Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) vs VMware vSAN comparison

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5,311 views|1,785 comparisons
100% willing to recommend
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24,252 views|9,347 comparisons
94% willing to recommend
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24,341 views|18,191 comparisons
87% willing to recommend
Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Apr 4, 2022

We performed a comparison between Nutanix Acropolis and VMware vSAN based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Users of both solutions say that their initial setup is straightforward.
  • Features: Users of both products are happy with their stability and scalability. Nutanix Acropolis users say it is a high-performing, user-friendly, comprehensive solution. Several reviewers write that they would like to see improved integration options. VMware vSAN users say the solution has good deduplication and compression abilities. A few VMware vSAN users mention that they would like to see better storage capacity.
  • Pricing: Some Nutanix Acropolis reviewers feel that the price is fair while others feel it is too high. VMware vSAN reviewers say it is an expensive product.
  • ROI: Reviewers of both solutions report seeing an ROI.
  • Service and Support: Nutanix Acropolis users report being very satisfied with the level of support they receive. Most VMware vSAN reviewers are satisfied with the level of support they receive but some users mention a slow response time.

Comparison Results: Nutanix Acropolis is the clear winner in this comparison. In addition to being a powerful and reliable product, it is easy to deploy, has excellent customer support and a significant ROI.

To learn more, read our detailed Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) vs. VMware vSAN Report (Updated: May 2024).
771,346 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Q&A Highlights
Question: Which solution performs better: Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure or VMware vSAN?
Answer: Any HCI solution would be great and have pros and cons, depending on your use case, comfort level, IT support, and system integrator who would support the solution for your business need. This is similar to how we feel comfortable using Proxmox VE's built-in Ceph Software-Defined Storage to deploy HCI.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"The ability for us to manage all of our nodes from the same console makes systems administration very easy.""The top-notch support before, during, and after deployments are better than any other vendor I have come across.""Active-active work mode leads to true redundancy of storage and allows us to distribute the load between multiple nodes.""The virtual tapes can be uploaded to the object storage of your choice with object locking/governance which gives you an extra layer of protection.""This software lets us maintain storage redundancy across both of our Hyper-V hosts, so if one goes down the environment fails over to the other and we have minimal to no downtime.""The installation of StarWind Virtual SAN was pretty easy, and the configuration was done in no time.""The management and monitoring have been very easy since the solution's dashboard is very simple and user-friendly.""I've had to open a few support cases over the years due to administrator errors, and the support received was top-notch."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Pros →

"Acropolis has a great interface and lots of management features packaged with it at an affordable price.""The solution is very stable. We haven't had any issues.""It gives us a single dashboard to control multiple sites and multiple zones. It helps to do things on a single platform and data sharing is quite easy. The network and the security are easy to manage.""The stability is good. This is the number-one product in that regard.""We like that the size of the box is 1U or 2U only, and all the servers are fit into that box. The ease of operation is there. All the servers and the SAN storage are inside the box.""It is very easy to clone systems using the solution.""It is easy to use. One of the things they have as a design goal is to reduce complexity and simplify things.""The solution is well integrated with other vendors."

More Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) Pros →

"If we decide to expand, vSAN could offer us some flexibility. We are researching ways to set this up from a new data center, which is located somewhere different from the current location right now.""The implementation is simple, it was very straightforward. It took us approximately three weeks because it was installed in four locations.""I have found the solution to be scalable.""I have found that the multi-homing feature is very valuable in VMware vSAN. It is an easy-to-use solution.""The most valuable features are productivity and data storage.""This solution has a dashboard that you can log into and control if you need too while the VM is getting created.""This product has very good performance when it comes to virtualization storage and works well with solutions such as SAP HANA, Exadata, Hadoop, and Big Data Analytics.""I like the tolerance of VMware vSAN."

