a lot of things that could be improved, but I'm actually very satisfied with this product. There may be some possibilities to move the virtual server dismounting points or to move the server from one group to another, but I can't think of any special improvements or update features. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Nutanix for the past two years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I'm very satisfied with the stability and performance of Nutanix. This solution is easy to maintain. You use the LCM module, press update, and it's done for you. It's wonderful because you don't have to do anything—it's almost too easy. I am the only one handling maintenance for and managing Nutanix. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable. I just added some extra discs to the system because we were running out of space and all I had to do was put the discs inside the service—Acropolis took care of the rest. It added volume and said that everything was done automatically, so it's difficult to make the process any easier. 

How are customer service and support?

Whenever I have had a support case, Nutanix has always helped to solve it the first time around. I have never had to wait for an extra or false opinion on the product or problem; it has always been solved within first contacting Nutanix. Compared to what I've seen of other technical support, it's hard to get better than this. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We worked with VMware for some years before switching to Nutanix. We had a problem with our SQL servers, which were running on VMware, and the performance wasn't good. There was a product called Pernix that we installed to VMware, to speed up the storage process when it was saving files and data. Pernix worked very well.

They implemented that technology from Pernix into Nutanix, which is why I think Nutanix performs so well. There is an internal storage service, rather than a storage center, so you don't have to spend time waiting for the network. That was what Pernix did: it moved the storage, or part of the storage, inside the server, which then took care of saving to that storage. It's a little complicated to explain, but that was why our SQL servers were working as a traditional server with a separate machine. This is the way that Nutanix works as well. You have the server you are running always located on the local stores and it will make sure to back everything up. Instead of looking at VMware, I would advise looking at Nutanix or something else that's similar. However, it's IP, so it's always evolving. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was done by Lenovo at delivery, but it seemed to be quite easy. There is always some setup in the beginning, but once the setup's done, it will only take a few minutes to add an extra node or anything. It's done almost automatically—you don't have to do anything, just put them in and then they're up and running. 

What about the implementation team?

We implemented through a vendor team. The initial setup was done by Lenovo Professional Services, but on a day-to-day basis, I handle the running of Nutanix. I only contact Nutanix if there is an error I cannot solve myself, which has only happened three or four times. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This product is expensive, but they do have discounts. At one point, I saw that they were giving a 70% or 80% discount, which is a good thing, but maybe they should have a more realistic price and then a 5% to 10% discount. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate Nutanix a ten out of ten. I recommend this solution to any companies considering implementation. It was a good business investment for our company and as an extended working system, it is easy to maintain and use. The costs for running it are also low. For most companies who are already running some system at a certain scale and on-premises, I think a lot of them could benefit from this solution. 

I'm an end user and don't have any direct business connection with Nutanix—I only contact them when I need technical support. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Lipaz Hessel
Country Manager and Solution Architect at Gilat telecom
Real User
Top 5
I can update the system with one click

Pros and Cons

  • "One of the most valuable features is the One-Click Upgrade. When I need to update the system, I do it with one click. This product is amazing because everything is easy to manage, from network management to snapshots."
  • "Nutanix needs to improve network features like Passthrough – SR-IOV. It could be improved by supporting SR-IOV, if they had that support, I would not have needed to implement the VMWare vSAN."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case is to deliver cloud services. This is for our cloud infrastructure. Nutanix is deployed on-premises, but I have six locations that I manage remotely, so it's like they're cloud-based. 

How has it helped my organization?

Nutanix has improved my company because it's 100% stable and the simplicity of management is amazing. It's my favorite product. We set it up here in Israel, then remote technicians in Africa just plug in the cables, start it up, and everything is running.

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features is the One-Click Upgrade. When I need to update the system, I do it with one click. This product is amazing because everything is easy to manage, from network management to snapshots. 

What needs improvement?

Nutanix needs to improve network features like Passthrough – SR-IOV. It could be improved by supporting SR-IOV, if they had that support, I would not have needed to implement the VMWare vSAN.

SR-IOV give the ability for a VM to use the physical NIC as its own NIC with all the network featuers on that NIC.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for five years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is very stable. I'm 100% satisfied with the stability. 

