It delivers full visibility down to a single virtual disk and every hardware component.

Author: Samuel Rothenbühler

Valuable Features:

Very easy management (e.g. daily tasks and also major upgrades)
Simple and fast to implement as a partner
Very mature and stable with outstanding Nutanix support if needed (we are a L1 and L2 support partner as well)
Potential to replace 80-90% of all customer use cases we see in Switzerland

Improvements to My Organization:

We can troubleshoot customer issues (e.g. crashes, performance issues etc.) very quickly and efficiently since we know exactly how the infrastructure should behave and what performance values are to be expected. 

Nutanix delivers full visibility down to a single virtual disk (e.g. a VMDK file) and every single hardware component. Predefined health checks are executed during a support case which will in most cases already narrow down the root cause considerably if not point it out directly. 

Most of our customers actually don’t manage their Nutanix environment at all since common tasks such as LUN provisioning, zoning, permission settings etc. don’t apply any longer.

Use of Solution:

We've been partners for nearly three years, and have been building Nutanix based customer solutions during that time.

Deployment Issues:

In earlier releases (pre 4.1) of the snapshot and replication functionality we saw some issues with Windows VSS integration which was partially due to Nutanix and also to vSphere. This, however, never caused data loss but only snapshots not completing at the scheduled time, although this has since been fixed.

Customer Service:

The Nutanix customer service is outstanding and easily the best from all vendors we work with. Usually an answer is provided within the first 10 minutes and the staff is very skilled. thanks to the high degree of standardization we are able to quickly resolve most issues (we know the whole stack).

Technical Support:

Outstanding! We get an answer usually within 30 minutes often this solves the issue or at least show progress.

Previous Solutions:

Our company is fully committed to new technologies and ways to build data centers using hyper convergence, software defined networking etc. We did not (and have no plans) to sell traditional solutions.

Initial Setup:

It used to be more work about one and a half years ago. Today, the whole installation process is fully automated and orchestrated. Since NOS 4.5 everything needed is pre-installed at the factory and only the desired hypervisor image (ISO files) need to be uploaded. Then, the cluster will stage itself automatically. The size of the cluster is secondary to the implementation time except for rack and stack of course.

Implementation Team:

Since we are a Nutanix partner we implement and give support ourselves for customers directly and for other partners as well.

Cost and Licensing Advice:

I don’t have any figures available at the moment. Nutanix is most attractive when comparing the full cost (TCO) including CAPEX and also OPEX. Regarding licensing, we most commonly sell the pro license which covers the vast majority of customer user cases. 

It is especially interesting to see the development of customers starting to see the included KVM based hypervisor (Acropolis) which results in significant cost savings for hypervisor licensing (e.g. vSphere or Hyper-V) depending on the customer use case.

Other Solutions Considered:

As a VMware partner we also evaluate VSAN in our lab as a possible alternative but this solution lacks many of the Nutanix advantages. I compared VSAN to Nutanix some years ago when Nutanix was purely a storage layer. 

Today, Nutanix offers end to end management, visibility and standardization which offers maybe the biggest benefit. I am personally also not a big fan of the VSAN object storage approach (as opposed to the Nutanix or EMC ScaleIO block based implementations) which causes many bottlenecks and architecture limitations.

Other Advice:

This is the Nutanix management web interface.