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Nutanix Acropolis AOS vs VMware vSphere comparison

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Comparison Summary
Question: What is the biggest difference between Nutanix Acropolis and VMware vSphere?
Answer: Nutanix AOS is an SDS (Software-Defined Storage). We can compare it to VMware vSan. To simplify, we use it to aggregate the local drives of each node and provide a storage cluster. VMware vSphere is a virtualization layer. It's used to provide a compute cluster. For Nutanix, the virtualization layer is AHV. So, we combine the virtualization cluster and SDS cluster from the same nodes to provide an Hyperconverged platform. For the best fit, it depends on your need. If you're looking for performance and simplicity, I think Nutanix is the best choice.
Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Nutanix, VMware, Dell EMC and others in Hyper-Converged (HCI). Updated: January 2022.
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Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"This solution enables us to make better cost-effective use of our existing hardware and leverage the current infrastructure at a higher level than we could before.""VSAN works great; it's very easy to install, configure, and manage.""It's quite easy to install.""The most useful aspect is the hyper-converged SD SAN and the ease to expand it by just adding cheap SSD or NVME disks.""Speed and high availability have been the most valuable for us.""A great feature is that I basically set it and forget it, as everything is automatic.""The most valuable features are high availability and real-time replication between two servers.""The management interface on the software is very simple. It is insanely simple compared to most SANs. The interface is also powerful when used to complete tasks that an IT administrator needs to complete."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Pros →

"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.""The feature that I have found most valuable is its software Move, which we use to migrate virtual info from another platform to the Nutanix platform.""The ease of deployment is very good.""Nutanix Acropolis AOS is flexible and has helped people to work from home during the pandemic.""It is less expensive than VMware products. It is also a little bit more flexible, but it really comes down to price for us.""Nutanix Acropolis AOS has very good stability.""The most valuable features are simple management and one-click upgrades.""We really love the Lifecycle manager and one-click upgrades."

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"vRealize Operations Manager is the most valuable feature, but it is not embedded in vSphere; it is a part of vSphere. It is used for forecasting and checking the consumption of CPU, memory, and other resources. It has the capability to do the forecast based on the history and give advice on consumption. VMware vSphere is easy to use and easy to implement. Its learning curve is not sharp. Any engineer with little or medium knowledge of hypervisors and virtualizations can implement vSphere with a few clicks.""The solution can scale well.""The most valuable features are that it's stable, easy to use, and it's flexible.""The virtualization is set by itself. vSphere is the best way to have a non-host based fixed solution. We always try to find an agnostic environment where we can restore agnostics or just say, "I need resources, capacity." That's why VMware vSphere in particular, has been the best in the past but now also with the evolution of their product. Nowadays, you don't have to use any STEM infrastructure anymore because the bandwidth and the land speeds are getting steeper.""It's very transparent and independent.""The solution is stable.""It is the number one virtualization-layer platform available, and a lot of people trust it.""Virtualised automation is a useful feature."

More VMware vSphere Pros →

Cons
"It would be nice to add the ability to use raw partitions instead of file containers.""Performance when in storage-separate configuration needs to be improved.""Management tools could be improved, sometimes the usage seems to be slowed down and confusing. A native web interface could also be an option. I love to see in the future port of the software on a general Linux distribution like RedHat or Ubuntu in order to avoid windows license costs. I would also like to see features like erasure coding implemented. On the VSAN software, I would like to see some improvements in the storage pools (eliminate the usage of the file as a data container and use the raw partition).""We would like the documentation to be more complete. Most items are covered, but if you don't know something, you may need to contact their support.""If there was a way to automatically put disks in maintenance mode when shutting the host down and exit maintenance mode automatically, that would simplify things.""Having more support plan options would be nice.""There is no Italian-language version of the software available.""I see no need for major improvements but there could be some improvements in the form of notifications and the simplifying of maintenance mode."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Cons →

"One disadvantage of Nutanix Acropolis AOS is it doesn't support external storage. Connecting external SAN storage to Nutanix, it's not supported.""In Thailand, there really isn't a cloud version of Nutanx available to us.""The cost of the solution is too expensive. There are other options, such as VMware, that are offered for less money. In Latin America, it seems to be overpriced for the market.""Nutanix should improve AHV to support migration VMs between clusters and storage containers. Migration between containers is possible, but it requires shutting down the VM. The procedure is long and there is no migration between clusters at all.""In the future, I would like to see integration with external storage using the fiber channel""USB dongle-based licenses do not allow us to directly locate the USB ports on Nutanix.""The productivity and work efficiency of Nutanix Acropolis AOS could improve.""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."

