Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (NCI-VDI)

Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure - Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (NCI-VDI) is a user-licensed version of Nutanix’s distributed infrastructure platform designed specifically for end-user computing applications. NCI software combines compute, storage, and networking resources from a cluster of servers into a single logical pool with integrated resiliency, security, performance, and simplified administration. With NCI-VDI, organizations can efficiently deploy and manage virtual desktops across datacenter, edge, and cloud environments with predictable per user costs. NCI-VDI works with any EUC management platform including Citrix Virtual App & Desktops and VMware Horizon.


  • Nutanix AOS: scale-out storage technology that makes hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) possible.
  • Nutanix AHV: lightweight cloud hypervisor built into NCI and offers enterprise-grade virtualization capabilities and built-in Kubernetes support.
  • Nutanix Kubernetes Engine (NKE): an enterprise Kubernetes management solution that simplifies provisioning, operations, and lifecycle management of Kubernetes.
  • Nutanix Disaster Recovery: a natively integrated DR solution that helps organizations stay prepared in the face of a disaster while minimizing data loss and downtime.
  • Prism: management UI including Prism Element and Prism Central for infrastructure management, authentication, RBAC; REST APIs for integration with existing management systems
  • Insights: proactive alerts and support relating to the Nutanix managed infrastructure
  • Lifecycle Manager (LCM): upgrade coordination and management; Foundation and Foundation Central for initial deployment

NCI-VDI Editions


Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (NCI-VDI) Starter

Core set of infrastructure functionality for end-user computing

Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (NCI-VDI) Pro

Rich data services, enhanced resilience, GPU support, and more flexible deployment options for end-user computing

Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (NCI-VDI) Ultimate

Full suite of capabilities including advanced disaster recovery (DR), K8s Engine, and full stack security for end-user computing.

What you get

Basic HCI including AOS, AHV, NKE, Disaster Recovery, Prism, Insights, Lifecycle Management with maximum cluster size of 12 nodes; 1 TiB pooled unified storage capacity

  • Consolidated Storage and virtualization management
  • VM-centric snapshots and clones, application consistent snapshots
  • Upto 2 managed Kubernetes clusters per NCI cluster
  • Built-in disaster recovery with 1 hour minimum RPO
  • Data and data path redundancy (RF=2 and autopathing)
  • Data Compression and Deduplication
  • Volume Groups for in-cluster VMs
  • Client authentication and credential guard

Everything in Starter with no cluster size limitation, 50 GiB per user unified storage capacity, and:

  • Tunable Redundancy Factor with choice of RF2 or RF3
  • Node, Block, and Rack Availability Domains
  • Erasure coding (EC-X)
  • VM-centric Storage QoS
  • VM Flash Mode
  • Upto 6 managed Kubernetes clusters per NCI cluster
  • Volume Groups with external access
  • Self-service restore
  • Multiple site DR
  • Cluster Lockdown
  • vCPU and GPU Passthrough
  • HA guaranteed failover
  • Overlay Networking

Everything in Pro, 100 GiB per user unified storage capacity, and:

  • Advanced Replication with metro availability, Sync and NearSync replication (RPO=0, RPO=1.15 min)
  • Advanced Orchestration with Runbook Automation•Data-at-Rest Encryption (Software-based & SED)
  • Native KMS
  • Cross-cluster live migration
  • Unlimited managed Kubernetes clusters
  • Microsegmentation for security and compliance
  • Nutanix Security Central 

Advanced Encryption, Security, and cloud-native add-ons are not available for NCI-VDI Pro, please utilize NCI licensing if these capabilities are required.

Available SKUs

Type SKU Format Example SKU(s)
STR - Starter
PRO - Pro
ULT - Ultimate
Support Levels
PR - Production Support
MC - Mission Critical Support
FP - Federal Production Support
FM - Federal Mission Critical Support
AP - Authorized Partner, Production Support
AM – Authorized Partner, Mission Critical Support

Product Add-ons Available

  • Nutanix Unified Storage (NUS) can be added on to any NCI-VDI cluster to get multi-protocol unified storage capabilities.

Pricing, Deployment, and Licensing Terms


  • NCI-VDI is priced on a per user basis as measured by the maximum number of concurrently powered-on end-user VMs for dedicated desktops or, in the case of a shared desktop model, the number of total users on the powered-on desktop virtual machines.


  • NCI-VDI term licenses run on and are portable across a variety of vendor platforms including Nutanix appliances, OEM platforms, third-party servers, and public cloud platforms, as specified in our hardware platforms website page.
  • NCI-VDI licenses must run on a dedicated software licensed VDI cluster with no core-based licensing. Mixing of non-VDI workloads is not supported.
  • NCI-VDI licenses are available on AOS 6.1.1 (LTS AOS 6.5) or higher, and require Prism Central 2022.4 or higher version as well as NCC 4.5.0 or higher
  • NCI-VDI licensing cannot be mixed with AOS VDI legacy licenses within a cluster, but can be mixed within a Prism Central provided each cluster under the Prism Central’s purview is wholly on NCI or wholly on legacy AOS licensing.
  • NUS included with the NCI-VDI licenses can be deployed on a different cluster than the NCI deployment, provided both clusters are connected to the same Prism Central
  • Refer to Nutanix Configuration Maximums on the Nutanix portal for cluster size limitations for NCI-VDI Pro and Ultimate
  • NCI-VDI editions are determined at the cluster level, clusters with mixed licensing will default to the lowest tier.
  • For deployment on public cloud, Ultimate edition is required. NCI-VDI Starter and Pro are not eligible for deployment on public cloud.
  • Scope included for Nutanix Security Central in NCI-VDI Ultimate is infrastructure running Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure. Public cloud capability requires NCM Security Central SaaS SKU.

Licensing Terms

  • All SKUs deliver term licenses, and are configurable for any duration between 6-60 months. Licenses must be renewed for continued access to software and support.
  • Disaster Recovery sites do not require separate licensing provided the primary and secondary sites are owned and operated by the same party, and enough licensing has been purchased for the primary deployment.
  • NCI-VDI licensed clusters may contain up to 16 additional infrastructure VMs to deliver and manage user sessions.
  • Encryption support is subject to export laws. Contact your account representative to confirm eligibility.
  • The Nutanix End-User Licensing Agreement  is applicable for all NCI-VDI software.

Related Offerings and Services

  • NCI licensing provides a general-purpose infrastructure platform license that is priced on a server capacity basis (no. of cores) and includes support for all types of workloads.
  • Professional services for cluster deployment are recommended for new and significant expansion deployments.

Note that the NCI-VDI offer and all SKUs mentioned in this document are part of the ‘PnP 2.0’ product portfolio from Nutanix and are priced according to a low list, low discount regime. For specific details, please contact your Nutanix Account Team