What is our primary use case?
We primarily use Nutanix as our base environment where we host all our database servers. We also host our active directory on it, our mail servers and all our bare metal systems combined to one unit. Then we use Inuvika for the VDI environment on top of Nutanix.
The main reason why we liked it is because of the high availability that we get with it. The platform's extremely stable and other nice things that we like about it is that if we have to move the server or anything, it's not a lot to move and power consumption is a big thing for us as well.
How has it helped my organization?
We are not fully in production yet and we are still busy testing Nutanix. A couple of things that it makes a huge difference in is our company's power consumption because we don't have to use computers for all our employees. We can simply put down a Raspberry Pi or a little nook, and in the Inuvika environment, everything is up and running immediately. It gives the users a lot more freedom in connection with what they usually have in a standard setup. With everything operating in the cluster, the chances of losing data is reduced by about 90%. We use this move from one site because we've got about seven sites that we are running from the one Nutanix cluster.
We can move a user from one site to another site without having to move hardware. It is very user-friendly. Another thing I like a lot about Inuvika is the deduplication that you can do on different containers. You don't have to do everything on one container or on one VM itself.
What is most valuable?
I definitely find the reduced power consumption very valuable. Another aspect I really like, when one compares Citrix to VMware, is the interface where you talk directly to your VM from the present software. We have found that it is a lot more responsive using VMware compared to Citrix.
What needs improvement?
One thing I've noticed is that, when you do a shift from VMware to Nutanix, it opens the setup of the VM that's currently running. If people from another site double click on it, it opens the VM instead of the setup of the unit. So I would suggest that this could perhaps be switched. That is so far the only change I would like. I would like it if they could fix the instance where you double click on a VM and it opens the VM instead of the setup. That's the only thing that's a major bother to me.
For how long have I used the solution?
We've only been using Nutanix Acropolis for a short time now so we haven't gone into full production with the product yet.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The easiest way to explain the stability of Nutanix is to start it up and forget about it. We haven't had any problems with this solution. We've done a couple of tests and restarts and we've moved VMs from one machine to another machine. We tested the availability and we didn't have any problems with that either. The performance and stability of Nutanix is so good, it is almost unbelievable.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
This product is very scalable. We currently have 60 users. One of the things I like about it is that you can add extra nodes without any problem. Something we are currently looking at for the future is to put a smaller cluster on each side, where we can then, overnight, replicate the data from the site to the primary cluster. That's one of the other reasons why we looked at Nutanix instead of VMware and Citrix.
At this stage, we haven't transferred our SQL database as of yet. We're waiting for the software providers to come in and do the transfer from the old server to the new server. All our documents and all our data must be transferred.
How are customer service and technical support?
We had only one query so far, and the support team was excellent. They came back to us immediately and their service was excellent.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We used a different solution before we started using Nutanix. We ran three sites on EXSi from VMware. After doing some research, I saw the feasibility of Nutanix. Not only on costs, but on scalability as well. Although I'm a big VMware fan, I've found that one only has a certain amount of time to build your setup with VMware, and if you don't do it in that time, you must start again. One of the main things I liked of Nutanix, is that I can add an extra node or four extra or nodes if needed within a period of two years.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was really straightforward. We had a little trouble with the nicks. Also, under the software setup, it doesn't give you the version of the software. It only shows as 'unknown'. So we had to dive into the setup to find out which version it was to update correctly. The entire setup took us half a day. We used a consultant for the deployment. The service I received from them is unbelievable.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
One of the major problems with IT in South Africa is that licensing fees are 14 times more expensive than anywhere in the world. This is due to the rand/dollar exchange rate. If I remember correctly, our licensing fee on the total setup was about R900,000.
There are no additional costs. The only additional things we added to the system was Commvault for additional backup services for the cluster.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We looked at other options like VMware and Citrix, but Nutanix was the only solution that offered us scalability and the option to add extra notes without any problems.
What other advice do I have?
Nutanix is an extremely cost effective product for the stability that you get without having to install additional hardware to get everything up and running. No other product out there can compare with Nutanix.
I would rate it a nine out of ten.