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Nutanix Era OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Nutanix Era is #5 ranked solution in top Database Development and Management tools. PeerSpot users give Nutanix Era an average rating of 10 out of 10. Nutanix Era is most commonly compared to Oracle Enterprise Manager: Nutanix Era vs Oracle Enterprise Manager. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 40% of all views.
What is Nutanix Era?

Nutanix Era is a software solution for automating and simplifying database management. This database as a service (DBaaS) provides a single pane of control to lifecycle management (LCM) and database provisioning. With Nutanix Era, admins can provision, refresh, clone, or restore databases to any point in time. It features a simple-to-use interface and command line.

Nutanix makes infrastructure invisible, elevating IT to focus on the applications and services that power their business. The Nutanix enterprise cloud platform leverages web-scale engineering and consumer-grade design to natively converge compute, virtualization, and storage into a resilient, software-defined solution with rich machine intelligence. The result is predictable performance, cloud-like infrastructure consumption, robust security, and seamless application mobility for a broad range of enterprise applications.

Nutanix Era Features:

  • One-click database clone and refresh: Set backup identification as well as any log files before creating the clone. The database admin finds the backups and then begins a challenging recovery process, including setting up the server and restoring the backups. This Era feature eliminates the time-consuming task of refreshing a database. This feature enables you to clone a database in a few minutes.
  • Automated database provisioning: Nutanix Era brings automation to database provisioning and lifecycle management. Automation saves both time and the cost of traditional database management.
  • Copy data management (CDM): You can clone the source databases that run on Nutanix clusters. Era enables you to use snapshots or transaction logs. The snapshots save the cost of managing multiple copies of your databases.
  • Database protection: Era enhances your database protection by enabling you to carry on instant backups. One-click snapshots simplify database rollback.
  • One-click patching: Database security is enhanced by Era’s one-click patching. This feature enables you to update the database quickly.

What databases does the nutanix era support?

Nutanix Era initially supported Oracle and Postgres databases but has expanded to include SQL Server, Maria DB, My SQL, and SAP HANA.

Licensing Model

IT is based on the concept of managed database server vCPUs. Nutanix Era offers a subscription term-based software license. This model enables customers to license just the servers that Nutanix Era will manage.

How is the workflow in Nutanix Era?

You need to have a Nutanix cluster in place already and install the Era VM (virtual machine). Era provides customizable built-in profiles for your convenience, or you can create new profiles. Next, you can register an existing database or provision a new source database. However, in the case of an existing database, it should be running on the same Nutanix cluster as the Era.

Benefits of Nutanix Era

Database management used to be slow and expensive. But as a cloud-agnostic database management solution, the Nutanix Era simplifies provisioning. You can extend database management to multiple clouds and clusters. According to a report by Forrester, this solution increases the speed of database provisioning by 97 percent.

Nutanix Era makes migration a breeze because it has a built-in hyper-converged infrastructure platform (HCI). You can simply swap nodes as you need them, thus making it possible to undertake more controlled, phase-based migrations.

Nutanix Era also simplifies backup and recovery. You can restore databases in minutes and to any point in time. You can also set a specific period - for instance, every 30 minutes - for automated backups.

These benefits ultimately add up to increased cost savings. The increased provisioning speed, simplified database management, and automation features translate into reduced overtime hours and improved processes.

Reviews from Real Users:

The IT Manager at Semlex says, “The Time Machine is the most valuable feature for us. Using it means that we don't have to take regular snapshots, yet we are still able to restore the database quickly in the event of a problem."

Heinrich K., Senior Sql Server Database Administrator at an insurance company, adds, “Our patching, which took four hours, went down to an hour for the engineer. This is much better for us from a return on investment perspective."

“It's very elegant the way they designed it. It's quick and it doesn't take up nearly as much storage space as traditional backups,” says a Database Architect at an aerospace/defense firm.


Nutanix Era Buyer's Guide

Download the Nutanix Era Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: May 2022

Nutanix Era Customers

JetBlue, International Speedway Corporation, SAIC Volkswagen

Nutanix Era Video

Nutanix Era Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Nutanix Era pricing:
  • "Licensing costs will be the main scalability problem."
  • "There are no costs in addition to the standard licensing fees."
  • "It's priced fairly... It's a good value. When you go looking for something from Oracle that automates things and makes your life easier, it's always going to be a minimum of $500,000. Era's nothing like that."
  • "Era is quite expensive. The thing that will be a showstopper for them in the long run is if you look at it from a technical perspective on what it provides and weigh it up against consolidation of multiple other software suites."
  • "This solution is reasonably priced."
  • Nutanix Era Reviews

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    Ruan Van Staden - PeerSpot reviewer
    Academic Application Support at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Good backup and validation process, saves us time, and they have a knowledgeable support team
    Pros and Cons
    • "One feature that is very good is the backup and validation process that's built into Era."
    • "If there were data integration services included with the platform then it would be interesting, and it would help us a lot."

