Nutanix Review

It has a simple setup, easy scalability, and good performance


What is our primary use case?

We use our cluster for three scenarios:

  • Virtualized Infrastructure
  • Citrix 3D Terminal Services
  • Clustered File Server (Windows-based).

How has it helped my organization?

Any task with our servers which is painless because the system runs really fast.
Our users are glad to be migrated to Citrix, although giving up the local admin rights there (yes, there are some local admin users still in place), because it performs so well.

What is most valuable?

  • Single click actions is definitely the most important. They were not even aware that they wanted this.
  • Performance was the main point for buying it. 
  • No virtualization-vendor lock-in is another main point.
  • But if you ever had good support, Nutanix Support will overwhelm.

What needs improvement?

There are various areas, but all points that I could mention are under development and get to you free of charge with another single-click cluster-upgrade.

To name some: Native File-Services are under heavy development and Container Services just came out.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No, also the system does daily self-checks and comes up with warnings. Support can fix this without system downtime. Over time you learn from support sessions to fix thngs yourself. The tool chest (already there inside the Controller-VM) is really impressive.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We had no requirements to scale it yet.

How is customer service and technical support?

A 10 of 10. Simply that. Responsive, callbacks, top knowledge, easy escalation, and fast connection to development (during our PoC-phase I had a conference with developers in a few days).

Which solutions did we use previously?

Traditional storage on NetApp with ESX-Blades from Dell. We switched because of the simpler setup and easier scalability.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was in a half workday. This means the first VM was up and running.
And it would be half on hour without racking and cabling.

What about the implementation team?

We had consultants to guard us through it although we could have done it ourselves. It is good to get things straight initially. Their expertise was well set.

What was our ROI?

We do not estimate numbers for administration, rack powerage, and such. We use IT to do our business, not vice versa. You get nowhere if you want to measure the street instead of driving on it. But I was quite firm with netapp and the blades and had no huge admin effort. The timely effort for nutanix is even less now.

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

Setup cost is minor, pricing is quite a bit (we have a 7-node-cluster for about 450K EUR with 2 vGPU-nodes for Citrix) but that includes hardware, software, and support. I would also license Prism Central in Pro Edition because you get capacity planning. This makes sense even for a single cluster setup.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated the successor models of our former systems. New NetApp Filers and new Blades, but the pricing was similar so we went with the better solution. We never used NetApp Vendor support (we did it ourselves with support from a netapp partner) and Dell Server support was poor (I can google manuals myself). Buying Nutanix includes superior support. You should call Nutanix support if you are doing a ProofofConcept!

What other advice do I have?

Always check compatibility matrix before you upgrade to get a clear view what comes after your upgrade. I recently found that AOS 5.1.4 and 5.1.5 will not let you upgrade to 5.5.x as of now see (https://portal.nutanix.com/#/p... Login Required). 5.6 is your upgrade path if you are on 5.1.4 or 5.1.5.

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