Feb
16

The Gem of 4.6: NGT with VSS Hardware Support

One of my favorite areas of the 4.6 release is data protection and the hidden gem has to be Nutanix Guest Tools (NGT). NGT really enables a lot of features, cross-hypervisor DR, Dial (change ESXi to AHV and back again), Nutanix VSS Hardware provider, and Self Service Restore.

Nutanix Guest Tools also includes the Nutanix Guest Agent (NGA) service that communicates with Nutanix Controller VM and Nutanix VM Mobility Drivers. The Drivers for facilitating VM migration between ESXi and AHV, in-place hypervisor conversion, and cross-hypervisor disaster recovery features.

ngt

NGT is enabled from within Prism. Simply select the Enable NGT and an ISO will be mounted to the virtual machine.

NGT2

After mounting NGT on a VM, you can configure your Windows machine to use NGT. Log into the Windows guest VM. Double-click the Nutanix icon labeled X and a way you go. After accepting the license agreement and follow the prompts to configure NGT on the virtual machine. After installation finishes, Nutanix guest agents are installed on the VM and you can use all the NGT features (self-service restore, cross-hypervisor disaster recovery, application consistent snapshot with VSS on AHV, or in-place hypervisor conversion from ESXi to AHV and AHV to ESXi).

While cross-hypervisor disaster recovery will get a lot of coverage I think Nutanix’s VSS hardware support is the best news. Now application-consistent snapshots can take advantage of the Nutanix framework and services such as Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to quiesce the VM and supported applications, rendering them into a known or consistent state. For systems using ESXi or the Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV) running Microsoft Windows guests, the Nutanix Guest Agent running in the guest OS provides VSS support. Using the native Nutanix VSS hardware provider, the Nutanix Guest Agent is called to quiesce the OS and supported applications such as Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server before XCP takes an application-consistent snapshot of the VM. Application quiescence times are lower than those previous hypervisor-based snapshot tools could deliver. Lower quiescence times help to keep application performance constant and reduce the I/O required when collapsing a hypervisor-based snapshot. To my knowledge this is first for HCI not relying on VMware Tools(VMware snapshots) so it’s big step for supporting the largest SQL databases.

Supported Operating Systems for NGT are:

Windows:

    Windows 2008 R2 or later versions
    Windows 7 or later versions

Linux:

    CentOS 6.5 and 7.0
    Red Had Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.5 and 7.0
    Oracle Linux 6.5 and 7.0
    SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 SP4 and 12
    Ubuntu 14.04 or later releases

Trackbacks

  1. […] was released I wrote about how the newly added VSS support with Nutanix Guest Tools (NGT) was the gem of the release. It was fairly big compliment considering some of the important updates that were in the release […]

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