    What is our primary use case?

    We ran testing for Microsoft SQL and MySQL. For Microsoft SQL, the test case was to do multiple database schema deployments on a single host. Then we had single database schemas on multiple hosts, and we also tested high availability clusters for Microsoft SQL on four host nodes.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The performance and flexibility of non-Nutanix workloads are quite good because from a working perspective or a load perspective, scaling of the system is very straightforward. Since we're running the hosts on the normal Nutanix infrastructure, we were able to scale the loads according to what we need and it's really easy to scale up or down as needed.

    The big advantage that we found was because we run development processes as well, we can actually generate development, testing, and production databases on the fly without us influencing production. This is one of the big time-saves because, in the past, you would normally have to take a backup of production, sanitize the data, then put it on a test machine. This is something that Nutanix Era makes very simple to do.

    This solution has helped to save us on Tier 1 storage, which is important to us because we do a lot of systems in-house. Storage clusters are quite heavily used and they have a large footprint. Being able to save storage space for non-production tasks is significant because, for testing, we have a group of five testers working there. On dev, we have two or three developers that would work there constantly. Saving on that storage means that we can grow our production environments more effectively because we don't have to pay for test and dev storage separately. This means that the cost of ownership is a lot less, which saves us on having to purchase more storage as the system starts crowding.

    If you think about it, if we run dev, test, and production all with production data, because that's what they need to do the development and testing on, we would need three times the data every time we deploy it. If the system then grows to two terabytes, that's six terabytes that we have to pay for. With Nutanix, we basically save four terabytes, which is a lot of money.

    We have been able to simplify database deployment across multiple database engines. We tested with MySQL and Microsoft SQL. With MySQL, you can also use the APIs to automate that type of deployment. We have not tested the Oracle or the PostgreSQL deployment engines since we don't have those. However, with respect to the two that we tested, it simplifies them both to a large extent.

    Using this solution has made the task of cloning databases much simpler and much faster. Previously, it would take us two to two and a half hours to do a clone or a snapshot. Now it's five, six minutes. It's a lot of time that we save.

    We have tested the backup and in-place restore of databases but we haven't finally signed off. Once we complete the pilot, we hope to sign off on those. What we did see is that the way Nutanix Era works with the Microsoft backup system is much easier, and it appears to be more stable. This is mainly because on the Microsoft backup side, if you have a load issue, your backups will normally fail. With Nutanix Era, the backup system sits separately from the performance of the database. This means that even if you have a load issue on the data database system, the backups will still go through. Specifically, this is because Era backs up from the storage device and not from the Microsoft database. It is very technical, but as I understand it, the backup will still go through, even if the database is under strain.

    We expect that once this system is in production, it will reduce downtime. One of the main selling points for us was that it will reduce update and patching downtime because it manages those updates and patches internally. Even if you deploy Microsoft SQL patches, you can manage and maintain them from the Prism interface, which should reduce downtime. They save the users downtime, and we haven't actually seen that yet, but we expect the pilot will show us that.

    We tested the ability to make multiple backups per day and assess the impact that it would have on our workloads. In fact, we were able to make differential backups continuously without affecting the performance of the database engine. We were also able to schedule the backups at different times to make full backups and we couldn't see any impact or load on the database performance while we were doing this.

    This will definitely help to limit data loss because we can use a continuous differential backup. We should not see any data loss as long as there's no data corruption. But if there's data corruption, and we can pinpoint the point in time, we should be able to go back to that point.

    The ability to do this is very important for us. We have a series of data profiles that we have databases for. We are a university and our systems include everything from financial systems right through to medical systems that they use for the academic hospitals and the veterinary hospital.

    When it comes to data management, I can see how Era will help to reduce the time spent on operational database workloads. Since we haven't used it in production for an extended period, I can't really say how much time we've actually saved. During the PoC, we only played around with it and we set up the scheduled tasks that we normally do manually.

    Since we can automate a lot of things, we can skip it and schedule it. This should replace a lot of our off-hours work such as patching, upgrades, and similar tasks that can be scheduled so that the reboots can happen automatically. We don't have to sit there and babysit the whole time.

    This product has helped us to reduce our database footprint because it gives us the ability to deploy Microsoft SQL instances as MySQL instances on the same host, without actually having to reconfigure or do anything. This means that we can consolidate our database service.

    We can also scale them the way we need them and we can, if we really want to, move away from the one database per server type of instances that we have now into a more economical database model where we have multiple database instances on a single host, which does reduce our footprint quite a lot.