More VMware vSAN Pros →

Cons
"I would like to see some additional, and possibly clearer, implementation videos with some slower and possibly more detailed descriptions of what the various steps of implementation are for someone who is unfamiliar with high availability and failover clustering in Windows.""A mobile app to sync up for overview and status would really be helpful.""Proper training sessions should be included with the licensing.""Besides not being able to use any filesystem, I do not have any additional cons.""StarWind Virtual SAN could benefit from better integration with other tools and technologies, such as backup and disaster recovery solutions.""Pricing is a bit high.""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.""The cluster configuration is time-consuming and tedious."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Cons →

"Nutanix can be a bit complex to understand.""The name of the solutions offered by Nutanix does not indicate what the tool does.""I think some of the tasks that must be done using CLI could be added to the web interface.""We have a team that does the implementation of the solution for our customers, it is better to have professionals handle the process.""To have internal stability, we needed to network the solution ourselves. Performance depends on the application. Performance could be the lack of IOPS, memory and CPU and configuration issues.""One thing I've noticed is that, when you do a shift from VMware to Nutanix, it opens the setup of the VM that's currently running. If people from another site double click on it, it opens the VM instead of the setup of the unit. So 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. That's the only thing that's a major bother to me.""The ability to create clusters faster would be nice to see in a future release.""The GUI for this solution needs improvement."

More Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) Cons →

"Currently, one of the available features is shareable VMBKs. You can create the VMBK disc and you can make them shareable between the ends. But as soon as you start using this feature, you lose the ability to create snapshots.""We would like to see even more storage capacity.""It is a memory intensive app.""We would like to see additional backup and recovery options added. In particular, integration with popular applications like databases.""Some intelligence can be added to the newest version to provide more flexibility between storage tiers.""Improvements are also needed as per the customer's requirements.""Better options would be clustered nodes, or even cloud configuration. There is room for improvement in cloud configuration, we typically do web browsing for management.""Enterprise customers get discounts on the solution's licensing pricing, but it is too expensive for SMB customers."

More VMware vSAN Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "The setup cost is very low. The pricing is great."
  • "We are happy with the price."
  • "The license is reusable. We can always rebuild it and apply the license. Then, boom, we get new servers, apply the license, and we're back up and running."
  • "The pricing is fine for the work that it does."
  • "When we did all the analysis for StarWind, it was approximately 20 percent less than any of the other solutions that we looked at."
  • "The scalability limitation for us is its licensing. At some point in the fairly near future, we will probably have to upgrade our license so we can store eight terabytes instead of four. We are currently at four terabytes, but we're starting to knock on the door of that capacity."
  • "The pricing is excellent. It will run on anything. You don't have to buy a $100,000 server, with hardware you don't need. You just pay for the license and you're good to go."
  • "The licensing is a bit weird. If you license the standard version of StarWind, it allows you four terabytes. Then, they have a pro version, but with the pro version, the only difference is it doubles the terabytes to eight."
  • More StarWind Virtual SAN Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Able to grow with smaller, more linear increments of investment"
  • "The basic license that comes with the box allows basic virtualization features but advanced automation features would require an upgrade of licenses."
  • "I know Nutanix and VxRail have similar prices and licenses. Nutanix is a go-ahead if AHV is used as hypervisor because it is already embedded in the price."
  • "While cost may seem higher than your traditional 3-tier architecture, you need to look at the bigger picture. You're not just buying hardware here. You're buying a complete environment."
  • "Setup cost is minor, pricing is quite a bit (we have a 7-node-cluster for about 450K EUR with 2 vGPU-nodes for Citrix) but that includes hardware, software, and support."
  • "The price is good but I think there is still room for improvement on the price."
  • "Extra features should not be so expensive. We would love to be able to use or even just try some of the extra features without having to buy them. Buying those features is just as expensive as buying vSphere licenses, so the cost savings is nullified."
  • "Work close with your InfraTeam and discuss with Nutanix the best way to achieve sizing and price that are right for you."
  • More Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The first 1-2 years of purchasing vSAN will be expensive. Thereafter, the longer you are running it, the more cost savings you will have."
  • "Its reasonable, compare with other storage vendors"
  • "Basically, vSAN is a license in addition to that of the classic VMware Vsphere, which is also mandatory."
  • "​I would like to see this technology be made available to smaller businesses, who might benefit from high availability but struggle with the entry fee.​"
  • "Perhaps a bundle, like Essentials, would allow more businesses to make the leap to the product."
  • "We have increased our user productivity."
  • "What made us go with this solution was price point. When you can utilize existing storage infrastructure, and not have to continually purchase new SAN products out there that are going up in price as time goes by, then it's a wonderful thing."
  • "We did consider other hyperconverged solutions. It usually came down to price. vSan was the most cost effective thing."
  • More VMware vSAN Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Comparison Review
    Anonymous User
    Originally posted at www.storagegaga.com/dont-get-too-drunk-on-hyper-converged/ I hate the fact that I am bursting the big bubble brewing about Hyper Convergence (HC). I urge all to look past the hot air and hype frenzy that are going on, because in the end, the HC platforms have to be aligned and congruent to the organization’s data architecture and business plans. The announcement of Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant on Integrated Systems (read hyper convergence) has put Nutanix as the leader of the pack as of August 2015. Clearly, many of us get caught up because it is the “greatest feeling in the world”. However, this faux feeling is not reality because there are many factors that made the pack leaders in the Magic Quadrant (MQ). First of all, the MQ is about market perception. There is no doubt that the pack leaders in the Leaders Quadrant have earned their right to be there. Each company’s revenue, market share, gross margin, company’s profitability have helped put each as leaders in the pack. However, it is also measured by branding, marketing, market perception and acceptance and other intangible factors. Secondly, VMware EVO: Rail has split the market when EMC has 3 HC solutions in VCE, ScaleIO and EVO: Rail. Cisco wanted to do their own HC piece in Whiptail (between the 2014 MQ and 2015 MQ reports), and closed down Whiptail when their new CEO came on board. NetApp chose EVO: Rail and also has the ever popular FlexPod. That is why you see that in… Read more →
    Answers from the Community
    EDWIN ALBERTO ZAPATA LINDARTE
    Avigayil Henderson - PeerSpot reviewerAvigayil Henderson
    User

