Nutanix

Nutanix Review
You can ask for a loaner unit to verify performance and match it to your requirements.


Valuable Features

The most valuable features are Prism and Acropolis, as they simplified our jobs and give us the opportunity to lower operational costs without reducing the current day-to-day operation performance.

We are using VMware 3-TIER architecture since 2006. Up until this day we’re still using the architecture until we could not expand the cluster anymore. Thus, we need to find a way to migrate our VM servers before it’s too late. The architecture using old traditional SANS storage and AMD processors platform. We’re stuck with VMware version 5.1 and can’t be upgrade to latest version due to the hardware limitation. Maintaining this architecture is not cheap also, as we need to pay annual maintenance to hardware vendors and VMware. It keeps increasing every year.

Our customers demand more processing power and more storage, and then we came across Nutanix, which could solve all burden that we have.

1. We hosting a lot of SAP wintel apps, and this kind of apps is storage and processor hungry. We keep facing downtime when we hosting the VM servers on our old architecture. When we decide to migrate the VM servers to Nutanix , we no longer facing the issue and no more complaint from our customers.

2. The maintenance contract is lower compared to annual maintenance/support contract that we must pay to VMware and hardware vendors. We will get the ROI back in short time if we move to Nutanix.

3. Can be manage through one single console (PRISM) oppose to SAN switches , SAN , VMware , Hardware consoles on old architecture.

4. We experienced a nightmare in term of support on old architecture, where we need to gather VMware engineer and Hardware vendor to solve an issue, and it takes a long time to solve. Nutanix assure us that they can solve Hypervisor and hardware issues within a single call log.

5. Nutanix offer features like data deduplication on its storage, which are not available on our old SANS storage.

6. We hosted our DC on 3rd party DC (leasing based on square feet), we can decom a lot of old servers (which can fill up the space and increase the rental) when we moved to Nutanix. 3 racks of old servers with SAN storage can be consolidate to one rack (still have a lot of spaces to put Nutanix boxes).


Improvements to My Organization

As opposed to before, the Nutanix platform allows us to pay as we grow instead starting with a large scale. Management seems to like this idea, as it will save us from overspending the budget. We can improve IT utilization and reduce costs by consolidating application infrastructure.

Room for Improvement

We're thinking about hosting SAP HANA on the Nutanix platform, but we are still unsure about the path as SAP still has not certified Nutanix to host SAP HANA yet. Nutanix should make SAP a close partner and certify their product with SAP so that the consumer has a choice to migrate their existing platform to Nutanix platform.

As far as I'm concerned, and we already ran the test on an actual Nutanix box, Nutanix can host the HANA without issue. However, without certification from SAP, it looks like we don’t have a guarantee from SAP itself. That will cause us to question whether we should go with the Nutanix platform.

Use of Solution

I have been using it for about five months, and we just got approval from our management to expand the cluster and buy additional hardware from Nutanix.

Stability Issues

So far, the operation has gone smoothly without any big issues, although there was a small bug when we tried the one-click update to upgrade all nodes’ firmware. Some nodes did not finish the update. We are resolving it with Nutanix support, so it's fine. It did not impact system uptime.

Scalability Issues

I have not encountered any scalability issues at all. We can easily scale this platform as we need.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Technical support is 9/10; only one call to local support and then if it hasn’t been resolved, a Nutanix engineer will help to resolve either hardware or hypervisor issues. It gives us really good assurance and we can sleep peacefully at night.

Previous Solutions

Previously, we used three-tier architecture, which has lots of points for failure and a lot of consoles need to be attended. It's so tiring and most of the time, we are firefighting to make sure the operation can continue as business as usual. It required a lot of skills and a large sum of money to maintain and to scale, which were painful for us.

Initial Setup

Initial setup was straightforward. It takes only one day or less to build up the cluster and provision the virtual machines.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

The pricing is good for us and just what we are looking for. We can cut off the VMware license and maintenance support, and migrate to Acropolis instead.

Other Solutions Considered

We evaluated SimpliVity and HPE solutions. Both failed us in term of economical cost and did not offer features that Nutanix has.

Other Advice

You have an option to start small instead of going big at first, which will capitalize your budget. You can ask for a loaner unit from Nutanix to play with; to check and verify their performance and match it to your requirements.

Nutanix treats us well. We can say we are happy with the Nutanix offering.

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

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