Miriam Tover - PeerSpot reviewer
Service Delivery Manager at PeerSpot
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What Is The Biggest Difference Between Nutanix And VxRail?

One of the most popular comparisons on IT Central Station is Nutanix vs VxRail.

What is the biggest difference between Nutanix and VxRail? Which of these two solutions would you recommend to a colleague evaluating Hyper-Converged solutions and why?

Thanks for helping your peers make the best decision!

PeerSpot user
10 Answers
SamuelMcKoy - PeerSpot reviewer
Development Support Engineer at a engineering company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Feb 18, 2019

The biggest difference between Nutanix and VxRail that I've noticed in my
brief research other than the obvious which is cost (Nutanix is much more
expensive) is that their Hypervisor is different. Nutanix Leverages their
in-house built hypervisor called Acropolis. VxRail leverages VMware's ESXi
for it's hypervisor. To take that perspective a step further the software
defined storage architecture for VxRail utilized VMware vSAN which is built
into the ESXi kernel. where as which Nutanix it would be something
different than vSAN which I'm not exactly sure what it's called. I would
imagine whatever software defined storage they're utilized is kernel based
or leveraging some 3rd party virtual appliance.

Off the top of my head these are the significant key differences I've
noticed in comparing VxRail to Nutanix.

Product comparison that may be of interest to you
Software & Services Advisor at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Feb 18, 2019

Both products work but have their own characteristics, I wouldn't even call them pro's or con's. Nutanix does a great job in a multi-hypervisor environment and even offers their own "good enough" hypervisor. If you are accustomed to enterprise class features and functionality, and your running mission critical revenue generating applications, vSphere obviously owns 85% of the market so they certainly exceed expectations here. In performance testing, it's more of a question of "which product will allow me to take full advantage of hardware capabilities?" to which I've seen more customers choose VxRail (or vSAN software on OEM of choice) over Nutanix. The management console for Nutanix is sleek but not as feature rich or capable of integrating with ecosystem vendors (backup vendors, application vendors, external storage systems, etc). VMware definitely has a leg up from an ecosystem standpoint but if the 3rd parties you leverage are supported w/ Nutanix, it may not be a big deal for you. Other points are cloud, support and scale. Cloud: Nutanix still hasn't gone to market with their Google cloud offering but have been talking about it for quite some time, VMware has been growing their hybrid cloud story after going to market a year and a half ago on AWS and 2+ years with IBM cloud. Support: VxRail continues to improve here, being a solution designed in tandem with VMware and Dell EMC, it takes a cross-effort from both companies to deliver a seamless support experience. Depending on complexity of issues, the greater majority of tickets are resolved by Dell EMC via SRS without involvment from VMware. Nutanix has a complete ownership of their stack so a one-stop-shop support-wise, although I don't see their current model scaling as they are heavily investing in sales and marketing without much talk of balance across support and engineering. They boast a higher NPS score vs VxRail, but that's like comparing an apple to a truck full of assorted fruit. And lastly scale, from a tech perspective, both products can expand and contract, I think the bigger question will be cost predictability. Anyone can get a deal upon an initial investment, but word from many customers is the cost to scale a Nutanix cluster when they know you're past the point of no return, can get unpredictable (heavy discounts from the first deal vanish when you expand). Dell EMC on the surface seems to be doing a better job with predicting cost to scale.
This is my opinion and not that of my employer, but I am regularly speaking with customers of both platforms. As I said, both have their own characteristics, I happen to firmly believe that based on evidence and market feedback that the VxRail solution has several leg-ups on Nutanix without even going into the advantages of the VMware + Dell EMC relationship and integration points.

Client Executive at a tech consulting company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Feb 18, 2019

The main difference between the two solutions is the hypervisor. VxRail is effectively a vmWare appliance that's performance built to run vSAN and most of the other associated features. It's a solid hyperconverged system and is perfect for organizations that are already familiar with vmWare.

Nutanix, on the other hand, runs multiple hypervisors INCLUDING vmWare, but also Hyper-V and their own product - Acropolis. The Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV) has its own set of performance and application characteristics and is competitively positioned to go against vmWare.

In addition, vxRail runs on specific Dell/EMC server hardware whereas Nutanix is able to run on multiple hardware platforms (Cisco, SuperMicro, IBM Power, Lenovo).

System Engineer at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
May 17, 2019

The biggest difference between Nutanix and VxRail is the storage replication. Nutanix has storage replication built into the product, but VxRail relies on EMC Recoverpoint. Nutanix is the clear favorite for a single pane of glass management and the lowest amount of solution complexity.

