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Buyer's Guide
HCI
July 2022
Get our free report covering Dell Technologies, VMware, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and other competitors of Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI). Updated: July 2022.
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Read reviews of Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) alternatives and competitors

Mina Magdy - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Infrastructure Solutions Specialist at Equinox International
Real User
Top 20
Stable, durable, cost-effective, and affordable with remarkable cover points feature
Pros and Cons
  • "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. This makes all files act as a single file with a large and huge resource, and, of course, with customized administration, configuration, and resources. It provides automatic failover for redundancy and data recovery."
  • "VxRail is very cost-effective and affordable in the long term. It is more recommended when it comes to financial life, but it may depend upon the license. VxRail comes with VMware licensing, which may not be that cost-effective as compared to others. With VMware, it's an auto check competition. VMware is an expensive solution, especially for Nutanix. Nutanix have their own hypervisor called Acronis, which is very cost-effective against the VMware. Nutanix is cheaper for the hardware but not for the software. If you ask the Nutanix partners to deploy Nutanix over Cisco servers or Dell EMC servers, the cost will be higher. Nutanix wants to compete financially. Therefore, they propose their software over the Supermicro server, which is a very cheap Chinese server. In fact, I don't like their terms of service. HyperFlex has the highest price, and it is very expensive. I don't know why. It may be because this is a UCS system, which comes from Cisco and is already expensive. When it comes to HyperFlex, they need the labor to deploy Hyper-V, Citrix, or any other hypervisor."
  • "If they can provide deduplication compression through the traditional hard drives, as Cisco does in the HyperFlex system, it will be very cost-effective, especially when it comes to archiving workload. VxRail doesn't allow the mixing of old flash clusters and hyper clusters. When I'm starting with an old flash cluster and it comes to archiving workload, I will also need to attend the new cluster. So, I either manage two different clusters, or I pay and upload my work with the archiving mobile hard drive, which is not cost-effective at all. The main key is to allow mixing between two types of clustering, like Nutanix, or allow deduplication of completion over the period of shared hard drive on SAV. It will be much better."

What is most valuable?

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. This makes all files act as a single file with a large and huge resource, and, of course, with customized administration, configuration, and resources. It provides automatic failover for redundancy and data recovery.

What needs improvement?

If they can provide deduplication compression through the traditional hard drives, as Cisco does in the HyperFlex system, it will be very cost-effective, especially when it comes to archiving workload. 

VxRail doesn't allow the mixing of old flash clusters and hyper clusters. When I'm starting with an old flash cluster and it comes to archiving workload, I will also need to attend the new cluster. So, I either manage two different clusters, or I pay and upload my work with the archiving mobile hard drive, which is not cost-effective at all. The main key is to allow mixing between two types of clustering, like Nutanix, or allow deduplication of completion over the period of shared hard drive on SAV. It will be much better.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for four to five years. I have used three generations of Dell servers. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable and durable. It only depends on vSAN, which is the number one software that defines storage. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Currently, more than 500 users are using VxRail in our company. It's capable of delivering for all types of workloads. Technically, it depends on the hyper-converged instructions. This means that you have 100% assurance of its compatibility with all of its components. It should also carry all types of workload dispersing, that is, from the normal traditional virtual machines to high-performance computing, such as HEP workload, heavy database, artificial intelligence, and business analytics.

How are customer service and technical support?

They provide good support. You can reach them, especially if your system is at ESRS, EMC functional support. You can just chat with one of their technicians. They collect the logs and discover the issue. It takes almost a couple of hours from opening the ticket to resolve it. They are very good.

The hardware replacement takes 24 hours. They have their own stock here in Egypt.

How was the initial setup?

It is easy to install and implement the VxRail clusters. The initial setup was a piece of cake for us. 

What about the implementation team?

We manage the storage, compute, and virtual machines as well as networking through the perfect channel. 

We do all kinds of deployments. We check whether the customer wants to deploy it on-premises, cloud, or integrate with the public cloud to tier and replicate.

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

VxRail is very cost-effective and affordable in the long term. It is more recommended when it comes to financial life, but it may depend upon the license. VxRail comes with VMware licensing, which may not be that cost-effective as compared to others. With VMware, it's an auto check competition. VMware is an expensive solution, especially for Nutanix. Nutanix have their own hypervisor called Acronis, which is very cost-effective against the VMware.

Nutanix is cheaper for the hardware but not for the software. If you ask the Nutanix partners to deploy Nutanix over Cisco servers or Dell EMC servers, the cost will be higher. Nutanix wants to compete financially. Therefore, they propose their software over the Supermicro server, which is a very cheap Chinese server. In fact, I don't like their terms of service.

