Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) vs VxRail comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Jul 14, 2022

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

  • Ease of Deployment: Users of both of these solutions tell us that the setup and deployment are very easy and straightforward.
  • Features: Nutanix Acropolis AOS users tell us the solution is very easy to use and manage. The solution offers an intuitive dashboard with all-in-one centralized management and simple one-click upgrades. Nutanix Acropolis AOS offers robust scalability and integrates well with other vendors. Users would like to see improved storage utilization, optimization processes, and better visibility with the OEM backup integrators.

    VxRail users like that you are able to seamlessly deploy to a hybrid cloud and you can easily create developer-ready Kubernetes platforms. Users feel VxRail provides fast data center modernization, excellent integration, and powerful performance and reliability. Users would like better support for SAP HANA and better documentation.
  • Pricing: Nutanix Acropolis AOS users feel that the solution is a bit expensive. VxRail users are satisfied with the flexible pricing options available.
  • Service and Support: Users of both solutions are extremely happy with the support and service they receive.

Comparison Results: Nutanix Acropolis AOS is the solution our users prefer when looking for an HCI solution. It is user-friendly and offers simple operating system features, easy installation, and excellent centralized administration. VxRail users are happier with that solution’s pricing, however.

To learn more, read our detailed Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) vs. VxRail Report (Updated: January 2023).
670,080 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Q&A Highlights
Question: What is best for use with vSphere 7: VxRail or Nutanix nodes?
Answer: I don't know the technical details, but if you want to work with the VMware hypervisor it would be best to select the VxRail platform, which is a part of Dell and VMware. The Nutanix platform would be the option to select if you are thinking of changing the VMware hypervisor for the Nutanix Acropolis hypervisor, which, besides working very well, has no cost and could represent savings to the customer.
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 StarWind Virtual SAN provides a clever and unique solution to the Computing Split Brain problem.""StarWind Virtual SAN is a highly flexible solution, as it can be deployed on physical servers or on top of virtual machines running on hypervisors such as VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V.""StarWind saved us about 80% of our storage costs over our old solution.""StarWind support has been great in helping resolve other issues not caused by their software.""VSAN works great; it's very easy to install, configure, and manage.""The main benefit is that StarWind is almost maintenance-free.""With an uptime of 384 days, StarWind has improved overall server reliability.""StarWind vSAN has allowed us to grow rapidly while still providing flexibility and reliability."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Pros →

"In addition to the hyper-converged infrastructure, most of our clients are pleased with Acropolis' built-in replication in terms of the DR setup. Our clients also like Prism Central's advanced management and analytics, and many find Nutanix Flow and playbooks incredibly useful.""The pricing is pretty good.""The most valuable feature of Nutanix Acropolis AOS is it has centralized management.""The stability is good. This is the number-one product in that regard.""The dashboard of Nutanix Acropolis AOS allows for simple management. The dashboard has all the information online about what's going on at any given time.""The initial setup is straightforward.""Nutanix has the best virtual desktop infrastructure.""You can be sure that whatever you patch is already compatible with the current firmware and the current version of the Acropolis that you're using."

More Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) Pros →

"The scalability of VxRail is very good.""I like that there is a dependency on the storage controller.""Initial setup is straightforward, as everything is pre-installed.""Our clients value being able to upgrade with one click or a few clicks.""The support has been excellent, especially if you compare it to IBM.""The stability is very nice. We haven't had any issues with the cluster. The cluster is very stable. No problems with slowness. Everything has been stable. It was well-architectured.""We have seen ROI using this solution. It has simplified the work of the staff that we have which allows us to do more work with the same number of people, without having to incrementally grow the staff. The reliability of the product has been exceptional.""It's a good product based on the features. You can upgrade the solution with only one click."

More VxRail Pros →

Cons
"Although minor, some of the documentation could be rewritten to be clearer.""It would be good to have a little more access to control certain aspects within the UI.""A central management console may be nice to see all nodes.""The only point they should improve is the amount of documentation available for the user, especially in the first preliminary phase in which we were testing the product on our own.""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.""The number of different ways you can set it up can make it a little daunting.""There is no Italian-language version of the software available.""A web management interface would be good, especially for those coming from other solutions that have one."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Cons →

"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.""While their overall Nutanix Bible is good, they are lacking good descriptions for particular scenarios that might be helpful to many users.""It would be ideal if it was more secure.""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.""I would like to see them utilize the spare storage that they use as a redundant space. I feel that now a lot of resources are wasted just for standby purposes because we are using data protection. Instead of utilizing those resources only when something happens, they can have an alternative so that we can utilize these resources all the time.""Setup can be a little difficult""Nutanix Acropolis AOS could improve by adding some NAS features, similar to the ones that are available in the NetApp solution.""Lacks sufficient integration with other vendors and public clouds."

More Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) Cons →

"The most important thing that I want to be included in this solution is the VMware license. Its deployment time can be quicker so that instead of 40 minutes, it takes 10 minutes.""I wish for the performance environment to be improved.""This solution needs to have the capability where even older versions of hardware can be seamlessly utilized and additional expansion becomes so much easier.""The way that the VxRail is licensed could be improved.""What I find very valuable is VxRail's life cycle management. The life cycle management takes care of everything from firmware to the actual upgrading of the hypervisor and keeps everything up to level.""VxRail is a closed system with an out-of-the -box solution approach, it has basic 3 layers, Hardware, Network, Storage, Software, (Virtualizing) Applications. Release notes and improvement tips, patches from the back office, the business units, should be frequent and up to the patches which are coming from different vendors as far as the operating system application and also the technology itself is concerned.""VxRail could improve by having domain protection.""It would be an improvement if VxRail could be integrated with some other hypervisors and not just with VMware."

More VxRail Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "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."
  • "StarWind is a low-cost, full-featured alternative to the traditional SAN environment, and their support will guide you every step of the setup."
  • "The support contract is well worth it. The price for it was very reasonable and their team has been very engaged whenever we reach out."
  • More StarWind Virtual SAN Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "There is a license required for this solution and my clients usually purchase a two-year license with extended support. The price of the solution could be reduced, it is more expensive than competitors."
  • "The price of the solution is high."
  • "The pricing is quite good in comparison with HPE SimpliVity, Nutanix Scale, and even traditional architecture."
  • "When compared to the competitors, the price is reasonable."
  • "The cost of Nutanix Acropolis AOS is reasonable."
  • "We got the renewal done recently, and there was no cost involved."
  • "The price of the solution could improve. Nutanix has recently changed its pricing model from perpetual to subscription. They have identified there are challenges with the pricing model."
  • "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."
  • More Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The licensing of vSAN and VMware for different editions of VxRail is not easy."
  • "The solution can be pricey depending on the project."
  • "It has a yearly subscription. It can be for one year, three years, or five years."
  • "The solution is priced well for businesses."
  • "The licensing aspect is the most painful for some of our customers. Customers go for a VMware license that's standard and then they find they have to go with the enterprise solution and adjust the license. If you have a limited budget, that's difficult."
  • "There is a license required for this solution."
  • "The solution is very expensive."
  • "I do not believe that the price should be lower, as I feel it to be reasonable."
  • More VxRail Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Anonymous User
    systemen519357 - PeerSpot reviewersystemen519357 (System Administrator for virtual platforms at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees)
    Real User

    "Nutanix node you will be running vSphere on top on the underlining Nutanix software" This description is incorrect. 


    There is no "layer" between the hardware and the OS which is ESXI hypervisor on both cases.

    BobWhitcombe - PeerSpot reviewerBobWhitcombe
    MSP

    While both systems do a very good job within the nodal limits for scaling a compute environment - it is the networking layer that has the most impact on GPU sharing across a cluster.  From a practical perspective, VxRail nodes will typically offer a discount over native Nutanix nodes.  With Nutanix you also need servers, disk, networking and GPU's.  VxRail will be more integrated with sized nodes, Dell, Cisco or other networking and often the VSphere 7 licenses can be integrated - achieving a lower net cost.  


    Testing for optimizations on either VSAN or Nutanix to see which favors a vGPU system would be something I would like to see quantified.  My guess is they are network constrained and differences between VxRail and a build your own Nutanix environment will be negligible for the same network.  Would be good to confirm if there is an optimal point - say 40Gbps vs 10Gbps or 100Gbps for the inter-GPU message passing.

    UnitManae381 - PeerSpot reviewerUnitManae381 (Unit Manager & Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees)
    Reseller

    Best option for vSphere 7 is the VxRail as it designed on VMware technology and built in integrates with vSphere, on a Nutanix node you will be running vSphere on top on the underlining Nutanix software. 

    Steffen Hornung - PeerSpot reviewerSteffen Hornung
    Real User

    Ok, I have no hands-on with vxRail. 
    But we have vGPU running on Nutanix with ESXi (vsphere). I am not aware of something like vGPU sharing across nodes/hosts. You did not mention which solution you have in mind as you would be about to choose in the process.


