VxRail vs Nutanix: HCI Competitive Comparison

When your data is pooled together with HCI, everything becomes faster and easier. This distributed infrastructure platform combined with intelligent software creates flexible building blocks that replace the rigid requirement of separate servers, storage and networking replacements. Not all HCI solutions are made the same. Nutanix  and VxRail offer different things for different purposes. To understand the best approach for your organization, you’ll have to understand those differences. Let’s dive in.

Nutanix vs VxRail: Where We Are Now

According to, Nutanix has made major strides in the past several years. At one point, they were the new kids on the block. They had pretty features, a neat-looking interface, and all the bells and whistles. But they weren’t content with that. Since then, Nutanix has become a rock-solid, high-performance HCI platform with spectacular support.

Let’s take a look at some of the differences between Nutanix and VxRail and dive into some of the benefits Nutanix can bring to any organization.

Which Hypervisors Does the Platform Work With?

In HCI, hypervisors are key. They help ensure that you can run multiple separate applications—while maintaining the integrity and singular resources of one server. It’s how you can extend the physical resources you have available without interfering with the day-to-day flow of your operations. That’s why we need to weigh where VxRail and Nutanix come down on hypervisors. Here’s what you’ll need to know:

Nutanix works with Microsoft Hyper-V, Nutanix AHV, and VMWare. This is important because of how many people might be using an option like Microsoft Hyper-V—and you can’t always afford the process it may require to migrate to a new system. For people capable of using Microsoft Hyper-V, Nutanix’s ability to “play nice” with the platform will simplify everything.

For VxRail, you may notice that the options are a little more limited. VMWare is the only option here. While VMWare is popular, it does leave fewer options for people who want to use VxRail, which can be prohibitive.

Which Hardware Does the Platform Work With?

With HCIs, it’s not just about software. You have to have the supporting hardware to make the infrastructure possible. Let’s explore what Nutanix and VxRail offer in terms of hardware capability.

  • For VxRail, it’s similar to what you saw with the software options—the hardware is limited here. Dell EMC is the only option, and because hardware can sometimes feel more limiting than software options, you’ll have to make sure that you’re compatible with this choice before moving forward.
  • For Nutanix, HPE, Lenovo, Fujitsu, Dell EMC, Cisco, Hitachi, and Intel are all on the list. That’s especially important because it means that it doesn’t only overlap with VxRail’s Dell EMC options, but offers several other options on top.

Why is the hardware so important here? Hardware will impact your ability to execute everything you want with HCI. For example, if you want low latency, you’ll need to make sure your hardware is up to par. Your hardware will also inform how many of your employees interact with the HCI. For example, in the world of manufacturing, the hardware can define how employees interact with the company itself. Their hardware can serve them in the field, giving them an immediate connection between the work they do and your company’s HCI.

Minimum CPU Cores Supported

In the old days, a computer might have one core, through which everything moved. But that’s not the case these days, Your HCI will have to support a number of CPU cores for you to put this advantage to work. You want to make sure you choose the right hypervisor for the limit you are looking at. Let’s look at how Nutanix and VxRail compete with each other here:

  • For VxRail, the G, E, and S series have between 4 and 56 cores.
  • The Nutanix 5155-G6 supports a minimum of 8 cores per CPU socket, for a total of 16 cores. Keep in mind that other appliances with have higher maximums, but may also support this basic 8-core configuration.

Maximum CPU Cores Supported

Now let’s flip a switch and talk about the maximum CPU cores supported. This number will help you address the ceiling on your computing capacity when you choose Nutanix or VxRail options. Here’s what you’ll need to know here:

  • For the VxRail systems, the P Series supports a wide range of cores, from between 4 to 112. This is obviously a large margin of error, so you’ll want to be sure to check up on your individual specs to ensure you’re getting the core coverage you want.
  • Nutanix products, in our research, will support up to 38 cores. This provides a smaller “max CPU core ceiling” compared to VxRail.

Minimum Memory Support

Your mileage may vary in terms of how much memory usage you will see when using Nutanix vs. VxRail. It can depend on a number of factors.

When talking about the memory support in Nutanix, however, we should mention that Nutanix system requirements may include 16 GB minimum. It’s difficult to find an answer for VxRail, although some system requirements in specific settings may have 64 GB as the minimum. Work with your IT Systems integrator to make sure you understand the minimum system requirements for each option. After all, your HCI needs should be customized for your organization and data needs.

In many cases, going with an option that supports more use cases in general may be a better move to integrate with both current and future technologies. And in looking at all of the variables above, we found that Nutanix generally lends itself to supporting a wider variety of hardware options. That can mean more options for how you run your business, particularly if your business itself has a variety of needs. In weighing the VxRail vs. Nutanix comparison, Nutanix seems to outperform VxRail for customization of your HCI environment and build the IT systems that support your company. Reach out to Comport for a full comparison on the two hypervisors and which may work better for you.

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