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Dell PowerFlex vs Nutanix Acropolis AOS comparison

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Buyer's Guide
Dell PowerFlex vs. Nutanix Acropolis AOS
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell PowerFlex vs. Nutanix Acropolis AOS and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"The most useful aspect is the hyper-converged SD SAN and the ease to expand it by just adding cheap SSD or NVME disks.""High Availability is the best feature of product.""The fact that the solution is vendor-agnostic allows it to be used with any virtualization vendor while remaining a powerful abstraction over storage.""The solution is also quite flexible. As an example, other vSAN solutions that we looked at had more stringent requirements regarding mixed HDD/SSD storage which wouldn't have worked in our environment.""In the three years that we have been using StarWind, the product has yet to cause us any problems.""Starwind made it easy to deploy fully redundant, highly available storage at a low cost.""The vSAN provides full redundancy for storage while reclaiming some rack space.""The ability to run the software virtually on every virtualization platform and the ability to eliminate all storage vendor locking are the most valuable features."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Pros →

"We've had no issues with scaling the solution.""It is easy to use for management and operations teams because the tools are in one place.""The catalog of APIs for automation has been most valuable, although they are quite limited."

More Dell PowerFlex Pros →

"The solution is well integrated with other vendors.""The most valuable feature I have found to be the Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV).""The virtualization environment is now much easier to manage and maintain, there is only one vendor to call in case of issues and one single console to manage everything.""It has a user-friendly dashboard and interface.""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.""It's easy to use and has a very smooth onboarding process.""Nutanix Acropolis AOS has very good stability.""We have had good feedback from our customers about this solution."

More Nutanix Acropolis AOS Pros →

Cons
"Although minor, some of the documentation could be rewritten to be clearer.""The console is something that I feel could be improved. There is nothing technically wrong with it, but it can be jazzed up and/or made to be a little more intuitive.""I would definitely like to see quite a bit more on the monitoring side of things.""I would like an automated installation/configuration despite the fact that their service is very collaborative, a customer should be able to deploy the solution by themselves.""It would be nice to add the ability to use raw partitions instead of file containers.""I see no need for major improvements but there could be some improvements in the form of notifications and the simplifying of maintenance mode.""We just need more integration with Veeam.""The system failovers properly on its own without too much worry."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Cons →

"We've had some issues around the licensing.""It would be great to get earlier access to beta builds because we have to develop providers on our own. The APIs and enablers for custom automation could also be improved.""The installation is complex."

More Dell PowerFlex Cons →

"The One-Click Upgrade process could/should offer the ability to integrate with 3rd party drivers. For example, we use NVIDIA Grid graphics cards. It would be amazing if, during the One-Click Upgrade process, we could "slipstream" additional VIB drivers for ESXi into the upgrade process.""In the future, I would like to see multi-tenancy in Nutanix Acropolis AOS.""I would like them to update their licensing to provide more features with their basic license.""It was not a great fit for really large databases that required high-end or lots of compute. They might already have addressed this concern around very high-end databases that require high-end compute. In the past, it wasn't a great fit for them.""This solution offers excellent functionality but could use a stronger interface.""The only problem is that not many operating systems are supported on the AOS hypervisor. They need to probably increase the support on multiple operating systems. As of now, a very limited number of operating systems and patch levels are supported on AOS.""We ran into an issue as a managed service provider because Acropolis isn't designed to be used the way we are running it. For example, if we want to deploy a Kubernetes service, the customer networks need to reach our protected cluster network. We have isolated our customers in separate VLANs. However, our customers' networks must access our cluster network to get features like iSCSI or Kubernetes to run. It's challenging.""The software-defined networking should be improved. It is quite substandard as compared to the VMware variant. The software-defined networking is quite limited, and we usually use other products to do that. We're aware that Nutanix is working on that and will be coming out with better solutions, and we can't wait because to do a fully software-defined architecture, the abstraction layer needs not only software-defined storage, which you have, but also the software-defined networking piece."

