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Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) vs VMware vSphere comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) and VMware vSphere based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

Find out in this report how the two HCI solutions compare in terms of features, pricing, service and support, easy of deployment, and ROI.

To learn more, read our detailed Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) vs. VMware vSphere report (Updated: September 2022).
635,987 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Q&A Highlights
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
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"It's quite easy to manage.""Starwind support is excellent. They are very fast and have very good knowledge of Starwind and Hyper-V Cluster software.""StarWind allows us to move virtual machines from one physical host to another, which greatly reduces the downtime required for maintenance.""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.""It enables us to provide more solution options for our clients, with the reassurance that, when implemented, they will be efficient and stable.""The support has been amazing and quick to reply.""The biggest benefit was that it allowed us to provide SAN services on a limited hardware budget.""The instant failover, with vSAN copying data to the second node, allowed for the continuous availability of our applications."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Pros →

"One-Click Upgrade and Foundation is the most valuable feature. One-Click Upgrade makes upgrades and LCM a breeze. Prior to Nutanix One-Click Upgrade, upgrades and LCM were overly cumbersome and time-consuming. Foundation provides an easy, yet very structured, approach to cluster modification (adding or removing nodes).""Nutanix Acropolis AOS is easy to use, it is a great platform.""What's best about Nutanix Acropolis AOS is its simplicity. It's simple to install and simple to understand. The technical support and support portal for this product are both very good and very helpful.""It has centralized management. It is easy for an engineer to manage. More work goes to patching, upgrades, and maintenance. Nutanix is very easy to upgrade. It takes one click. Engineers do not need to spend additional time with Nutanix for upgrades. With one click, it will complete the upgrade and show the results. Other hypervisor solutions are not like this, specifically since you must do all the components one by one.""Great flexibility and scalability.""There are a lot of features in Nutanix that are different from other hyper-converged solutions, such as site-to-site replication. VM-based site-to-site replication is bundled with the software licensing. For the DR, it has the availability groups, which is one of the key features that Nutanix provides.""The stability is good. This is the number-one product in that regard.""The technology of Nutanix Acropolis AOS is the most valuable feature. You don't need multiple screens to manage."

More Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) Pros →

"Vmware vSphere is the benchmark of the visualization market.""The most valuable features are the vMotion, the storage vMotion, the DRS, and the high availability function.""The most valuable feature of this solution is vMotion.""It is easy to use.""The performance of VMware vSphere is good.""Good virtualization and ability to optimize and deliver an automated and orchestrated cloud platform on-prem.""The solution is scalable.""It's a very useful solution. It's easy to set up, and it's pretty stable."

More VMware vSphere Pros →

Cons
"It took a bit of knowledge and support to put in place but once installed it works fine. Migration (HyperV) from one server to another sometimes takes longer than expected but there is no data loss even if the host crashes.""I would like to see options for automated notifications of any changes, including, for example, synchronization issues.""Android app for monitoring and receiving push notifications as alarms or monitoring I/O from any mobile device could be a good feature and nice to have as we are not always on our desk.""A great feature would be a wizard and to include a new disk in the SAN. At the moment, including a new disk requires several steps - some that must be done at the OS level and others in each node.""Maybe in the future, the replication will be supported in more cloud providers.""Though I have learned some of the nuances with the upgrading of firmware/windows/etc., it would be nice to have a more efficient method of doing so.""The StarWind Management Console is available only for Microsoft Windows/Windows Server, and should also be available for Linux and macOS, as it would reduce implementation costs.""This product would benefit from having automated alerting functionality."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Cons →

"Lacks sufficient integration with other vendors and public clouds.""There should be a little more access to Nutanix files.""Compatible with third party hardware, but it's still very limited.""Notifications could be improved as they're not currently very useful.""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.""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.""Limits on increasing space with the inability to have or attach external storage.""In the future, I would like Acropolis to add support for publishing external storage."

More Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) Cons →

"There was a time we lost the password for the ESXi and we had to do a hardware reset. At this point, we had to fill up the ESXi from the bottom up. I am not sure if there was another solution to this problem but it took a long time.""To manage it properly, you have to know this product really well.""VMware vSphere could improve on the automation features and the ease of use of the solution in many areas, such as the interface. However, VMware is doing lots of great things.""They have multiple components required for the setup. It would be better to integrate it into one solution, especially for small business companies.""The solution is stable. It has some small bugs which are not influencing the main functions but every software has some bugs.""Sentencing has changed a lot.""Lacks a simplified integration with services automation.""There needs to be more integration overall. That would be quite helpful."

