Nutanix AHV Review

User-friendly interface and no licensing fees, but technical support needs to be improved


What is our primary use case?

We are a system integration company and we sell hyper-converged infrastructure as the new model data center technology.

This is one of the solutions that we provide to our customers.

This solution can be deployed on-premises or in a cloud-based environment, but the majority of deployments are on-premises.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has very good feedback from our customers in terms of the benefits that it provides. They have lots of automation and orchestration policies and procedures in place so that they can create virtual machines within a few minutes. Overall, it improves productivity. In fact, you can do a lot of R&D for your most critical kind of applications without having to procure a proper dedicated infrastructure for that. It helps a lot.

What is most valuable?

The interface is very good, and quite user-friendly. You can learn how to use this solution in three to five days.

They have lots of easy ways to provision VMs with just two clicks, which is something you cannot easily do with VMware. It is possible but quite lengthy and complex.

The automation functionality is strong.

What needs improvement?

At the application level, if you wanted to change your hypervisor from VMware or another to AHV then there is a limitation in that you need to redeploy the whole application. For example, let's say that you are running Oracle ERP or Oracle Financial Business Suite, and it is on VMware. Then you switch to AHV and you migrate the virtual machine, it will be there, but all of the links that were created in the previous hypervisor will be broken. So, what Nutanix recommends is that you redeploy the application. This is quite a bit of work. For example, the ERP requires a lot of time to implement and get into synch and get running smoothly.

The technical support for this solution needs to be improved in terms of response time.

This solution should offer more orchestration and automation as we see in VMware. They can do more.

I would like to see more use cases from Nutanix on future trend technologies such as IoT, data analytics, big data, smart cities, and more. They need to do more R&D with respect to these new technologies. This would make it easy for us to understand whether they are capable of such functionality, or not.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for a couple of years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is the only true hyper-converged infrastructure in the market.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is very scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not dealt with technical support for this solution personally, but the people in my organization, as well as from other places, have told me that it needs to improve a lot.

From what I have been told, they are quite capable of resolving the issues, but the response time is simply too long.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

In addition to this solution, I am using EMC VxRail, Hitachi HCP, and occasionally NetApp. I would rate the Nutanix solution as the top one. My second choice is the Dell EMC solution.

The customer's requirements, as well as the budget, are what decide the suitability of a particular solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is pretty much straightforward. From unboxing to rack and mounting and cabling, I think that it requires no more than three to four hours to get it up and running, maximum.

Obviously, it will depend on the size of the implementation. If it is huge then you will have to increase the number of hours. I am talking about an SMB environment. You will be able to create virtual machines within four to five hours of unboxing.

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

The most valuable feature of this solution is that there is no licensing fee. This means that if you don't have any virtual environment in your organization and wanted to go virtualized, and on top of that you want to go more than the data center, you don't have to worry about the licensing for the virtual infrastructure. It comes free of cost. If you want to choose another hypervisor then you need to pay a lot of licensing fees upfront, and then a recurring cost over the years for support and upgrades. That's the big difference between AHV and the others.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Nutanix is the only player in the market who is actually providing you with the hyper-converged infrastructure. You can either choose their own AHV hypervisor, or you can have VMware on top of it as a hypervisor to base the operating system. This gives a benefit over others who don't offer the same kind of infrastructure for both hypervisors.

You cannot mix it, that's one thing that is true across the board. However, you do have a choice of hypervisor. For some customers, they have already invested in VMware and they want to move to hyper-converged infrastructure. So, Nutanix would be comparatively a better choice, which can impact your previous investment and you can build your virtual hyper-converged infrastructure on Nutanix.

What other advice do I have?

This is the number one hyper-converged solution in the market. No doubt about it.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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