HyperFlex has the highest price, and it is very expensive. I don't know why. It may be because this is a UCS system, which comes from Cisco and is already expensive. When it comes to HyperFlex, they need the labor to deploy Hyper-V, Citrix, or any other hypervisor.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I also deal with HyperFlex and Nutanix. In fact, I prefer VxRail. 

When comparing with HyperFlex, VxRail is much alike HyperFlex. It is very cost-effective, and it doesn't have too many conditions like HyperFlex. When you start with building clusters in HyperFlex, you stick to the selected nodes forever. It is not the same in VxRail. You start with pNode in VxRail, and then you add eNode, sNode, etc.  

HyperFlex has its own limitations. They say we can create up to 64 nodes, but, in fact, there are only 52 storage and 52 nodes compute with no mixing between two workloads. On the other hand, in VxRail, you can really create up to 64 nodes, which means the double amount of nodes to carry more servers, more computing in the clusters. 

There are too many concerns about HyperFlex, especially related to performance. HyperFlex source the deduplication compression. You don't have the option to enable or disable the deduplication compression, which means that deduplication ends the performance. In VxRail, you can enable or disable the deduplication compression. So, you can gain a net performance against the storage, and you can move the storage against the performance. You can balance the full configuration. 

When it comes to the software, Nutanix is great. The main concern is that Nutanix doesn't have its own hardware, and it is integrated with different types of servers to deploy its own system. Nutanix just has a contract with Noble, Supermicro, or HP to develop its own system, which is okay for some types of users. However, many types of users request and prefer the full software or hardware that comes from a single vendor so that they can achieve the maximum and ultimate support.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate VxRail an eight out of ten. They should allow the deduplication compression over the hard drives and mixing of the hyper and the old flash clusters.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
Director at SOFTLOGIC
Real User
Enables us to easily create and delete virtual servers
Pros and Cons
  • "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."
  • "The only negative point relates to the licensing. If you want multiple, different servers, it costs money, but you have all the capacity for vSAN. You do not reach the data, but the processor arrays and the current architecture."

What is most valuable?

The feature that I have found most valuable is that it is easy to deploy.

It is also easy to configure with the vCenter and the other solutions that we have. It is easy to create and delete virtual servers. It is easy to create the load balancing and the clustering, and the new version includes different features that allow us to quickly see what happened if we shut down a virtual server. It is an arrays of disks. It works like a RAID file. You shut down one server and you can start the two others that work together.

VMware vSAN is better than SimpliVity. We once tried to run SimpliVity, but it was difficult for us, because the people from HP were not easy to work with, the costs of their white papers where higher, and it was not as easy to deploy as VMware. VMware vSAN also costs for licensing, but it costs less than HPE SimpliVity and I'm not depending on the HP team. I can run it myself with my engineers.

What needs improvement?

The only negative point relates to the licensing. If you want multiple, different servers, it costs money, but you have all the capacity for vSAN. You do not reach the data, but the processor arrays and the current architecture.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using VMware vSAN for two and a half years.

We are using version 6.7 and we are processing now to switch to 7.0 because we are testing the new version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

VMware vSAN is a stable solution.

We have made many tests, we have also shut down the servers and made an extraction of the disk and everything, and vSAN was very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

VMware vSAN is scalable, if you choose good servers at the beginning with many slots for disks, you can then add disks and extend the storage. You can add memory if you have good servers, and then you can enable your construction. But you have to choose good servers for production from the beginning.

How are customer service and technical support?

VMware has very good support. They have technical support which is divided into three areas. In each area you always have the one who can reply to you and they are really good at the technical support.

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

We previously worked with Nutanix, which HP bought. At the beginning, we were also working with a free solution called KVM. There was no licensing cost with them, but there was also no real support and the customers were afraid of that. They wanted something that is known in the market. We also worked with Dell in the past.

How was the initial setup?

If you already work with vCenter and VMware, the initial setup is easy. The process is easy to understand and easy to configure. You just have to be sure that when you connect the servers with the LAN that everything is in 10 giga, then it will be easy to configure. You have to configure the root storage of the LAN and give it a switch.

You have to configure everything from the beginning to make everything work, so you must have an expert on vSAN from your side and an expert for LAN on the other side.

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

I do think that VMware vSAN's cost could be lower.

We pay for the license every year.

