Nutanix Prism Pro Review

Lets us manage multiple Clusters through a single interface

What is our primary use case?

Prism Pro lets us manage multiple Nutanix Clusters through a single interface. I can view all the alerts or health of each Cluster from one website instead of going to each one individually. 

How has it helped my organization?

When I started with the company, we did not have Nutanix. Within the first six months, we installed Nutanix software and Prism Pro. In the very beginning of the first six months, I was working a lot of overtime, having to fix a lot of things. I don't have a lot of overtime anymore. I don't have the nights and weekends that I used to because of all the time savings the solution has given me.

We use the solution’s machine learning algorithms for things like predictive capacity planning or other functions. This shows us what our capacity is, where it's going, and what trend it has been on. Thus, we can decide whether we need to purchase it next year.

What is most valuable?

The Pro license gives us Capacity Behavior Analytics. This feature lets you see what your capacity is and what you're using in your Cluster. It predicts what it's going to look like in a few months. You can forecast if you need more infrastructure. It sees how much your environment's growing and helps with the sizing of VMs to meet your workload growth.

The 1-Click Centralized Upgrades are really nice. When you go in and want to upgrade your Cluster, you just click a button and everything will upgrade. You don't have to go to each individual server to do the upgrades.

These features save time. They give us insight into what our data is doing and what we need to do to ensure it's running properly.

It is very intuitive and easy to use. It just makes sense. You don't have to look around for a lot of things. The things that you will be using are just there. Everything is on one screen. You can click through to go where you want to go, but there are not a million buttons that you have to figure out (where to go for what).

We use the solution’s X-Play automation feature. The anomaly detection is nice, as it give us insight into things that are anomalies. We can then take corrective actions on them. Its codeless approach to automation is good because I don't like to code. It's point and click, which is nice. It sets up your automation without having to do any coding. 

X-Play has a page that provide us with a single tool for monitoring automation. This page is where I go if I need to set up automation or check if something needs to be done.

What needs improvement?

Pricing could be worked on a bit. I feel that when I talk to people about it who have looked into Nutanix, they say, "Well, it's pretty expensive compared to the other thing I was looking at." I tell them it's worth it. 

I would also recommend getting the word out. I still talk to a lot of people about the solution in the industry. They are not aware of it, and say, "What is that?"

For how long have I used the solution?

About five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great. I haven't had it go down on me, so I haven't really had any issues with Prism Pro. We've had some hardware issues, but the way that Nutanix has their software setup, it doesn't have downtime to the end user and the VMs don't go down. Everything just keeps working.

I do the deployment and maintenance for this solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have been adding a server per year. We have gotten to the point where we will be taking out a server and adding a server, so we're in the sweet spot right now. It's been great. It's not like other solutions where you buy it all upfront, then by the time you need more, you have to replace the whole thing. With this solution, I can easily just add some capacity or CPU by adding another node.

We have 150 VMs across four Clusters with 18 nodes. We are utilizing the solution at 100 percent. 

We are not a huge company so we probably have two users: a system administrator (me) and my networking guy. The help desk doesn't even need to get in it, so they don't use it.

How are customer service and technical support?

It is the best support that I have ever dealt with. They're knowledgeable and have always been great, easy, and accommodating to work with, e.g., in the first couple of months of deploying Nutanix, we had an issue with certain nodes that were rebooting automatically. Nothing went down, but it was concerning. Within a week of having the problem, we had a dedicated support person who worked with us for about a month and a half while they found the bug and developed a new patch for it. We tested it for them, then once it was working, everything was good. About a month later, the head of the support team down in North Carolina came out to visit us just to make sure everything was okay. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had IBM and Dell EMC storage before, but both of them have their own interfaces, so there were two or three things that I had to look at. With this solution, since we have Nutanix, it's just one. That makes it a lot easier.

At my previous job, I used Cisco UCS and NetApp storage.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very easy. You just click a button, and it will set up your Prism Pro VM that runs. Installing the Nutanix platform from the beginning was amazingly easy. At my old job, we just installed new hardware, and that took about a month. Nutanix took four hours, so it was a huge difference.

What about the implementation team?

We talked the implementation over with the vendor when we were ordering. A couple guys came onsite to help us. It was very simple. The Nutanix guys were great. Any little problem that we would run into was fixed in a minute, then we just rolled through it. That's why the implementation was so quick. 

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI with Nutanix. We have more reliability than what we had before. We used to have outages all the time where I would be working overtime, and that costs money.

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

Some people say that Nutanix is a bit more expensive. However, when we were looking at Nutanix versus Cisco and NetApp before deploying this solution, the prices were very similar. Being a government entity, we got a bit more of a discount on Nutanix so it was a bit cheaper. The time savings after the fact has been really worth it.

Prism Pro is a license that we have on all of our products for Nutanix. It gives us a bunch of different new features.

Prism Pro is a bit more upfront. It costs a bit more for some of the features that you get. We have four Clusters, and two of them don't have Prism Pro because they weren't even available with what we bought. Those two Clusters also run well, but they don't have all the features.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When I started, we were looking at Nutanix, but also at NetApp and Cisco, which is what I had just come from and done a new installation. I was pushing for that. However, when I saw the presentation from Nutanix, I was like, "Well, this is how it just should work. Let's give it a try." It's not easy running the whole thing by myself in a normal situation, but with Nutanix, it lets me do that because I don't have to worry about all the little bits and pieces. It's just one interface which is easy to manage.

From my previous experience, I worked with Cisco and NetApp, where Cisco was the servers and NetApp was the storage. I transitioned into just doing storage and did storage all day, every day at my old job. I moved things around trying to make space for this, that, or someone wanting to put something where we didn't have space. I would have to move all types of stuff. It was a big pain. When I came to my new job, and we started Nutanix, you don't have to do any of that. There isn't anything I almost ever do with storage unless I'm adding a new node. It's all shared in one giant pool of storage. This saves so much time. It's like, "Why was the other company doing it that way?" It doesn't make any sense and was a pain.

What other advice do I have?

You have to at least look at this solution. Once you do, you will buy it. All my old colleagues that have moved onto different jobs too, and I always tell them about it.

They are always expanding what they have and what they are offering.

It can do a bunch of other things that we don't use yet, but are thinking about.

Biggest lesson learnt: IT doesn't have to be super complicated.

I would rate Prism Pro as a 10 (out of 10).

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?


Which version of this solution are you currently using?
**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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