The table below shows Nutanix hardware recommendations for Community Edition:
Table 2-1: Hardware Requirements
Nutanix Recommendation
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
Intel CPUs with VT-x support
Four-core minimum because 2 cores are dedicated to the CVM
System memory
16 GB minimum; 32 GB or higher recommended
32 GB or greater recommended for AOS features such as deduplication, compression, or more user VMs
Network interface card (NIC)
Intel-based NIC
Host bus adapter (HBA)
Community Edition supports Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) SATA, or LSI controller with:
  • IT mode
  • IR mode with pass-through
  • IR mode with RAID-0
Storage Devices (all drives)
Maximum number of SSD/HDD drives per node is four
Storage Devices (cold tier)
500 GB or greater available; Maximum 18 TB (3 x 6 TB HDDs)
Hard disk drive (HDD) or Solid-state drive (SSD) for cold-tier storage
Storage Devices (hot tier flash)
Single 200 GB SSD or greater
Place SSD(s) before HDDs (commonly Bay 0 or Bay 1). The first bay number varies depending on manufacturer labeling; NVMe-based drives are not supported
Boot device
One 8 GB capacity device per node. It can be an external or internal device
Nutanix has successfully tested and used external USB drives and internal devices such as a SATA DOM. USB 3.0 media recommended
Consider updating the firmware for any hardware you plan to use to the latest version recommended by the hardware vendor
Source: Nutanix. (2020). “Getting Started with Nutanix Community Edition”
If you use a USB flash device as your boot drive, do not remove it while the server is running!

2.1 Cluster Sizing

Community Edition supports up to four (4) nodes in a single cluster. Nutanix recommends deploying a three-node cluster to reap the most benefit from the platform. If you deploy a single node cluster, you will not be able to take advantage of Nutanix’s high-availability (HA) features.
It is not possible to extend a one or two node cluster. Moving from a one or two-node cluster requires destroying the existing cluster and all VMs.
Discuss these limitations with the customer before recommending a cluster size.