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Nutanix AHV OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Nutanix AHV is #7 ranked solution in best Server Virtualization Software. IT Central Station users give Nutanix AHV an average rating of 8 out of 10. Nutanix AHV is most commonly compared to VMware vSphere:Nutanix AHV vs VMware vSphere. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 28% of all views.
What is Nutanix AHV?

Nutanix makes infrastructure invisible, elevating IT to focus on the applications and services that power their business. The Nutanix enterprise cloud platform leverages web-scale engineering and consumer-grade design to natively converge compute, virtualization and storage into a resilient, software-defined solution with rich machine intelligence. The result is predictable performance, cloud-like infrastructure consumption, robust security, and seamless application mobility for a broad range of enterprise applications.

Nutanix AHV Buyer's Guide

Download the Nutanix AHV Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Nutanix AHV Customers

JetBlue, International Speedway Corporation, SAIC Volkswagen

Nutanix AHV Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Nutanix AHV pricing:
  • "We don't have to pay extra for Acropolis because it is built into Nutanix."
  • "Some of the features required additional licenses."

Nutanix AHV Reviews

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Steffen Hornung
Administrator at Neuberger Gebäudeautomation GmbH
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to set up with good stability and good technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "It is the simple non-consideration we get with this product that's great. It just works."
  • "If you have the need for special hardware like FibreChannel-Cards or such and there is no networked-way around it (such as you could work with USB Dongles via an HW-Dongle-Server of network), you have to use a separate hypervisor."

What is our primary use case?

The cluster is used for software tests, evaluations, or migration projects driven by Nutanix Calm. We needed a simpler approach with a higher grade of automation for testing purposes. As I already stated in my Nutanix Calm review, Nutanix Calm lets us do this. AHV was used so that we would not have any additional spend on a hypervisor. VM management does not require an additional management server like vCenter. Sizing the solution has always taken into account the need for Nutanix Controller-VMs (CVM) - the main part of AOS - to form the cluster and present storage to the hypervisor.

How has it helped my organization?

Nutanix AHV is the invisible hypervisor integrated into Nutanix AOS. Like with any other Nutanix solution, they do API-first. This way, it can be tightly integrated. Management is done through Nutanix Prism Web-Management. We deploy our machines using Nutanix Calm, so we get to have standardized VMs while tailored to the use case on hand.

Updates are done with the Lifecycle Manager (LCM) which too is integrated into Prism. It takes care of most cross-dependencies between Prism, Calm, AOS, AHV, and Firmware Updates.

AHV helps us because it is a no-brainer in regard to management.

What is most valuable?

There are no specific features we would consider special. It is the simple non-consideration we get with this product that's great. It just works. You can just do all the other things you are wrapped up with, so you can focus on anything but AHV. It is a hypervisor, not some exciting application server you have to tend to regularly. Therefore, the most valuable feature of AHV is "having time for other things".

As stated above, the lack of a need for something like vCenter has its perks, too. It is rather cool to have and underscores Nutanix's approach of "invisible infrastructure".

What needs improvement?

Since it is tightly integrated, you want to have it as a single installable thing. But that is against its nature. The tight integration with AOS makes it what it is. AHV is mostly on par with ESXi. Since it comes together with AOS you must compare it to ESXI with VSAN to get the complete picture. It can do vGPU just like ESXi, can move VMs just like ESXi, and snapshots won't make it "stun" the VM as it does on ESXi.

If you ever have a problem, hit up Nutanix Support. I've never had better support. Just do a Proof-of-Concept and have them wow you.

Just to be clear: If you have the need for special hardware like FibreChannel-Cards or such and there is no networked-way around it (such as you could work with USB Dongles via an HW-Dongle-Server of network), you have to use a separate hypervisor. That said, you could still present NFS from the Nutanix Cluster to VMware or use an iSCSI-Connection in-guest or in-host from the Nutanix Cluster.

For how long have I used the solution?

We started using the solution back in 2019 with AHV. We still have our production system running with VMware.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We never had any issues regarding stability. There were a few vendor warnings (aka Nutanix field advisory) which mentioned possible stabiity issues in certain scenarios, depending on the customers setup.