For maintenance, one person is enough. If you're looking at an IT environment, the same person who does the Active Directory can manage Nutanix as well. You don't need to hire a person who specializes in Nutanix. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of this solution is linear. We have already done two or three scales in two of our locations. We just send two nodes to each location, they connect it, we run Auto-discover, and boom, it's configured. 

At my company, there are many people using our cloud products running on Nutanix. In Ghana there are more than 10,000 users; in Uganda, it's around 30,000 people; in Israel, it's about 200 people; but in London, there are around 20 million people using it. Because we provide cloud services to mobile network operators, each mobile network operator has millions of users and to manage the traffic, we use Nutanix. 

Currently, we have five clusters, twenty-four nodes, and we have plans to increase next year. 

How are customer service and support?

I have a direct phone number that I call and someone immediately answers—you can't get better support than this. I've never needed real support, only clarification on how to use it better. For example, we wanted to do an upgrade and we were on an old version in one of the clusters, so we contacted them for guidance. There were a few steps on the upgrade, so we asked to make sure we were doing it correctly. We got an immediate answer, ran the upgrade, and everything was okay. Their support is great. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very simple. You turn on the servers, enter the IP configuration, and that's it. You're good to go. The whole deployment—fixing the cables, mounting the equipment under the rack, setting up the cluster—is simple and once the equipment is plugged in, it's up in 15 minutes. 

What about the implementation team?

I implemented through an in-house team. I didn't need any external support. For deployment, I did it all by myself five years ago, but today there are two people to manage the full IT. These two people also run Nutanix. 

What was our ROI?

I'm a telecom, so I don't see a direct ROI on the IT. I use Nutanix to run a product that brings me money, so the return on investment takes a few months. For example, I have to buy a server (VMware), pay out, I run some virtual machines to run the product, and from that income I calculate ROI. It's not regular IT, so you can't compare it with other scenarios. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I purchase a license for this product every five years. At the beginning of our work, we purchased the Ultimate edition that included everything. Over the years, they developed some features that require licenses, like Nutanix Flow. But we keep purchasing our five-year license with all the features included. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I use VMware vSAN as well. I outsourced a team of five to help me configure the servers. I'm not sure if it's better or not because we just started the new cluster of VMware vSAN, but I needed to pay for their knowledge. One product that we are implementing requires the use of VMware. That one product is the reason why we implemented VMware. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Nutanix Acropolis a ten out of ten. It's an amazing product. If you are looking into implementing Nutanix, I recommend going to their website (my.nutanix.com) and enjoying the information there. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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reviewer1439442
Associate Engineer at Secure Meters Limited
Real User
Top 20
Reduces space and power consumption

Pros and Cons

  • "I definitely find the reduced power consumption very valuable. Another aspect I really like, when one compares Citrix to VMware, is the interface where you talk directly to your VM from the present software."
  • "As of now, Acropolis and VMware cannot talk to each other. Until we have some kind of interface, it would be much better for Nutanix if they built an interface that can talk. Otherwise, if I have a VMware stack and I already have a Nutanix stack, I can create containers, I create clusters on VMware, I create clusters on Nutanix."

What is our primary use case?

We use Nutanix Acropolis AOS for the high availability that we get with it. The platform's extremely stable and other nice things that we like about it is that if we have to move the server or anything, it's not a lot to move and power consumption is a big thing for us as well.

My primary use case of this solution is that it helped me solve all of my use cases. I can create an integrative private cloud in a data center, create a hybrid cloud, public cloud, and near-site data recording. For example, there are lots of sites that do not have the data there so I can create data because Nutanix also has got it stored on the nodes. It takes care of storage on the nodes. I can build storage on the nodes, compute them, give the clients who already have a small data center within themselves but they do not have it externally. By using storage on the nodes in Nutanix I can give them the external.

How has it helped my organization?

We primarily use Nutanix as our base environment where we host all our database servers. We also host our active directory on it, our mail servers, and all of our bare-metal systems combined into one unit. Then we use Inuvika for the VDI environment on top of Nutanix.

