May
    13

    Windows Drivers for Nutanix KVM

    I’ve hunted more than once for the drivers to install Windows on the Nutanix KVM hypervisor.

    Here is the link: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Windows_Virtio_Drivers#Direct_download

    Thanks to Nutanix Sr. SE, Dennis Laube for the updated link.

    May
    12

    Nutanix CE – Partnership

    whyCE

    They will be varying opinions on the best route of delivering software to the community and the intentions behind it. As nice as it sounds to be delivering world peace and saving whales it’s just not the case in business. In all good partnerships there is give and take and this what the Nutanix Community Edition brings. You get to try the Nutanix experience first hand without any risk. We are not trying to deliver beta features and make the community guinea-pigs. Experience is very important to Nutanix from the UI to workflows, performance, reliability, stability. To control the experience we don’t want to change the codebase too much from the selling version. All QA work that is done for the paid version will go into the CE version as well. The community/existing customers can now have environment to run tests, staging area for replication, test backup and anything that you might want to spend capital on before you know it works. As an added benefit you’ll not have to worry about a license expiring which has caused various levels of pain for me in the past. Keep in mind apart of convergence is getting out of the engineering game. This hard to do with a community release but Nutanix is doing its best so you don’t have to figure out what hardware will or will not work. To get access to the software the only requirement is to be apart of the NEXT Community. In return, you will have to send anonymized logs back to Nutanix to help improve the product.

    Part of controlling the experience is the HCL. Certain parts of the architecture like the metadata layer needs to live on SSD. While Nutanix’s version of Apache Cassandra is over 200% faster then open source alternative, it needs to live on flash. Some of the HCL requirements are:

    * Nodes – 1,3 & 4 nodes. Yes you will be able to run this with only 1 node!
    * Intel CPUs, 4-cores min with VT-x Support
    * Memory, 16 GB Minimum – The CVM will be using 12 GB
    * Storage – RAID 0 (LSI HBA’s) or AHCI storage sub-systems
    – LSI controllers with and without (HBA) passthrough mode support. Both SAS and SATA disks.
    – Disks attached to AHCI SATA controllers.
    * Hot Tier – 1 SSD min per node, >= 200 GB
    * Cold Tier – 1 HDD min per node >= 500 GB
    * Networking – Intel NICS
    * USB Key – For Hypervisor Boot

    Nutanix needs more people using the software to drive the product, use the API’s, create workflows that impact business. Communities are great ways to see what worked, what didn’t work and get fast answers. You also get the added benefit of having the whole world to help you in areas that might not be possible otherwise. I know I have saved a lot of time on not reinventing the wheel and reused a lot of scripts from the VMware community over the past years. In turn Nutanix has a lot of bright folks that come from all different areas of the datacentre that are willing to help and share ideas.

    Next-Gen datacenter, what the heck is that? No one knows but it will he shaped by humans and heavy dose of code. Making things better needs to partnership to bring new solutions to market. Standalone anything has no value. Every meeting usally has the question, How does it work with….? No you can find out and give hands on direction. There is more here to but it will have to wait for the .NEXT conference.

    Thoughts? Please drop a comment here or head over to the community.

    cebeta

    May
    08

    New Nutanix Reference Architecture: VMware Horizon DaaS with App Volumes

    The Nutanix Reference Architecture(RA) for VMware Horizon DaaS is now Publicly available. This RA shows how you can seamlessly scale and deliver consistent robust performance for VMware Horizon DaaS within single- or, more commonly, multi-tenant environments, depending on the user needs and the number of desktops.

    The Nutanix platform eliminates performance bottlenecks while enabling multi-tenant management and performance protection from noisy tenant neighbors. In this document, we demonstrate Nutanix’s storage efficiency while provisioning full-clone desktops with vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) and with data reduction features enabled. Our findings show that the Nutanix platform delivers tremendous value for end-users, service providers, and IT management by providing a great user experience with predictable costs. The highlights of our testing results include:

    dass-appvolumes

    The saying “It takes a village” hold true with this RA. While I was the primary technical lead, the Nutanix Performance and Solution teams and the VMware DaaS team all helped to make this paper public. Please give your comments here or directly.

