I am a Principal Engineer at a large tech company.
I am currently researching HCI tools. Which tool performs better: Nutanix HCI or VMware VxRail? Which tool has better scalability?
Thank you for your help.
Product Consultant (Presales) at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Jan 16, 2023
In order to answer your question it is better to understand your requirement. Nutanix HCI supports all major hardware vendors, and hypervisors like VMware, Hyper-V, and native Nutanix AHV) and has award-winning post-sales support.
Now VxRail is a Dell product offering based on PowerEdge servers running VMware only with VMware vSAN. It is limited to Dell hardware and a single hypervisor VMware.
Moving forward as Vmware is no more part of Dell and has been part of Broadcom no one is sure what will be next.
Other than that, there are key differentiators to make decisions and that's where Nutanix shines, you can DM me if you need one to one explanation.
Director Of Information Technology at Cass County Government
Jun 29, 2022
HCI's big sell is the single pane of glass management. No longer do you need to understand how to manage a separate storage environment and its firmware/software updates, worry about compatibility with new servers coming in, etc. It's all in one spot. I wouldn't go so far to say that you will need less IT staff to run the solution, but I would state you could get by with less 'specialized skillsets' within those staffers, as now it's all in the same place.
From a scaling side, it's easier to scale horizontally and has begun to be easier to scale vertically. If your storage/compute needs tend to be coupled together, an HCI option makes a lot of sense as when you add a node, you get both by default. If you, however, have more CPU-dependent workloads or need for high-density storage with low compute requirements, HCI tends to have some issues. However, every vendor seems to have recognized this, and now sell 'storage heavy' or 'compute heavy' nodes to help with these situations.
As for concrete examples, look no further than tools like Nimble DHCI. This is a fully integrated system, from networking to compute to storage, all supported by a single vendor. You no longer have to call Vmware, then storage, then network to troubleshoot an issue. All of your metrics and reports come from one spot. You can automate against a single API to configure and control the entire stack. If you need more resources, it's easy to add to a basic setup. HCI is not for everyone. There are still plenty of places where a standard storage network, or a more highly advanced replicated storage/compute environment, or a cloud-focused/hybrid system make a lot more sense. It is, however, a great option for those that are looking for an easy-to-manage solution that is designed to scale with them when the time comes.
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Our biggest pain point during the buying process was trying to sort through all of the vendor's proposal documentation to determine which solution was best for us.
Every vendor claims their solution is the best and trying to determine which best served our needs was challenging.
Our solution was to create a checklist of the critical features and capabilities that were essential to us as well as a list of desired capabilities.
We then called in each vendor and went through our list of critical and desired features. Any vendors not able to meet all of our critical requirements were eliminated.
We then compared the remaining vendors on the number of desired features they could provide versus the pricing.
This process greatly facilitated the vendor selection process. It goes without saying that factors like vendor reputation, local support, warranty, etc. were considered before even getting to the checklist.
The biggest pain point for me was a general lack of suggested configurations for certain workloads. For example, if I am doing HCI for Hyper-V or VMware hosts, I would hope that the vendor(s) would have a ballpark configuration that I can build from. Let me drag some sliders around or use a sizing calculator to come up with a baseline configuration that I can start with.
To overcome this, I make sure to work with the vendor to share my needs. I send them a document of my existing configuration/workload, a DPACK, or I just have in-depth conversations with the vendor(s) so that they know my needs.
This is my point of view/feedback about an HCI buying process experience.
- Selected an IT-Business Partner which can cover your region/country for the rollout (if you don't buy it locally).
- Collected an order (it can help to receive a bigger discount).
- Plan for 3/5 year Care Packs for NBD Service and Warranty.
- Keep an eye on the local country tax/customs/transport insurance/import regulations for HCI Hardware (like battery, vendor patents, ...).
- Build with IT-Business Partner a Service/Health/Check Service on a yearly basis (if you do not want to make it on your own).
- Full pre-, post-, and installation tasks included with technical documentation.
That was a quick overview.