Buyer's Guide
Server Virtualization Software
January 2023
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Atif Najam - PeerSpot reviewer
Chief Information Officer and Program Lead at Gatron Industries Ltd
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Lightweight, integrates well, and the technical support is responsive
Pros and Cons
  • "The support is excellent."
  • "If you want to install a specific operating system, you must first check to see if it is listed in the compatibility list; only then will you be able to install it, and that is one issue for now."

What is our primary use case?

To use geo clusters, you must have AHV running at the bottom of Prism Central. That was one application. Clusters must connect to multiple geographic locations. 

Second, we needed a lightweight system that could integrate with AHV Prism natively.

Nutanix It was an out-of-the-box integration with AHV being Nutanix and Prism being Nutanix. We didn't have to do anything special to integrate it with Prism. 

Third, an application feature was available with AHV that was not available with VMware or other solutions. That feature enabled us to create VM-level recovery and production sites across our spectrum. 

Fourth, the way AHV and CVM actually work, because if you buy VMware, it must be integrated with vSAN; in this case, CVM was integrated with AHV. 

What needs improvement?

Many backup solutions that we use today are available for purchase, be it IBM, VMware, Veritas, or anything else. They usually have very good vSphere and Hyper-V support. Because there isn't much AHV deployment in place, we typically have issues with the integrations that AHV has with backup solutions. We would like to see AHV's backup solution integration improved so that we can take VM-level backups directly from Nutanix.

The issue is that it provides a higher VM level for VMware and other areas. When it comes to AHV, however, you must purchase a separate set of third-party software, which can then supplement that backup via your IBM Spectrum Protect Plus.

One issue we frequently encounter when using AHV is that if you want to install specific software, you must first gain compatibility.

If you want to install an operating system, or OS, on top of your AHV, only a few operating systems are supported. That is one area where I would like to see some progress. VMware typically supports almost all of our systems, as does Hyper-V, but when it comes to AHV, we must apply specific patches in order to run it on top of AHV. Operating system support must be improved out of the box.

If you want to install software, you must first ensure that it is compatible with Nutanix AHV; not all software is compatible.

It is not possible to integrate it with everything. There is limited compatibility with the software that can be installed on top of Nutanix AHV, for example.

If you want to install a specific operating system, you must first check to see if it is listed in the compatibility list; only then will you be able to install it, and that is one issue for now.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Nutanix AHV Virtualization for approximately three to four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had a few issues initially. There was some upgrading required because the system was initially behaving abnormally due to a firmware issue that was causing issues with our memory. However, a fix was provided, and we have had no problems since. We had no problems because Nutanix usually provides proactive support.

Overall Nutanix AHV Virtualization is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Nutanix AHV Virtualization is a very scalable solution.

I have approximately 6,000 people who use the services that I provide on top of this AHV system.

Because we are running Oracle-based ERP on that, all of the users are internal.

How are customer service and support?

In terms of support, there are two systems that I usually consider. First and foremost, it is most likely proactive in identifying any future problems that the team may encounter. 

They have a system that allows them to log in every day to the support team, and they actually go through that support and let us know if they see any problems. For example, if we have a problem, and we engage the Nutanix resources, most of the resources that Nutanix aligns with us are very good technically, and they usually resolve the problem within an hour or two at most.

The support is excellent.

I would rate the technical support a five out of five because it is critical that vendors can see what the problem is with the product after they have made a sale.

It is important that the team providing user support assists us in resolving issues as quickly as possible.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Spectrum Protect Plus, is an IBM product, that we are using for backup and recovery.

We used multiple platforms to evaluate the products. What we were aiming for was a private cloud server environment in which we could provide application services, infrastructure services, and other similar services for a fee. This was the solution's actual vision. 

To evaluate the product, we needed to consider a variety of factors. One was the product's technical soundness. 

VMware has already been used in several cases, but the issue was that in the case of VMware, we had to procure four to five different solutions. For example, to deliver the same feature set as Nutanix Prism Central, we had to purchase vRealize Orchestrator, vRealize Operations Manager, Orchestrator, the NSX platform, and so on.

We chose Nutanix AHV Virtualization primarily because we did not require other products, for example, when comparing it to VMware, we simply listed three additional products that we required to deploy the VMware hyperconverged option. We chose Nutanix AHV because it was obviously the easier option.

How was the initial setup?

Nutanix Management Cluster was the solution we chose, with Nutanix Prism running on top. 

It was pretty straightforward; all you had to do was turn on the hardware, and the software was already installed. 

Nutanix can send you those configured, pre-installed, and up-and-running systems; all you have to do is bring it in and do the system. There was nothing to be done; the only initial configuration was to connect the cluster to the system, and that was it.

I would rate the initial setup a five out of five.

Everything was predeployed and preconfigured. We only needed to plug in the power and network to get it up and running. 

