Nutanix 4.5 – DR and Backup For The Fitness Nut and New Features


DR practices in environments that aren’t heavily regulated can be a lot like eating right. You know you should eat more fruits and vegetables but lots of times people pick the easiest or cheapest option. Usually that option is to do nothing until something really bad happens. With the release of the Acropolis Operating System 4.5 continues with greater flexibility and ease of use for SMB up to the largest of enterprises. Disaster recovery (DR) support has been verified for up to 50 VMs per protection domain(grouping of VM with a common RPO) and the following replication topologies: 1-to-1, many-to-1, and bidirectional. You can have as many production domains as you want to get around the hurdles of managing LUNS on both sides.

New in 4.5 for DR
Bandwidth Limit on Schedule
Max bandwidth is set to throttle traffic between sites when no network device can limit replication traffic. Max bandwidth does not imply a maximum observed throughput. Max bandwidth allows for different settings throughout the day. Assign a max bandwidth policy when your sites are busy with production data. On days that are not busy you can deselect them which make them turn white.

This setting is in MB/s not Mb/s, this is important to note when talking with your networking teams.

Cloud Connect for Azure and AWS
The cloud connect feature for Azure enables you to back up and restore copies of virtual machines and files to and from an on-premise cluster and a Nutanix Controller VM located on the Microsoft Azure cloud. Once configured through the Prism web console, the remote site cluster is managed and monitored through the Data Protection dashboard like any other remote site you have created and configured. This feature is currently supported for ESXi hypervisor environments only. Cloud Connect for AWS is know supported on all supported hypervisors.

NX-6035C Clusters Usable as a Target for Replication
You can use a Nutanix NX-6035C cluster as a target for Nutanix native replication and snapshots, created by source Nutanix clusters in your environment. You can configure the NX-6035C as a target for snapshots, set a longer retention policy than on the source cluster (for example), and restore snapshots to the source cluster as needed. Low cost per TB and combined with Erasure Coding (EC-X) that is now GA makes a pretty compelling solution. Keep in mind EC-X is complementary to deduplication and compression.

The source cluster hypervisor environment can be AHV, Hyper-V, or ESXi. We are starting to see service providers provide DR and backup for their customers and this will go to help them in a long way. One Canadian Nutanix backed service provider is CloudSFY.

Network Mapping
settings2Network mapping allows you to control network configuration for the VMs when they are started on the remote site. This feature enables you to specify network mapping between the source cluster and the destination cluster. The remote site wizard includes an option to create one or more network mappings and allows you to select source and destination network from the drop-down list. You can also modify or remove network mappings as part of modifying the remote sites. Today it’s just for AHV <-> AHV movement of VM but you can tell by the picture of where this is headed.

Prism Central Can Now Be Deployed on the Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV)
Nutanix has introduced a Prism Central OVA which can be deployed on an AHV cluster by leveraging Image Service features. Great for managing all of your remote sites.

CommVault IntelliSnap Integration
Cluster level API integration with CommVault allowing the backup tool to directly manage the storage tier for snapshots and backups. This give Nutanix customers the ability to ensure the entire datacenter is backup managed by a single tool; in Nutanix and non-Nutanix deployments using CommVault.

File Level Restore in Tech Preview
The file level restore feature allows a virtual machine user to restore a file within a virtual machine from the Nutanix protected snapshot with minimal Nutanix administrator intervention.

Behind the scenes the whole Engineering team at Nutanix has done a ton of work around snapshots and performance as well. Their work won’t show up anywhere glamorous but rest assured a lot of testing as went into the 4.5. Testing high transnational workloads passed with flying colours.

VMware SRM was already supported from earlier versions.