As with any solution, fixes are made and only an update away. Stability is always critical to a solution so you have to keep all components on a compatible level. To achieve that Nutanix introduced LifeCycleManager (LCM) to help with this. LCM wont show any versions where critical issues are known to keep you from getting an issue just from updating. You always get a target version which is known safe and compatible with your running components. 

To make it your own choice between safety and new features they have STS and LTS as known from other software. STS (Short Term Service) versions are updated very frequent and you can (and to some degree have to) update every few weeks and get the newest features. If you are not so keen on updating that frequent you just stick to LTS. 

Alas, AHV is updated independently from AOS. So whether you are on LTS or STS with AOS you can just upgrade to a compatible AHV version with LCM, just make sure you have only AHV selected.

If you had (like me) an ESXi cluster paired with various components from NetApp, you really appreciate the Nutanix LCM that comes with it. I have seen more purple-screen-of-death than I'd like to admit. However, I've had nothing like that with AHV. 

All the Nutanix field advisories from the vendor are there to help you keep it running. Nutanix Support helps clear out any questions whatsoever.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is the true nature of a true HCI solution. You can scale as you like. If you just need storage, you would put storage nodes that are blocked for running VMs on. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The support team is superb. Activating remote support on ticket creation gives them a head start at working on your issue. Ticket pickup-time is great and the support staff is polite and knowledgeable.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We just had some VM templates on ESXi but that did not cut it. Not by far. Handcrafting test VMs was just too cumbersome.

How was the initial setup?

As easy as it gets. The servers came pre-installed. You just update to the desired version to start with.

What about the implementation team?

We set everything up with a consultant from our local Nutanix Partner. His expertise was formidable.

What was our ROI?

Given an average of 2-5 days until a VM is ready before AHV and the free offering of the AHV hypervisor, that is difficult to calculate.

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

I'd advise users to get a proof-of-concept (POC) to evaluate the solution. Considering other HCI solutions, which AHV is a part of. The pricing is competitive with ESXi+vSAN.

Setup is done in a matter of hours. The longest part is racking it in the data center.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had roughly 10 years of experience with ESX(i), so we knew what alternatives were out there.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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HJ
Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Reseller
Top 5
Good support, easy to manage, and it scales with just one click

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is manageability."
  • "My storage use is doubled; if I am creating a one TB virtual machine then my storage policy will take two TB from my cluster."

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is manageability. From one control, I can manage and monitor my entire cluster.

Also, I like the Prism console of Nutanix.

There are two features, one is data protection that is in-built with Nutanix, and the other is that I can schedule my VM backups. I don't need to buy any third-party software for that. If I have the ESXi to Hyper-V, I need to have third-party software. But in Nutanix, I don't have to buy any third-party software, because I have the data protection feature.

The third and most important feature is LCM, Life Cycle Management. With one click, I can upgrade my firmware as well as my software version, and there will be no downtime required for that. It is seamless.

What needs improvement?

It's difficult to find something that needs improvement, for me, it's a perfect solution. I have not had any issues in the three years that I have been using it.

I was faced with one small problem, but I had the resolution immediately.

I don't see any issues with Hypervisor AHV.

No one is the best in the industry, and there is something in which they are neutral.

Currently, they have storage that is RS2 by default, and when I create one VM with the RA2 environment it will automatically create a second copy. My storage use is doubled; if I am creating a one TB virtual machine then my storage policy will take two TB from my cluster.

I need a second policy for that. For Dev and for Testing. 

I don't need the backups. I am only doing R&D.

I need one feature, in that I can create one storage policy without any redundancy factor where when I create my 100 GB virtual machine or 100 GB workload, that only uses storage of 100 GB. I would prefer this because unnecessarily, my space is being utilized for creating a backup copy.

This feature I've got in ESXi, where I can define different policies for my storage and containers, is useful, but in Nutanix, there are only two policies, RS2 and RS3.

Last month, I completed a session with the Nutanix UI team where I provided feedback for the UI upgrades. This would be useful.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Nutanix AHV for more than three years.

I am upgrading the AHV version with LTS. 

I have downloaded the two versions, one is LTS and the other is STS.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a stable solution. In the three years that have been using it, I have not had any issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's a scalable solution. 

You can upgrade it with one click because I have upgraded my cluster from a four-node cluster to a six node cluster. You can upgrade with one-click, and you don't need to provision a lot of things or plan a lot of things. You just need to identify it. You need the IP address and Nutanix Prism will do it automatically.