    At this time, when we provision a database, we do so for a specific server. We assign the memory, CPU, and storage for that specific machine. For about 50% of the lifetime of that database, those resources are never actually utilized, whereas with Era, we can provision those as instances on the same host, and we can scale the host to cater to all of those. This gives us the opportunity to better manage how many resources are sitting idle because we can ramp them up and scale them back as needed, which will save in the long run.

    More generally, using this solution will definitely improve the service delivery for our department within the organization. It's going to make it possible for us to cater to more user-centric services and needs. Because of the time-saving and the resource-saving, we'll be able to provide our users with a bigger variety of database services that they might require.

    What is most valuable?

    One feature that is very good is the backup and validation process that's built into Era. It saves a lot of time and gives you some kind of assurance that when you actually pull a backup, it is done correctly and you will be able to restore it. In other backup systems, because they are not database-aware, that validation process is not as easy because you have to actually restore the backup to see that it worked. With Era, it actually validates on the fly so you know you'll be able to restore.

    The deployment process is a lot easier, due to the fact that with Era you can actually script a deployment. If you have a lot of deployments of the same type, say for instance you have a user request coming in to say they need a basic database schema, you can just run that as a deploy script and it automatically sets up everything. It takes about five minutes and the users have access to their database. In the past, we had to go through a whole setup and deployment process, which for us, took about half a day. That's a lot of time that we save.

    Setting up a development test and production environment is quite easy and it saves a lot of storage because the dev and test databases are non-data clones of production, where only the changes are saved. For example, if you have a two-terabyte production database then it saves a lot of space because you don't have to have a two-terabyte test database as well.

    What needs improvement?

    If there were data integration services included with the platform then it would be interesting, and it would help us a lot.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We completed a short PoC using Nutanix Era last year to see if we want to do a pilot. We haven't actually implemented it yet, and we're in the process of organizing the pilot program. In total, we used it for about three months.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability of our PoC system was very good, but as we were only four people working on it and benchmarking it, there were not a lot of connection issues. I think the first thing we would want to do during the pilot is to simulate application connections and see how well it takes it. When you get that scenario of an application having database runaway connections, kind of simulate that and see how it handles it. But for the PoC, no stability issues whatsoever.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    At the moment, we're waiting for approval so nobody is using the solution. However, if we go for the final implementation, the plan is to have two permanent Microsoft SQL DBAs, and then have an automation system that does most of the provisioning.

    The DBAs will be there for monitoring and optimization purposes, but we intend to have the provisioning system fully automated so that users can request short-term or long-term data storage as they require. That will be provisioned automatically from our ticketing system.

    I think the only limiting factor on scalability is licensing. Licensing costs will be the main scalability problem. If you have a large environment already licensed, scaling the resource allocation according to your performance needs is very easy.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We didn't make a lot of use of the technical support after the initial setup, so I can't offer too much about our experience. However, what I can say is the solutions architect was very good, very well informed, and able to return answers to our queries within a few minutes.

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

    Prior to using Nutanix Era, we used VMware to create a service, and then we used to deploy by installing a SQL server.

    How was the initial setup?

    Our PoC was deployed on the Nutanix hosting cluster.

    If you have experience as a DBA, the setup is very straightforward. If you haven't had any database administration experience before, this is definitely going to be easier than doing it from scratch on your own, thanks to all of the guidelines that they add for you. My database set up in Era is mid-tier. It's not as complex as doing it from scratch on your own, and for a DBA, it makes it a lot easier.

    Our initial setup for the different scenarios took us about two days, and that was rolling out 14 databases on nine servers. The implementation strategy for the PoC was basically to first set up all the server hosts that we would need with the different resources, and then deploy using the Era tools for each one of the different scenarios.

    I think the only reason that we took two and a half days to do it was so that we could get used to how Era does it. In the final part of the PoC, we were able to remove and redeploy database engines in 15 minutes at the most, and that was for the availability group. There were a few niggles that you have to overcome with availability groups, which Nutanix makes easier, but doesn't completely take away.

    What about the implementation team?

    We had our Microsoft team involved, which was four Microsoft DBAs. However, if Era is fully up and running for our environment, one person should be enough because most of the time, it's just going to be someone to approve. We're not going to need an entire team. This means it will be one person to maintain, without a lot of overhead.

    Initially, we had help from one of the Era solution architects, just to help us get to know the Era system. After the third day, once we understood how the process flow works, we didn't need any third-party intervention at all.

    What was our ROI?

    We do expect a return on investment, mainly on the number of people we would need and the number of man-hours that we currently spend, on which we're going to save. Because we are an educational institution we're nonprofit. We are able to provide services but we don't actually ask our users for any money. This means that the return on investment calculations will probably include things like support for research outputs and support for dynamic user requests. But from a costing perspective, it is going to be a little bit difficult to do that.

    Currently, we're supposed to have eight people with the number of databases we're running. I think that our team of four people will be able to handle this, plus their other duties. Ultimately, we will not need to utilize the remaining four FTE. It's pretty substantial when you add it up if you look at what a SQL DBA costs these days.

