Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) is the #1 ranked solution in top Cloud Management tools, top Software Defined Storage (SDS) tools, and HCI Software. PeerSpot users give Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) an average rating of 8.6 out of 10. Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) is most commonly compared to VxRail: Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) vs VxRail. Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 60% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 20% of all views.
Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) Buyer's Guide

Download the Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: January 2023

What is Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI)?

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.

Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) was previously known as Nutanix Acropolis AOS, Nutanix AOS, Nutanix Acropolis.

Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) Customers

St. Lukes Health System, the City of Seattle, Yahoo! Japan, Sligro, Empire Life, Hyundai AUS, and many others.

Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) Video

Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) pricing:
  • "The pricing is very competitive when compared with other vendors. As long as Nutanix goes forward with the same price and same type of offering, it will definitely have a large number of customers adopting the same solution very soon."
  • "The license is quite clear to me. It's much clearer than what we had with our previous virtualization environment. The licensing is not complex to understand."
  • "Cost-wise, it is very good. It is like the hypervisor cost is not there. We only need to pay for the system and AOS licenses."
  • "The pricing of Nutanix is not cheap but there are options available."
  • "Many of my customers have issues with Acropolis' licensing model because they are charging the customers based on two things— the CPUs and the capacity in the solid stack disk — and that's a problem. Nutanix's competitors are not licensing that layer, so this is something that they should change. They should abandon this licensing model because it's too complex. Technical support is bundled with the subscription."
  • "The software only licensing model is priced normally, but the licensing model that comes with hardware is priced very high. You can choose to pay the license yearly, or you can pay every three years, or every five years."
  • Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) Reviews

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    IT Manager at Q4 Fuel
    Real User
    Serious reliability and stability across the entire system makes for ROI
    Pros and Cons
    • "One major thing that comes up again and again is stability. Our downtime is literally based on hardware upgrades that need to be done. Acropolis is very, very user friendly. You don't have to physically have a super IT guy to manage the system. You can actually give it to a younger guy to manage and there won't be problems. And if he makes a mistake, it's very, very easy to fall back and sort out the mistake."
    • "In terms of what I would like to see improved, I would say the life cycle management. I don't know if it is because they changed to an LCM from the previous way of upgrading the hardware or software but sometimes it feels that it needs a wizard that says, "Check this, check this," telling you your options. The only thing that's a bit frustrating for me is the life cycle management interface. That's the only thing on the entire system that frustrates me."

    What is our primary use case?

    One of the components that we like about using Nutanix Acropolis AOS is its ability to interact with hardware. You don't have to go into different systems, all your locked files and everything for the hardware is directly available.

    Our use cases are for data storage. We use the total Nutanix system in connection with Inuvika. We are busy phasing out all our work stations, where we basically go back to the principle of old bank terminals. When you boot up, you're going into the Inuvika environment, which runs five physical servers on the Nutanix. The accessibility of the performance and upgradeability of the system increase about five-fold where you don't have to upgrade workstation performance, you only add an additional Nutanix server node if you want to increase your performance on your users' workstations. An important feature for me that comes with a hypervisor, as well as the AOS in combination with everything, is the backup redundancy, as well as the encryption component on the server that we use quite extensively. Since we've installed Nutanix our downtime was about 40 minutes to an hour, and that was just to do a memory upgrade on the system.

    How has it helped my organization?

    In terms of how Nutanix Acropolis AOS has improved our organization, for starters, the one major thing that comes up again and again is stability. Our downtime is literally based on hardware upgrades that need to be done. Acropolis is very, very user friendly.

    You don't have to physically have a super IT guy to manage the system. You can actually give it to a younger guy to manage and there won't be problems. And if he makes a mistake, it's very, very easy to fall back and sort out the mistake.

    What is most valuable?

    The features that I have found most valuable depend on the scenario. The nice thing with the Acropolis design is that in a specific situation where you've got either the problem or you need to adapt quickly in connection with the setup in the environment, they really work through everything. 

    The total solution is valuable, you can't split it up. The nice thing with the AOS, as well as basically the entire Nutanix system is that you are not time bound to increase your entire node or service setup. You can add additional nodes as time goes past. It's not like VMware, for example, where it looks like you've got a time period where you have to finish your entire setup, otherwise the upgrades and the newer hardware and that kind of stuff become a problem. Nutanix is very, very backwards compatible, as well as forwards compatible.

    What needs improvement?

    In terms of what I would like to see improved, I would say the life cycle management. I don't know if it is because they changed to an LCM from the previous way of upgrading the hardware or software but sometimes it feels that it needs a wizard that says, "Check this, check this," telling you your options. The only thing that's a bit frustrating for me is the life cycle management interface. That's the only thing on the entire system that frustrates me. I'm very, very happy with the other stuff.

    Buyer's Guide
    Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI)
    January 2023
    Learn what your peers think about Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI). Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2023.
    670,400 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been using Nutanix Acropolis AOS for roughly four years now.

    We are currently using the full setup of the system and it's very stable.

    We are using the latest version. We update our system on the LTX every time a long sported version comes out and it's very stable.

    We are running on-premise. We're running roughly 40 servers on it, which is a combination from Linux, our PBX system, Windows Operating Systems and additional data software that we've built on our own distro's on the system itself.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Nutanix Acropolis AOS is very stable.

    Since we started it up, the only time that we had any problems on it or downtime, if I can put it that way, was literally to upgrade the memory. That's it.

    In the last three years since it's been running, it was peace of mind. We didn't have any problems and even with Nutanix overseas, we had a faulty memory module and the system worked perfectly, and they sent us a new memory module. We sent the old memory module back and that process with Nutanix support was magnificent, zero frustrations.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is very scalable. We see the scalability in two places. Point number one for scalability, if we need additional hardware by installing an additional node, it's not painful at all. You just put in the node, you tell your Acropolis to find it, integrate it with the system, and everything operates seamlessly. It automatically balances all your virtual machines between all your nodes that you've got at that stage.

    Additionally, I used it in our environment a lot as an additional backup for our remote sites. Where we basically have two Nutanix nodes on each remote site and because data in South Africa is very expensive we don't have a lot of bandwidth between our sites. So during the evenings, I replicate everything to our primary server setup that we've got and it works perfectly, no problems.

    We have 6,000 units or servers. We are running currently from high performance users right through to just Word and Excel people. We are in the area of 250 users that are running on the system.