    Related DaaS Posts:

    Horizon DaaS – Noisy Neighbour Problems

    Prism Central offers first class security for your customers with VMware Horizon DaaS

    VMware App Volumes on Nutanix Best Practices with UberAgent

    May
    06

    Manadtory Education on Folder Redirection for VDI

    Two fantastic resources that are publicly available on the topic of folder redirection for VDI. Both videos give you great insights into decisions when your going willy nilly clicking on GPO options and working with 3rd party vendors.

    Pro Version of Folder Redirection Why Folder Redirection Sucks, but is a Necessary Evil

    Scary things about Folder RedirectionHow Folder Redirection Impacts User Experience and Breaks Applications

    2015-05-06_10-31-32

    Nutanix-.Next-User-Conference-Email_Signature

    May
    05

    VMware Horizon 6 RDS-hosted Apps and Imprivata failover with New Firmware

    PCoIP Firmware 4.8.0 firmware for Tera2 zero clients has just been released. Some small goodies in there but I think the main one is for RDS. Zero clients now support VMware Horizon 6 application remoting based on Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS). To configure zero clients to access VMware Horizon streamed applications, select the new Enable RDS Application Access option on the View Connection Server > Session page, under Advanced Options.

    The new firmware aslo allows a View Connection Server address for Imprivata OneSign environments allows administrators to configure a Direct to View link on zero clients configured for View Connection Server + Imprivata OneSign mode. When users click the link, the current OneSign connection or authentication flow is cancelled and a Horizon View authentication flow starts instead. This feature lets OneSign zero client users access their View desktops when the OneSign infrastructure is unavailable.

    —- link to new firmware —-

    Nutanix-.Next-User-Conference-Email_Signature

    Apr
    30

    Simplicity & Choice for Private & Public Cloud Backup. #.NEXT with #Rubrik

    As the inaugural .NEXT conference slowly creeps up and the speed and change in the industry is only continuing to accelerate. While CIOs, Operations managers, development teams and sysadmins struggle to keep pace an important ally has become the ability for the customers to demand choice and simplicity. Simplicity reduces pain and choice gives the feeling of safety.

    While Steve Herrod was CTO at VMware he had coined the term Software Defined Datacenter. The ability for a workload to live anywhere has been dream for many years but now is a reality as other services like backup and disaster recovery have continued to evolve. It’s always been easy to spin up virtual machines but another to protect and manage them all.

    Technologies from Nutanix and Gold sponsor of .NEXT, Rubrik highlights how customers are adapting to backup and disaster recovery needs. Simplicity comes in the form of the mentality of it “just works” across private or public backup solutions.

    Rubrik being a virtualization only backup solution has many similarities to Nutanix. Both Nutanix and Rubrik provide simplicity with:
    · Rapid deployment
    · Fractional consumption based models
    · Built web-scale technologies that are designed to scale on demand
    · As you scale configuration complexity doesn’t increase
    · Per VM backup to local and remote appliances and AWS
    · Ability to create multiple backup schedules, SLAs & retention periods
    · HTML 5 user interface to avoid plugins, reduce setup times and highly available control plane

    When things “Just Work” you don’t have to be an expert in the technology and you can focus your time on how your business makes money. Backup and DR are a time sinks until unfortunately time comes when you need to use them. As public cloud back up uses cases it great for companies that don’t have to spend the money on keeping the lights on for backup\DR.

    Some other similarities between the two companies are make up of the companies. There is a heavy DNA of google blood line in engineering, they share a common venture capital firm in Lightspeed Ventures. Both the CEO of Rubrik, Bipul Sinha and one of the founders of Rubrik Mark Leslie, sit on the board of Nutanix. If you’re thinking you like a full stack play, Nutanix can be your primary data fabric and Rubrik for your secondary fabric. Remember, friends not let friends do complex!