The cost depends on your contract. The pricing for the government is not the best, but for each licensing, because its arrays are in your servers, it can cost $4,000 for each of the servers for a simple solution and up to $20,000 per server for vSAN solutions. It's very, very expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I am also working with Microsoft and Safe Key, another solution for the clustering, and I tried HPE SimpliVity for simple cluster and for multi-cluster. When I saw the costs of HPE SimpliVity for multi-cluster, there were two points that made me not feel good about it: the price and that when we needed more than 20 or 40 terabytes of data, the HP license was such that I could not use this solution alone. We had to use the HP team at the beginning.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale of one to ten I would give VMware vSAN an eight for the technology, eight for scalability, and a six for the price. Overall, I give it an eight.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Brendan - PeerSpot reviewer
Technology Manager at Tryon International Equestrian Center
User
Top 20
Easy to set up with excellent technical support and great high availability
Pros and Cons
  • "The low cost of this solution has also made a big difference in our budget, which has been very helpful."
  • "If I had to pick something to add to the product, it would be nice if you could have more than one user account on their command center VM."

What is our primary use case?

We use the StarWind HCA as the main solution for hosting all of our core VMs. 

We have about 20 Microsoft and Linux VMs that we are running on Hyper-V on the StarWind HCA. 

Our HCA is made up of two Dell servers running the StarWind VSAN software. The VMs that we have are mainly made up of general-purpose servers with a few other custom-use servers thrown in. 

We also use the HCA to host both of our domain controllers, although we don't have them in the cluster, they are still on the appliance. 

How has it helped my organization?

Having high availability has definitely improved the reliability of our infrastructure and made server maintenance much easier, which is a significant improvement for the organization. 

The low cost of this solution has also made a big difference in our budget, which has been very helpful. 

The reliability of the VSAN software has also been a big improvement in our infrastructure. 

The quality of support from StarWind has probably been the biggest improvement though as we went from having a relatively low level of support with our previous solution to having a truly top-tier support team at our disposal.

What is most valuable?

High availability with only two nodes has really been enormously valuable to us. Our infrastructure is relatively small and we really didn't need more than two nodes, however, for many reasons, we really needed to have high availability. Being able to accomplish that without extra hardware was huge. 

The ability to use whatever hypervisor that we wanted has also been very valuable to us. We were able to switch over to Hyper-V from VMWare and save on the licensing costs that we previously had with VMWare.

What needs improvement?

I really don't say this very much, however, I actually don't have many issues with this product. However, if I had to think of something, some people might not like the fact that a lot of the engineers tend to have relatively thick eastern European accents, and that might be an issue for some folks. 

If I had to pick something to add to the product, it would be nice if you could have more than one user account on their command center VM. It's not really a big deal, however, that would be a good addition.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for about six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is extremely stable. I haven't had any issues at all. It's one of my favorite things about this solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is extremely scalable.

How are customer service and support?

Their customer service and support are top-notch. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

Our previous solution was very old and not really a good comparison. 

We switched due to the fact that the hardware needed to be refreshed and we needed high availability.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was extremely easy and their support team was assisting through the whole process.

What about the implementation team?

It was implemented through their support team and their level of expertise was extremely high.

What was our ROI?

We've seen an ROI of 100% to 150%

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

The setup cost and support contract was significantly cheaper with StarWind than with any of the other options that I evaluated.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered just buying new server hardware and staying with VMware. We also evaluated Scale and Nutanix.

What other advice do I have?

I really can't recommend them enough. 

Their VSAN software is excellent. The ability to get a highly available setup with just two nodes is fantastic. Their support is top-notch, and from a cost perspective, they blew everybody else out of the water. Give them a call; you won't be sorry!

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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Senior Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Great back up and disaster recovery capabilities with very helpful technical support
Pros and Cons
  • "We can scale the solution easily."
  • "The Omni Card consumes a lot of memory and CPU."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is used for server consolidation and, with SimpliVity and other hyper-converged solutions, we can reduce the footprint and we can give them added benefits, like backup, DR, compression, and deduplication. The main use case for SimpliVity is for backup and cloning, and rapid DR. If you take vSAN, we can say the selling point is server consolidation, and then you can start your STDC journey.

What is most valuable?

The backup is the main and most valuable aspect, followed by the rapid DR (Disaster Recovery). With a traditional network, we have to have some WAN optimizers, however, with SimpliVity, we can go with their Omni and the rapid DR software.

Technical support is great.

The solution is quite stable.

We can scale the solution easily.

The initial setup is simple. 

What needs improvement?

When we failed it, there was a hardware accelerator card, however, now HP is saying the hardware is no longer available, and it will be the end of life. Now, we have only the software. That is a shock for us. When someone is using a hardware accelerator, then he needs some upgrades. Now, we have to say there is no hardware card. Now you have to use the software. There will be a mismatch.

The Omni Card consumes a lot of memory and CPU. On the HP selling site, it says Omni Card can offload your CPU and memory, however, in reality, it consumes more memory and CPU.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been working with HP SimpliVity for three years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is quite scalable. 

We closed six deals. The largest one is a 4-node cluster, and another is a 2-node cluster and 3-node cluster. Very recently, we closed a deal with the largest private sector insurance company which is about four nodes. They are going to expand the environment. We have another five HPE SimpliVity references in Sri Lanka. Currently, we are working with a few customers on some upgrades. 

How are customer service and support?

Technical support has been great. We get direct HP support and have had no issues with the HP support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is easy. Nowadays, it is all very straightforward. There is no rocket science involved. We can do a simple installation.

What about the implementation team?

We are able to handle the implementation process for our clients. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We deal with a variety of products. It's case by case. We are not selling any product. We are selling solutions. If a customer prefers Nutanix, then we can go with Nutanix, however, we can tell them the features and advantages. As a product, SimpliVity is better than others due to the fact that it has its own WAN optimizer optimization technologies then dedupe and compression ratios are high, and we can get support from a single vendor. SimpliVity is the leader.

What other advice do I have?

We are an enterprise partner for HPE and we are dealing with HPE SimpliVity. We are also new Nutanix partners, so we are working with a couple of hyper-converged solutions. In addition to that, we are an advanced partner for VMware. At the moment we don't have any vSAN references, however, we are a certified VMware partner.

We might work with an older version. I'm not familiar with the latest one. Mainly, I'm a part of the pre-sales team. Our implementation guys handle the deployment. They are dealing with the versions and upgrades. I'm involved in pre-sales.

I'd advise potential new users that, if you have large volumes on backups and if you have any plans to go for DR, so you can start with SimpliVity.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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TRAIANO ... - PeerSpot reviewer
Technology Solutions, Support & Training at UNISONMEDIA Group, Inc.
Real User
Top 5
Resilient with seamless failover, and the support is helpful
Pros and Cons
  • "Recovery and maintenance are now less stressful and most importantly, it allows our users to keep working."
  • "A mobile app to sync up for overview and status would really be helpful."

What is our primary use case?

We have Microsoft Hyper-V.  StarWind is configured as a two-node cluster with a Windows environment. It is crucial for the Virtual Machines that give us the resiliency of Exchange, 4TB File Servers, Networking Services, Quickbooks Server, Terminal Servers, Virtualized Spam Protection, Active Directory Services, and a few others.

We needed something that allows for better resiliency than the old way of doing things.  We have seen other choices out there but this seemed to be the best one, given our budget and the hardware we wanted to use.

How has it helped my organization?

This StarWind solution has enabled us to be more resilient, once it was set up and tested.

Failover happens very smoothly. Recovery and maintenance are now less stressful and most importantly, it allows our users to keep working.

Before StarWind, we were dealing with an archaic way of synchronizing Virtual machines and data between non-clustered physical hosts and it was very frustrating. Now, things are less hands-on and easier to manage and navigate the virtual environment, including maintenance while other users keep working.

What is most valuable?

We found that robust communications between clusters and synchronization were key and most valuable to us due to the amount of data we were synchronizing.

The expertise from their technicians is very helpful even in the middle of the night, with the right support plan of course. The technical documentation, the follow-up and the details noted on a per-call basis was amazing. We really appreciate that kind of commitment to our success and stability that the StarWind software brings to our business.

What needs improvement?

Built-in Notification would really help and as I understand, their new release has this now.  

A mobile app to sync up for overview and status would really be helpful.

Also, it would be helpful if the software had a few more guides and links/videos on how-to's.

An "Update available" notification within the software would also be helpful and a guided wizard to do the upgrade properly would also be nice and efficient.

A better visual of the SAN storage/actual storage and how it is used would be good, especially when it comes to where the files are located on the disk. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using StarWind Virtual SAN for the last two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability seems great and we have not had any problems with the software.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Seems very scalable, although we chose to have a two-node cluster.

How are customer service and technical support?

This area has been the best for us, especially being new to this technology. The support team was amazing with follow-up and they are super patient.

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

I have not used another solution for the same purpose. This was what I picked based on my research.

How was the initial setup?

Initially, I didn't quite understand the framework and what exact hardware was needed so I had to do some learning. However, once all was in place it went pretty smoothly.

What about the implementation team?

We did our deployment in-house, with help from StarWind.

What was our ROI?

Return on investment for us, I would say maybe breaking even. As I said, I wish the costs were better balanced.

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

The cost seems a bit steep, and I wish it was less expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have looked at Nutanix and VMware.

What other advice do I have?

Mainly that the costs would be less expensive.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
HCI
July 2022
Get our free report covering Dell Technologies, VMware, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and other competitors of Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI). Updated: July 2022.
622,645 professionals have used our research since 2012.