    We have Citrix XenDesktop running. It works really smoothly most of the time. We only encountered a lagging problem once every few weeks which we are yet to solve. Perhaps something running in the back of our net.


    With Nutanix you would have a solid base to work with.


    You did not mention what automation is to be used. You could use something like Nutanix Calm as an automation solution.

    further reading: Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop on Nutanix


    Dev-Test: Cloud Development Environment & Testing Solutions | Nutanix


    Let me know which platform you have in mind to narrow down suggestions.

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    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Nutanix Acropolis AOS, Nutanix AOS, Nutanix Acropolis
    VCE VxRail
    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 Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) is a top-raking 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.

    VxRail is a hyper-converged appliance based on VMware virtual SAN Software and is jointly engineered and built with VMware, for VMware, to enhance Vmware. VxRail software-defined architecture simplifies compute, storage, virtualization, and management. It will safeguard performance, reliability, and flexibility across your organization with a broad range of workloads and applications from business-critical to next-gen. With VxRail, you are covered.

    VxRail is a single turn-key appliance that is a validated, fully integrated, pre-configured,  pre-tested solution and offers non-disruptive scaling. Every node includes compute storage and IO. All-flash configurations can contain between 12-28 cores per node. The storage capacity options run from 7.6 TB to 19TB with either 256 GB or 512GB of memory. Hybrid appliances may have 6-20 cores per node, 3.6 TB to 10 TB of storage capacity, and 24GB to 256 GB of memory. 

    VxRail offers high availability fail-over, an active/active stretch cluster, and VSan Kernal integration. VxRail is a power-edged server with APIs built on automation. There are over 15 million different combinations of hardware available with VxRail. VxRail provides a simple, cost-effective solution that solves a large range of use cases. Additionally, you also get a mixed workloads automated system that is backed with fully automated system updates, and complete end-to-end lifecycle management all in a single two-rack appliance. 

    VxRail is a value-added suitable solution for distributed small to mid-sized enterprises, remote offices, private clouds, and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). You choose the deployment option that best suits your organizational needs, from appliance to integrated rack offerings, with or without networking, and it will be delivered to you, ready to deploy out-of-box. 

    If you know VMware, you know VxRail.

    VxRail Features and Benefits

    • Seamlessly accelerate deployment to a hybrid cloud 
    • Fast data center modernization
    • Create developer-ready Kubernetes platforms
    • Powerful performance and reliability
    • Improve and simplify operational efficiency
    • Excellent integration 
    • Save time
    • Reduce costs

    Reviews from Real Users

    VxRail is an all-in-one solution: "You don't have to worry too much about the hardware and you don't have to work on integrating a storage device. We instead have this as an all-in-one solution and everything is available as a box."

    VxRail is remarkable: “The cover points feature in VxRail is remarkable. It's unique. It has an intervention failover system as well as an automatic failover system, reaching clusters existing in VxRail…

    VxRail is a powerful performer: “...VxRail delivers a very high number of IOPS for a hybrid configuration or an all-flash configuration. The processors that are available in the Xeon family are very powerful. They are multi-core with typically 2 gigahertz, 2.4 gigahertz, or higher frequency, so the performance is very much appreciated.” 

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    Learn more about Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI)
    Learn more about VxRail
    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.
    World Wide Technology Inc, Renault Sport Formula One Team, 8x8 Inc, Brownes, Canadian Pacific, Canopy, Denton, EDF, Unilin, Xerox
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company11%
    Educational Organization10%
    Construction Company9%
    Computer Software Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company19%
    Government9%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company16%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Energy/Utilities Company9%
    Manufacturing Company9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company20%
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Government9%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company17%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Energy/Utilities Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company19%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Government9%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business63%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise15%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise57%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business39%
    Midsize Enterprise29%
    Large Enterprise32%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise60%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise34%
    Large Enterprise38%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise61%
    Buyer's Guide
    Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) vs. VxRail
    January 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) vs. VxRail and other solutions. Updated: January 2023.
    670,080 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) is ranked 1st in HCI with 74 reviews while VxRail is ranked 2nd in HCI with 64 reviews. Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) is rated 8.6, while VxRail is rated 8.6. 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 VxRail writes "Good automation makes this solution practical". Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) is most compared with VMware vSAN, HPE SimpliVity, VMware vSphere, Hyper-V and Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series, whereas VxRail is most compared with VMware vSAN, HPE SimpliVity, Dell PowerFlex, Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series and HPE Hyper Converged. See our Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) vs. VxRail 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.