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

    We have yet to implement our pilot program and we're waiting for Nutanix to come back with the pilot quotation for costing.

    Licensing costs will be the main scalability problem. If we need to start adding resources in terms of hardware then it's easy but adding software licenses normally causes a problem for us, so it is not as straightforward.

    I don't expect that there will be any costs in addition to this because most of our hosting for the Nutanix system is done on-site. Furthermore, we're not going to use a hybridized Nutanix Era implementation. Other than for per-CPU licenses, I don't see any additional costs.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did not evaluate any competing products. We had done an evaluation of Nutanix for our hyper-converged infrastructure and this suggestion for Era came from them.

    The one thing that drew us to Era is the constant improvement cycle that they have with the different database vendors, where they do implement best practices as the database vendors change requirements and change their architectures. Since we started with the POC, we started with Microsoft SQL 2016. We also moved over to Microsoft SQL 2019 during the POC and for both of those cases, they were able to actually help us with implementing best practices according to Microsoft for both of those engines, which do differ quite a lot. The 2016 version has certain prerequisites and storage requirements that 2019 changed to an extent.

    For example, in 2016, Microsoft requires that you have a TempDB storage drive dedicated to the TempDB space. In 2019, they changed the requirement to say you should not have more than four TempDB files per drive to ensure that you have enough IOP. It is helpful that both of those scenarios were catered to by Era internally already.

    What other advice do I have?

    During our PoC, we did the technical side of testing Nutanix, and we did some benchmarking on the performance, but we didn't really get into the performance optimization monitoring and tuning of the databases. Assessing and optimizing database performance is one of the reasons that we plan to do the pilot project.

    The delay was that we couldn't put our actual production systems online during the PoC because it's a bit difficult to intermix PoC with production. The plan is that when we go into the pilot, we will select better production databases that fit the different use cases, and then we will do the performance tuning and see how those tools help us.

    The one thing that I'm uncertain about that might be important would be the monitoring and performance tuning capabilities. Since we do have a lot of other tools and experience with that, we might find that Era doesn't quite cater the same way, or we might find it actually does better. I'm not sure at this point.

    The biggest lesson that we've learned is that being able to automate almost 90% of the provisioning process is something that we never thought would be possible, mainly because there are so many different nuanced things that you have to do when you provision the database server. We tried to do manual scripting with PowerShell, which didn't always go as planned. But with the provisioning scripting that Era gives us, we finally have an option for a tool that will automate a lot of the stuff that we do, which means that in turn, we can focus on the important things.

    The one piece of advice I would give for anybody who is considering this product is to look at your data storage profile, and see how many different database vendors and database engines you use. If it's anything more than one then definitely, go for Era. It makes life for managing these different types of database engines a lot simpler.

    Because I haven't been using Era for at least a year, I don't really know if there are any issues that we haven't seen that might pop up. So far, everything looks good, but over time, little niggles may appear. Considering this, I cannot say that it's a perfect solution at this point.

    I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud

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

    Other
    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.
    GOBO Guy-Roland - PeerSpot reviewer
    IT Manager at Semlex
    Real User
    Saves time managing different databases, good backup and restore functionality, good performance
    Pros and Cons
    • "The Time Machine is the most valuable feature for us. Using it means that we don't have to take regular snapshots, yet we are still able to restore the database quickly in the event of a problem."
    • "The updating of the database engine is something that can be improved. For example, assume that we are using PostgreSQL out of the box, and it is version 10. If we want to migrate to version 11, 12, or 13, then it is not very easy to do that using Nutanix Era."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using the Nutanix Era solution for managing our Microsoft SQL Server, which hosts a database that is approximately five terabytes in size. We also use Nutanix Era with a PostgreSQL server.

    How has it helped my organization?

    This product simplifies the deployment of multiple database engines, which is important to us because we are in an environment where we cannot rely only on a single database engine. We have a large demand for different databases including PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and Microsoft SQL Server. When we receive a request to deploy a database server, it's very easy for us and in that way, Nutanix Era is very useful.

    We manage workloads for both PostgreSQL and Microsoft SQL Server, and the performance is good. It is flexible in this regard because it simplifies both the deployment and administrations of workloads from these different databases.

    As part of our operation in production, we have to be able to replicate our SQL database. It is approximately five terabytes in size. One of the ways that Nutanix Era has helped is that with a single click, we can clone the database in less than 30 minutes. This clone can easily then be pushed to our development environment. In general, it has reduced our deployment times.

    We save a lot of data in our production database and using Nutanix has improved the performance. We are able to create different clones and work with them separately. Also, copying and synchronizing the logs from clones is something that is very easy to do. The impact of the boost in performance has been good and everybody is happy with it.