More Nutanix Acropolis AOS Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "The cost seems a bit steep, and I wish it was less expensive."
  • "I think the bang for the buck is much better with StarWind Virtual SAN."
  • "I think that purchasing StarWind Virtual SAN Professional Edition would be optimal for most."
  • "The setup cost, pricing, and licensing are very straightforward. They are exactly what you expect."
  • "The cost was ultimately low to implement, which allowed us to be 3-2-1 complaint."
  • "I think the cost of this solution is quite fair."
  • "If you are looking at a traditional SAN for a small cluster, give StarWind vSAN because you will save thousands without any compromise."
  • "The StarWind VSAN business model is very cost-effective."
  • More StarWind Virtual SAN Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The price of the solution is fair, it is priced in the average range amongst competitors."
  • "The cost of this solution is fair."
  • More Dell PowerFlex Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "AHV is free! This is a great feature that should be taken advantage of."
  • "The licensing costs are a bit expensive but when you compare the features, it's reasonable."
  • "This product is less expensive than some of the competing HCI solutions."
  • "Its price is fine. I can't really complain about that."
  • "My advice is to get the ultimate license, as it is worth it."
  • "The setup cost, pricing, and licensing are very competitive and TCO is very low compared to three-tier solutions."
  • "Nutanix is cheaper than Cisco HyperFlex, although it depends on the configuration because Nutanix can also be expensive."
  • "The pricing is fair for the package."
  • More Nutanix Acropolis AOS Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:The features that I found most valuable are ease of use of the software that StarWind offers - with the first setup… more »
    Top Answer:The initial setup cost will be great, especially with the new hardware. The StarWind pricing isn't that expensive… more »
    Top Answer:Some users have commented on online forums and others that the documentation and KB articles could be clearer or better… more »
    Top Answer:VxRail vs. Dell EMC PowerFlex VxRail provides stable solutions for technical problems while at the same time not being… more »
    Top Answer:The catalog of APIs for automation has been most valuable, although they are quite limited.
    Top Answer:We found the reduced power consumption with Nutanix Acropolis AOS a very attractive feature. We also like the interface… more »
    Top Answer: Cisco HyperFlex HS series vs Nutanix Acropolis AOS Cisco HyperFlex gives extended hyper-convergence functions… more »
    Top Answer:We found the reduced power consumption with Nutanix Acropolis AOS a very attractive feature. We also like the interface… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    VxFlex, VxRack FLEX, PowerFlex
    Nutanix AOS, Nutanix Acropolis
    Learn More
    Overview

    For SMB, ROBO, Cloud and Hosting providers, who look to cut down virtualization expenses, our solution is StarWind VSAN. It is software that eliminates any need in physical shared storage by basically “mirroring” internal hard disks and flash between hypervisor servers. There is less hardware to buy in general, consequently less money is spent on purchase and maintenance. The existing hardware is used with maximum efficiency, so there is no money wasted at all.

    StarWind Virtual SAN targets those who already have servers, or are bound to a particular vendor list to buy from. In case there is a new virtualization infrastructure to be built from scratch, StarWind offers a much better way – StarWind HyperConverged Appliance. It is a turnkey solution complete with hardware and software, powered by StarWind Virtual SAN. Those who need to build and maintain virtualization infrastructure at little to no expense, may be interested in StarWind Virtual SAN Free.

    VxRack System consists of hyper-converged rack-scale engineered systems, with integrated networking, to achieve the scalability and management requirements of traditional and cloud native workloads. The VxRack series is purposely designed to enable customers to quickly deploy Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and/or Private Cloud architectures. VxRack Systems tightly integrate hardware with software and management layers.

    The result is a fully tested, pre-configured, hyper-converged system with simplified operations at data center and Service Provider scale. VxRack Systems support the deployment of a variety of application workloads, allowing IT to rapidly deliver new services while improving overall agility and efficiency.

    Nutanix Acropolis AOS is a foundation operating system or "data plane.” It is the operating system for the Nutanix hyper-converged infrastructure platform. Compare this to Nutanix's "control plane" components, Prism and Calm. The Acropolis Operating System is abbreviated as AOS. It is a back-end solution for workload and resource management, as well as for provisioning and operations. Its purpose is to separate the supporting resource from the workloads that are operating, while offering a single platform to operate on. Workloads can now travel between hypervisors, cloud providers, and platforms without interruption. Nutanix Acropolis AOS is a turnkey solution that can be implemented in 60 minutes or less, out of the box. Nutanix Acropolis AOS eliminates standalone SAN or NAS-based storage and costly virtualization. 