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"It would be ideal if they could integrate billing software so that clients can customize it directly on the virtual machine.""Sometimes you can't find items and you need to log onto different physical servers to do technical tasks. I don't fully understand why this is the case.""The technical support could improve by being a little faster.""The HTML 5 client has always lagged behind.""Its price could be better. It is expensive, and its price is a big concern.""I'm using vSphere at a high level. Sometimes, I find it challenging to integrate different networks, but I think it's just my lack of knowledge.""Sentencing has changed a lot.""VMware vSphere could be improved with cheaper costs."

More VMware vSphere Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "The cost, including OPEX, is lower compared to other solutions."
  • "This is the best priced solution for an SMB."
  • "The premium support from StarWinds is a must have. The ability to have access to a storage engineer 24/7 is a must for a production environment."
  • "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."
  • More StarWind Virtual SAN 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 →

  • "The license of VMware is a one-time payment and you can continue to enroll in support for troubleshooting and also administer the licenses."
  • "Do not buy based on price alone. Many of my customers chose the lowest cost option only to discover that the additional funds needed to access even a few more features would have been money well spent. Likewise, if you are going to spend more money on additional features, then have a plan to actually deploy and integrate those features into your infrastructure. Many customers never take full advantage of the many features that they are paying for and that can be avoided by being proactive in developing your overall vision for the infrastructure."
  • "You will find the cost is reasonably cheaper."
  • "It is expensive in terms of cost, licensing, and professional services."
  • "VMware is costly versus other competitors but is still one of the market leaders and expanding now with partners like AWS."
  • "It is expensive."
  • "In my opinion, the essential version is a good price."
  • "The price of this solution is mid-range."
  • More VMware vSphere Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Miriam Tover
    author avatarDorian Boris MOUKET
    User

    Nutanix Acropolis has been specially designed to respond to the problems of hyper-converged infrastructures.


    We believe that Nutanix Acropolis is more flexible and better suited to respond to the issues of very high availability.

    author avatarPatrick Ringelberg
    Real User

    Question one:
    Does the customer already have vSphere because than I would suggest not to use Acropolis? Nutanix wants to control the entire platform with its HCI solution like VMware.

    Question 2:
    Do you want to use NSX now or in the future? Use VMware, because if it will be supported and it would always give issues with the integrations with Acropolis.

    Question 3:
    Is the growth of the customer low? Then Nutanix can be a choice if it is bigger than VMware. Nutanix is not flexible in big site setups and can give big problems with updating.

    author avatarMaan Othman
    Real User

    I think VMware vSphere is more mature as a hypervisor than Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV). it is more capable to serve almost most of the workloads. having said that if you are talking about a standard workload both of them can do the job, but your workload is sensitive or even newly released you most properly find it will be certified to work vSphere before becoming certified on AHV.


    in addition most technology providers and one of them Nutanix they first certify their solutions to work with vSphere before certifying any other hypervisor.

    author avatarKM Poon
    User

    Nutanix is running AHV. There is no need for a VMware license. 

    author avatarSteffen Hornung
    Real User

    Acropolis in itself is no product. 
    Do we speak AOS or AHV Ort both?


    AOS is the intelligence on Top of a hypervisor making AHV Or Vsphere an HCI Solution.


    AHV is Nutanix own KVM-based hypervisor managed completely within Prism from AOS, so there is no standalone offering, it always comes with AOS.


    This seems to contradict the statement above, but since you can have AOS without AHV, you can make a clear distinction between both.


