Data Centre

Virtualization

Nutanix launches VMware-to-Acropolis migration tool

Migrating VMs isn't a dark art and vSphere users are sticky, but Nutanix is having a crack

By Simon Sharwood

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Nutanix has taken another shot at VMware, this time with a virtual machine migration tool that takes VMs from ESXi to its own Acropolis hypervisor.

Changing a VM's format is not rocket science, because VMs are described by metadata. Nutanix reckons “Xtract for VMs” therefore goes beyond the basics, “by automatically injecting the required paravirtualized device drivers into the VM, such that when the VM is started on the target platform, it has everything required to deliver the best experience.”

Xtract also preserves networking settings and moves data from ESXi to Nutanix boxen, keeping VMs synched between systems until you're ready to cut the cord. Doing so requires a maintenance window of “potentially just a few minutes”.

Nutanix bills its Acropolis hypervisor as equal to ESXi but without the price tag. The company already has software-defined storage that stacks up well against VMware's VSAN and is building a broader, deeper stack at speed in the hope it can woo more customers away from vSphere.

Gartner research vice president Michael Warrilow told The Register the tool will “help people to care about Acropolis”, but added “We are not seeing a marked demand for migration from vSphere to anything else.”

“Some users will care about Xtract for basic requirements, but not for their core,” he added, suggesting that most users feel “If it ain't broke, don't migrate it.”

Warrilow's opinion appears to be borne out by Nutanix's own numbers, as the company's said around a quarter of its customers use Acropolis. As its Q4 2017 results announcement said it now has 7,051 customers, which means around 1,750 Acropolis users. Or less than one per cent of VMware's customer count.

Even if Nutanix customers keep up the pace of 75 per cent year-on-year Acropolis adoption increases, it will be years before that represents a major dent to VMware. ®

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