    Nutanix is at the core of our business. So if the Nutanix falls over, our entire company will go offline.

    At this stage it is not necessary to increase usage, but they're talking about opening additional branches, then we will be looking at another two or three nodes within the next two years.

    How are customer service and support?

    Technical support is excellent.

    I'm thinking about the two situations that we had. One was the memory problem that we had, and this guy from America explained in detail everything that he did. How the testing principles worked, how the process operated and he put us in connection with all the correct people. The entire process in that case was extremely streamlined and extremely user friendly. Then our second scenario that we had was in connection with upgrade faults that I made, and they explained what happened and how to fix the problem. So yeah, they are excellent.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward.

    In South Africa, we've got this saying for the test principle, keep it straight and simple. That is the principle that I followed with it.

    Our deployment took us longer to get all the cabinets prepared for the servers or for the nodes than it actually took to set up the entire Nutanix system. I think it took us about half an hour to 45 minutes since we started, and we started installing our first VM on the system.

    In the setup, there are literally two people responsible.

    I am the IT manager and we've got my 2IC, and we're the only two that work with the servers on all six primary sites.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did it through Pinnacle Micro and the guy helped us extremely well and was extremely knowledgeable about the Nutanix product and the systems around it. They were extremely knowledgeable in the Nutanix environment and with the processes and risks that need to be assessed. It was an excellent experience and not only the fact that they actually came out and talked to us, it wasn't all over the telephone.

    What was our ROI?

    We were running a stand-alone service originally. So we saved a lot of money on hardware upgrades that we needed to do. We saved a lot of money on energy consumption. As you know, power or electricity in South Africa is getting extremely expensive. We are now running at about 20% of our original power consumption and that also includes cooling the server room, reduction on security (physical security not cyber security). So all those components played a major role in ROI. Except for our hardware upgrades and that kind of stuff, we've saved about 200,000 Rand.

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

    Our license is Rand based. I can't remember because we bought the license with other software as well. We did the licensing and it includes the support and everything over a five year basis.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We previously looked at VMware to build our hyperconverged environment. We started looking at costing and lifetime of products and it was quite shocking from my point of view. Because I feel a server must at least have the ability to run for five to seven years and then have scalability. And the thing with VMware is you've got quite a short shelf life on the setup. Meaning, you've got five years and if your system is not fully built, you start from scratch.

    VMware versus Nutanix - number one, the cost is much lower with Nutanix. The hardware needed for operating the system is much cheaper and that played a major role in the choice that we made between Nutanix and VMware. The other major thing is the support that we got from the Pinnacle Micro guys. Actually, that's one of the major points why we made the choice for Nutanix. They were very, very intuitive with your company, they knew what we needed, what possibilities to look at, what risks to assess, that kind of stuff.

    Before choosing Nutanix I also played with VMware's ESXi open source setup. I also played with Nutanix's open source setup. When we setup Nutanix, it was a lot more intuitive and a lot more user friendly, versus the setup from VMware, which is not bad either. I'm not saying it's a bad product, don't get me wrong. It's just different.

    What other advice do I have?

    The biggest lesson I learned from using Nutanix Acropolis AOS was that at the stage when we looked at it, Nutanix was still relatively young - so don't underestimate the underdog.

    My advice to anyone considering Nutanix Acropolis AOS is that you won't go wrong. It's an easy, maintainable system, it's user friendly. They designed quite an excellent product and with the support and the knowledge from the guys, you're not going to have problems in setting up a system like Nutanix.

    On a scale of one to ten, I would put Nutanix Acropolis AOS in the area of eight to nine.

    It is so high because for starters, I have not really had problems with Nutanix at all in the greater picture. We've had one or two incidents, which were mostly from our side, except for the memory situation, which was hardware related and not software related. They were always before the schedule on turnaround time for repairs and getting everything sorted out and repaired and up and running. I know a big thing is that local suppliers play a big role in support of hardware and so forth, but we didn't have any problems right through the bank.

    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.
    PeerSpot user
    IT Operations at a energy/utilities company with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    Integration with multiple cloud providers gives us flexibility and complete geographical redundancy and saves costs
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most valuable features are the RBAC, role-based access control, and the reporting. NCI also provides a single platform, a single pane with a dashboard, to manage the entire infrastructure. We have complete information about overall utilization, performance, and a forecast for our platform in that single pane."
    • "It already has the capability to integrate with the major cloud providers but, in an upcoming release, if there is a possibility to have it integrate with other cloud providers like IBM, Alibaba, and other moderate-level cloud providers, that would be good."

    What is our primary use case?

    We have multiple clusters in different, on-premises as well as cloud-based data centers where we are running multiple applications, including database and SAP. They are managed with the Nutanix Prism centralized platform. 

    Our other use case is that we have Office 365 applications hosted and those clusters are being utilized for database and Outlook replication, in which the information from those clusters is replicated for backup to storage devices that are dispersed across different data centers.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure has helped to improve our organization by reducing cost and complexity, and giving us more visibility. It has helped with the continuous integration and continuous development approach, and through its compatibility with the major cloud service providers.

    Because NCI has hybrid cloud capabilities, we can integrate it with multiple cloud providers and that means we have complete geographical redundancy. There has not been any downtime and, with the help of containers running our platforms, we haven't faced any critical challenges. Since the deployment, we have not faced any type of SLA agreement-related issue or any type of situation where we lost revenues.

    When it comes to reducing downtime, the most impactful features are the automated self-healing and recovery of the hosted applications. If a particular host is having some type of critical issue, a physical problem, a high-level process issue, or any type of high CPU utilization, there is an automatic internal alert and the self-healing and recovery automatically place the application on a new host. The user does not face any challenges, latency, or downtime.

    The solution also has very robust security features, like integration with third-party authentication platforms and role-based access controls with different access levels. These are key features that help reduce operational challenges. We have complete visibility into which users we go with for administrative abilities and which users have certain types of role-based access privileges. These are very robust capabilities.

    It has also helped us with application consolidation and that is very important in terms of reducing the cost, by having those applications on a single platform. Once we deployed NCI, moved key portions to it, and were completely satisfied that everything was working per our requirements, we decommissioned most of our legacy systems.

    We eliminated our on-premises host and clusters because they cost a lot in the consumption of space and overall maintenance of the infrastructure. Compared to the cloud, hosting and managing applications requires more team members for operations, implementation, and field engineers. By working with those platforms in Cloud Infrastructure, we have seen a lot of cost optimization.