The entire setup took about 15 to 20 minutes. It was just bouncing the servers and powering the bot.

Both options are available. You can also have a hybrid model, as well as an on-premises model and a cloud model. It really depends on how you want your infrastructure to be designed. We have a model that is on-premises.

We have the on-premises version of AHV, and as I mentioned earlier, everything grew so large that we had to move on-premises.

It is essentially self-sustaining. We don't have to intervene very often.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We can purchase a subscription and have a specific piece of hardware and software available on the cloud. We have the on-premises version.

There are two types of AHV licenses available on the market. The first is the perpetual model, in which the license is purchased once and an annual support fee is paid, and the second is the Cluster model.

When we removed AHV, we were left with the perpetual model.

We paid a one-time fee for the license, and there is an annual maintenance or support fee for patches and everything else.

We do not pay licensing costs on an annual basis, and we pay the support and maintenance fees once a year to ensure that we have the necessary support and maintenance. 

The annual maintenance cost is approximately 15 to 18% of the actual cost that you pay. If you buy the solution for $100,000, the support and maintenance contract will cost you $15,000 per year.

It is dependent on the use case. If you only want to buy a hypervisor, it is a very expensive product; however, if you look at the entire solution as a whole, totality, it is less expensive. Because when we compared the prices of VMware and Nutanix as a whole bundle, there was a difference of around 25%, with Nutanix being 25% less expensive because you are purchasing the entire package.

Based on my experience, if you want to buy virtualization and other things, it is a little pricey, but it showed us what the value is.

Price can be a bit slow if you want to break into the market, but it is a premium product, it is pricey.

I would rate the pricing a three out of five. It is expensive, but it also provides the value for money and performance that you require as a hyperconverged and virtualization software.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were looking for a turnkey solution for a hyperconverged system. 

There were several options available, including Nutanix with VMware vSphere as the virtualization layer, Hyper-V as the virtualization layer, and AHV as the virtualization layer.

Certain feature sets are only available with AHV hypervisors when it comes to Nutanix clusters. 

What other advice do I have?

Because they have revisions for backup, and their availability, I would rate Nutanix AHV Virtualization an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Founder & Technology Advisor at EUC Solutions
Real User
Top 10
Easy to set up and maintain, feature-rich, professional support
Pros and Cons
  • "It is the number one virtualization-layer platform available, and a lot of people trust it."
  • "To manage it properly, you have to know this product really well."

What is our primary use case?

The primary reason our customers use vSphere is to consolidate their workloads and realize the other benefits that virtualization provides. For example, they create HA or VM-level HA to facilitate DR.

Essentially, our clients use vSphere for all of the reasons that people use a virtualization layer.

I am a virtualization technician, doing software technology consulting for virtualization and VDI. 

How has it helped my organization?

This is a solution that is normally very straightforward. It doesn't give you many surprises. It's very stable. However, one should have good knowledge when it comes to it because sometimes, you have to use the command line for troubleshooting. For unseen problems, you sometimes need to dig deep to troubleshoot.

What is most valuable?

vSphere is a robust and feature-rich virtualization platform. It is the number one virtualization-layer platform available, and a lot of people trust it.

Many other platforms now provide similar features but VMware was the first to provide enhanced recorders, DRS, fault tolerance, vMotion, and others. They pioneered these features and they are very stable.

VMware also provides software-defined storage, vSAN, which is built into the kernel. This is a plus point.

Other good features include DRS, HA, fault tolerance, vSAN, and vCenter is a very good management interface.

This platform is easy to maintain. 

What needs improvement?

To manage it properly, you have to know this product really well. For the most part, it is very easy to use.

For how long have I used the solution?

I began working with VMware vSphere in 2007 or 2008 when it was version 3.x. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is the most stable virtualization platform available.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In the three years that I have been running my consultancy, I've found that VMware is always part of a large project. Most of the time, I have had a good experience with it.

We have done multiple enterprise services projects using this solution. For example, we were working on a Horizon View PoC for a client.

vSphere is scalable; you just have to add to your cluster and it will increase. You can scale up or scale-out, like any other software. Basically, you can add to it as much as you want to.

I trust VMware products and I definitely want our installed base to increase. I want to enhance my own knowledge and skillset, as well. As we move forward and expand, I am equipping myself with more cloud knowledge and focusing on new technologies. One new product that I am looking at is Carbon Black. Throughout this, I will continue to promote VMware because they are a vendor that I trust.

How are customer service and support?

The VMware support is very professional. Most of the time we've used them, they were very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

As a technology consultant working for customers with varying requirements, I work with other virtualization platforms. Two of these are Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very easy and there is nothing difficult about it. Initially, some people get stuck when they are setting up the supporting services, like DNS, but other than that, the setup is plain and simple.