How are customer service and technical support?

The Nutanix support team is very good. 

If you Google the net promoter score, it is over 90. With VMware and Microsoft, the Net Promotor Score is 50, but their support is also good.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was easy.

If you know basic English, and if you have an IT background, then you don't need to have any training for the implementation.

You just go through the portal, at nutanix.com. There is one EXE available, and you just need to download it on your laptop and just run. It will automatically discover your nodes and then you need only align the IP and your cluster is ready in about two to three hours.

What other advice do I have?

I will recommend it because it is easy to manage, and you don't need to be skilled for that. You don't need any training at all. If you spend one or two days dedicated to Prism, you will get to know everything. This includes how to create VMs, how to manage storage, how to manage the client-server, how to monitor the entire cluster, and there are lots of algorithms available. this means that you don't need to configure things like a Hyper-V or ESXi.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner..
Learn what your peers think about Nutanix AHV. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
554,382 professionals have used our research since 2012.
VS
Technical Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
Gives us the flexibility to not worry about the scalability of the systems

Pros and Cons

  • "In terms of features, Acropolis is a good virtualization manager and that it is on-premise. I use almost every technology they provide."
  • "Lacks integration with the cloud or other solutions."

What is most valuable?

In terms of features, Acropolis is a good virtualization manager and that it is on-premise. I use almost every technology they provide.

What needs improvement?

Nutanix AHV, like every hypervisor, still has room for integration with the cloud. Nutanix is a very, very good product in regards to integration with the Amazon services, but it can be improved, especially in my country, Turkey. In this area, both Amazon Web Services and other solutions have different prices and different currencies. Nutanix actually promised to build clouds once they made the new generation moving the clients or the servers on-premises, and that's not working as advertised right now. So I believe that it can still be improved. Every service depends on this because the flexibility is what makes this product good in the first place.

I use Vaults with three hypervisors in my projects. One is the Acropolis from Nutanix, SCC from VMware, and of course Microsoft Hyper-V. This user interface is easy to understand. The dashboard is mostly okay and gives relevant information for the users. It has a good user interface but it's not flexible. It's more flexible than VMware and Hyper-V which don't even compare. The mechanics and the user interface are good. I like how it looks, but it can be improved. For example, if they had a comment line option directly from the Web UI, I could use PowerShell add ons. That would make the UI more flexible for me. Overall, it is the best of the three options right out there right now. ,

Again, I would also like to see a comment line option for integration with other products. Nutanix already has a comment line integration with the publisher. I also run some mini-systems and I don't have the same kind of comment line options for Unix systems. If I'm working on another shell, for example, Bash or SSH, we need a solution for that aspect. Console command is many times a faster way to do it because with UI you have to wait, but with your comment line, you can script it and can automate it more easily. So I believe they need a Linux version of the comment line.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Nutanix AHV for more than three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of stability, Nutanix is actually very stable.

These days I don't worry about anything working or not.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Nutanix AHV is much easier than other systems. We can focus on the infrastructure and not the product so it gives us the flexibility to not worry about the scalability of the systems - we just need more modes to scale up. That makes it easier for system and engineers support.

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't actually need any technical support. But I do hear feedback about it. For example, if a customer has an issue, such as some discs are broken, the support fixes it immediately. They don't even have to call the support center because they are monitoring the system. I don't do it directly, but I hear from and talk to customers.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I worked with VMware for more than ten years. The first versions of VMware to come out worked on Red Hat 6.3 servers and they were almost unusable sometimes.

Nutanix, in its first version, worked as it should.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is nice, actually straightforward. The other systems are not easy. For VMware, for example, if you want to use full spec hyper-converged systems, including storage and the other options, it's very complex. Only the hypervisor option is easy with them. But the other options, including storage, are complicated. Nutanix and its products are very easy and pretty useful. And even migration is easy compared to all the other systems.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Some other firms were working with HP on their systems, but in the end, they migrated to Nutanix because of support issues.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from 1 to 10 I would rate it a 9 - I believe there is always room for improvement.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
RA
Sr. Lead Consultant - Infrastructure | Virtualization & Cloud Computing | SDN |NFV at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Top 5
Good monitoring and reporting, and has helped reduce our costs

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the integration between storage and compute services."
  • "In the next release of this solution, I would like to see support for containerization."