    Nutanix Acropolis AOS Features

    Nutanix Acropolis AOS has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Preinstalled AHV virtualization: Nutanix Acropolis AOS includes AHV, our native virtualization solution, as well as VMware ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization technologies. Nutanix AHV is a full enterprise virtualization solution that is deeply integrated into Acropolis and comes at no extra cost. AHV provides the functionality needed to run enterprise applications.
    • Enterprise storage: Nutanix Acropolis AOS offers a distributed storage fabric that offers enterprise-class storage services such as de-duplication, compression, encryption, and erasure coding to all types of applications. Its data locality assures the most efficient performance.
    • Platform services: Nutanix Acropolis AOS provides a comprehensive collection of software-defined platform services that enable IT organizations to centrally manage and consolidate all of their workloads on the Nutanix platform.
    • Networking services: Nutanix Acropolis AOS offers a comprehensive collection of services for securing applications with native microsegmentation, analyzing network and performance, and automating routine network tasks.
    • VXLAN:  This is a virtualization overlay network that allows for the creation of private, isolated networks in the data center. These networks are layer 2 switches to which all traffic is routed. 

    Nutanix Acropolis AOS Benefits

    There are many benefits to implementing Nutanix Acropolis AOS. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Less hardware: With Acropolis AOS, enterprise IT can consolidate on fewer hardware components and lower costs. The solution can be deployed on virtual machines, with no need for expensive hardware. It can also be deployed by external parties.
    • Default policy-based networking: Acropolis AOS by default discovers and applies policies that govern traffic in the network. This greatly simplifies management, as it is easier to simply enable or disable policies rather than use individual firewall rules per server.
    • Network fencing is used to control traffic entering or leaving a specific VM-to-VM port group based on access rules. This provides a way of selectively enabling or disabling services across VMs within a port group to help ensure traffic is managed in an appropriate manner.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Nutanix Acropolis AOS stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its stability and its all-inclusivity, which saves users money. PeerSpot users take note of the advantages of these features in their reviews:

    Gerhard J., IT Manager at Q4 Fuel, says of the solution, “One major thing that comes up again and again is stability. Our downtime is literally based on hardware upgrades that need to be done. Acropolis is very, very user friendly. You don't have to physically have a super IT guy to manage the system.”

    Another PeerSpot reviewer, a Solutions Architect at a computer software company, writes, “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.”

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    Learn more about Dell PowerFlex
    Learn more about Nutanix Acropolis AOS
    Sample Customers
    Baker Tilly BVI, CMS Internet, Board Harpeth Hall School
    Canopy, 8x8Inc., Atos, Canadian Pacific, City of Denton, CenturyLink, BNP Paribas, Asyaport, EDF, CSC, Fox Sports, Insight, Hunter, KPIT, Paetec, Rosetta Stone, Sonda, Xerox
    St. Lukes Health System, the City of Seattle, Yahoo! Japan, Sligro, Empire Life, Hyundai AUS, and many others.
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company13%
    Construction Company10%
    Non Profit6%
    Healthcare Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company25%
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Government8%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company32%
    Comms Service Provider15%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    Manufacturing Company5%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company17%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Energy/Utilities Company9%
    University9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company26%
    Comms Service Provider20%
    Government8%
    Manufacturing Company5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business59%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise15%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise61%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business14%
    Midsize Enterprise29%
    Large Enterprise57%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business18%
    Midsize Enterprise12%
    Large Enterprise70%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business40%
    Midsize Enterprise29%
    Large Enterprise32%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise61%
    Buyer's Guide
    Dell PowerFlex vs. Nutanix Acropolis AOS
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Dell PowerFlex vs. Nutanix Acropolis AOS and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Dell PowerFlex is ranked 12th in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 3 reviews while Nutanix Acropolis AOS is ranked 1st in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 92 reviews. Dell PowerFlex is rated 7.6, while Nutanix Acropolis AOS is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Dell PowerFlex writes "Stable with good technical support and the capability to scale". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Nutanix Acropolis AOS writes "What you might not know about Nutanix that makes it so unique". Dell PowerFlex is most compared with VxRail, VMware vSAN, Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series, HPE SimpliVity and Rubrik, whereas Nutanix Acropolis AOS is most compared with VxRail, VMware vSAN, HPE SimpliVity, VMware vSphere and Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct. See our Dell PowerFlex vs. Nutanix Acropolis AOS report.

    See our list of best Hyper-Converged (HCI) vendors.

    We monitor all Hyper-Converged (HCI) reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.