The length of time required for deployment depends on whether your disk is an SSD. If so, then the copying will be fast. Also, if you have more memory then it will install quicker. 

Regardless of how it is set up, you have to build the basic infrastructure to put in most of your workloads. Sometimes, you manage an existing one but most of the time, we have to deploy a VMware infrastructure.

A single person can basically manage it, although this depends upon the deployment size. If it's a huge deployment, then it requires a good design and it requires proper planning. You need to know your capacity requirements, for example.

If you understand the environment and the design then maybe you can segregate the work into two or three people. Sometimes if it's a small project, a single person can do it. It all depends on the files and complexity of the solution you are providing to the customer.

What about the implementation team?

We deploy this product ourselves.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing model is not complex.

It is a perpetual licensing but there is also an annual maintenance cost. The price of the solution depends on the features that you want. You can have a very basic setup or you can choose a more advanced set of features. The more features that you want and the more extensive your requirement is, the more you have to pay.

What other advice do I have?

In Pakistan, for the most part, organizations are still catching up in terms of the cloud. There are no large data centers because cloud providers do not exist locally. Neither AWS nor Azure has a presence.

The closest data centers to us are Singapore and Dubai. As such, the cloud is not very popular yet and most of our customers have on-premises deployments. We do expect this to change.

My advice for anybody who is implementing this product, or any piece of software, is to have a reasonable level of knowledge in advance of the deployment. That is key in IT.

If you are a consultant, as opposed to an end-user, then you need to have a deep knowledge of the product because there are circumstances where you have to go beyond the normal configuration. Sometimes you have issues that can only be resolved if you are well-equipped with the knowledge.

I also recommend that people plan their deployment. VMware is a wonderful product and it will definitely provide you with the functionality to meet your technical requirements. You will be a very satisfied customer while using it, but the key is to know the product and plan things properly.

Overall, this is a good product and I do not feel that there is much missing. It is the best virtualization platform available.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Oracle Techno Sales consultant at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Flexible solution with extensive features like OVM Manager, enabling you to avoid hard coding
Pros and Cons
  • "It's a very flexible solution because you have all the commands that you can do yourself."
  • "Something that could be improved are the snapshots that go in the ZFS Storage. If you want to enjoy Oracle VM, you will definitely want it to go together with ZFS Storage to maximize on the snapshot facility."

What is our primary use case?

I handle both sales and technical. We also sell cloud technology, so I do a lot of extensive work on cloud implementation.

We are Oracle Gold partners. We do a lot of deployments around Oracle VM. We are core in Oracle infrastructure and Oracle banking. When I say Oracle infrastructure, I'm looking at the x86 servers, also the SPARC servers. When you look at infrastructure, these not only carry the servers themselves, we look at the virtualization technology, which is definitely Oracle VM, both on SPARC and on x86.

Recently, we have been doing a kind of mix where the customer wants Dell and Oracle x86 VM.

I have done this deployment for an insurance company, and they have a lot of insurance solutions which run on the Oracle database. They could not go for the expensive Oracle server, so they decided to go for the Dell server but now are hard partitioning Oracle VM to cut down on the cost of licenses.

We have installed life insurance solutions on Oracle VM hard partitioned, and the general insurance solution is hard partitioned to focus on Oracle VM. They have a dock management system that uses Oracle database, hard partitioned also to focus on Oracle VM. They have a business intelligence solution which also uses Oracle database, also hard partitioned to Oracle VM.

We have actually created the production and VR with loads of VLANs swinging through both production and VR side, all on Oracle VM.

Storage is Dell Unisys storage, and then the computer is all Dell servers.

What is most valuable?

It's a very flexible solution because you have all the commands that you can do yourself.

The OVM Manager is very extensive and very nice to use for those who don't have a 360 view of the hard coding of things. They can still use Oracle VM to run the show, especially in the SPARC version. I've done some deployment with Oracle SPARC VM, but using Connect to connect it to Oracle OVM Manager. We use the OVM Manager to provision the SPARC server rather than going through the hard work of writing the codes of SPARC VM yourself.

All these things make Oracle VM a kind of panacea solution for me.

What needs improvement?

Something that could be improved are the snapshots that go in the ZFS Storage. If you want to enjoy Oracle VM, you will definitely want it to go together with ZFS Storage to maximize on the snapshot facility.

In other virtualization like VMware, you can do the snapshot right at the level of VMware itself. You'll get customers complaining that, "We can't take a snapshot just like we do on our normal VMware solution."

I always advise my customers to go with ZFS Storage. If you maybe had a snapshot on the Oracle VM itself, it would make sense.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been born and bred with Oracle since 2001. It is a career for me. In the past 10 years, I moved between flex to core banking, CRM, ERP and Oracle E-Business Suite to Oracle hardware T8 implementation.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's extremely stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable because we are using production and VR 35 kilometers apart. Scalability is no issue.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing for Oracle VM solution is very nice because you license the box.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution 10 out of 10.

