Nutanix: Scale Out Doesn’t Mean Addtional Licensing

man-pantsIt’s that time of year where you can feel like you’re being squeezed from every direction. Hypervisor costs don’t have to be apart of the equation however. Being on lots of sales calls, a common misconception is that if you want to add more storage to Nutanix to also have to pay for more hypervisor licensing. This is not true.

The Nutanix virtual storage controllers don’t relay on any hypervisor management features for the features to work. No vCenter, no SCVMM, and WebVirtMgr(KVM) is needed to run the Nuntanix Operating System(NOS). NOS upgrades are handled without interaction from the hypervisor. The Nutanix AutoPath features allows for seamless upgrades in a non-disruptive fashion.

With vSphere the hypervisor can be upgraded in a rolling fashion using the virtual storage controllers as the focus point. The virtual storage controllers maintain a list of the hypervisors forming the cluster so you can easily run esxcli commands to update the hosts.

Hyper-V can be ran with the core edition and running Linux VM’s don’t require licensing.

KVM no licences to worry about to my knowledge.(I am not strong in this area so Linux folks please chime in)

The 6020 from Nutanix offers 20% more storage than the 6050(for running server workloads), 30% less compute capacity and can be ordered with only 32 GB of RAM. Nutanix has background processes to move the cold data to the new nodes. Flash on the 6020 can be used by remote nodes if their local flash is full, the 6020 can help participate in replication to reduce hot spots in data protection. Spare compute can be used by vSphere vDR or Veeam Backup/DR products for recovery.

If your up on your orchestration you can also add automatically add the Nutanix nodes to your hypervsisopr management platform of choice based using the Nutanix REST-API.

Any other questions about Nutanix and\or maintaining an environment please leave a comment.


Under the Covers of a Distributed Virtual Computing Platform – Part 1: Built For Scale and Agility

Lots of talk in the industry about how had software defined storage first and who was using what components. I don’t want to go down that rat hole since it’s all marketing and it won’t help you at the end of the day to enable your business. I want to really get into the nitty gritty of the Nutanix Distributed Files System(NDFS). NDFS has been in production for over a year and half with good success, take read of the article on the Wall Street Journal.

Below are core services and components that make NDFS tick. There are actually over 13 services, for example our replication is distributed across all the nodes to provide speed and low impact on the system. The replication service is called Cerebro which we will get to in this series.
Nuntaix Distrubuted File System

This isn’t some home grown science experiment, the engineers that wrote the code come from Google, Facebook, Yahoo where this components where invented. It’s important to realize that all components are replaceable or future proofed if you will. The services\libraries provide the API’s so as newest innovations happen in the community, Nutanix is positioned to take advantage.

All the services mentioned above run on multiple nodes in cluster a master-less fashion to provide availability. The nodes talk over 10 GbE and are able to scale in a linear fashion. There is no performance degradation as you add nodes. Other vendors have to use InfiniBand because they don’t share the metadata cross all of the nodes. Those vendors end up putting a full copy of the metadata on each node, this eventually will cause them to hit a performance cliff and the scaling stops. Each Nutanix node acts a storage controller allowing you to do things like have a datastore of 10,000 VM’s without any performance impact.

While the diagram can look a little daunting, rest assured the complexity has been abstracted away for the end user. It’s a radical shift in data center architecture and will be fun breaking it down.


Giving the Google Goodness to the Enterprise

Giving the Google Goodness to the Enterprise in a ultra dense solution. 4 nodes in 2U’s is meh, it’s a game changer when that includes your enterprise storage.

W. Curtis Preston interviews Sudheesh Nair, VP Sales for Nutanix, at VMWorld 2012 Barcelona. They talk about the Nutanix motto of virtualization infrastructure without SAN. SAN and NAS was never designed for virtualization in general. Three things changed recently: Flash, virtualization has become the de facto standard, and x86 has become commodity hardware. Nutanix is bringing those 3 things together and providing an infrastructure for VMWare. They discuss Nutanix’s ability to scale out.