    Hello Edwin, I am posting this answer on behalf of Daniel Wetter, one of PeerSpot's community members: "Hello, Edwin, first, it would be good to receive more information about your needs and concerns. Would you like to use existing local storage equipped with your Hypervisor servers, it seems you maybe already running on ESXi? Do you already earn fibre channel switches? How fast is your current network? Would you like to easily expand your storage environment? How fast should your storage perform, GB/s , IO/s , average response time / ms (ns)? .. and so on…. Maybe also other HCI Storage vendors like DataCore could gain additional efforts. What is your environment like? Do you need a kind of block storage or maybe you already got S3 aware/ready applications like SAP, document management systems, structured unstructured file services, big data files, databases…. All these topics and a lot more … were needed to give you a good for your special needs a related answer. With such a globalized question, you will earn/receive suggestions and opinions, but not an answer which fits your needs. Maybe my above little questionnaire will help you a little bit. Best regards Daniel"

    Quincy Johnson - PeerSpot reviewerQuincy Johnson
    Real User

    Both can get you the performance you might want, however, you should also consider what else you get with the solution. For Nutanix, you're stuck on Acropolis if you start with that. It would be best to run either VMware or Hyper-V on top of that so migration isn't a gym show, plus the renewal cost will be very high.


    vSAN is a fine option, just ensure it is designed well with enough nodes to tolerate any amount of disk failure.


    Both options have their unique value but the most important thing is the data. You'll need data protection solutions like Veeam, Nakivo, or Zerto. 


    For an all-in-one high-performance solution with built-in data protection consider HPE SimpliVity with VMware. You'll also likely buy fewer nodes than the others with SimpliVity.

    Yves Sandfort - PeerSpot reviewerYves Sandfort
    Real User

    In the early days, Nutanix had the better solution, by now especially when you use a vSphere hypervisor I would go with vSAN for better integration and with ReadyNodes no complex config anymore. Also, I had several customers who complained that Nutanix got very expensive on the first renewal vs. massive initial discounts, however, I can't judge if that is true.

    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:It is easy to use and can monitor system synchronization and check Storage status. StarWind Virtual SAN (VSAN) combines… more »
    Top Answer:I would highly advise new users to consult the StarWind technical team beforehand. Also, consider the paid version if… more »
    Top Answer:You can maintain and update it with little to no fuss, even the free version is incredibly capable whilst it brings the… 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 from… 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:While both run on the vSAN technology from VMware, vSAN needs to be deployed on vSAN ready nodes while VxRail is an… more »
    Top Answer:HPE SimpliVity is a hyper-converged infrastructure solution that is primarily geared to mid-sized companies. We… more »
    Top Answer:We found VMware’s vSAN was easy to set up, configure, and manage compared to other solutions we considered. It is best… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    StarWind SAN & NAS
    Nutanix Acropolis AOS, Nutanix AOS, Nutanix Acropolis
    vSAN
    Learn More
    Overview

    StarWind Virtual SAN provides high availability and fault tolerance for virtualized environments without the need for dedicated SAN hardware. It allows for real-time replication between servers, shared storage for Hyper-V clusters, and enables vMotion and High Availability features for VMware vSphere. The solution reduces costs and leverages existing hardware while providing a scalable and reliable infrastructure. Valuable features include ease of use, scalability, top-tier support, hardware agnosticism, and the ability to use off-the-shelf standard servers to increase storage space. StarWind VSAN has helped organizations improve performance, data availability, and data security while reducing downtime and providing cost-saving storage options.

    Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) is a top-ranking HCI software, cloud management tool, and Software Defined Storage (SDS) tool that is marketed as the foundation for users' hybrid clouds. It offers a powerful and secure hyperconverged infrastructure to deliver all data and applications at any scale and on any cloud. The solution offers a complete software stack that allows users to unify their hybrid cloud infrastructure. 

    NCI’s services include computer, storage and network, hypervisors and containers, and deployment in public or in private clouds. The product also comes with built-in resilience, disaster recovery capabilities, self-healing, and high-security capacities. It provides further deployment flexibility through several software and hardware options and platforms. NCI includes a full set of enterprise capabilities. It can also be deployed on a wide range of servers from popular manufacturers.

    The capabilities of the product are categorized into three main groups:

    • AOS storage
    • Flexible and open compute
    • Automated and secure networking

    Outside of these categories, NCI also offers other capabilities:

    • Integrated disaster recovery
    • Full-stack lifecycle management
    • VMware with Nutanix
    • Intelligent operations

    Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) Features

    Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) offers its customers various features and tools in each of the previously mentioned categories. The available features for users currently include:

    • High-performance: This set of features utilizes hardware advances such as NVMe and RDMA to accelerate users' most demanding applications with consistent performance. The tools in this feature category work alongside data locality to ensure successful results.

    • Foolproof resiliency: These Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure features protect data and keep it available by facilitating advanced distributed consistency algorithms. Users can utilize these features to protect their data from issues like bit rot, hardware failures, and even entire site failure.

    • Flexibility: This set of features allows storage to be sized for the needs of each organization and expanded promptly and easily so that the organization and its data can grow. The features offer flexibility to users in terms of applying storage policies logically on a pre-workload basis, instead of being tied to hardware.

    • Hypervisor choice: Users can choose from the leading hypervisors - Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware ESXi. They can also leverage the built-in hypervisor AHV that Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) provides.

    • Integrated virtualization: These features offer simplified automation and AHV streamlined operations. The services in this category are optimized for high performance and reliability.

    • Kubernetes: Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) offers features to build and deploy cloud-native applications on intelligent distributed infrastructure. Apps can be integrated with cloud-compatible storage and both building and deployment can be achieved within the same platform.

    • Microsegmentation: Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) offers features to prevent malware spread and reduce attack surfaces by leveraging machine learning (ML).

    • Virtual networking: This set of features allows users to easily implement multi-tenancy in their environment or stretch networks across clouds.

    • Centralized network management: Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) provides organizations with a way to manage networking configurations centrally. Users can utilize it across their human-computer interaction (HCI) environment with simple virtual switch management.

    Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) Benefits

    The product offers various benefits to users who utilize its capacities. Some of these include:

    • NCI reduces technology sprawl and frees up technical resources to allow organizations to focus on other activities, potentially reducing costs for the business.

    • The product allows customers to deploy, scale, and bridge to the public cloud to be able to react in evolving business environments.

    • Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure improves data availability while simultaneously protecting it against several kinds of failures and attacks.

    • The solution offers high-performance, resilient distributed storage for all workloads.

    • Working alongside Nutanix Cloud Platform, NCI offers simple management of data from one console.

    • Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure works by the zero trust philosophy, protecting users' apps and data through specially designed security protocols.

    Reviews from Real Users

    According to Gerhard J., an IT manager at Q4 Fuel, Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) provides serious reliability and stability across the entire system makes for ROI.

    A solutions architect at a computer software company describes NCI as a stable, straightforward to set up, and scalable solution.

    VMware vSAN is a software-defined storage product that is used in collaboration with VMware ESXi hypervisor and that provisions and manages storage based on policies, regardless of the underlying hardware. The solution enables you to prime your business for growth through its seamless evolution (it is integrated with vSphere and requires no new tools), its flexibility, and its multi-cloud capabilities. As an industry-leading software, VMware vSAN provides high levels of performance with minimal impact on CPU and memory.