My advice is to throw away your VMware because the licenses will kill you. Throw away your Microsoft Hyper-V because it doesn't work. Just go with Oracle VM because it works.

Oracle Virtualization works and is the best in the world, so I don't know what guys are doing with other solutions.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Enterprise Server and Storage Administrator at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Flexible, rugged, user-friendly, and easy to understand
Pros and Cons
  • "It is quite flexible and rugged. It is also easy to understand and user-friendly. It is not as complicated as some of the other solutions. It has its technicalities, but it is easy to understand. You can easily pick up in a short period of time and understand how to manage the infrastructure."
  • "I am not very sure about how flexible Citrix Hypervisor is with different types of infrastructures. I only know it is flexible with Nutanix, but I am not sure if it is also flexible with others. They can make its integration with other platforms or OEMs easy. They should also make it easy for users to manage their infrastructure. Citrix should make compatibility information related to a hypervisor easily available in a datasheet. Citrix isn't really recognized in this part of the world, and they need to expand their solution and make it more available. There are a lot of customers and companies that are looking for a solution like Citrix, and it should be available in this part of the world. They need to educate people more. Technically, it is good and flexible and has good ability, but it is not as much known as VMware or Microsoft. Their support should also be improved. Currently, if you don't have an updated version, they will not give you the attention."

What is most valuable?

It is quite flexible and rugged. It is also easy to understand and user-friendly. It is not as complicated as some of the other solutions. It has its technicalities, but it is easy to understand. You can easily pick up in a short period of time and understand how to manage the infrastructure.

What needs improvement?

I am not very sure about how flexible Citrix Hypervisor is with different types of infrastructures. I only know it is flexible with Nutanix, but I am not sure if it is also flexible with others. They can make its integration with other platforms or OEMs easy. They should also make it easy for users to manage their infrastructure. Citrix should make compatibility information related to a hypervisor easily available in a datasheet.

Citrix isn't really recognized in this part of the world, and they need to expand their solution and make it more available. There are a lot of customers and companies that are looking for a solution like Citrix, and it should be available in this part of the world. They need to educate people more. Technically, it is good and flexible and has good ability, but it is not as much known as VMware or Microsoft.

Their support should also be improved. Currently, if you don't have an updated version, they will not give you the attention.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for about eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is pretty stable. We have recently upgraded to a newer version. I used 7.6 for a long time, which was very stable in spite of being end-of-support. In terms of stability, they are doing a good job.

How are customer service and technical support?

We currently have a problem with technical support at our location. We don't have so many Citrix support companies or partners. We have just a few of them, and it is pretty difficult to get support and talk to Citrix directly. For this, two things are involved. You need to have the latest updates of infrastructure, and you should have got the support license. Otherwise, you can't get support from them. If you don't have the updated support or version, they will not give you the attention, which is a problem and a shortcoming.

I had to call them because we had a disconnect with our storage, and due to that, we lost a lot of data. I couldn't get support from Citrix because they informed me that I was using an older version of the solution. This is one of the shortcomings, so we had to work on the issue internally to resolve it. We had a backup, and we were able to restore everything,

How was the initial setup?

It is easy and straightforward. It all depends on the hosting platform. You need to be sure that the host is actually compatible with the version of the hypervisor that you're using. It matters a lot. If you're not using the right or compatible infrastructure, you may run into some problems. Citrix should make this information easily available for people in a datasheet. Most of the time, you have to go online for this information. It should be easily accessible for the users so that they can easily find information about compatible platforms. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I am fine with their license support. What we have right now is permanent, so I don't have a problem with their license.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution for user endpoints or desktops. I would rate Citrix Hypervisor an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Jan Baran - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior IT Specialist at Uczelnia Techniczno-Handlowa im. Heleny Chodkowskiej w Warszawie
Real User
There is no cost, it is stable, and easy to set up
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution is stable."
  • "The solution can be improved by making it more secure and scalable."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is used for virtualization, web servers, databases, and S3 storage spaces.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that the solution is free of cost.

What needs improvement?

The solution can be improved by making it more secure and scalable.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for several years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. I have not had any issues in the last two years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is only one node, so it is not scalable.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There is no subscription required for Proxmox VE.

What other advice do I have?

I give the solution an eight out of ten.

We require 15 people for the deployment and maintenance of the solution including two developers.

We have around 400 web visitors that are supported by the solution per day.

We have two environments. We run one with Proxmox VE and the other with VMware.

I recommend the solution to others.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Buyer's Guide
Server Virtualization Software
January 2023
Get our free report covering VMware, Proxmox, VMware, and other competitors of Hyper-V. Updated: January 2023.
672,411 professionals have used our research since 2012.