    In addition, with the ability to accomplish most of the important day-to-day operational tasks automatically, we have gotten rid of manual tasks and require less human effort. On a daily basis, without NCI, the team was utilizing three to four hours on those day-to-day operations, handling the applications and platforms that were hosted on-premises. With those things hosted in Cloud Infrastructure, they need just 60 minutes. So we have saved about 75 percent of that time.

    Overall, the primary benefits are that it simplifies operations and we have less human error with more automation. And there are robust security features, integrated with third-party security and monitoring tools. With the help of a complete and robust platform, we are going to achieve the best product.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features are the RBAC, role-based access control, and the reporting.

    NCI also provides a single platform, a single pane with a dashboard, to manage the entire infrastructure. We have complete information about overall utilization, performance, and a forecast for our platform in that single pane.

    NCI has also definitely improved our efficiency with better visibility into our operations, better reporting facilities, and a single-pane dashboard where we can place different types of widgets to help us look at the key aspects, per our operational requirements. It has extensive capabilities to integrate the alert-based system with third-party monitoring tools. As a result, we haven't seen challenges due to the teams not being able to see particular alerts and those alerts being missed. If that were to happen it would cause a loss in productivity or some type of financial loss. We haven't faced those types of challenges at all.

    And because NCI has the capability to host any type of application and any vendor's solution or platform, and it integrates with most of the major providers, that makes this platform quite flexible and easy to use.

    Another very important feature is that it offers a variety of cloud operating models across on-premises, edge, as well as multiple hosted, managed, and public clouds. As an organization, our intention, most of the time, is to go with the different cloud providers to reduce costs. When we are in the evolution phase or when we are into the renewal phase and looking for those vendors that are providing more benefits in terms of cost optimization and more add-on features, if Nutanix expands its portfolio into multiple clouds, that is beneficial to our organization and to other organizations.

    What needs improvement?

    It already has the capability to integrate with the major cloud providers but, in an upcoming release, if there is a possibility to have it integrate with other cloud providers like IBM, Alibaba, and other moderate-level cloud providers, that would be good.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) for the last two years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have never faced any downtime or operational issues that we have had to escalate to the vendor, whether it be about challenges that we are facing and we need an upgrade, or there is a vulnerability or bug that needs to be fixed. Everything is currently running, everything is optimized.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scaling it is a very easy and straightforward process. We need to place some requests and go into the licensing portal to increase license costs. Everything is on the portal, making it quite easy. Most things are done on a graphical user interface. There are no challenges at all.

    We plan to increase our usage of NCI in the future because we do have remaining data centers and some applications that are still in the on-premises model. Going forward, once the budget gets approved and allocated, we are going to go with a similar type of deployment in those locations as well.

    How are customer service and support?

    Nutanix technical support is available 24/7/365, and we have never faced any challenges with it. Whatever problems we face, we immediately get a resolution. So far, there haven't been critical events or issues. We have only had moderate or high-level incidents that were fixed by the Nutanix technical support team very quickly and effectively.

    Their technical support is excellent.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

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

    Before NCI, we were directly using one of the standard cloud-vendor solutions. But the cost was quite high. Once we went with Cloud Infrastructure and started using it, we saved 20 to 25 percent on annual costs.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial deployment was very straightforward because everything was set up and clearly set out in a non-production environment. We tested every parameter before starting the implementation in the actual production environment.

    From the time of deployment to when we put on the full load and mixed the full utilization of the infrastructure, it took approximately three months. Overall, the deployment took five to six months.

    Including design, implementation, operations, and licensing, we had a total of 20 resources involved.

    NCI requires regular maintenance. We need to check for upcoming versions and patches. It's very easy to upgrade, once we get complete information. Adding compute, storage on demand, and scaling are very easy, step-by-step processes. There is documentation and there are case studies and a lot of templates. We have 10 people involved in its maintenance. They have different types of technical capabilities and are well-trained with complete knowledge and certification to implement, operate, optimize, troubleshoot, and monitor the complete Nutanix platform.

    What about the implementation team?

    We work directly with the vendor.

    What was our ROI?

    Our ROI is very robust. Whatever we are putting in, in terms of CapEx, we are getting back twice in terms of OpEx.

    It has reduced our total cost of operations by helping us move more towards automation, as well as through the single-pane dashboard and giving us an integrated solution where we can host multiple types of applications and platforms on a single platform, thereby reducing the complexity, cost, and overall administration. Our savings would be $700,000 to $800,000 yearly.

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

    The pricing is very competitive when compared with other vendors. As long as Nutanix goes forward with the same price and same type of offering, it will definitely have a large number of customers adopting the same solution very soon.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    During the selection phase, we went with a couple of important, key vendors that have a similar type of solution and we did a test PoC demonstration. After looking into all the parameters and our requirements, and having done the PoCs and demonstration, and looking at the platforms in a lab for a couple of weeks, we finally selected Nutanix.

    The primary difference was the cost. The cost of NCI was quite competitive. Another issue was scalability. We can scale it in a fraction of the time. The third point was the integration with third-party solutions. And the fourth important point was the automation. Nowadays, everyone is looking to automate tasks as a key factor in reducing human efforts and technical staff.

    What other advice do I have?

    The single platform is moderately easy to use; not easy and not that difficult. It requires a little bit of understanding because it is not the type of platform where a non-technical person can just start working with it. Some preliminary training or hands-on work would be required to understand the overall workflow.

    The advice I would give to enterprise organizations that are looking to deploy a cloud-based infrastructure model is to go ahead and select Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure because it is a single-vendor solution. It has the capability to host a wide range of applications and platforms without any issues. Scaling it is quite easy and there are a lot of features that simplify operations and administration and reduce our overall costs.

    The biggest lesson I have learned by using NCI is that it is a platform that helps us reduce costs and simplify operations.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Hybrid Cloud

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

    Microsoft Azure
    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI)
    January 2023
    Learn what your peers think about Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI). Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2023.
    670,400 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Nutanix Lead Administrator at Kyndryl India Pvt. Ltd.
    Real User
    Helped us notably reduce virtualization staff but automation is somewhat complex
    Pros and Cons
    • "There are a lot of things I really like. Perhaps the best part is taking a snapshot of a virtual machine. It's very quick. Another useful part is replication and creating a protection domain: using the protection feature to replicate a machine to a remote site for DR purposes."
    • "In terms of automation, I know there are ways to do it, but it's not very user-friendly. I've been working for the last three years with Nutanix and I've managed to automate certain things, but it's a somewhat more complex job than it should be. I would like to see more documentation or knowledge base articles."