    Using this solution has decreased the time that it takes us to clone or take a snapshot of a database. We can clone a large database in between 10 and 15 minutes, whereas a snapshot can be created in less than five minutes.

    Nutanix has helped to reduce the time required to manage our database workloads, although it is difficult to estimate by how much because I did not use another solution for the same purpose. I can only say that overall, we have spent less time on database management, and it has helped to reduce off-hours work. Because everything is working fine, we do not need to work on the database during our off-hours.

    As we have needed to spend less time concentrating on database management, it means that we have been able to spend more time on other IT services. We can work on other things, which leads to better overall performance for the IT department.

    Nutanix has increased the team's ability to troubleshoot issues. Because it is easy to manage, we can quickly see whether there is a problem in our operations. When we find out which operation has the problem, we can resolve it using the information available in the log files. The use of the log makes it easy for the team to conduct the troubleshooting process, and this has a positive impact on our business because we can solve problems quickly. In turn, we can readily get back to other operations in the IT department or more generally in the organization.

    What is most valuable?

    The Time Machine is the most valuable feature for us. Using it means that we don't have to take regular snapshots, yet we are still able to restore the database quickly in the event of a problem.

    We use Nutanix Era to perform in-place backup and restores of our databases. Taking about one hour to complete a restore, this product has reduced our overall downtime.

    We are able to create multiple backups during the day without affecting our production workloads, which is important because we receive and manage sensitive data, including personal information, and when we have a problem we can easily restore the previous backup. The RTO is very short.

    The creation of multiple daily backups is also good in terms of limiting the amount of possible data loss. This is good for our operations because when we do have a problem, we don't lose any data.

    Managing databases can be done through a single pane of glass, which means that we don't have to make use of many interfaces to manage different database engines. From a single place, we are able to see what's happened in our environment.

    What needs improvement?

    The updating of the database engine is something that can be improved. For example, assume that we are using PostgreSQL out of the box, and it is version 10. If we want to migrate to version 11, 12, or 13, then it is not very easy to do that using Nutanix Era. This is an area that I would like to see improved because I have had many problems with it. In one situation, I was trying to deploy PostgreSQL version 12 and it was very difficult to achieve. If this were improved then it would be very good for the solution.

    The problem is not tied directly to how long it takes to perform updates. Rather, it is not easy to do. Database engines differ in this regard because Microsoft SQL is easier to update than PostgreSQL. With PostgreSQL, for example, upgrading the software profile requires several steps. You have to manipulate too many things, create VMs, import them into Nutanix Era, and deploy a new cluster. If the process were automated by the software then that would save a lot of time.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using Nutanix Era for two years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is very good and this has a good impact on the IT department. We can rely on this solution to create snapshots and clones, easily restore databases, and update software.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability-wise, it is very good. We can upgrade easily and Nutanix is always creating new solutions to solve problems related to databases.

    We have two users with administrative roles, although, for deployment and maintenance, one person is enough. It certainly doesn't take many people to maintain this solution. I am the IT Manager and I have a system admin, as well.

    We have more than 10 database workloads and we are planning to add more databases in the future. With that, our usage of Nutanix Era will also increase.

    How are customer service and support?

    The technical support is very good. When we have had to communicate with them, in perhaps less than an hour we've gotten a response and been able to resolve our problem.

    In general, the support is able to address problems easily and solve them quickly, which is very good.

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

    In addition to Nutanix Era, which we have to back up and restore our databases, we use Veeam as our general backup and restore solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward and the deployment takes less than an hour.

    When we deployed Era, we had everything saved inside of it. All of the software profiles and computer profiles are saved. You can either create a new one or modify an existing one. Everything is in place so all that we have to do is deploy to our server and after that, it is easy to deploy the database.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used an integrator to assist with deployment. Their name is Exxoss and our experience with them was definitely good. They assisted us very well and everything works. It was a good experience.

    What was our ROI?

    Our return on investment comes from the fact that we don't need very many people to manage or administer the platform. Essentially, our costs have been reduced because we used to have different people working on different databases. For example, we have not had to spend extra on a person to administer our Microsoft SQL Server. One or two people can manage a large number of databases.

    In terms of time savings, this has allowed the teams to concentrate on other subjects, rather than spend time troubleshooting and resolving other database-related issues.

    Overall, our return on investment is very good.

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

    There are no costs in addition to the standard licensing fees.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did not evaluate other options but this is because originally, we planned only to use a single database engine. We did not plan on using a solution to manage different database engines. Once we heard about Nutanix Era and how it worked, we were very happy and went straight to it.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice for anybody who is looking into using Nutanix Era is to go ahead and implement it. This is a good solution that will help the IT department to manage and troubleshoot the database workloads. It reduces the time needed by teams for troubleshooting, deploying a cluster, or deploying a single-node database. It makes life easy for database management and it is one that you can rely on.

