What is the biggest difference between Nutanix Acropolis and VMware vSphere?

Miriam Tover - PeerSpot reviewer
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PeerSpot user

7 Answers

Nov 21, 2021

We found the reduced power consumption with Nutanix Acropolis AOS a very attractive feature. We also like the interface that allows you to talk directly to your VM from the present software. We found the erasure coding, deduplication, and on-demand scaling extremely valuable. The feature our team liked the best was that Nutanix Acropolis AOS is core-centralized on the UI - you don’t have multiple interfaces that you have to handle. It’s better integrated for the complete management of the infrastructure.

We would like to see more operating systems included, though. If you require high-end or lots of compute, Nutanix Acropolis AOS may not be a good fit for those large databases. We would like to see better visibility with the main OEM backup integrators. The solution’s integration with other platforms could also be improved.

VMware vSphere is very good from a recoverability point of view; everything can be stored much easier on a virtual server than a physical one. VMware vSphere is very good with memory sharing between VMs and CPU scheduling between VMs. The command-line tools integrate well with Microsoft products, so it’s easy to manipulate them. VMware vSphere is very stable and very scalable.

The initial setup with VMware vSphere can be a bit complex. You need to have a good understanding of VMware. Hard partitioning is not permitted with VMware vSphere. We found there were occasional bugs and errors and that the HTML5 is not up to par. The pricing and licensing options can get expensive.


After researching both Nutanix Acropolis and VMware vSphere, we chose VMware vSphere. We felt that they were more reliable, offered better scaling capabilities, and had very good documentation. We also feel VMware vSphere has better integration with other platforms than Nutanix Acropolis AOS does. VMware vSphere has very high availability and allows us to easily save our data and deploy VM machines quickly and we can create the delivery of the server with tremendous ease.

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Real User
Dec 13, 2021

Nutanix AOS is an SDS (Software-Defined Storage). We can compare it to VMware vSan. To simplify, we use it to aggregate the local drives of each node and provide a storage cluster.

VMware vSphere is a virtualization layer. It's used to provide a compute cluster. For Nutanix, the virtualization layer is AHV.

So, we combine the virtualization cluster and SDS cluster from the same nodes to provide an Hyperconverged platform.

For the best fit, it depends on your need. If you're looking for performance and simplicity, I think Nutanix is the best choice.

Steffen Hornung - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Dec 14, 2021

@Hicham Bali dont forget that simplicity is ingrained into Nutanix solutions.to  Make it better means to make it easier. And as AOS+AHV comes with best support there is nothing to gain for VMware.

PeerSpot user
Jul 9, 2020

Nutanix Acropolis has been specially designed to respond to the problems of hyper-converged infrastructures.

We believe that Nutanix Acropolis is more flexible and better suited to respond to the issues of very high availability.

Real User
Jul 21, 2019

Question one:
Does the customer already have vSphere because than I would suggest not to use Acropolis? Nutanix wants to control the entire platform with its HCI solution like VMware.

Question 2:
Do you want to use NSX now or in the future? Use VMware, because if it will be supported and it would always give issues with the integrations with Acropolis.

Question 3:
Is the growth of the customer low? Then Nutanix can be a choice if it is bigger than VMware. Nutanix is not flexible in big site setups and can give big problems with updating.

Real User
Jan 3, 2022

I think VMware vSphere is more mature as a hypervisor than Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV). it is more capable to serve almost most of the workloads. having said that if you are talking about a standard workload both of them can do the job, but your workload is sensitive or even newly released you most properly find it will be certified to work vSphere before becoming certified on AHV.

in addition most technology providers and one of them Nutanix they first certify their solutions to work with vSphere before certifying any other hypervisor.

Dec 10, 2021

Nutanix is running AHV. There is no need for a VMware license. 

Community Manager
Dec 10, 2021

Dear @KM Poon, thanks for your reply. What is the biggest difference between Nutanix Acropolis and VMware vSphere?

PeerSpot user
Steffen Hornung - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Jul 4, 2021

Acropolis in itself is no product. 
Do we speak AOS or AHV Ort both?

AOS is the intelligence on Top of a hypervisor making AHV Or Vsphere an HCI Solution.

AHV is Nutanix own KVM-based hypervisor managed completely within Prism from AOS, so there is no standalone offering, it always comes with AOS.

This seems to contradict the statement above, but since you can have AOS without AHV, you can make a clear distinction between both.

AHV has the advantage of being optimized tightly with AOS. Together with ESXi, you still have to use two management tools for AOS + ESXi. AHV + AOS utilizes the same prism element web management. So, integration is the biggest difference between AHV and ESXi

For AOS and ESXi the answer is quite simple: you would have to compare VSAN with AOS. Then you see, the integration of products and resiliency in Nutanix is better by a magnitude.

if your comparing features you have AHV on Par with ESXi.

AHV is the predominant hypervisor on nutanix systems deployed. Vmware would mostly be used for customers who already have vsphere licenses or want to keep their standard hypervisor.

I dont think there are stability issues with AOS or AHV. We tend to update more frequently our AHV systems than we do with VMware. With Nutanix you leverage the update process conveniently with LifeCycleManagement (LCM) integrated into Prism Web Management supplying everything from native nutanix products to firmware for your hypervisor hosts. There are also regular customer notifications to warn of detected misconfigurations in the field and check for your own setup and howto act on that. I never got anything from VMware regarding such a thing. And I do know what a purple screen of death looks like...

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