    Nutanix & Rubrik

    Check out the chassis, Top and bottom, notice anything similar?!

    Choice is important because there is never 1 way to do things for 100% for everybody. When it comes to getting work done most of us have experience of being locked into the UI of vendor X. If it’s not in the UI you can’t change the workflow to meet your needs and then you start doing things that really consume a lot of time. Manually adding VM’s to backups it just one of those boring redundant tasks. In a large cloud environment you wouldn’t want to just backup every new virtual machine every 1 hr on the 1 hr but might want to do this say after X days once it been deemed important. This could be both accomplished by Nutanix or Rubrik via Rest API’s with ability to tie in your own business logic into the workflow.

    Rest API’s represent the ultimate choice in how to run your infrastructure. When Marc Andreessen’s authored “Software is Eating The World” was about the industries being distributed by software. Both Nutanix and Rubrik share this view and have more news on how they’re both disrupting the datacenter at .NEXT.

    Nutanix-.Next-User-Conference-Email_Signature

    Apr
    12

    DevOps at Target & .Next

    I was trying to find some examples of companies that weren’t just web companies using DevOps to change their business. I stumbled across the below video of Heather (@hmmickman) and Ross (@rossclanton) that talk about their teams and company’s story about getting aboard the DevOps train. The thing that I heard above people and process was API’s. Even with the use of a few API’s, automation can be used to change the game in your environment.

    DevOps - Target

    Target’s use of API’s

    In the context of test and dev environments(production too) it’s automation that drives cost down. Hypervisors like Nutanix’s Linux KVM version offers something unique in that department being hyper-converged. Imagine having something that has predictable performance, the ability to quickly deploy your applications with VAAI, run docker containers, deploy and move nodes around the environment, attach storage automatically, use Packer to build consistent environments for KVM, ESXi and your local desktop. They’re so many choices to get the job done today, it’s really exciting to see all the options today. Puppet Chef, Salt and so on. I would encourage people to register for .Next and see what the future has in store with you and Nutanix.

    DevOpsDays Minneapolis 2014 — Heather Mickman & Ross Clanton, DevOps at TGT from devopsdays on Vimeo.

    Apr
    07

    Nutanix is DevOps Kungfu, are you?

    While this video is about DevOps, I think it can be applied to most if not all businesses if you want to be successful. Adam Jacob mentions in the below video, “Do not be timid about the scope or the influence – we are re-inventing the way we run businesses”. Nutanix does have lofty goals but that’s apart of the lure of Nutanix. Would you want to be apart of something that is mediocre? Web-scale gets poked at but that’s cool, it’s all about the end state plus life is too short to take everything seriously.

    Some of the other points really resonate with me when interacting with sales, engineering and product management at Nutanix:

    • Design for the safety, contentment, knowledge and freedom of both your peers and your customers.
    • Each choice you make needs to make life better for the humans involved
    • The ability for individuals to act without fear of unintended consequences
    • Access to knowledge is a leading indicator of social progress.
    • Pull over Push – The “Pull” of demand aligns process and resources, rather than the “Push” of central planning and prediction
    • Empowerment
    • Small batches, near term hypothesis – validation comes from customers

    DevOps doesn’t have to be technical, It’s about you figuring out what works in your environment. Are you DevOps Kungfu?

    Apr
    06

    Top 20 KB Arictles for VMware Horizon View

    More of a bookmark for myself. Why repeat the past?