    The biggest lesson that I have learned from using Nutanix Era is that it makes the job of our IT staff very easy.

    In summary, this is a very good product but perfection does not exist, so there is always room for improvement.

    I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    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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    Buyer's Guide
    Nutanix Era
    May 2022
    Learn what your peers think about Nutanix Era. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: May 2022.
    597,415 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Database Architect at a aerospace/defense firm with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Helps us cut database deployment times from weeks to hours
    Pros and Cons
    • "We have an enterprise-level backup product that we're required to use, so we don't rely on Era's version. [But] it could be an awesome first-line backup. It's very elegant the way they designed it. It's quick and it doesn't take up nearly as much storage space as traditional backups. It would definitely help to save on tier-one storage."
    • "The patching should be a one-button function. Also, it works about 80 percent of the time, but 20 percent of the time it requires manual intervention. And sometimes, until you understand the technical underpinnings of that process, you can't fix it. I thought we would move past that. In the last version, they broke a big chunk of that for me, and that's why I'm waiting for the new release because they promised me it would fix the problem."

    What is our primary use case?

    We needed to migrate all of our Oracle databases to comply with Oracle licensing requirements. That's what led us to get Nutanix hardware because it's an all-in-one: storage, compute, everything. Oracle accepts that. You only have to license the CPUs within that hardware cluster. Since we were going to have to provision all of these new servers and all of these new databases, it seemed like a great time to automate that. That's what Era brought to the table, the automation of server and database provisioning.

    In addition to that, we were very interested in the one-click patching solution. And to automate things, you have to have a standardized offering of templates for the software, the servers, and the database. We were also looking for that standardization.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Era has helped us to cut deployment times. It used to take 10 days if we had to get a new server, and I can now do it in two hours, and that includes provisioning the database.

    What is most valuable?

    We have an enterprise-level backup product that we're required to use, so we don't rely on Era's version. But occasionally that other system goes down and I wouldn't have any automated backups except for what I have with Era. For us, it's a great fallback, but for other companies, it could be an awesome first-line backup. It's very elegant the way they designed it. It's quick and it doesn't take up nearly as much storage space as traditional backups. It would definitely help to save on tier-one storage. For other companies, that would be a big selling feature.

    When it comes to performance and flexibility with Oracle workloads, it's excellent.

    What needs improvement?

    The patching should be a one-button function. Also, it works about 80 percent of the time, but 20 percent of the time it requires manual intervention. And sometimes, until you understand the technical underpinnings of that process, you can't fix it. I thought we would move past that. In the last version, they broke a big chunk of that for me, and that's why I'm waiting for the new release because they promised me it would fix the problem.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using Nutanix Era since they released it, which was about three years ago.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Like anything that runs on Nutanix, as a VM, it's a piece of cake to scale it. We've never had to because it was sized properly in the first place. We're not in a growth state for databases, but it's just very simple to scale either way, up or down, which is great.

    For our databases that run on Nutanix hardware, which is almost all of our Oracle databases—the ones that can still be patched—we use Era. We use it for all databases except for two that are still running on Solaris for various reasons. The only thing that we haven't done, and have no plans to do, is to expand use of Era for non-Oracle database engines, because we're moving those to the cloud.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Their customer support post-deployment is knowledgeable and helpful. I might have had special access to people because we were one of the first customers and I developed a relationship with them. I feel that I was helping them beta-test some things.

    But if you called up and opened a ticket today, especially if you're used to Oracle support, you would find that Nutanix support is excellent.

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

    We didn't have a previous solution. Nothing was automated before we brought on Era. We were looking to migrate, consolidate, automate, standardize, and reduce maintenance costs. 

    And there's an additional challenge that all IT departments have now: finding database administrators. Nobody is coming out of school wanting to be a database administrator. In the workforce, I would estimate that the average age of DBAs is at least 55. We can't find people to train or hire and half of our database staff retired within a two-year period. We had hundreds of databases that had to be migrated and Era was really crucial to that effort. The only way we could see to train new people was to make things as simple and automated as possible. 

    We chose Era because we were using Nutanix hardware.

    How was the initial setup?

    On a scale of one to 10, the complexity of the setup was an eight. You need to have a consulting partner from Nutanix to help set it up. A lot of the backend connections have to be created to the Nutanix cluster and that's going to be outside of the skill set of the DBA.

    We had all of it set up in two and a half days of working sessions.

    We have two Nutanix clusters that are in geographically separate data centers. Originally, we had to deploy one Era per cluster. Then, as part of continuously improving the product, they centralized Era's administration and went to more of a central server with agents. That way, we could have one deployment of Era with two agents, one for each cluster. So we really went through two implementations.

    What about the implementation team?

