Nutanix

Nutanix Review
The converged storage infrastructure is a great benefit that removes the necessity of a separate storage network.


Valuable Features

The converged storage infrastructure is a great benefit that removes the necessity of a separate storage network.

The web-based management portal (Prism) is very robust and easy to understand.

There is very little to manually configure, for the Nutanix or (in our case) VMware OS, once the scripted installation has completed.

Very knowledgeable support engineers.

Improvements to My Organization

For us, the Nutanix 3060 was a fantastic solution because it was an exact fit for the purpose of refreshing our hypervisor (VMware) infrastructure. For example, our existing VMware licensing allowed for a total of 8 sockets, which fit perfectly since the 3060 consists of (4) nodes with (2) sockets each. Our fiscal planning called for the replacement of two of our hypervisor hosts and an HP P2000 G3 SAN however, we were able to justify a Nutanix 3060 appliance due to the hyper-converged features. We also went from a 1G iSCSI storage network to 10G and we didn't need to purchase a 10G switch for the storage traffic since we connected the 10G nics in the Nutanix nodes directly to our end-of-rack switches. The simplification, cost-savings, and across the board performance increase made the Nutanix a great decision.

Room for Improvement

The Nutanix uses controller VMs for disk I/O, metadata, etc. and they can consume significant resources so be sure to account for the additional CPU and memory the controllers will need. There is one controller VM per node so Nutanix and/or your reseller can help you calculate what additional resources you'll need.

The Nutanix OS (NOS) is proprietary so, out of the box, you will need a Nutanix Support Engineer's (SE) help to configure the appliance. This doesn't take long and I haven't needed to make any adjustments since the configuration was performed.

We have (2) 10G ports per node (you can have 4) so all of the network, vMotion, storage, etc. traffic goes through the same nic. This hasn't been an issue for us and the 10G nics handle all the traffic quite well with no bottlenecks. In fact, we are still seeing 0ms read and write latency with 40% resource utilization.

Use of Solution

Our Nutanix has been in production for 1 month.

Deployment Issues

There was some sort of communication breakdown with the Nutanix SE and our reseller. I mentioned before the installation is done with a Nutanix SE due to the proprietary installation but I was not made aware of this until after I tried to perform the installation myself. Once I became aware (after reading a lot of documentation) and contacted Nutanix Support, the engineer who helped me was extremely knowledgeable and got the installation back on track.

Stability Issues

No stability issues.

Scalability Issues

No, however we do not have any short-term plans to scale out beyond our current Nutanix appliance.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

I have not needed to contact customer service.

Technical Support:

Outstanding on every level.

Previous Solutions

We were using HP servers, switches, and SANs for our hypervisor solution. The hyper-converged infrastructure became a more attractive option since there is less to manage separately. The management portal (Prism) manages everything centrally and can be configured for your SNMP solution.

Initial Setup

The initial setup is somewhat complex and needs to be coordinated with a support engineer. Given the amount of proprietary technology (NOS, features, and Nutanix has their own optional hypervisor solution (Acropolis)), it isn't surprising nor a frustration.

Implementation Team

As I mentioned previously, the installation was done by me with the help of a Nutanix SE.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

This is a pricey solution considering it's essentially a fork lift upgrade but the features, redundancy, and performance made it the most attractive solution for us.

Other Solutions Considered

We looked at Simplivity as well but decided on the Nutanix because it was a better fit for our VMware licensing. We were able to simply replace (4) of our existing VMware hosts with (4) Nutanix nodes in a single appliance.

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