    What is our primary use case?

    It's an infrastructure product that we mostly use to manage virtual services.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The DR solution in Nutanix has helped us reduce downtime. There are periods of downtime, intentional as well as unintentional, but because we have another site already replicated, our downtime is minimal. The protection policies have the greatest impact in reducing downtime because they help us replicate our data. We're able to do synchronous replication to the remote site and that keeps our machine ready there in case of the need for DR. We just go there and manually power it on.

    Nutanix has also helped us free up IT staff. Since I joined this company, I have been the only one managing the solution. Prior to that, there were multiple people involved. The more we move toward Nutanix from vCenter, the more we reduce the number of resources needed. We have freed up almost half of the time we used to need.

    What is most valuable?

    There are a lot of things I really like. Perhaps the best part is taking a snapshot of a virtual machine. It's very quick. Another useful part is replication and creating a protection domain: using the protection feature to replicate a machine to a remote site for DR purposes.

    I also like Nutanix Flow. It is quite a control mechanism. Other than external firewalls, Nutanix Flow is a good feature to control your traffic and not allow the infra to create two-way contact with any location other than what we specify.

    Nutanix Files is also good. It's a little immature but it's still good. I use it more than Windows for files.

    And the fact that Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure offers a variety of cloud operating models is also significant for us. Based on the good number of application products that we are using, having multiple options is going to be a benefit for us.

    What needs improvement?

    Nutanix Files is a new feature and, as I mentioned, it's immature, although it's a good tool. I have already given this feedback to the engineering team. 

    In terms of automation, I know there are ways to do it, but it's not very user-friendly. I've been working for the last three years with Nutanix and I've managed to automate certain things, but it's a somewhat more complex job than it should be. I would like to see more documentation or knowledge base articles. There should also be some pre-built, basic tasks that are shared by Nutanix. That would be helpful. I understand the other side of the picture, that we might hamper production, but some basics that can be shared by Nutanix, for automation, would be good.

    There are a lot of things to be worked on. They need to provide more features and certain features that have been released need to be made more mature.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) for three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There have been one or two bugs reported in the past one and a half years, but other than that, I don't see any issues with the product. It's quite stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is quite easily scaled.

    The user base, the people who are benefiting from the product in our organization, is more than 25,000.

    How are customer service and support?

    As soon we have issues, we report them and their engineering team comes in and works toward a solution. Their technical support is quite good. There are times when I would rate them a 10 out of 10 because there have been engineers who have very good knowledge and who know what they're doing. Other engineers have also tried to do their best.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

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

    Earlier, we were using VMware on Nutanix hardware, but for the last year we have been using the Nutanix built-in virtualization technology, Nutanix AHV.

    The switch to Nutanix was a decision that came completely from senior management. Initially, we were using a different environment, HPE and then VMware, and then we moved to Nutanix plus VMware. We had licenses available from VMware so we didn't switch to AOS and AHV. But gradually, as the licenses for vCenter expired, we moved to Nutanix AHV. Most of our jobs are done using it.

    How was the initial setup?

    Our deployment is on-prem. There are discussions happening about moving a part to private cloud, but that's future planning. As of now, it's just on-prem. We have it in multiple locations. It started with South Africa, then we added Germany, Italy, and Singapore. So it's now in multiple data centers.

    The initial deployment was slow, to be honest. Before the day of deployment, there were a lot of tasks to be done, prerequisites that had to be fulfilled. But on the day of deployment, it went very smoothly.

    We started with keeping vCenter in place, so at first, it was just deploying the hardware and getting the foundation set up done. It didn't take much time, although there was a lot of hardware to add. But it didn't take not more than three or four hours for the actual deployment part.

    We did a lot of planning, obviously, even before purchasing the solution, regarding how much hardware and how many resources would be required. That was the most important consideration and, in the backend, there was the networking. We wanted to keep everything on the same network. We added the hardware, the engineers helped to deploy and move things so that everything was on the same network. The virtualization technology itself was the same. It wasn't a very difficult task for us to migrate our VMs from the old hardware to Nutanix hardware. We used the basic migration tools, either vMotion or SvMotion of vCenter. At a later stage, we moved to Nutanix virtualization and we're still migrating but we are now using the Nutanix Move tool.

    Nutanix Move is one of the very good tools I've come across. I've been using it quite a lot for the last few months.

    There were different tracks and technologies involved in the deployment, including the networking and data center guys, and we needed to have somebody from offshore with access to all the infra. Other than the Nutanix engineers, there were not more than seven or eight people on our side. One person was part of the planning, and one or two people from the networking, server, and virtualization teams. I was part of the virtualization and server teams.

    We now have one person dedicated in each region to taking care of the solution. We do regular upgrades of the hardware. It has never incurred any downtime because it's always in the cluster. One of the best parts about Nutanix is that it automatically does all the upgrades and firmware one by one, so we don't have to bother about it. We just initiate it and go for a tea break or lunch. I've done it three times and I haven't found any challenges. It's quite easy and very smooth. It shouldn't be made so easy for such an experienced analyst like me. People like me could lose their jobs, that is how easy it is.

    We did come across one scenario two years back in which we had to get additional storage. We are using iSCSI technology and it wasn't that difficult from a technical point of view. We had to purchase additional hardware because the demands from those specific applications were quite high.

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

    Pricing is not my area of expertise. But the license is quite clear to me. It's much clearer than what we had with our previous virtualization environment. The licensing is not complex to understand. I have added some hardware recently and we got the licenses added for it. That was quite simple and very straightforward.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Evaluating other products was not my call, that was also for senior management. I was asked to review Nutanix only. Before we started implementing it or the sign-off happened, I did find the product suitable. When something is new in the market, you have to get used to it and you feel uncomfortable. That's normal for everybody and that happened to me. The only differences were that the GUI did not have certain features that were in vCenter, but I think we have everything covered now. There have been improvements while creating the current version of the product.

    What other advice do I have?