User at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Feb 19, 2019

VxRail is an engineered solution from Dell-EMC house.
It comes pre-installed from Dell-EMC factory, and all the customer need to do is to install his Application
Part of the VMware Software that comes with The system include the SDDC Manger, a powerful tool that help the
Customer run the system automatically, take care of Life Cycle management and more.
Vs Nutanix , VxRail is a VMware Validated Design that let you run all VMware technologies in:
1 Manufacturer
1 Solution
1 Support

Senior BDM with 11-50 employees
Feb 19, 2019

Both of them are good enough and innovative Solutions. Nutanix has been the first in the MKT to launch Hyperconvergence concept and pointing of the benefit some year ago. Both of them have problem related high cost, scalability model not really calibrated on European MKT needs (especially for Italian MKT). Without deeping the tech specific features, that for sure are very innovative, interesting in terms of performance, virtualization, simplification in management and mistress for the next SAN future, sometime we forget the real need of the Customer, to have "practical " and easy Solution to assure them Business Continuity and Instant Recover in case of Disaster. I do not see in those Vendor a real Answer to such issue. Other Vendor have been able to develop during these Years, Solution that, through Hyperconvergence ( Capacity, Computing and Network resource in a box ) , make available real Application and Services to assure DR and instant replacement, with reasonable cost and smart scale model.
Since isn't a metter of specific comparision, If are you interested to know more about them, feel free di contact me .

Find out what your peers are saying about Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) vs. VxRail and other solutions. Updated: January 2023.
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Manjunath V - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Operations Team Lead at a government with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Feb 19, 2019

VxRail works with vmware only, where Nutanix is hypervisor agnostic.

Senior Manager, IT Consulting at Protiviti
Feb 18, 2019

From my research:

Nutanix can support multiple hyper visors, while VxRail just supports VMware.

Nutanix seems to have better scalability. VxRail requires three nodes and scale up to 64 nodes per cluster. Nutanix starts at one node with clusters of more than 100 nodes in production.

Data protection. VMware seems to fairly extensive. Nutanix is developing a data protection system.

Solution integration advantage goes to Nutanix .

VMware is capable of integrating a broader array of enterprise applications, whereas Nutanix is playing catch up.

Storage. For Nutanix storage is outside the system vs VxRail which is part of the system.

Vendor maturity advantage goes to VxRail .

Cost. I have read where Nutanix is more expensive. But since they have quit coupling the software and the appliance I can't determine an Apple to Apple comparison.

To make a recommendation of the two would depend a lot on the people installing and maintaining the system. If they are familiar with VMware they should stick to VxRail .

That being said I have read that Nutanix is the easiest of the two to setup and configure.

Chris-Stanley - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Manager at Celtic Manor Resort
Real User
Feb 18, 2019

I don't have much experience around the Nutanix products , there wasn't a great deal between offerings when we were looking at Hyper Converged appliances , one of our deciding factors was the relationship between Dell and VMware . DellEMC and VMware involved in building the product in unison from the ground up gave me the reassurance i needed, having had great 5 star service from both in the past. Support calls streamlined for any issue and allowing my team to call 1 number is fantastic!

Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Feb 18, 2019

Nutanix and VxRail are both HyperConvergence solutions.

VxRail is based on VMware Vsan only and runs on Dell servers. You are therefore blocked with 1 Vendor.
With Nutanix, you can choose from several hardware suppliers (Supermicro, Dell, HP, Lenovo) and many more.
Nutanix is also compatible with IBM Power processors, VxRail does not support it
In addition, you have hypervisor freedom with VMware support if you wish, but not only that, it also supports HyperV and Acropolis.
Nutanix includes a tool to easily migrate your virtual machines from the VMware hypervisor to Acropolis and thus benefit from a substantial financial advantage.

To be honest, even for a VMware configuration, I would opt for Nutanix, having the protection to be able to change the hardware AND hypervisor if I wanted.

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NCI's support may be the best technical support from any company that I have contacted, ever. We have not had many issues with the product, as it works quite well, and our specialists have learned its specifics by now. However, in a few instances, we needed support from NCI. Every time we contacted them, they explained to us in great detail what caused the issue, how to fix it, and how to potentially avoid it happening again. They are absolutely reliable and will either explain the issue themselves or connect you with a team member that specializes in your issue.
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