What is the biggest difference between Cisco HyperFlex and Nutanix?


One of the most popular comparisons on IT Central Station is Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series vs Nutanix.

People like you are trying to decide which one is best for their company. Can you help them out?

What is the biggest difference between Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series and Nutanix? Which of these two solutions would you recommend to a colleague evaluating HCI solutions and why?

Thanks for helping your peers make the best decision!

ITCS user
22 Answers

author avatar

Nutanix and Hyperflex HX are very similar in feature functions, design (except for ugly Cisco UCS add-on) so you are left with very minor techie knife fights to pick a winner. The customer that still thinks their old UCS was good, will stick with Cisco. A non-Cisco (Server) customer will likely see Cisco HCI as a new thing and therefore it could be not as floor tested and will look at vSAN or Nutanix. Cisco UCS mentality is servers without storage so HCI technically competes with UCS.

Cisco Hyperflex-
- Turnkey HW and SW - Includes Storage, Servers, and Networking
- Can integrate with existing NAS and SAN for backend storage (DHCI)
- Strong Container Integration
- Mega-networking company funding it so no worries about losses (like Nutanix)

- Lack of HW flexibility- only Cisco HW supported. They claim that it's integrated with UCS (blades) but blades have no storage so it's just networked in compute, not truly HCI, in fact, to bolt-on UCS is pretty ridiculous.
- Data Efficiency, only supports N+1 and N+2, no erasure coding.
- No Native Cloud DR integration.
- Underlying SW is SpringPath acquisition in late 2017 so relatively new to Cisco (they are late to this market).
- Claims “performance” but 1:10 (cache to HDD) with write-thru to other nodes (protective copy) before Ack is not going to be fast on writes.
- not sure of the cost of just the HX nodes (plus SW) but Cisco is never known to be low cost for UCS servers.

- Flexible Hardware options (they didn’t start out this way but now have moved off forcing their own HW).
- Data Efficiency- support of erasure coding across nodes.
- Manageability- Prism management and automation software are mature.

- More Complex to deploy within a mixed environment.
- Dedupe and Compression is done at a fixed block of 16KB
- Overall Solution cost
- Can't seem to get profitable.

author avatar

Nutanix provides the advantage of an alternative hypervisor that comes with the product. But its limitation is in the hardware choices that it runs on.

Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series vs. Nutanix Acropolis AOS and other solutions. Updated: September 2021.
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