    A consultant from Nutanix was part of the purchase. We didn't have to pay extra for it. We had some issues during our deployment, but they were all resolved. It wasn't perfectly smooth, but what deployment ever is? On the whole, they are dedicated and knowledgeable and they were there for us until it was right. I couldn't have asked for more than that.

    What was our ROI?

    I don't think it saves time on the patching, but if we had not had this solution to migrate all those databases, it would have cost us at least $1 million in salary for the entire migration. Using Era it cost us only $50,000.

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

    It's priced fairly. It follows the Oracle model based on CPUs or the number of databases. It's not too expensive and it's not inexpensive. It's a good value. Of course, I'm not paying for it, and I'm the one that it's helping by reducing my work. But I haven't heard managers say, "Oh no, we can't get that, it's way too expensive."

    When you go looking for something from Oracle that automates things and makes your life easier, it's always going to be a minimum of $500,000. Era's nothing like that. For something that works on Linux or Unix, and Oracle databases, you expect to pay more than you would for something that runs on Windows, but you get what you pay for.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice would be to engage with the Nutanix Era team as soon as possible to plan the implementation and to learn what you need to know about it. Make sure you read the documentation and work with the team so that you're comfortable troubleshooting any problems. In addition to the product being good, the support for Era is excellent. Take advantage of that to make it easy on yourself.

    We don't use it for snapshots and to clone databases, but if we did I believe it would decrease the time it takes to do those things.

    In our organization, there are three people who use the solution on the Unix team, and there are three DBAs who are the primary users.

    Overall, I don't know anything else that does what it does and I would give it a 10 out of 10.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    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.
    Heinrich Kruger - PeerSpot reviewer
    Senior Sql Server Database Administrator at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    A single solution that provides you new deployments and monitoring as well as everything in one bucket
    Pros and Cons
    • "The patching is the most valuable feature. We spent a lot of time and effort on the patching of our SQL instances after hours. With Nutanix Era, you can schedule and automate them during your normal operational hours (during the day). You schedule all the patching, then everything happens automatically with minor tickets from the engineer. So, our patching, which took four hours, went down to an hour for the engineer. This is much better for us from a return on investment perspective."
    • "The initial setup was a little tedious and complex. If they could make the setup slightly more user-friendly, then that would definitely be beneficial. If they could give a clear indication of what ports are required across the business and multiple VLANs, then your prep work can be done beforehand and before you do the actual installation. Because the documentation that was provided was not 100 percent accurate, so we had to do a lot of custom firewall rules after we deployed Nutanix Era."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case was turnaround time from server deployments, patching, and database restoration. Our main approach was turnaround times on new deployments, patching, and restoring of databases. We can restore a 2TB database in about 45 minutes, if that. It used to take days to do a restore for our warehouse refresh. Now, it is literally taking under an hour, which is a drastic improvement.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Our patching went down from about 40 hours a month to automatic schedules, so we don't spend a lot of overtime anymore from a patching perspective. Also, we have reduced the turnaround time for server deployments from an always-on availability group perspective from about four days to one hour.

    Nutanix Era has helped optimize database performance to an extent. When we moved to the full Nutanix stack, we saw about 70 percent performance enhancements, going from the old physical to the Nutanix stack.

    It has saved quite drastically on space. We have saved about 4TB just on one database, looking at the DR copies.

    The strain that Nutanix Era backups make on the system is basically zero. So, it is quite nice to use Nutanix Era from a transactional log backup perspective.

    What is most valuable?

    The patching is the most valuable feature. We spent a lot of time and effort on the patching of our SQL instances after hours. With Nutanix Era, you can schedule and automate them during your normal operational hours (during the day). You schedule all the patching, then everything happens automatically with minor tickets from the engineer. So, our patching, which took four hours, went down to an hour for the engineer. This is much better for us from a return on investment perspective.

    From an always-on availability perspective, it has simplified the process quite extensively. While this is not such an important feature for us, it has simplified things as a centralized access point to all our instances.

    With all the advanced logging that takes place within Nutanix Era, it definitely has increased the visibility of our team into the actual processes which are running, what are being consumed, long-running queries, etc. Within Nutanix Era, it is a simple view.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using it for four or five months.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Once it is set up and configured, it has brilliant stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scaling has been quite easy, making changes to the actual VM was very simple. Based on the requirements, you can adjust it at any given time without having a major impact.

    We have a DBA team of four engineers who all work on it. Hopefully, going forward, we can push it more towards the developers so they can roll out the database refreshes by themselves, because it is that simple. That should hopefully take quite a substantial load off my team in the near future.

    We are still incorporating all our processes into it. At the moment, we literally just started up. We are migrating all our servers onto Nutanix Era. I think it will take another three to six months before we are entirely running on it. After that, we will start introducing it to the business to get the developers to do their own database refreshes, but that is something that we are planning going forward.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Deal with the technical consultants directly, because they are the guys who roll everything out of the way to support you.