One of the benefits this solution has had for my organization is space consumption. Space consumption was reduced by approximately 40% because if I had gone with another kind of traditional, or open-world solution, then I would have not saved my floor space. Another way it has benefited my organization is because of the energy consumption.

What is most valuable?

I definitely find the reduced power consumption very valuable. Another aspect I really like, when one compares Citrix to VMware, is the interface where you talk directly to your VM from the present software.

On-demand scaling is the most valuable feature, I can keep on scaling on-demand.

With Nutanix, if I do three or four nodes if I look at the traditional environment I have to really figure out the wave concept. Connect wave one, wave two, wave six, wave five. In Nutanix I don't have any of these issues. Lastly, deduplication. Deduplication and erasure coding

What needs improvement?

As of now, Acropolis and VMware cannot talk to each other. Until we have some kind of interface, it would be much better for Nutanix if they built an interface that can talk. Otherwise, if I have a VMware stack and I already have a Nutanix stack, I can create containers, I create clusters on VMware, I create clusters on Nutanix. All of these clusters cannot talk to each other. Then it has to be then subverted as parallel execution.

I would suggest that this could perhaps be switched. That is so far the only change I would like. I would like it if they could fix the instance where you double click on a VM and it opens the VM instead of the setup.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've only been using Nutanix Acropolis for a short time now so we haven't gone into full production with the product yet.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This product is very scalable. We currently have 60 users. One of the things I like about it is that you can add extra nodes without any problem. Something we are currently looking at for the future is to put a smaller cluster on each side, where we can then, overnight, replicate the data from the site to the primary cluster. That's one of the other reasons why we looked at Nutanix instead of VMware and Citrix.

How are customer service and technical support?

We had only one query so far, and the support team was excellent. They came back to us immediately and their service was excellent.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We've only been using Nutanix Acropolis for a short time now so we haven't gone into full production with the product yet.

How was the initial setup?

The entire setup took us half a day. We used a consultant for the deployment. The service I received from them is unbelievable.

What about the implementation team?

One of the major problems with IT in South Africa is that licensing fees are 14 times more expensive than anywhere in the world.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten. If they develop the interoperability then it would make it a ten.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at other options like VMware and Citrix, but Nutanix was the only solution that offered us scalability and the option to add extra notes without any problems.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Steffen Hornung
Administrator at Neuberger Gebäudeautomation GmbH
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to manage in an integrated environment using a single pane of glass

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the integration of all parts in Prism Element, the browser-based management tool."
  • "I would enjoy an advanced mode where experienced users can leverage their knowledge to do advanced things currently only allowed using the command line tools on the CVM."

What is our primary use case?

We replaced our three-tier-solution with Nutanix and kept our VMware ESXi licenses.

We use it for general virtualization, host our Windows fileserver virtually, and do VirtualDesktops with Citrix there.

We have two nodes equipped with one nVidia M10-GPU each to get 3D-acceleration to boost the CAE-Terminal servers. This means that VMs like AD-Domain controllers, Exchange-Servers, SQL-Servers, and various Application Servers are running side-by-side with our SAP-Systems leveraging the  SAP ASE Database (no HANA, yet) virtually on vSphere 6.

How has it helped my organization?

We were content with the previous solution, which was NetApp Storage and Dell Blade-Servers for compute. We did not miss a thing besides the performance. Now, after three years in production, we would not go back to that solution.

Nutanix gives us fewer headaches with managing and other administrative operations. Having a single-vendor-solution is much more straightforward. We don't have to deal with VMware because it simply is not necessary, besides setting up new GPU-machines.

Creation of VMs can be done with Prism Element, the web management for each Nutanix Cluster. Nutanix also covers any problems we have with the ESXi software.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the integration of all parts in Prism Element, the browser-based management tool. It gives you detailed information about the environment, helps you drill down on alerts, and keeps the solution up to date with LCM (Life Cycle Manager).

When using Nutanix AHV as a hypervisor, it is the management tool for that too. When you chose another hypervisor it just does basic tasks like VM creation, reconfiguration, and start/stop. It is just enough to keep everything in this "single-pane-of-glass" tool.

What needs improvement?

I would enjoy an advanced mode where experienced users can leverage their knowledge to do advanced things currently only allowed using the command line tools on the CVM.