More VMware vSphere 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."
  • "The StarWind VSAN business model is very cost-effective."
  • "This solution has competitive prices and the implementation is very easy."
  • 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 Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "It is expensive in terms of cost, licensing, and professional services."
  • "It is expensive."
  • "In my opinion, the essential version is a good price."
  • "The price of this solution is mid-range."
  • "I think it's a fair price. We are using it on the production side, and everything is good from our experience. That's why I would say that the cost isn't too high. However, it would always be nice if it was cheaper."
  • "Pricing is a little bit on the higher side, compared to other products."
  • "Container support is the last great addition for VMware and it is worth the money you spend on it."
  • "The license growth of vSphere depends on the growth of the visual environment and the addition of more hosts."
  • More VMware vSphere Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Miriam Tover
    Dorian Boris MOUKET - PeerSpot reviewerDorian 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.

    Patrick Ringelberg - PeerSpot reviewerPatrick 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.

    Maan Othman - PeerSpot reviewerMaan 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.

    KM Poon - PeerSpot reviewerKM Poon
    User

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

    Steffen Hornung - PeerSpot reviewerSteffen 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 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 Acropolis AOS, 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.

    Modernize Your Business with the Leading HCI Platform

    Power your business with advanced cloud technologies and simplify how you procure, deploy, and manage IT services.

    Reduce technology sprawl and free up technical resources to focus on high value activities.

    Deploy, scale, and bridge to the public cloud so you can react quickly to changing priorities.

    Protect your services and data against hardware failures, disasters, and attackers.

    AOS Storage

    Accelerate your most demanding applications with consistent and predictable performance. Data locality maximizes the benefits of the latest hardware advances like NVMe and RDMA.

    Data is protected and kept available with advanced distributed consistency algorithms that protect against everything from bit rot and hardware failures to entire site failure.

    Storage can be sized precisely for your needs and expanded quickly and easily as needs grow. Storage policies are applied logically on a per-workload basis, instead of being tied to hardware.

    Flexible and Open Compute

    Choose from the leading hypervisors, VMware ESXi or Microsoft Hyper‑V, or leverage the lightweight but powerful built-in hypervisor AHV.

    AHV streamlines operations and simplifies automation. Powerful and lightweight, it is easy to learn and migrate to, and is optimized for high performance and reliability.

    Build and deploy cloud-native applications on intelligent distributed infrastructure and integrate with cloud compatible storage, all within the same platform.

    Automated and Secure Networking

    Prevent malware spread and reduce attack surfaces by limiting applications to only what’s needed, and keep things simple by leveraging machine learning to determine the right configuration.

    Securely and easily implement robust multi-tenancy in your environment, or stretch networks across clouds for seamless workload migration and failover.

    Manage networking configurations centrally and apply across your HCI environment with simple and robust virtual switch management.

    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 Cloud Infrastructure (NCI)
    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 Company13%
    Educational Organization9%
    Construction Company9%
    Healthcare Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company18%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Government9%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company17%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    University9%
    Energy/Utilities Company9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company21%
    Comms Service Provider17%
    Government8%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm14%
    Energy/Utilities Company10%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Retailer6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider20%
    Computer Software Company18%
    Government9%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business60%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise14%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise57%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business39%
    Midsize Enterprise29%
    Large Enterprise32%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise61%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business31%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise45%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise61%
    Buyer's Guide
    HCI
    September 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Nutanix, VMware, Dell Technologies and others in HCI. Updated: September 2022.
    635,987 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) is ranked 1st in HCI with 86 reviews while VMware vSphere is ranked 1st in Server Virtualization Software with 134 reviews. Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) is rated 8.6, while VMware vSphere is rated 8.8. The top reviewer of Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) writes "Serious reliability and stability across the entire system makes for ROI". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VMware vSphere writes "An easy way of providing near-zero downtime services". Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) is most compared with VxRail, VMware vSAN, HPE SimpliVity, Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series and Hyper-V, whereas VMware vSphere is most compared with Hyper-V, Proxmox VE, VMware Workstation, Nutanix AHV Virtualization and Oracle VM.

    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.