How has it helped my organization?

No one in our organization can ignore the value of Nutanix because of the cost reduction that it has afforded us compared to converged products from Cisco or HP.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the integration between storage and compute services. You can use these two resources together as one unit.

The monitoring and reports for all activities are integrated on one dashboard.

What needs improvement?

Support for more Red Hat solutions would be an improvement. As of now, Nutanix only officially supports three hypervisors. These are VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Nutanix AHV. There is minimal support for Red Hat.

It is very important that in the future, Nutanix supports bare-metal implementation. This means that you can install the hypervisor directly to the hardware.

In the next release of this solution, I would like to see support for containerization.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Nutanix AHV for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution has endless scalability. You can scale up and scale out as much as you want. All you have to do to scale out is add nodes.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used several other solutions. With both Cisco and HP, there are limitations in terms of scalability. If you are using VMware then there is a limitation at the host-level.

How was the initial setup?

Implementation and deployment is straightforward. Within half an hour it can be set up and running.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There are solutions by HP and NetApp, but you cannot compare them to Nutanix because it supports HP, Hyper-V, and VMware as well.

What other advice do I have?

There are rumors around the globe that suggest Nutanix cannot be used for heavy software. However, I have tested it on all levels and it performs well. I have used it for big data and it works great.

The biggest lesson that I have learned when using this solution is related to the sizing of the system. If you define your requirements accurately then you will not see any issues in terms of performance. This means that it is very important to know what you want and what kind of applications will be hosted on Nutanix. You should also understand the use case for Nutanix, itself. When you understand all of this, it prepares you very well for calculating the resources that will be needed.

For me, this is the number one hyper-converged solution. I am a fan of VMware, but I can see that in Nutanix, the internal components combine very harmoniously. There is a huge development team behind Nutanix and they are working daily to develop the product and come out with new technologies.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
CR
IT Infrastracture Manager at International College
Real User
Top 20
A stable solution that is easy to set up and is a significant improvement over our traditional data center

Pros and Cons

  • "This solution is very stable and it has been running for the last three months, with no issues."
  • "In terms of improvement, I think that they could have more partnerships with providers."

What is most valuable?

We used to have a traditional data center. When we changed to hyper-converged, it was simplified, more robust, and faster.

What needs improvement?

Nutanix AHV is based on KVM, which is the open-source version. In terms of improvement, I think that they could have more partnerships with providers. We had an issue with a software called ClearPath from Aruba. Aruba has a ready image that works for VMware, as an example, but they don't have a ready image that works directly with AHV. We have to use the KVM version and customize it to work for AHV. 

It would be beneficial to have more partners to improve the service. Not just any providers, but well-known providers in the market. Also, more integration with ready systems would be helpful.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for three months. We acquired it three months ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is very stable and it has been running for the last three months, with no issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

From everything that I have read, this solution is scalable. It is one of the best on the market. It can be scaled up, even with earlier or newer versions of the software, but there are some limitations with VMware solutions.

We run a school and have 4500 students and 700 faculty members who are all end users. It is accessed and the information is used daily.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not contacted technical support, as it's been running with no issues.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. We didn't encounter any complexities.

What about the implementation team?

We had a partner help us with the initial setup and implementation. It didn't take him very long.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Dell VxRail and VMware solutions, but for us, this was the better solution.

What other advice do I have?

We are comparing to the traditional system that had many problems. I think that all of these problems have been resolved with Nutanix AHV. At this time, as I have only been using it for three months, I am not able to say that there is room for improvement, especially since I am judging and basing it on a comparison with the old system. It has addressed all of the issues we were facing.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
KV
Vice President of Information Technology at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5
Easy to troubleshoot and resolve problems, but there are compatibility problems with other software

Pros and Cons

  • "The entirety of the infrastructure resides in the same product, which makes it easy to troubleshoot and investigate problems."
  • "It worked well in the beginning but after using it for some time, we found some limitations in terms of compatibility with other software."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use is as an application server.

How has it helped my organization?

This product is has helped us move from traditional infrastructure to an HCI infrastructure.

What is most valuable?

The entirety of the infrastructure resides in the same product, which makes it easy to troubleshoot and investigate problems. In a traditional infrastructure, it is separated according to hardware such as storage. When we have issues, we spend a lot of time investigating. With Nutanix, it helps reduce the time required to resolve problems.