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

    It was all on the physical hardware, and that was very bad. That was the old way of doing things. We are modernizing it now, which is why we looked at the full Nutanix Era stack.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was a little tedious and complex. If they could make the setup slightly more user-friendly, then that would definitely be beneficial. If they could give a clear indication of what ports are required across the business and multiple VLANs, then your prep work can be done beforehand and before you do the actual installation. Because the documentation that was provided was not 100 percent accurate, so we had to do a lot of custom firewall rules after we deployed Nutanix Era.

    We first deployed it in DR to determine the workload, usage, etc., because we have quite a big environment. So, we deployed it to the office, then did all the test cases, proof of concepts, and everything within our DR space. Once we were happy with that, we rolled it out to production. The rollout to production went very fast. We figured out all the issues beforehand when deploying to DR.

    What about the implementation team?

    Getting everything configured took about two weeks, with a few troubleshooting sessions with Era's technical team. Even when we were experiencing issues, it was quite pleasant. The support structure that they have is excellent. They have skilled resources who can assist with every single query that you have. It is the same with post-deployment issues.

    What was our ROI?

    For the turnaround time that it takes to troubleshoot issues, it definitely makes the process of coming back to business much faster. So, it definitely has increased the turnaround time on our normal queries that we have had from a database perspective.

    We did a return on investment justification. We could get rid of our current backup software and consolidate that into the actual licensing cost. We should see a return on investment within three years and start making our money back.

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

    Era is quite expensive. The thing that will be a showstopper for them in the long run is if you look at it from a technical perspective on what it provides and weigh it up against consolidation of multiple other software suites. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at IDERA from a performance perspective and Redgate from a monitoring perspective. However, I don't think, for the entire solution that Era provides, that it has much competition. It is a single solution that provides you new deployments and monitoring as well as everything in one bucket. 

    What other advice do I have?

    If you look at the monitoring for long-running queries, it has given us good visibility of where the problem areas lie within the big databases. This gave us a good indication/direction to fix indexes and look at performance bottlenecks.

    It is a great product. I would definitely give it a 10 out of 10. With the technology that it provides and the simplicity of the actual solution, there is no one who can compete with it.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    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.
    NISHANTPANCHAL - PeerSpot reviewer
    Principal technology specialist at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Reseller
    Top 20
    Works with multiple silos in terms of infrastructure, database updates, and migration
    Pros and Cons
    • "It has some very good features. It really works with multiple silos in terms of infrastructure, database updates, and migration. So many things are easy with Era."
    • "Their support is helpful, but maybe they need more technical staff. Their response was slow once, but that was the only time it happened, so I'm not sure."

    What is our primary use case?

    I use Nutanix to provide managed services for one of the biggest telecom providers. 
    We proved managed services to the customer, including the platform and service as well as VM as a service.

    What is most valuable?

    It's a vast solution, so it depends on what the customer needs. We provide the Kubernetes cluster, and if you want a particular server, we provide the files. We use Karbon, Era, AHV and Prisim Central. We are also now in the process of testing out the VDI feature as well.

    What needs improvement?

    They recently came out with a new version, so there are some new features that I still need to try. So it's hard to say what should be improved. Also, I don't have any essential databases that I'm managing with Era, so I'm not really close to the DBAs and don't know what they need or where there is still room for improvement. The best ones to answer this question are the DBAs because Era is basically designed for the databases. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using Nutanix Era since 2012, so almost nine years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Era is a stable solution.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Era is scalable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I would rate Nutanix technical support eight out of 10. I think they're helpful, but maybe they need more technical staff. Their response was slow once, but that was the only time it happened, so I'm not sure. I don't want to judge them. Maybe I'm wrong.

    How was the initial setup?

    On the Nutanix side, it's very easy. They can enable a section in seconds or minutes. But on my side, I have some network dependency here and there, it took longer for me. My environment is a little different, so it took me longer. But from Nutanix itself there isn't much to do.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate Nutanix Era eight out of 10. I would recommend it to anyone who is considering it. It has some very good features. It really works with multiple silos in terms of infrastructure, database updates, and migration. So many things are easy with Era. You really don't need to follow the cycle that DBAs usually follow. It's really fast also. It really speeds things up. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
    Flag as inappropriate
    Sector Manager at ESky IT
    Reseller
    Top 5
    Database management system that offers stability and excellent customer support

    What is most valuable?

    This is a very useful solution for database management. 

    What needs improvement?

    This solution could be improved by integrating with more database providers. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used this solution for three years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    This is a stable solution. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    This is a scalable solution. 

    How are customer service and support?

    The customer support for this solution is excellent. 

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward. 

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

    This solution is reasonably priced. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate this solution an eight out of ten. 

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
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    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Nutanix Era Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: May 2022
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Nutanix Era Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.