Introducing the Optimized Database Solution

The New Solution for Optimizing Database TCO and Performance with The Nutanix Cloud Platform

By Steve Carter

May 9, 2023 | min

Customers with the most demanding workloads will be excited to see the latest expansion of database support on the Nutanix Cloud Platform that provides a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and optimizes performance.   

The enhancements, which became available to Nutanix customers as part of the AOS 6.6.2 release, include support for compute-only nodes running either VMware ESXi or Nutanix AHV along with best practices for optimally configuring hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) database clusters using a combination of compute-only and storage-only nodes. 

Databases lie at the core of IT systems and place the highest demands on infrastructure performance as well as data services such as snapshots and replication. Storage performance is critical to ensure a consistently positive user experience, and the highest levels of resiliency are required to meet critical business SLAs. These enhancements help the industry migrate away from traditional IT infrastructure to HCI.

We are also committed to simplifying database management with Nutanix Database Service (NDB), the only hybrid multicloud Database-as-a-Service for the most popular databases, including Microsoft SQL Server, MongoDB, MySQL variants, Oracle Database, and PostgreSQL. More than two-thirds of Nutanix customers that we recently surveyed report running databases and data warehouses on their Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) environments1, and we predict this number will continue to grow as organizations take advantage of these latest enhancements to retire aging SAN infrastructure.

Expanded compute-only and storage-only node support

The term hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) refers to IT infrastructure that consolidates a virtualized set of hardware resources needed into a cluster of scale-out servers. This is a radical departure from the traditional IT infrastructure architecture that required separate compute and storage resources connected over a network.

The software-defined architecture of HCI utilizes server-based economics to allow organizations to buy less at a time, reduce the time required for planning and integrating, and refocus their IT teams on innovation rather than maintenance. By consolidating resources into a logical pool,  HCI allows for seamless deployment, management, and scaling of resources to match the evolving needs of any business.

1 Nutanix Installed Base Survey, July 2022, 250 respondents

Storage-only and compute-only nodes

Fig 1: Flexible scaling with storage-only and compute-only nodes.

The enhanced compute-only nodes are a powerful tool for managing software license costs, particularly in enterprise database software.  Enterprise database software is typically licensed by core, making it increasingly important to isolate cores that will be dedicated to database processing to contain licensing costs. 

Compute-only nodes support both VMware ESXi and Nutanix AHV hypervisors to give choices to customers who are considering migration to AHV over time. Nutanix has also enhanced storage-only nodes to scale-up the controller to deliver enhanced performance.

Optimized best practices for database clusters

Databases are now deployed more frequently than VDI workloads on NCI, so this new compute-only flexibility extends the reach of HCI to particularly large and demanding databases. Importantly, the ability to build clusters with a mix of compute-only and storage-only nodes is ideal for large scale-up databases that require customized tuning of compute and storage horsepower. Nutanix architecture enables this flexible scaling without compromising on the operational simplicity of HCI. NDB extends this operational simplicity to the database.


For customers hesitant to move large, business-critical databases from SANs to HCI, new independent scaling of compute and storage addresses concerns of efficiency and database license costs. It is now possible to confidently deliver efficient, cost-effective database performance and tap into the classic HCI benefits of simple scaling, manageability, and a consistent operating model from edge to datacenter to public cloud.

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