    I have good friends in the field from different organizations because I have more than 12 years of experience. I've been recommending Nutanix to them. I'm not sure about the cost part, but I'm quite sure about the administrative part.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
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    PeerSpot user
    Solutions Architect at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Stable, straightforward to set up, and scalable
    Pros and Cons
    • "The initial setup is straightforward."
    • "I'd like it to be more API-based."

    What is our primary use case?

    For our company, basically, we run all of our production VMs on it. Also, we have two demo networks that we do a lot of testing and whatnot for.

    How has it helped my organization?

    From an operator's perspective, we released from two to one person managing it, and pretty much the main benefit is the ease of use, ease of install, and ease of protecting, et cetera. 

    From a grander view, it's allowed our customers to actually reduce the amount of software that they have to purchase. Not only do they have to purchase the hypervisor, and if they're in VMware, in most cases, they're purchasing disaster recovery tools and a whole bunch of other things. However, Nutanix has it all built-in so that users have one area to manage and maintain.

    What is most valuable?

    There are lots of different pieces. From a Disaster Recovery perspective, it is very valuable. Some of my customers are getting into Flow. We don't use Flow, however, we're testing it. Flow is their micro-segmentation, which is very useful for protecting your VMs and the traffic that goes to them. From an automation perspective around deploying virtual machines, Calm is pretty good as well.

    The initial setup is straightforward.

    The solution is very stable. 

    The product scales very well.

    What needs improvement?

    Everything has room for improvement.

    I could probably name quite a few things from a Nutanix perspective. The area of improvement that they're working on now is more of the files index and more of the API integration into those. From on-prem to public cloud, they already have AWS Nutanix clusters, however, a lot of customers are going to be utilizing a public cloud at some point and they're basically deploying Azure Nutanix clusters as well soon. That's an improvement that they're working on. That said, from an administration perspective, the software's pretty big. It would be great if they could add more features and API integrations to the higher-level products.

    I'd like it to be more API-based. They need more additional features around their APIs and additional integration in some of the automation platforms that are out there. Nutanix is a solution where the hyper-converged portion of it is mature. They're working towards the cloud integration portion. 

    I would like to see more improvement in that area of being easier to manage, or easy to implement, and easy to orchestrate in an AWS or an Azure type scenario.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution for about three years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's probably the most stable, hyper-conversion environment I've seen on the market. I base that on the storage portion of the hyper-conversion environment.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution scales well.

    To expand the clusters, you don't really have limits as you would in other products from a scalability perspective. There are still best practices around how big you want to scale it. However, the expansion process is pretty simple and straightforward.

    I have probably about 10 people utilizing it within my company and their roles range from infrastructure admins to solution architects that do testing as well as some engineers that we do consulting with. If you look at our customers quite, it ranges. It depends on the products they deploy, however, they might have infrastructure admins, DBAs, or automation engineers. It just depends on how big the deployment is and what products they're using.

    We have four clusters. For customers that have 250 to 300 hosts that are running, it's pretty much one person to manage and maintain that system. You can pretty much maintain it with one FTE.

    Internally, we will likely expand usage. We have plans to actually spin up on clusters within public cloud infrastructure to protect our systems. From an expansion perspective that just depends on where our business goes and how many more resources we need. From a customer perspective, expansion is going to be more when they start utilizing more of the cloudlike features such as Kubernetes or databases service through Era, or even Calm. That's where things will expand.

    How are customer service and support?

    Technical support is very good. It's probably one of the best.

    I see a lot of technical support. I see a lot of the people or older legacy companies that have been around for a while, and technical support will usually go downhill.  There's probably a handful of them that are really good. 

    If you look at their scores online, they're always rated pretty high and it's hard to do that.

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

    We were on VMware, prior to this product. It was getting to the point of being a hassle to maintain, and this solution simplified things considerably.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is not overly complex or difficult. It's straightforward and takes about two hours to deploy.

    The deployment for my company, and we're a smaller company, with a total of 60 VMs at most, took about a week total. That involved moving off of VMware to HV including the migration of the virtual machines. That was just done due to the timeframes. You could do those at night. Ultimately, the cluster and everything was set up within a day and ready to go. Then, the move process for those VMs just took a little bit of time to move into. I have other customers who are running migrations that take a little bit longer, however, you're talking 2,500 to 3000 VMs. That's more of a two to three-month process to get those moved. That said, the migration goes pretty quickly and that's pretty small from a migration perspective with a whole new platform.

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

    I cannot speak to the exact pricing of the product. However, as a partner, we do have access to reduced costs.

    There are additional costs. Nutanix is a software-driven company. They do sell hardware, however, in most cases, you bring your own hardware. The cost of the solution might be a little bit higher than what you would look at from just a straight out VMware, however, you're getting a lot more and you're reducing the fact that you don't need VMware in that mix. 

    The hypervisor that's provided with Nutanix is free. As the costs roll-out, Nutanix is actually a better TCO than any of the other solutions in the market that are even comparable.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We actually evaluated quite a few different hyper-converged infrastructures prior to bringing on Nutanix as a partner and they are the best in the market from that perspective.

    What other advice do I have?

    I'm a partner of Nutanix. I'm a user, however, I'm also a seller of Nutanix.

    We are on version five. I can't remember the exact version number. We have both five and six. I have multiple clusters that are running within our infrastructure and then I have multiple clusters that are running within my customers' infrastructure.

    While we currently use Azure for our cloud, we will likely use both Azure and AWS in the future.

    I'd advise potential new users to do their homework and make sure that they don't necessarily listen to what the manufacturers are saying. Go find out for yourself.

    I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten. I wouldn't say it's a ten. I'm a pretty hard scorer. There are features and functionality where VMware makes things easier. Other solutions make things a little bit easier from a deployment perspective or something along those lines, however, that's just due to the fact that they've been in the market for a long period of time and their solution set has built or has grown from that perspective. They are highly ranked as they reduce the amount of maintenance and administration that you have to keep it running.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Private Cloud

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

    Microsoft Azure
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Mithun Nidiyenga - PeerSpot reviewer
    Senior System Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    It's easy for an engineer to manage and upgrade
    Pros and Cons
    • "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."
    • "It is a CentOS-based operating system, but CentOS releases security patches almost every week or every other week. However, Nutanix releases their upgrade at three or four month intervals. According to my organization's SLA, if a critical patch is released during that time, then I need to implement the patches within 30 days. If it is a standard patch, then I need to patch it within 60 days. Since that is my SLA, I cannot meet my SLA for security because Nutanix will not release the upgrade within these 30 days. Between the critical patch release and the Nutanix release, my customers say they are vulnerable and I am accepting the risk while the SLA is breached."

