What is our primary use case?
We have two different clusters in the environment one is an all flash cluster of 40 nodes and other one is a hybrid cluster of 4 nodes and are on the way to introduce another all flash cluster of 9 nodes in the environment. All the clusters have VMs as well as file servers hosted in them.
Managing multiple clusters with mix of VMs and file servers by logging into multiple console will lead to additional operations overhead and also can cause delay in incident resolution as operations team will have to login to particular management console and carry out the remediation activities.
How has it helped my organization?
First of all, the product is very stable. We did not see any breakages happen due to product misbehavior.
Thanks to multiple automations and self-explanatory dashboards, the overall operations load on my team has come down considerably. On top of this, since we are utilizing the Files feature also from both of our clusters, it is easing out the management overhead in that layer as well.
Though the console is highly sensitive about any small alerts, which makes the dashboard through many alerts even for one single issue with the server, network, or connectivity, it is always better to have alerts even for small things than having no alert at all.
One more thing to notice is the strong customer support team that Nutanix has. In the initial days when we were not familiar with this technology, we had raised many support requests and they helped us with all of them with outputting them into non-an issue buckets which we have seen many large enterprises do.
What is most valuable?
Reporting features in the console is so self-explanatory that even a non-IT person in the office can also understand it. Our finance users have access to this console and they will get the consumption details without having any dependency on us. Also, this dashboard is extended to our NOC team who will be able to interpret the alerts and decide on what to inform us whenever an alert pops up.
Moreover, the deployment process was so easy and smooth that post rack and stack and management IP configuration, it just took less than 2 days to configure the cluster of 40 nodes, upgrade the firmware, create file service and VM space and integrate with our infrastructure.
What needs improvement?
From an AHV point of view, I look for the feature of setting a limit for the memory allocation for individual VMs. This will help in providing higher memory to VMs for users who always ask or more and more memory but end us not using it causing other needy to be deprived of it. It will be better if they can extend this to non-AHV hypervisors and also non-Nutanix clusters so that people who need this feature but can not goto HCI currently can make use of this product.
Also, I believe they should take a relook into their licensing model to adopt to the current situation.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been using this from last 1 year.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
From my past 1 year experience I can say that the product is very stable.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I would recommend keeping the cluster to smaller number of members which will help in faster maintenance and upgradation activities.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We use VMware in 3 tier architecture deployments. This was the first HCI deployment in our department.
How was the initial setup?
It took less than 2 days to setup the cluster of 40 nodes. So need not say anything separately about the ease of deployment.
What about the implementation team?
We took Lenovo professional services team support for this deployment and they are good at it.
What was our ROI?
1 year is too short term to recover the ROI.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
This will be a better fit in the age of hybrid cloud and with Nutanix adding more and more products in its offering, soon Nutanix will become a complete package to run IT. So it will be easy to scale and add modules as and when needed.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We evaluated Horizon, Cisco Hyperflex along with Nutanix.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?