    AHV has the advantage of being optimized tightly with AOS. Together with ESXi, you still have to use two management tools for AOS + ESXi. AHV + AOS utilizes the same prism element web management. So, integration is the biggest difference between AHV and ESXi


    For AOS and ESXi the answer is quite simple: you would have to compare VSAN with AOS. Then you see, the integration of products and resiliency in Nutanix is better by a magnitude.


    if your comparing features you have AHV on Par with ESXi.


    AHV is the predominant hypervisor on nutanix systems deployed. Vmware would mostly be used for customers who already have vsphere licenses or want to keep their standard hypervisor.


    I dont think there are stability issues with AOS or AHV. We tend to update more frequently our AHV systems than we do with VMware. With Nutanix you leverage the update process conveniently with LifeCycleManagement (LCM) integrated into Prism Web Management supplying everything from native nutanix products to firmware for your hypervisor hosts. There are also regular customer notifications to warn of detected misconfigurations in the field and check for your own setup and howto act on that. I never got anything from VMware regarding such a thing. And I do know what a purple screen of death looks like...

    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: 
    The most valuable features are high availability and real-time replication between two servers.
    Top Answer: 
    The StarWind VSAN business model is very cost-effective.
    Top Answer: 
    The StarWind Management Console is available only for Microsoft Windows/Windows Server, and should also be available for… more »
    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 »
    Top Answer: 
    DEEPEN DHULLA did explain well IOMMU. IOMMU has to be activated at the bios level. It exists on Intel and AMD platforms… more »
    Top Answer: 
    We use VMware and KVM. We find that KVM is a lot simpler to use and it provides the virtualization we need for Linux… more »
    Top Answer: 
    For me the biggest impact is the cost of licensing in the case of VMware despite its overall intuitiveness and ease of… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    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.

    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

    VMware vSphere is the leading server virtualization platform with consistent management for virtual data centers.

    Deliver business value from day one with powerful server virtualization, breakthrough availability, safe automated management and intelligent operational insight that adapts to your environment. Automate workload placement and resource optimization based on preset customizable templates.

    Offer
    30-days for free

    Try it today

    Learn more about Nutanix Acropolis AOS
    Learn more about VMware vSphere
    Sample Customers
    Baker Tilly BVI, CMS Internet, Board Harpeth Hall School
    St. Lukes Health System, the City of Seattle, Yahoo! Japan, Sligro, Empire Life, Hyundai AUS, and many others.
    Abu Dhabi Ports Company, ACS, AIA New Zealand, Consona, Corporate Express, CS Energy, and Digiweb.
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company11%
    Healthcare Company6%
    Non Profit6%
    Engineering Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company25%
    Comms Service Provider23%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company5%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company11%
    Comms Service Provider10%
    Manufacturing Company9%
    Energy/Utilities Company9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company29%
    Comms Service Provider23%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company5%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm14%
    Energy/Utilities Company10%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Retailer6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider29%
    Computer Software Company24%
    Government7%
    Financial Services Firm4%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business66%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise14%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business45%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise38%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise30%
    Large Enterprise32%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business17%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise59%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business29%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise45%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business32%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise46%
    Find out what your peers are saying about Nutanix, VMware, Dell EMC and others in Hyper-Converged (HCI). Updated: January 2022.
    563,780 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Nutanix Acropolis AOS is ranked 1st in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 70 reviews while VMware vSphere is ranked 1st in Server Virtualization Software with 120 reviews. Nutanix Acropolis AOS is rated 8.8, while VMware vSphere is rated 8.8. The top reviewer of Nutanix Acropolis AOS writes "What you might not know about Nutanix that makes it so unique". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VMware vSphere writes "An easy way of providing near-zero downtime services". Nutanix Acropolis AOS is most compared with VMware vSAN, VxRail, HPE SimpliVity, Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series and Hyper-V, whereas VMware vSphere is most compared with Hyper-V, VMware Workstation, Proxmox VE, KVM and Oracle VM.

    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.