Nutanix native fileserving feature is called Nutanix Files (previously Acropolis File Services or AFS). Today Nutanix Files is a 3rd generation solution. The current release is 3.6.
With Nutanix Files, Nutanix offers a software-defined scale-out file serving solution for Windows environments with a single namespace. The solution is highly available, scalable, and supports Active Directory and LDAP integration, Windows previous versions, user and share quotas, as well as Access Based Enumeration (ABS). Nutanix Files can be used to host home directories, department shares and user profiles.
Nutanix Files 3.6 introduces Windows Server 2019 support, File Blocking, SMB Message encryption, Durable SMB File Handles, Multi-byte Support for Share Root (NFS), AOS NearSync Disaster Recovery, Scale-up recommendation (vCPU and RAM).
Nutanix Files 3.6 supports a maximum size of 140TB for a general file share and a maximum size of 200TB per FSVM for a home share. Nutanix Files supports a maximum of 4,000 connections per FSVM (12 vCPU; 64-90GB RAM).
Nutanix Files 3.6 supports SMB 2.0/2.1/3.0 as well as NFS v3/v4 protocols to provide file shares/exports for Windows, Apple Mac, Linux and UNIX clients. Nutanix Files can be leveraged in VMware vSphere and AHV environments only, so there is no support for Hyper-V. AOS for AHV on IBM Power Systems also does not offer Nutanix Files support.
Nutanix Files 3.6 provides SMB 3.0 basic protocol support, so without specific SMB 3.0 features. Nutanix Files supports both NFSv3 and NFS v4, however Nutanix Files does not support the UDP protocol or Kerberos for NFS v3.
NFS v4 exports can be either distributed or non-distributed. A distributed export ("sharded") means the data is spread across all Nutanix Fle Services VMs (FSVMs) to help improve performance and resiliency. A non-distributed export ("non-sharded") means all data is contained in a single FSVM.
Nutanix Files 3.6 supports the following AOS capabilities: Erasuse Coding, Software Encryption. Nutanix Files also supports self-encrypting drives (SEDs). Deduplication is not recommended.
AFS 3.0 introduced an API that allows third-party developers to implement backup server change file tracking. This means that the API allows the backup application to record and collect information about any changes to the files in each snapshot sent to the backup server, thus providing a log of all file changes across snapshots.
AFS 3.0 introduced an API that allows third-party developers to implement file activity monitoring in their applications. Thsi means that the API allows an application to collect information about every action on each file in a file server and thus supports audit logging (eg. to a syslog server) and Global Name Space.
Nutanix Files is an add-on and thus requires a separate capacity-based license for all editions.