    VMware vSAN Features

    VMware vSAN has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Storage policy-based management (SPBM): VMware vSAN supports storage policy-based management for automated management of storage profiles.
    • Software-defined data-at-rest encryption: With this VMware vSAN feature, you can prevent unauthorized access of data at rest.
    • Multiple nodes: VMware vSAN provides clusters that can include as few as 2 nodes or as many as 64 nodes.
    • High security and availability: VMware vSAN offers stretched clusters, allowing more than one virtualization host server to be used in the same setup, promoting higher security as well as availability.
    • Deduplication: VMware vSAN’s deduplication compresses data to ensure efficient storage management and security.
    • HCI mesh updates: VMware vSAN clusters can share storage capacity with non-HCI Sphere clusters and can adopt HCI without having to scale computing resources and storage or replace existing servers.
    • Simplified file services: With VMware vSAN’s file services, backup of file shares is simplified. You can use APIs that allow backup and recovery software vendors to integrate with your VMware vSAN file services, which enables backup software to track new data and add scalability enhancements to files.

    VMware vSAN Benefits

    There are many benefits to implementing VMware vSAN. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Reduced total cost of ownership (TCO): VMware vSAN helps you reduce upfront costs for businesses because it can be easily deployed on inexpensive x86 servers. In addition, its highly scalable infrastructure and quick deployment also save organizations time and money, making it an efficient storage solution. 
    • Good manageability: VMWare vSAN is easy to set up, manage, and provision, without sacrificing performance. 
    • Scalability: VMware vSAN is agile and allows administrators to scale storage on demand, quickly, and efficiently via policies and rules.
    • Simplicity: VMWare vSAN is simple to configure since it is embedded in the vSphere hypervisor. Installing it using the vSphere Web Client can be done quickly. 
    • Reduced risk: VMWare vSAN reduces the risk associated with digital transformations by utilizing existing tools, skill sets, and solutions.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by PeerSpot users currently using the VMware vSAN solution.

    PeerSpot user Yves S., CEO, Cloud Evangelist at Comdivision Consulting GmbH, says, “vSAN gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources. We have an overall larger host infrastructure, and we split that up for specific customer test and use cases. In that specific scenario, we can easily add more hosts or reduce the number of hosts in the environment.”

    A reviewer who works in Infrastructure Security explains, “The ease of use is great. The initial setup and upgrade process was pretty straightforward. And, technical support is great.”

    Laurent N., Director at Softlogic, comments, "The feature that I have found most valuable is that it is easy to deploy. It is easy to create and delete virtual servers. It is easy to create the load balancing and the clustering."

    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.
    Read Some Case Studies At Home Cloud CaribCINgroupDiscovery Check out the Rest of our Customer Stories Here
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company11%
    Construction Company8%
    Computer Software Company8%
    Educational Organization8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company18%
    Manufacturing Company9%
    Government8%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company16%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Comms Service Provider10%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Educational Organization27%
    Computer Software Company14%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    Government6%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company15%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Healthcare Company9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Educational Organization46%
    Computer Software Company9%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    Government5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business65%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise13%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business25%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise58%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business36%
    Midsize Enterprise30%
    Large Enterprise33%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business17%
    Midsize Enterprise37%
    Large Enterprise46%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business34%
    Midsize Enterprise21%
    Large Enterprise44%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business13%
    Midsize Enterprise54%
    Large Enterprise33%
    Buyer's Guide
    Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) vs. VMware vSAN
    May 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) vs. VMware vSAN and other solutions. Updated: May 2024.
    771,346 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) is ranked 3rd in HCI with 194 reviews while VMware vSAN is ranked 2nd in HCI with 227 reviews. Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) is rated 8.6, while VMware vSAN is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) writes "A powerful solution with easy deployment, upgrades, and management". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VMware vSAN writes "Very stable, easy to set up, and easy to use". Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) is most compared with VxRail, HPE SimpliVity, VMware vSphere, Dell PowerFlex and Hyper-V, whereas VMware vSAN is most compared with VxRail, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, HPE SimpliVity, Red Hat Ceph Storage and Pure Storage FlashArray. See our Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) vs. VMware vSAN report.

    See our list of best HCI vendors.

    We monitor all 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.