Nutanix Acropolis HCI Platform

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Acropolis HCI Platform

by James G. Barr

Docid: 00021023

Publication Date: 2002

Report Type: PRODUCT


The Nutanix Acropolis HCI Platform is a software-driven, hyperconverged
infrastructure product that natively integrates storage, compute, and
virtualization resources into a turnkey computing solution.

Report Contents:


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The Nutanix Acropolis HCI Platform is a software-driven, hyperconverged
infrastructure product that natively integrates storage, compute, and
virtualization resources into a turnkey computing solution.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Diverging from the client/server model that has defined the past quarter
century of enterprise computing, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) systems
might be best described as modern-day mainframes, where computing, storage, and communications
components are combined and regulated by a central command and control
interface; in the same way that legacy IBM System/370 mainframes, for example,
were regulated by a core operating system like MVS or VM/370.


Related Faulkner Reports
Converged and
Hyperconverged Infrastructure
Hyperconverged Infrastructure Market

Enterprise Cloud Platform

The Nutanix Acropolis HCI Platform serves as the foundation for the Nutanix "Enterprise Cloud

which, according to the vendor, "delivers the agility, simplicity, and pay-as-you-grow economics of public clouds

without sacrificing the security, control, and performance of a private


The Enterprise Cloud Platform consists of three core components:


Acropolis, and Calm.

  • Prism provides a unified
    management interface for optimizing
  • Acropolis
    starts with hyperconverged

    infrastructure, then adds built-in virtualization, storage services, virtual
    networking and cross-hypervisor application mobility, producing a turnkey
    solution that can be deployed in 60 minutes or less. Importantly, Acropolis allows customers the
    flexibility to choose the right technology for their business, including
    hardware platform, virtualization technology, and public cloud integration.

  • Calm adds
    native application orchestration and lifecycle management. Calm decouples application management from the

    underlying infrastructure – allowing applications to be easily deployed into

    private or public cloud environments.

Nutanix, Inc.

1740 Technology Drive, Suite 150
San Jose, CA 95110
Fax: (408) 916-4039
Type of Vendor: Hyperconverged Infrastructure Provider
Founded: 2009
Service Areas: Global

Key Acropolis Components

Acropolis boasts several key components, as depicted in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Acropolis Key Components

Figure 1. Acropolis Key Components

Source: Nutanix

Built-in AHV Virtualization

Acropolis includes AHV, Nutanix’s native virtualization solution. It also
supports popular non-Nutanix solutions, notably:

  • VMware ESXi
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Citrix XenServer

Platform Services – Acropolis delivers a variety of software-defined
platform services, permitting customers to consolidate all their workloads on
the Nutanix platform. Common use cases include:

  • VM-centric storage to support almost any virtualized application.
  • Container Centric storage with persistent storage support for Kubernetes and
  • Nutanix Volumns, a native block storage solution, for physical applications.
  • Nutanix Files, a native file storage solution for unstructured data such as

    large-scale home directories, user profiles, and more.

Enterprise Storage Capabilities

Acropolis employs MapReduce technology to distribute enterprise grade storage,
avoiding single points of failure and permitting only negligible impact to
real-time performance. Nutanix Enterprise Storage capabilities include:

  • Performance acceleration capabilities such as caching, data tiering,
    and data
  • Storage optimization technologies, such as De-dupe, Compression,
    and Erasure Coding.
  • Data protection technologies to support snapshots to local, remote, and cloud
    based sites.
  • Disaster Recovery features, such as, synchronous, asynchronous, and
    near-synchronous replication.

Networking Services

Acropolis provides a comprehensive set of services to visualize the
network, automate

common network operations, and secure the network through native services and
partner integration.

These services include:

  • Application-centric visualization of the physical and virtual network
    topology to help diagnose
    and fix common networking issues.
  • Open APIs that permit network devices and services such as top-of-rack switches,
    delivery controllers (ADC), and firewalls to automatically adapt based on
    application lifecycle events.

Nutanix Strengths

While not as well known as its major rivals, Cisco, Dell EMC, and HP
Enterprise, Gartner gives Nutanix high marks for its HCI solutions:

  • "Nutanix has established itself as a leading HCI solution provider.
  • "The Nutanix HCI software platform attracts IT leaders who prioritize
    flexibility because it supports multiple third-party servers, storage
    protocols, and hypervisors, as well as a broad range of procurement and
    deployment options.
  • "Customers and end-user references continue to report positive
    support and service experiences, which contribute to strong customer loyalty."1


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Popular HCI use cases include:

  • Desktop Virtualization – Desktop virtualization
    [or virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)] is a process by which enterprise users
    can remotely access their office PC environment (applications and data). Convenient for users, desktop virtualization also simplifies the
    provisioning and management of "teleworkers," easing the burden on
    enterprise IT staff.
  • Server Virtualization – Server
    virtualization is the process of dividing a physical, or real, server into
    multiple virtual servers, or virtual
    machines (VMs). Since each virtual machine is capable of performing the
    functions of a real server, the number of real servers may be reduced, often by
    a double-digit factor.
  • Private Cloud – Customers can build
    their own cloud to store and process high-use or sensitive data.
  • Big Data Analysis – Customers can start
    small and scale to any size Big Data application.
  • Data Protection and Disaster Recovery
    A wide variety of VM-centric options are available, ranging from
    snapshots to cloud backup to multi-site disaster recovery.
  • Enterprise Branch Office – Standardized affordable infrastructure can be rapidly
    deployed to any remote office location.


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The Nutanix Acropolis HCI Platform is a hyperconverged infrastructure
product. Hyperconverged infrastructure may be considered the follow-on generation of
converged infrastructure.

A term coined and popularized by Hewlett-Packard, "converged infrastructure" (CI)
is the combination and integration of server, storage, and networking resources
into a single, standalone computing solution.

"Hyperconverged infrastructure" (HCI), a term generally credited to
Nutanix, takes the CI concept a step farther by integrating management
services, including:

  • Data protection products (particularly backup)
  • Deduplication appliances (for space saving)
  • Wide area network (WAN) optimization appliances
  • Solid state drive arrays
  • Public cloud gateways
  • Replication appliances or software2

By joining hardware, software, and services into a single computing
appliance, HCI providers aim to increase data center efficiency, improve
performance, lower costs, and, importantly, replicate the ease of use qualities
offered by cloud infrastructure providers.


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Nutanix services customers according to three support priorities, as detailed
in Table 1.

Nutanix Support Priorities
Priority Description Response Time


Emergency – System is not available. Within 1 hour (Production)
Within 30 minutes (Mission Critical)



Critical – System is available but
experiencing issues.

Within 4 hours (Production)
Within 2 hours (Mission Critical)



Normal – System is having an occasional

Within 8 hours (Production)
Within 4 hours (Mission Critical)


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For information relative to pricing and availability, call
or (408) 216-8360.


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In addition to Nutanix, key players in the hyperconverged infrastructure space are:

  • Dell EMC
  • Cisco
  • HP Enterprise


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About the Author

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James G. Barr is a leading business continuity analyst
and business writer with more than 30 years’ IT experience. A member of
"Who’s Who in Finance and Industry," Mr. Barr has designed,
developed, and deployed business continuity plans for a number of Fortune 500
firms. He is the author of several books, including How to Succeed in
Business BY Really Trying
, a member of Faulkner’s Advisory Panel, and a
senior editor for Faulkner’s Security Management Practices. Mr.
Barr can be reached via e-mail at

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