What needs improvement?

Some of our applications do not support Nutanix. There are some compatibility issues and some of our software cannot run on it. It worked well in the beginning but after using it for some time, we found some limitations in terms of compatibility with other software. It has been okay because it does run our main applications.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Acropolis for between two and three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good and it can run our main applications. Aside from the issues with compatibility, it is quite stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Being our application server, we sometimes have almost 1,000 users. We have two or three administrators to maintain it.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have obtained technical support from the vendor.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. It is quick to set up and start using it.

What about the implementation team?

We brought in third-party consultants to assist us with the implementation.

We now deploy it using our own team, which has fewer than 10 people.

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

We don't have to pay extra for Acropolis because it is built into Nutanix. If we were using another product, like VMware, then we would need to have a separate license for the hypervisor.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There are many other options that we can choose from that will not have the same problems in terms of compatibility. In the future, we will probably move to Dell to use a different solution.

What other advice do I have?

This is a product that is certainly good for some use cases, but it is not the best. It would be better if the compatibility with applications like third-party backup software was improved.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
LudwigPenny
PaaS Engineer at JSE Limited
Real User
Performance is good, management of the systems is pretty easy, and upgrading is seamless

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable aspect of this solution is that you don't need to pay for it, it's free, as opposed to paying for a VMware license."
  • "They need to work on the deployment of virtual machines. They need to streamline the process of templates and deploying virtual machines."

What is our primary use case?

We use the on-prem deployment model and our primary use case for this solution is for virtualization. We also use it for Calm & Karbon. 

How has it helped my organization?

Save on VMware Licencing costs. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable aspect of this solution is that you don't need to pay for it. It's free, as opposed to paying for a VMware license. 

What needs improvement?

They need to work on the deployment of virtual machines. They need to streamline the process of templates and deploying virtual machines.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Nutanix AHV for over a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very easy to scale. In terms of our users, we are running active directory on there, we spool due to migrating our exchange servers onto that platform as well. At the moment it's just active directory and a couple of other systems. There are around 500 users on the active directory. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is outstanding. They are unbelievable, the best support I've received from any IT company, ever.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We are a VMware shop but always keen on looking at new solutions which work well and save us money. AHV is great but we cant deploy it throughout as we rely heavily on VMware SRM for Disaster Recovery and BCP.   

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. We have partners that when we buy the kits, they come and do the installation for us. Our partners assist us with the installation. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, there is no other solution besides AHV that we would look at. 

What other advice do I have?

It's a great product. It's relatively easy to use and it works well. Everyone that's moved their machines onto that platform says they are amazed by the performance. It works very well. Performance is good, management of the systems is pretty easy, upgrading and all that stuff is seamless. It's a great platform and I would recommend it to anyone.

I would rate it a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
KT
i-Security Engineer at M.Tech
Reseller
Top 10
Simple to use, supports many different operating systems, and has good management features

Pros and Cons

  • "Simplicity is the most valuable feature."
  • "When we need to share, publish, or encrypt something, we still need to perform it using the command line."

What is our primary use case?

We are distributors and to meet with our clients' requirements, it supports many OS systems. It monitors and protects the entire system.

What is most valuable?

Simplicity is the most valuable feature. With the management capabilities and monitoring tools, clients can do everything they need to do in their day to day operations.

What needs improvement?

There are some activities that need to be done by the GUI, but can't. The users should not be aware of this, only the engineers who are involved with the move of the system, sharing or reconfiguration.

When we need to share, publish, or encrypt something, we still need to perform it using the command line. We need to exit from the COI for the GUI to fix some of the features.

If we compare with VMware NSX the implementation is not quite as interesting.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for almost three years.

We use several versions of this solution 5.0, 5.1, 5.5, and 5.10.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scaling is basic, as you just have to purchase new hardware. It connects to the network and discovers the ITVC. It's very easy.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is a critical part. They have provided a lot of work for us. When we open a case we save the facility, usually the FAMS meter on the V1 perspective.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, we were working with another solid solution, but I am no longer working with them.

The main difference was the complexity. The tiers are very complicated. Nutanix AHV is easier.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very easy.

It only takes two hours to deploy.

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

Some of the features required additional licenses.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner