Nutanix vs. VMware vSAN

As of April 2019, Nutanix is ranked 1st in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 31 reviews vs VMware vSAN which is ranked 2nd in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 62 reviews. The top reviewer of Nutanix writes "What you might not know about Nutanix that makes it so unique". The top reviewer of VMware vSAN writes "Gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources". Nutanix is most compared with VMware vSAN, VxRail and SimpliVity. VMware vSAN is most compared with Nutanix, VxRail and SimpliVity. See our Nutanix vs. VMware vSAN report.
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Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series Logo
26,234 views|17,894 comparisons
Nutanix Logo
155,832 views|83,781 comparisons
VMware vSAN Logo
99,733 views|63,593 comparisons
Most Helpful Review
Anonymous User
Chris Gould
Find out what your peers are saying about Nutanix vs. VMware vSAN and other solutions. Updated: March 2019.
332,854 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:

Pros
The UCS, which is by far the best management tool there is on the market, regardless of vendor. It's the only tool I see that gives you the opportunity to size and scale all the assets and capacity you have in your data center, from a unified view.Cisco provides the ability to configure BIOS, something that no one else can do, on a remote basis. That's really helpful sometimes. The bus-snooping alteration tool for BIOS is fantastic. That's one of the game-changing features that Cisco alone has at this point.The feature that we are most interested in is the scalability. When needed, we are able to add more nodes and scale it up further.The most valuable feature was the backup - it was easy to back up. It was also very easy to administrate and manage the system; much easier and faster. Finally, it was easy to extend the disk capacities.I love the Cisco design, the visual interface to manage and use the platform.There are some slight cost advantages when you need fewer resources to manage it.This is not the only product we use, so we have other solutions to compare it with. We can compare different products and different vendors and tell our customers which products have which advantages and disadvantages so that they can leverage these products in their own environment. This product helps us to understand the customer's needs and what issues they can run into.Most of our users are Cisco customers, so it fits in within the suites we use. Primarily for me, as a solution architect, it's the technology and architecture that is the most valuable. I know from my technical colleagues that it's easy to use and for the customer, the up-time is the most valuable asset. It's running, has low failure, and so on which is why we use it.

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Nutanix has several unique capabilities to ensure linear scalability.It has solid performance and provides data locality.The level of statistical performance data that it can confirm in real-time is extremely useful. I can see what my VM’s hosts and guests are doing from a single pane of glass and identify issues before they would otherwise become apparent.SRM capabilities for replication have been proven reliable and very useful for our organization.It has seamless expandability.Their Google operating system is more mature, so their results are much better.Prism Central allows managing the cluster from a single pane of glass, and it allows a deeper dive into the solution.They have one of the best technical supports in my experience.

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We can also create test cases. We can even throttle down performance or release more performance. So, we can run more precise test scenarios.When we do to do more scaled load testing, we can run more dense workloads and still have the same results across all specific nodesThe most valuable feature is the ability to continue our business needs and have higher visibility. It has definitely increased our business productivity levels.To me, VMware is a leader of the visualizations. I think everyone just follow VMware.I have used VMware for 15 years and I never had any problems with stability.vSAN provides default HA configurations, where if any host goes down, the VM moves around within the host. Even though the disks are local, the VMs moves around with the vSAN disk and vSAN provides a high availability on its own.vSAN is scalable for us. If any additional capacity needs to be included, we just add to the host and configure the vSAN cluster.The most valuable features for us are the ability to scale out the nodes independently, and the flexibility of the nodes. We can put almost any type of server in there with our connectivity and everything works great.

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Cons
I would like it to be easier to manage the server, create VMs, and manage the VMs on the client.I would have liked it to be able to back up the system to a cloud, to be able to work from any other placeCisco has to continue improve the management tools to provide a better command line interface with more functions. That would be better for administration.It needs improvements in terms of I/O. Sometimes I have felt it is slightly slow while we are trying to provision VMs or access VMs.The primary improvements should be made in the cluster storage controller VMs so that they don't break the upgrade process.We are moving further out with more cloud solutions, so we need HyperFlex to be more cloud-connected. They should develop more connection to Amazon Web Services and Google cloud because our customers use their services and are moving in that direction.They should have more blade options and more configuration flexibility. Also, the price is expensive. It should be cheaper but it is worth the price.Their technical support is very bad. We had an issue where instead of an engineer we got a PDF "doctor" that didn't know anything about our problem which was very frustrating.

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There is a need is to be able to consume Nutanix storage from outside the cluster for other, non-Nutanix workloads.I would like to see a fuller integration with the public cloud. It would help the user enter the hybrid cloud infrastructure.Regarding third-party backup solutions, the only agentless option is Commvault, which is expensive, complex, and requires intensive vendor training.We would like to see it support other systems outside of the compute stack from which it was built.They should support more VM, which is not currently supported.I would like better integration of XenServer into the AOS and Prism Central.Make it easier to manage.Reduce its power consumption.

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When we talk about improvements for vSAN, there is some way to go from a at least stability perspective. Adding all these new features is nice, but we are now at the level that most of the features you need in production are there.Upgradability could be a bit easier sometimes. We are now where vSAN can be updated without ESXi, but there is still enough dependency. So that would be good if that actually would uncoupled even more.I would love for this product to be cheaper and easier to configure.It is an expensive solution.The vSan product uses a software system called Vsphere to monitor the system. It is sometimes difficult to manage the PCs within the systems.There is a room for improvement on the latest version of compatibility with the VMware product, especially for vSAN and with other vendors on their motherboards and driver configurations.The biggest room for improvement I see in vSAN is the lack of SAN connectivity. I've kind of joked around that there is no "SAN" in vSAN. And it's something that we've worked to try and introduce some options for, and we're going to continue to work towards that.I see room for improvement for vSAN just around general hardware compatibility and expanding that sort of matrix.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
They are not the cheapest on the market. But there's an old saying I like to quote: "If you know that you are getting what you pay for, it's fine if it's expensive."Initially HyperFlex was a little costly, it was higher, but Cisco wanted to get into our company, so they gave us a fair discount.It's much more expensive than rack servers. It was an issue, but when you compare it to the number of people who were administrative assistants before, it's on the positive ROI side. It's much cheaper.Here in Brazil... it is very expensive. It's very hard for almost all companies to buy even the small version of this solution.We negotiated with Cisco and we got some price benefit from that.The price is a bit too high.The product is expensive. Other solutions are cheaper.The cost is expensive, but there is a chance to save money in the future.

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I don't feel that I am receiving the performance which I am paying for.Work close with your InfraTeam and discuss with Nutanix the best way to achieve sizing and price that are right for you.Licensing depends on the features needed.Extra features should not be so expensive. We would love to be able to use or even just try some of the extra features without having to buy them. Buying those features is just as expensive as buying vSphere licenses, so the cost savings is nullified.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.While cost may seem higher than your traditional 3-tier architecture, you need to look at the bigger picture. You're not just buying hardware here. You're buying a complete environment.I know Nutanix and VxRail have similar prices and licenses. Nutanix is a go-ahead if AHV is used as hypervisor because it is already embedded in the price.The basic license that comes with the box allows basic virtualization features but advanced automation features would require an upgrade of licenses.

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ROI from an administrative perspective is clearly much better because I only have to deal with one user interface.I'd love for this product to be cheaper.The only problem I have with VMware is the price. It is a good product, but it is expensive.With vSAN, we didn't find the market that competitive.The vSAN is somewhat expensive to license.The vSAN licensing is not an inexpensive product. It does cost more than hypervisor.We did consider other hyperconverged solutions. It usually came down to price. vSan was the most cost effective thing.What made us go with this solution was price point. When you can utilize existing storage infrastructure, and not have to continually purchase new SAN products out there that are going up in price as time goes by, then it's a wonderful thing.

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Answers from the Community
Miriam Tover
Bob WhitcombeReal User

I have written about this comparison before – the difference between Nutanix and VMware VSAN is like a Stanich Garage Grinder (Rated best burger in the US) vs getting a slab of Romaine Lettuce from California.

Nutanix is a full meal deal – Vmware VSAN is a single ingredient in a complex stew including VSphere, VCloud Director, vRealize Automation, vRealize Ops, NSX, Log Insight, Network Insight, CodeStream, Orchestrator and don’t forget – AirWatch. If you already have the meat and buns (VSphere, VCloud) and some vRealize condiments – you can add VSAN and make a decent burger. But it takes a lot of work, you have to juggle a lot of ingredients and each time you build a new cluster – it looks different. Or, I can order Nutanix, place it on a recommended HCI architecture from Dell, HPE or Cisco – and get a single pane of glass to securely manage and backup my environment.

Being from Oregon – I recall the many Garbage Grinders I had at Stanich’s and vividly recall the savory delight of the complex burger they put out.
I paid $5.95 for my first GG and you could probably save the $.95 by getting your own White box infrastructure – add VSAN as long as you already have licenses for the buns, meat and other condiments. Now if you have abundant time to put them all together and the attention to detail to manage everything you might get to keep your $.95 in savings. But you will some gaps, security and backup, and these days – that is not a savings – that is putting your customers at risk and your operations gaining a new Target like Identity. BTW – I no longer stay at the Marriott either.

06 December 18
Pat LaPointeUser

When we were looking at replacing our server infrastructure of 10 physical boxes and 5 VMs, I was thinking of going the traditional route of 2 large servers, a SAN and use VMware to run the servers. Then I decided to look at hyperconverged solutions. Looking at what was on the market we settled on a single Nutanix block with 3 nodes for the following reasons:

1. License cost of Nutanix’s AHV versus VMWare
2. Online training to support the hyperconverged environment, mostly free
3. Nutanix ‘FILES’ SAN/NAS solution saved me license cost
4. Single glass for managing both hardware and VM’s
5. Reduction in System Administrator workload
6. Seamless software upgrades (we were able to do them over lunch with no downtime)
7. Nutanix device takes up only 2u of rack space

06 December 18
Shu MookerjeeReal User

The BIGGEST difference is that vSAN only runs on the ESX Hypervisor. Whereas Nutanix runs on multiple Hypervisors including ESX, Hyper-V and their own Acropolis Hyper Visor (AHV).
The second main difference is the cost, as the Nutanix software boasts a much larger range of features included in the toolsuit. Where as with vSAN, a lot of the extraneous functionality can be taken up by other vmWare apps (vSphere, vCenter, etc...)
Finally, vSAN requires a minimum of two (2) nodes whereas Nutanix needs three (3).

06 December 18
JeffCaffeyUser

From a physical hardware perspective, both Nutanix and VMware vSAN have similar offerings. (There are "2U solutions" that support 4-nodes for vSAN as well.) My recommendation is to list the features you ACTUALLY NEED first, then compare your list against both products. If an obvious winner doesn't appear, then start comparing the remaining features of each product to your business goals.

07 December 18
Even BrendenUser

Quick answer:

The biggest difference between Nutanix and VMware vSAN is the ability to choose.

* With Nutanix you may choose type of Hypervisor (VMware, MS Hyper-V or AHV)
* Flexibility in growing with different node types is wider – CPU Nodes, Storage Nodes, Object based storage, block based and File based – all in one solution.
* A total of 12 different SW based solutions to help you automate and manage your “Cloud environments” whether is your own Cloud or some others Cloud (private or public).

Speed of deployment and less complexity is another difference.

As there are blueprints and API’s “ready to go” with Nutanix there is far more integration and consultancy hours to integrate a VMware based vSAN solution with more advanced functionality (NSXi +++).

Though Nutanix needs to use AHV Hypervisor to do their “magic” the functionality is fare more easy to deploy and manage over time with little consultancy cost. In a long term scenario this is where the big difference in “total cost” matters .

07 December 18
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Also Known As
vSAN
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Nutanix
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Overview

The Cisco HyperFlex HX Data Platform is a purpose-built, high-performance, scale-out file system with a wide array of enterprise-class data management services. The data platform’s innovations redefine distributed storage technology, giving you complete hyper-convergence with enterprise storage features:

  • Enterprise-class data management
  • Continuous data optimization
  • Securely encrypted storage
  • Dynamic data placement
  • Clusterwide parallel data distribution
  • Linear and incremental scaling
  • API-based data platform architecture
  • A simplified approach

Nutanix delivers invisible infrastructure for next-generation enterprise computing, elevating IT to focus on the applications and services that power their business. Nutanix’s software-driven Xtreme Computing Platform natively converges compute, virtualization and storage into a single solution to drive simplicity in the datacenter. Using Nutanix, customers benefit from predictable performance, linear scalability and cloud-like infrastructure consumption.

For more information visit: www.nutanix.com

VMware vSAN is the industry-leading software powering Hyper-Converged Infrastructure solutions.

What vSAN Does

  1. Enables you to evolve without risk. Seamlessly extend virtualization to storage with an integrated hyper-converged solution that simply works with your overall VMware environment and reduces the risk in digital transformation by using existing tools, skillsets and solutions.
  2. Lowers total cost of ownership by 50% or more with capital and operational savings. Reduce storage CapEx, decrease operational costs, manage the day-to-day operations of compute and storage infrastructure, and accelerate responsiveness to traditionally time-consuming tasks.
  3. vSAN helps customers scale to tomorrow. Prepare for tomorrow's dynamic business in the multi-cloud era with a solution designed to utilize the latest storage and server technologies and ready to support a wide range of applications, from current business critical applications to next-gen applications using containers.
Offer
Learn more about Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series
Try It For Yourself

Experience a live, personalized demo with a solution consultant through Nutanix!

Learn more about VMware vSAN
Sample Customers
BluePearl Veterinary Partners, Ready Pac Foods, Bryant University, Bellevue Group, KPIT Technologies, City HarvestSt. Lukes Health System, the City of Seattle, Yahoo! Japan, Sligro, Empire Life, Hyundai AUS, and many others. Read Some Case Studies At Home Cloud CaribCINgroupDiscovery Check out the Rest of our Customer Stories Here
Top Industries
REVIEWERS
Comms Service Provider25%
Manufacturing Company19%
Aerospace/Defense Firm13%
Financial Services Firm13%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Financial Services Firm18%
Manufacturing Company17%
Comms Service Provider13%
Renewables & Environment Company8%
REVIEWERS
Energy/Utilities Company16%
Financial Services Firm12%
Healthcare Company12%
Government8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Financial Services Firm16%
Manufacturing Company14%
Comms Service Provider10%
Healthcare Company10%
REVIEWERS
Healthcare Company17%
Retailer14%
University10%
Manufacturing Company8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Financial Services Firm18%
Manufacturing Company15%
Comms Service Provider14%
Healthcare Company9%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business17%
Midsize Enterprise11%
Large Enterprise72%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business11%
Midsize Enterprise31%
Large Enterprise59%
REVIEWERS
Small Business37%
Midsize Enterprise33%
Large Enterprise30%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business17%
Midsize Enterprise32%
Large Enterprise52%
REVIEWERS
Small Business28%
Midsize Enterprise18%
Large Enterprise54%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business16%
Midsize Enterprise31%
Large Enterprise53%
Find out what your peers are saying about Nutanix vs. VMware vSAN and other solutions. Updated: March 2019.
332,854 professionals have used our research since 2012.
We monitor all Hyper-Converged (HCI) reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.

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