    1. Manually deleting linked clones or stale virtual desktop entries from the View Composer database in VMware View Manager and Horizon View (2015112)
    2. Pool settings are not saved, new pools cannot be created, and vCenter Server tasks are not processed in a Horizon View environment (2082413)
    3. Generating and importing a signed SSL certificate into VMware Horizon View 5.1/5.2/5.3/6.0 using Microsoft Certreq (2032400)
    4. The time stamp on a snapshot image does not update automatically in VMware Horizon View (2074301)
    5. Network connectivity requirements for VMware View Manager 4.5 and later (1027217)
    6. Manually deleting replica virtual machines in VMware Horizon View 5.x (1008704)
    7. Connecting to the View ADAM Database (2012377)
    8. VMware Horizon View Best Practices (1020305)
    9. Forcing replication between ADAM databases (1021805)
    10. Restart order of the View environment to clear ADLDS (ADAM) synchronization in View 4.5, 4.6, 5.0, and 5.1 (2068381)
    11. Provisioning View desktops fails due to customization timeout errors (2007319)
    12. Generating a Horizon View SSL certificate request using the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Certificates snap-in (2068666)
    13. Legacy applications fail to start with the VMware View 6.0.x agent installed (2091845)
    14. Troubleshooting a black screen when logging into a Horizon View virtual desktop using PCoIP (1028332)
    15. Resolving licensing errors when deploying virtual Office to a system with Office installed natively (2107369)
    16. Troubleshooting SSL certificate issues in VMware Horizon View 5.1 and later (2082408)
    17. The Event database performance in VMware View 6.0.x is extremely slow (2094580)
    18. Configuring USB device filters and redirecting Human Interface Devices (HIDs) in View Client (1011600)
    19. Finding and removing unused replica virtual machines in the VMware Horizon View (2009844)
    20. PCoIP Disconnection Codes (2012101)

    First Posted at: http://blogs.vmware.com/kb/2015/04/refresh-top-20-horizon-view-kb-articles.html

    Mar
    31

    Docker and Virtualization – Both are needed

    Today we released the Nutanix Next Community Podcast on Docker. Our guest was Nigel Poulton who I was lucky enough to first meet at a Tech Field Day event back in 2012. Nigel has a couple of courses available on Docker at Pluralsight and has great insight knowing Docker and spending a ton of time working with infrastructure.

    You can check out the full podcast on iTunes or here:
    docker

    A question that gets raised will Docker cut into a significant portion of the virtualization game? Will Hyper-V and VMware lose potential revenue to people running docker? It’s a hard question to answer and I think we tried to address it in the podcast in a round about way. Unless your a Joyent and doing something very custom like with their SmartOS it’s doubtful to me. Developers don’t tend to manage infrastructure and DevOps is only a buzz word for a lot Enterprises. Enterprises tend to be slow moving so a common management platform is important and that tends to be the virtualization layer. If the delvoplers didn’t already move out and consume public cloud resources, virtualiaztion will still be needed. There were lots of reason why people moved away from bare metal installs and lots of those same reasons still apply. Yes Docker can provide isolation but host management, security and protecting the workloads are still very important. You still need to backup and manage your images and any persistent data that may be stored. Does it make sense to make for a Enterprise Plus license from VMware to run Docker? Probably not but maybe there is the right use case. I am still need to get my head around Docker Swarm \ lattice and how it will all tie together. Like AWS, I see Xen and KVM based hypervisors flourishing here. Get the features that you lose out on from going bare-metal and but lower the cost. This is were I can see people still running Docker on a virtualized host because of the familiarity with the management layer.

    From a Nutanix perspective whichever hypervisor you want to run, ESXi, Hyper-V or KVM you get:

    • Per VM Management, per disk level metrics
    • Hardware Management thru one-click upgrades
    • Auto-scale your infrastructure thru the Prism UI or API’s
    • Snapshots/backup – think protecting your private repository
    • Network/Security Management

    Docker Resources
    Want to Learn Docker – Look no Furthur!
    Docker on Windows – Some Insight
    Nigel Poulton Blog
    Pluralsight Video – Docker Deep Dive
    First Look: Native Docker Clustering

    Have a comment, please add it!