While using the Shell is okay for sich advanced things like take a disk image as a ground for a Calm blueprint it would be easier to get it done. Even more so of you just follow directions of a colleague.

Currently that kind of task is limitted to the shell.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Nutanix Acropolis AOS for more than three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Unless you opt for the short term support path (STS), stability is a given with LTS versions. You get not every feature available, immediately, but that is no concern for stable systems.

You cannot download older versions with known critical bugs. The Life Cycle Manager (LCM) supports you with checks to hint at known compatibility issues. I noticed the hint to update Nutanix Files in order to support the AOS upgrade I was planning. Directly in Prism Element!

That is simply amazing. Of course, one would visit the "upgrade paths" and "software interoperability" pages in the support section of https://my.nutanix.com .

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is the true nature of HCI solutions like Nutanix AOS. Just add a node. Done.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used NetApp Storage in conjunction with Dell Blade-Servers for compute.

How was the initial setup?

My advice is to get your first cluster up and running with a partner experienced to do so. We got lucky with our Nutanix partner company but ask for their level of experience. Don't get me wrong: it is not hard to set up but you should have support from experienced consultants who are familiar if something goes south.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing of Nutanix is not cheap but there are options available. Don't cut short on support contracts, as the (pricey) ultimate support offering is worth every buck.

You have to realize that Nutanix AOS is the basic platform for your environment. If you need to cut costs then use Nutanix AHV as a hypervisor free of charge. Most applications are running with that. If it runs on ESXi then it most likely runs on AHV, but check with your other application vendors.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We explored the options by re-iterating our previous solution and came short of delivering support for additional demands like VDI. Re-Iterating also meant up-staging storage because of the ONTAP-OS upgrade. So, a change was due, either way.

What other advice do I have?

It is difficult for me to point to areas that need improvement. AOS is constantly on the move to new heights. It is considered even on a feature-level with vSAN, while far ahead of that in regards to performance and resilience.

See Nutanix Principal Architect Josh Odgers CloudXC | By Josh Odgers – VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) #90 for a detailed explanation on that topic.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AB
Manager, Operations at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Great for scaling, and good value in terms of services provided, however difficult to set up

Pros and Cons

  • "One of the most valuable features is that it can be applied at any scale."
  • "Some clients find the solution's cost to be too high."

What is our primary use case?

I won't be able to disclose anything with regards to our client's contractual agreements in terms of what we have done or not, at their premises, or even if it's on the hybrid model. I'm not even allowed to disclose the name of our clients without their prior approval, so I can't really get into primary use cases.

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features is that it can be applied at any scale. 

The value you get for the price is quite good.

What needs improvement?

It's difficult to discuss what is lacking on the solution. We would have to do a proper analysis because not every client has the same requirements. 

Based on our experience up until now, even the clients, when they are looking for a proper platform, have already identified Nutanix as being the one solution that would be the most relevant to them. We would need to get into a more detailed analysis in terms of what features or benefits the clients are looking for to see if there is something lacking. 

We would need to look at scalability, or reduced latency, and stuff like that. There are so many elements that are implemented for each client. As well, there may be specific areas that the client wanted to be improved. However, from our perspective, we don't see any glaring holes in the product.

The initial setup does need a team with experience with it in order to execute it correctly. It's not easy.

Some clients find the solution's cost to be too high.

For how long have I used the solution?

I haven't been using the solution for too long. I've only been using it for 18 months, so just over a year or so.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I can't speak to the stability of the solution. I'd have to discuss this aspect with my team. We do provide support and may have some recommendations in relation to that, however, at this moment, I can't really comment.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is great. If you are a large company or an enterprise, you should be able to scale it well.

How are customer service and technical support?

We actually provide technical support to our clients. Our technical team has the training, and we're able to provide guidance and clarification on our end in terms of problems or issue son the solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not straightforward. On our team, for example, we had to get to know Nutanix extremely well before we could master it. Only then would we be able to prepare the solution for different clients. If you have knowledge of the solution, the setup will be much easier. Still, it's complex.

I'm not sure how long the average deployment takes.

However, the project may not just include Nutanix. There may be other interventions that have to happen simultaneously. Typically, a project from end to end may take about three months to complete.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Some clients think the solution is quite expensive.

What other advice do I have?

In terms of advice I could give to those considering the solution, I'll say this: it all depends on what they're looking for and what their ultimate objectives are. They need to clarify that internally before landing on Nutanix.  

At the same time, anyone going for hyper-converged should do so, as it's the future. Once a company decides on a solution like Nutanix, they expect to reap the benefits. Even before going with their decision, they need to know what it offers and how it will work to help them achieve their goals.

At the end of the day, it's all about our clients being more effective and efficient in their daily work or with their end clients. 

I'd rate the solution seven out of ten.

They're still evolving and we are not yet in a situation where we must interact fully. Some people will definitely come and tell you Nutanix is very, very expensive. However, expensive with regards to what? Or expensive compared to what? It's all about what you get out of it, and what kind of returns you're expecting. This is where Nutanix can make a difference.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator
JB
Consulting Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
MSP
Everything is core centralized; it's a significant cost saver for those not leveraging a hypervisor

Pros and Cons

  • "Everything is core centralized on the UI."
  • "Could have better visibility with the main OEM backup integrators."

What is our primary use case?

We deliver a lot of different solutions on various platforms, including different HCI solutions and solutions like Nutanix and Cisco HyperFlex and NetApps, later HCI mile. Most of them have been on Nutanix and on Cisco HyperFlex and as well as VxRack. Our primary use case has of Nutanix has been for virtualization consolidation. We are partners and resellers of Nutanix and I'm a consulting solutions architect.

What is most valuable?

Nutanix has several feature sets that we like. For example, everything's core centralized on the UI. You don't have multiple interfaces that you have to jump between like in some other solutions. It's more integrated for the overall management of the infrastructure. The other part too which is very attractive, is the fact they provide an option if you're not leveraging your OEM hypervisor like VMware or HyperV. That was a significant cost saver for us as well as enabling us to look at alternatives to the VMware tax. 

What needs improvement?

For now, I can't think of anything that can be improved. They've been pretty innovative and have provided a fairly comprehensive roadmap. I've worked directly with some of the backend TME guys and they're very responsive and have addressed anything that's come up. However, I would like to see better visibility with the main OEM backup integrators to have a full backup recovery from site to site and from site to cloud and cloud to cloud - the full range. The cloud ecosystem for public/private, site to site visibility with a single backup product.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for five years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From a software perspective, it's incredibly stable and portable. The only caution I would give is that since it is a software-defined solution, be careful of the underlying hardware. It's nothing to do with Nutanix, it's a hardware issue. You may have a highly available, reliable software platform, but it's on commodity hardware so you might experience more failures on the hardware because you decided to go for commodity. You need to be careful how you're architecting your solution and your application factors as you build up your data center, and not sell yourself short and get the cheapest hardware on the market to save costs, because that can turn out to be an expensive decision. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't seen any issues with scalability. Most people I know for the most part are very sensitive about the fault domains. So they tend to go off from smaller clusters. You do have the ability to go pretty much as far as is humanly possible, it depends how much risk you want to take, but at the same time the scalability is definitely there. Most systems are capped at where you can scale out cluster-wise of VMware, 64 nodes and HyperV at 64. There are two factors to the scalability equation. There's the storage within each node, which is fine and then obviously the scalability as far as CPU and memory go. You can mix and match your platforms on your favorite vendor, but then you need the ability to go beyond 64 where necessary. We do have a couple of accounts that we've worked with where they have some fairly large clusters and I think that's a great option for people needing that level of scalability.

What other advice do I have?

The biggest thing that I've seen has been the backup and recovery which has been challenging for them over the past couple of years. They partnered with Beam and with Rubrik and Cohesity. They had their OEM go-to's, but didn't initially deliver a very good story for application integration for backup and recovery where they had good copy data management. Most of the OEMs are very good at backing up single clusters for local backup and recovery. That said, whenever true disaster recovery was needed and you're leveraging multiple Nutanix missions site to site, there wasn't the visibility of being able to backup or being able to have the application integration.

I would rate this solution an eight out of 10. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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