3dmentat - Fotolia
The key difference between converged infrastructure and hyper-convergence is that a hyper-converged infrastructure uses a hypervisor to manage compute, storage and virtualization resources in the system.
Most HCIs support VMware hypervisors, and some support Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisors. HCI pioneer Nutanix supports both, as well as its proprietary hypervisor build on open source Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) technology.
The Nutanix AHV hypervisor is part of the Nutanix Acropolis HCI platform. Nutanix makes AHV free to use with its HCI software, but it is not required.
First released in 2015, Nutanix AHV and Acropolis are now up to version 5.5, released in December 2017.
What is Nutanix Acropolis?
To quote the definition on SearchConvergedInfrastructure: "Nutanix Acropolis is an operating system for the Nutanix hyper-converged infrastructure platform. It contains a number of data services and features for data protection, space efficiency, scalability, automated data tiering and security. Acropolis comes with its own built-in hypervisor called AHV; the name was derived from the words Acropolis Hypervisor."
Do you have to run the Nutanix AHV hypervisor if you use Nutanix HCI storage?
No, Nutanix's HCI platform can be used with Microsoft's Hyper-V or VMware's ESXi hypervisors, as well as the open source KVM, which AHV is built on.
How effective has the release of the free AHV hypervisor been for Nutanix?
One year after the release of AHV, Nutanix Chief Product and Development Officer Sunil Potti told the crowd at .NEXT 2016 that 15% of its customers had moved to AHV. At .NEXT 2018, CEO Dheeraj Pandey said in an interview that Nutanix has reached 35% adoption of AHV.
What are the different versions of Nutanix Acropolis?
Nutanix sells the HCI OS Acropolis in three versions: Starter, Pro and Ultimate. Starter is a basic configuration intended for small deployments. Pro is for larger deployments and includes management features not found in the Starter edition. Ultimate includes a full HCI software suite, and Nutanix markets it for multisite deployments.
What is Nutanix Prism, and how does it relate to Nutanix AHV?
Prism is the management control plane of a Nutanix HCI system. Prism runs on every Nutanix node, enabling Acropolis and its AHV hypervisor to manage clusters and the whole infrastructure. Prism also works with other hypervisors that may be deployed in a Nutanix HCI system, such as ESXi or Hyper-V.
How much does it cost to license Nutanix AHV?
Nutanix charges no license fees for the hypervisor in its HCI systems. This led to a joking reference to the "$2 million Nutanix coffee mug," meaning that, when a VMware salesperson sees a Nutanix mug on a customer's desk, the licensing cost drops suddenly by $2 million.
Can you use Nutanix AHV with data protection software?
Nutanix says most major data backup and protection companies support AHV, but the four with the tightest integration are Commvault, HYCU, Veeam Software and Veritas. Additionally, AHV works with Arcserve, Cloudian, Cohesity, Rubrik, Sureline Systems and Unitrends.
What is the Nutanix Bible?
Nutanix has a downloadable e-book that explains, in great detail and clarity, how Nutanix HCI products operate. It is divided into books and chapters and includes the Book of Prism, the Book of Acropolis, the Book of AHV and more.