    What is our primary use case?

    I have been using Nutanix products, like AOS, HPE, and Prism Central. I am managing a total of seven clusters with Prism Element and one instance with Prism Central.

    We did a total deployment to all areas across multiple locations.

    My environment is closed. It is not hosted on the internet. It is a dark site. So, if there are any issues, the Nutanix team lacks the ability to remote in because I cannot provide it. 

    What is most valuable?

    The Lifecycle Management (LCM) for upgrades is a very fantastic feature that I have observed from Nutanix.

    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.

    Nutanix is easy to learn for someone new to the system. It has more flexibility in its handling. If you are familiar with another hypervisor, Nutanix is easy to learn.

    What needs improvement?

    There is a cost for us with a Controller VM. For example, if you are purchasing a Nutanix node with 500GB, then 32GB of that node will need to be allocated for Controller VM. Therefore, we need to spend 32GB of RAM for Nutanix, which is not in our production requirements. This is an area that they need to improve.

    Most other software comes as an OVF template. These kinds of OVF software templates are only supported in VMware. We technically can customize and use them in Nutanix, but the vendors tell us that there are technical issues that they will not support. So, they either have to improve this or software providers have to provide the proper software for Nutanix supported software.

    It is a CentOS-based operating system, but CentOS releases security patches almost every week or every other week. However, Nutanix releases their upgrade at three or four month intervals. According to my organization's SLA, if a critical patch is released during that time, then I need to implement the patches within 30 days. If it is a standard patch, then I need to patch it within 60 days. Since that is my SLA, I cannot meet my SLA for security because Nutanix will not release the upgrade within these 30 days. Between the critical patch release and the Nutanix release, my customers say they are vulnerable and I am accepting the risk while the SLA is breached. Because of this SLA breach, I am rating this solution as eight out of 10.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using it for the last five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    When we started, it was not that stable. We were facing multiple issues. Now, Nutanix is very stable.

    When Nutanix releases their upgrades, I then need to update to the latest upgrade and patch. Once I click the upgrade, it will automatically reboot the AOS one by one. There won't be any service disruption as well.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is very scalable, especially if you want to expand.

    Expansion is very easy. In Nutanix, additional node expansion is very easy. We can spin multiple VMs based on our business requirements very quickly. In this area, it is very good.

    There are two engineers managing Nutanix now for four data centers and a lot of customers.

    How are customer service and support?

    If I am comparing with the other technical support from VMware, the Nutanix server technical support is awesome because they promptly respond. Sometimes, when I call for an engineer, my call will be kept waiting. Other than this, they quickly respond. If the engineers are free, they will attend the call and help us. I would rate them as nine out of 10.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

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

    I was using VMware. However, VMware is more costly since Nutanix has cluster and storage management that creates storage free of cost. In the case of VMware, we need to pay the licensing cost for ESXI as well as purchase a separate license for the vSAN for storage consolidation and the HCI configuration. Nutanix is not like that. If you are buying their node, then you only need to pay for the AOS and Prism licensing costs. Cost-wise, Nutanix is very good.

    How was the initial setup?

    It is very straightforward because there is a foundation option. From the foundation, we mount the devices on the rack and get the network to be connected. That is it. Then, we can use the foundation to configure and push the AOS and the hypervisor. The cluster spins up very quickly. It seems like everything is in a single window. 

    Within one day, we can configure a complete cluster. It might not even take a day, but four to five hours to configure it.

    What about the implementation team?

    Only two people were involved in the deployment. Once it is mounted on the server rack, then it is easy to manage. 

    Mounting is a physical activity that took two people. For installation and configuration, we needed only one person. 

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

    AHV is free of cost. If we went for VMware and other hypervisors, we would need to pay for the hypervisor license. Whereas, Nutanix is providing the AHV license for free.

    Cost-wise, it is very good. It is like the hypervisor cost is not there. We only need to pay for the system and AOS licenses. 

    Updating or configuring the licensing is very easy. We can take the licensed file and use it to update the portal. You download it, then upload it to the cluster. So, the management is very easy.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We only compared VMware and Nutanix, who are the best players in the virtualization area.

    What other advice do I have?

    We already bought three Lenovo nodes and Nutanix licenses. We are going to expand the solution next month in October.

    For most organizations, the first agenda is to look at the cost. If you are comparing Nutanix with any other solutions, Nutanix will be one of the best options. It is very stable now. You can reduce the manpower needed because even a single engineer can manage the maintenance.

    Overall, I can rate it as eight out of 10 since there are few limitations.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
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    PeerSpot user
    PeerSpot user
    Administrator at Neuberger Gebäudeautomation GmbH
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Easy to manage in an integrated environment using a single pane of glass
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most valuable feature is the integration of all parts in Prism Element, the browser-based management tool."
    • "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."

    What is our primary use case?

    We replaced our three-tier-solution with Nutanix and kept our VMware ESXi licenses. These will be gone with the new cluster.

    We use it for general virtualization, host our Windows fileserver virtually, and do VirtualDesktops with Citrix there.

    We have two nodes equipped with one nVidia M10-GPU each to get 3D-acceleration to boost the CAE-Terminal servers. This means that VMs like AD-Domain controllers, Exchange-Servers, SQL-Servers, and various Application Servers are running side-by-side with our SAP-Systems leveraging the  SAP ASE Database (no HANA, yet) virtually on vSphere 6.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We were content with the previous solution, which was NetApp Storage and Dell Blade-Servers for compute. We did not miss a thing besides the performance. Now, after three years in production, we would not go back to that solution.

    Nutanix gives us fewer headaches with managing and other administrative operations. Having a single-vendor-solution is much more straightforward. We don't have to deal with VMware because it simply is not necessary, besides setting up new GPU-machines.

    Creation of VMs can be done with Prism Element, the web management for each Nutanix Cluster. Nutanix also covers any problems we have with the ESXi software. 

    The integration with their own AHV hypervisor is awesome. Talk about invisible infrastructure.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is the integration of all parts in Prism Element, the browser-based management tool. It gives you detailed information about the environment, helps you drill down on alerts, and keeps the solution up to date with LCM (Life Cycle Manager).

    When using Nutanix AHV as a hypervisor, it is the management tool for that too. When you chose another hypervisor it just does basic tasks like VM creation, reconfiguration, and start/stop. It is just enough to keep everything in this "single-pane-of-glass" tool.
    Going AHV is just easier. No additional management for VMs. Everything you need is done with Nutanix Prism Element or through an SSH connection.
    We are beginning to leverage Powershell and their REST API to do things which integrates more tightly with our own process.

    What needs improvement?

    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.

    While using the Shell is okay for such advanced things like take a disk image as a ground for a Calm blueprint it would be easier to get it done via GUI. Even more so of you just follow directions of a colleague.

    Currently that kind of task is limitted to the shell.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using Nutanix Acropolis AOS for over five years and are in the process of switching to a new cluster.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Unless you opt for the short term support path (STS), stability is a given with LTS versions. You get not every feature available, immediately, but that is no concern for stable systems.

    You cannot download older versions with known critical bugs. The Life Cycle Manager (LCM) supports you with checks to hint at known compatibility issues. I noticed the hint to update Nutanix Files in order to support the AOS upgrade I was planning. Directly in Prism Element!

    That is simply amazing. Of course, one would visit the "upgrade paths" and "software interoperability" pages in the support section of https://my.nutanix.com .

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is the true nature of HCI solutions like Nutanix AOS. Just add a node. Done.

    How are customer service and support?

    Nutanix support is the most amazing. Sure, you pay big bucks for that but it is worth every dime. Fast pick-up times even for lower rated tickets, great knowledge of the support team. If your question is not support related they connect you with a sales engineer to talk about it.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

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

    We used NetApp Storage in conjunction with Dell Blade-Servers for compute.

    How was the initial setup?

    My advice is to get your first cluster up and running with a partner experienced to do so. We got lucky with our Nutanix partner company but ask for their level of experience. Don't get me wrong: it is not hard to set up but you should have support from experienced consultants who are familiar if something goes south.

    What about the implementation team?

    We implemented with a nutanix partner where we did the PoC with. The setup is quite straight-forward and done in a matter of 3-5 hours. 
    Their knowledge was really helpful to guide through some of the questions that came up.

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

    The pricing of Nutanix is not cheap but there are options available. Don't cut short on support contracts, as the (pricey) ultimate support offering is worth every buck.

    You have to realize that Nutanix AOS is the basic platform for your environment. If you need to cut costs then use Nutanix AHV as a hypervisor free of charge. Most applications are running with that. If it runs on ESXi then it most likely runs on AHV, but check with your other application vendors.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We explored the options by re-iterating our previous solution and came short of delivering support for additional demands like VDI. Re-Iterating also meant up-staging storage because of the ONTAP-OS upgrade. So, a change was due, either way.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is difficult for me to point to areas that need improvement. AOS is constantly on the move to new heights. It is considered even on a feature-level with vSAN, while far ahead of that in regards to performance and resilience.

    See Nutanix Principal Architect Josh Odgers CloudXC | By Josh Odgers – VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) #90 for a detailed explanation on that topic.

    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.
    PeerSpot user
    Cloud Sales Executive at Laberit
    Real User
    You have the option to have distributed nodes everywhere around the world that work as one, but the licensing model could be simpler
    Pros and Cons
    • "It's quite easy to scale, and you have the option to have distributed nodes everywhere around the world that work as one. You can also have a solution for small branch offices with only two nodes for redundancy, and that's good enough to start."
    • "The technology has a lot of room for improvement. For example, when they want to segment applications in conjunction with NSX, which VMware uses, Acropolis is not compatible with the competitors. The integration in the security layer is not compatible with NSX for the application segmentation that uses VMware."

    What is most valuable?

    I advise my customers to have a unique management operation center for the three layers. The primary reason is to convert the storage, computation, and hypervisor into one frame. Of course, you have to replicate the data between all the nodes to have redundancy, so you have two or three nodes in case of failure, depending on the resilience you want. I advise my customers to use this kind of technology when they want to focus on their business and don't want to talk about the layers of the subsequent infrastructure that is matched to their business.

    What needs improvement?

    The technology has a lot of room for improvement. For example, when they want to segment applications in conjunction with NSX, which VMware uses, Acropolis is not compatible with the competitors. The integration in the security layer is not compatible with NSX for the application segmentation that uses VMware. And the licensing has a lot of room for improvement also.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using Acropolis AOS for about four years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Acropolis AOS is stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    This solution works in small companies with 10 users and large enterprises with 100,000. Acropolis can scale vertically and horizontally by adding more CPUs or nodes. It's quite easy to scale, and you have the option to have distributed nodes everywhere around the world that work as one. You can also have a solution for small branch offices with only two nodes for redundancy, and that's good enough to start. You could even deploy it on a ship or a car or whatever unit.

    It's quite technical, so IT departments are the main driver of expanding usage. However, it's an easy sell to decision-makers because it tries to abstract the technical things to the business. When a managing director of a company knows about the benefits of this kind of solution, they give the green light and focus their IT department on the technical business requirements, solutions, and innovations layers, instead of managing the technical layers, like network, storage, and computations. 

    How are customer service and support?

    We have a contract with Nutanix for 24/7 support, and it's excellent. They contact the customers directly when there is a failure or they need to replace a disk. You only take action when you need to evolve the platform, like installing a new model or a patch because you need preventive action. If we need to patch to the latest firmware of the solution, then they call us. However, that's something that is scheduled well ahead of time. For example, we schedule with the customer to install the latest firmware every six months.

    How was the initial setup?

    I don't have a lot of hands-on experience with Acropolis because I'm a sales executive, but I can say Nutanix solutions are easy to deploy. The only hang-up is compatibility with other solutions like OM, Lenovo, HP, Supermicro, etc., because sometimes the drivers change.

    For example, sometimes you could have a different release of the driver that isn't compatible with the latest release of the software, so you need to match the release with the nodes that support the Nutanix software. You could also have problems with the support and matching all the nodes to the software release that makes the work correctly. I've had a lot of problems with customers trying to match the software with the hardware layer. You have to choose the right vendor for the hardware to avoid problems. Otherwise, the setup is straightforward. 

    However, you always need someone with technical expertise. We usually handle the deployment ourselves, but we occasionally ask for support when we have to deploy an uncommon configuration, like Oracle. For example, Acropolis has different ways to support Oracle databases, so we sometimes need Nutanix support to configure the Oracle rack.

    We only need a small team of around 10 people to deploy and maintain because 

    What was our ROI?

    Return on investment happens when the customer realizes relative value. For example, if the customer is comparing cloud computing to an on-premise server, on-premise Nutanix is always going to be more expensive compared to AWS or Azure if you use it in a typical way. You have to consider the hours that the technicians spend maintaining the solution. Also, if the technicians are spending less time, they could start doing things that create more value for the company.

    It's not easy to see a return on investment for this kind of solution, but you need to solve this problem at a higher level of management because the IT department is not involved in innovation at the company, so they might feel the solution is doing the job for them.

    Also, they might have a personal stake in keeping the solution because they could see a risk to their livelihood if the company decides to switch to the cloud. It's something to sell to the upper management because even the CIO might not see it because they think their position is at risk. These solutions are like a robot that makes everything by themselves. The return on investment is a reduction in the time spent managing the infrastructure, and you could start seeing that time savings in six months to a year.

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

    Many of my customers have issues with Acropolis' licensing model because they are charging the customers based on two things— the CPUs and the capacity in the solid stack disk — and that's a problem. Nutanix's competitors are not licensing that layer, so this is something that they should change. They should abandon this licensing model because it's too complex. Technical support is bundled with the subscription.

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate Acropolis AOS seven out of 10. 

    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.
    PeerSpot user
    Senior Expert Solution Architect at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Flexible, scalable, and stable operating system; technical support was skilled and showed initiative
    Pros and Cons
    • "The flexibility of this system is very good. It's also faster than others, and has skilled technical support who showed more initiative than a competitor, e.g. VMware."
    • "The look and feel of the web GUI of this system needs improvement, when compared to other systems. Its hardware integration also needs improvement."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our usage of Nutanix Acropolis AOS focuses on normal workloads for OSS-related applications of our operations support systems, e.g. customer facing systems, DNS, DHCP, and DPEs. The word we mention to our customers that describes this technology is OSS (Open source  software). This is not 5G.

    What is most valuable?

    One of the good features of Nutanix Acropolis AOS is the Prism Central. It's a well-designed system. It's a central installation and management tool for more than one cluster. If you have several clusters crossing Europe, you'll have a very fancy, smart, and tiny tool to orchestrate this.

    Another feature I find valuable in Nutanix Acropolis AOS is technical, e.g. the rebuild time from the resynchronization between the clusters is fast. If you have an outage caused by a disk failure or a server failure, the system works well and is very fast, because the technology of Nutanix Acropolis AOS is even better than other systems. The system works faster than others.

    Whether this system is worth the money will really depend on your goal, on what you want to achieve. The flexibility of Nutanix is very, very good. You have the freedom to use any kind of major vendor, to use it for a hyperconverged installation.

    You have the Acropolis hypervisor based on KVM, e.g. the Kubernetes virtual machine. You can also use OpenStack. The system also supports VMware and Microsoft Azure. It also has integration with a hybrid cloud, e.g. AWS. There's also a good integration between the system and Google GCP Cloud. Nutanix Acropolis AOS has finesse. It's very, very good.

    What needs improvement?

    The look and feel of the web GUI of Nutanix Acropolis AOS needs improvement, when compared to other systems, e.g. VMware Orchestrator. For example, finding important features of the system should be easier. The features should be made more visible and easier to find, rather than having to figure them out and reconfigure them.

    Another area from improvement for the system is hardware integration. I had some issues with the integration with the hardware vendor, in particular, Dell. The integration was really tricky, but the reason could be between the two vendors: Nutanix and Dell, because they have different life cycles for the deployment. The integration issue could be because of the hardware, firmware of Dell, and Dell had a different life cycle for the renewal of an update of the firmware, for the servers like Nutanix. We also had some issues with some Dell-related drivers, and that consumed a lot of time.

    A one-touch system for integration could be an improvement. Having a one-touch update is also a very good idea. For example, you'll just need to push the button for the system to be updated automatically, e.g. for updating the firmware, hardware, disk, etc.

    Nutanix Acropolis AOS which was integrated with Dell was not running well. What was running well was less than 50%, and the other updates have failed because of issues between the firmware, the server, and the system. This is why hardware integration with this system needs improvement.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I started using Nutanix Acropolis AOS in 2017, so the total number of years I've been using it is five.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I find Nutanix Acropolis AOS stable. In the beginning, we had some issues with its stability, but now, stability for it is good.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The system is very scalable. It's similar to vSAN, but vSAN is a well-known, major vendor for virtualization, while Nutanix Acropolis AOS is better in terms of technical features.

    How are customer service and support?

    Technical support for Nutanix Acropolis AOS was very good. Their engineers have very good skills, e.g. in every case, they will try to solve an issue.

    Technical support from Nutanix was better than VMware technical support. VMware was also very good, but the Nutanix support team had more initiative. Nutanix takes more care of the open tickets. I'm giving them a thumbs up as they're good.

    What about the implementation team?

    I was involved in the deployment process for Nutanix Acropolis AOS. The system is working okay. It's good. The deployment the first time was a bit tricky, but we had good support from our vendor. I was able to run the installation by myself, with some support. You have to do some preparation for the installation to be good.

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

    You have two Nutanix Acropolis AOS license models. One model is coupled with the hardware appliance, e.g. it's the appliance approach, depending on the vendor: HP, Dell, and Supermicro carry these appliance permit licenses. The other model is the software only model.

    We had the first model that was coupled with the hardware from a vendor. For Nutanix Acropolis AOS itself, the pricing was okay, especially because of its features and how you can use it for a lot of hypervisor technologies. The cost, however, when coupled with the hardware vendor was high.

    On our project, the renewal was from the hardware vendor and it was expensive. The software was okay, e.g. it had normal pricing.

    You can choose to pay the license yearly, or you can pay every three years, or every five years. It depends on how deep your pocket is.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I evaluated VMware vSAN.

    What other advice do I have?

    Nutanix Acropolis AOS is deployed on hardware, without a layer in between. It's server hardware installed.

    Nutanix Acropolis AOS was good, e.g. from its performance running faster than VMware ESXi on a vSAN, so I'm rating it an eight out of ten.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: January 2023
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.