Wednesday, December 6, 2017

What's New with Nutanix AOS 5.5 “Obelix”


Nutanix Just released AOS 5.5 “Code Name - Obelix”, along with AHV 5.5, Prism Central 5.5, AFS 2.2.0, LCM 1.3, and Foundation 3.11.2.

This release includes the following new features:


Nutanix Calm

Nutanix Calm allows you to seamlessly select, provision, and manage your business applications across your infrastructure for both the private and public clouds. Nutanix Calm provides App lifecycle, monitoring and remediation to manage your heterogeneous infrastructure, for example, VMs or bare-metal servers. Nutanix Calm supports multiple platforms so that you can use the single self-service and automation interface to manage all your infrastructure. Nutanix Calm provides an interactive and user friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI) to manage your infrastructure. You can access the Nutanix Calm feature from the Prism Central.
Nutanix Calm Features:
  • Application Lifecycle Management: Automates the provision and deletion of both traditional multi-tiered applications and modern distributed services by using pre-integrated blueprints that make management of applications simple in both private (AHV) and public cloud (AWS).
  • Customizable Blueprints: Simplifies the setup and management of custom enterprise applications by incorporating the elements of each app, including relevant VMs, configurations and related binaries into an easy-to-use blueprint that can be managed by the infrastructure team.
  • Nutanix Marketplace: Publishes the application blueprints directly to the end users through Marketplace.
  • Governance: Maintains control with role-based governance thereby limiting the user operations that are based on the permissions.
  • Hybrid Cloud Management: Automates the provisioning of a hybrid cloud architecture, scaling both multi-tiered and distributed applications across cloud environments, including AWS.

Machine Learning Engine

Prism Central now includes machine-learning capabilities that analyze resource usage over time and provide tools to monitor resource consumption, identify abnormal behavior, and guide resource planning.
Machine Learning Engine include:
· VM "right sizing" where VMs are analyzed and those that exhibit inefficient profiles are identified
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· Anomaly detection to record when performance or resource usage is outside an expected range based on learned VM baseline behavior.
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· "Smart" alerts that trigger when specified anomalies are recorded.
· Reports that summarize cluster efficiency.

Self-Service Portal Integration into Prism Central

The Prism Self Service feature allows you to create projects where consumers of IT infrastructure within an enterprise—individual users or teams such as development, test, and DevOps—can provision and manage VMs in a self-service manner, without having to engage IT in day-to-day operations. Now you can manage the full range of self-service portal features from the Prism Central web console user interface.

Reports Management

The report management feature provides you with an ability to configure and deliver the historical reports containing information about the infrastructure resources. This feature provides the operational insights of your infrastructure into your mailbox according to the schedule that you have configured.
A generated report can be divided into three main components:
  • Style: Defines the way to represent the report, for example background color, logos, and so on.
  • Representation of data: Defines the way that you want to represent the data. You can accomplish this by including different views (pre-defined and customizable).
  • Data: Defines the actual data depending on your selection, for example information about different metrics; CPU usage, memory usage, IOPS bandwidth, VM count, host count, cluster count, license summary etc.

Support for Windows Server 2016 and Hyper-V 2016

AOS 5.5 now supports Windows Server 2016 and Hyper-V 2016.This release now supports virtual hard disks (.vhdx) that are 2 TB or greater in size in Hyper-V clusters.

Network Segmentation

Network segmentation in an AHV cluster is a security feature that separates management traffic from backplane traffic by creating separate virtual networks, one for each of these traffic types, on the default external virtual switch on each host. To enable the CVMs in a cluster to communicate over these networks, the CVMs are multihomed by the addition of a third virtual network interface card (vNIC) to the Controller VM. Additionally, the hypervisor is assigned an interface on the backplane network.

Single Node Cluster

Support for single node clusters running user VMs. Single Node clusters are fully supported with NX-1175S-G5. Limited user VM use is supported on NX-1155-G5 depending on the compute available and which only supports AHV.

Async Disaster Recovery with NearSync

The NearSync feature provides you with the ability to protect your data with up to 1 minute RPO. NearSync secure your data with minimal data loss in case of a disaster and provides you with more granular control during the restore process. The NearSync feature allows resolution to a disaster event in minutes.

AHV Turbo Data Path

AHV Turbo replaces the QEMU SCSI data path in the AHV architecture for improved storage performance.
Support for vNUMA
vNUMA optimizes memory performance of virtual machines that require more vCPUs or memory than the capacity of a single physical NUMA node. In a vNUMA topology, you can create multiple vNUMA nodes where each vNUMA node includes vCPUs and virtual RAM. When you assign a vNUMA node to a physical NUMA node, the vCPUs can intelligently determine the memory latency (high or low). Low memory latency within a vNUMA node results in low latency within a physical NUMA node.
AHV hosts support Virtual Non-uniform Memory Access (vNUMA) on virtual machines. You can enable vNUMA on VMs when you create or modify the VMs to optimize memory performance.

Updated Controller VM Kernel

AOS 5.5 Controller VMs and Prism Central VMs are now running the CentOS-7.3 kernel with Python 2.7.

Support for OpenLDAP for Self-Service Portal

Nutanix now supports the OpenLDAP directory service running on CentOS distributions.

Acropolis Image Create / Update / Delete (CUD)

Acropolis Image create, update, delete (CUD) behavior has changed in this release. Image API CUD behavior depends on whether a cluster (also known as Prism Element) is registered to Prism Central.
If the Prism Element (PE) cluster is newly created and has never been registered with a Prism Central instance (that is, never managed by Prism Central), all image CUD operations will be allowed on the PE cluster.
If the PE cluster is registered with a Prism Central instance (that is, managed by Prism Central) CUD operations will be blocked on the PE cluster. Ownership of images is migrated from PE to Prism Central. CUD operations must be performed through Prism Central.
If the PE cluster is unregistered from Prism Central, new images can be created, updated and deleted on the PE clusters. Update operations are blocked on the PE cluster for images that previously migrated to Prism Central.
In the case of a local image local file upload, with more than one PE cluster managed by Prism Central, the image state is active on that PE cluster. All other PE clusters will show the image as inactive. If you create a VM from that image, the image bits are copied to the other PE clusters. The image then appears in an active state on all managed PE clusters.

Connect to Citrix Cloud

The Connect to Citrix Cloud feature leverages the automated installer functionality of the Citrix Cloud connector to establish a secure communication channel between Nutanix and Citrix Cloud. This feature provides single-click integration of the on-premise Nutanix clusters (as a resource location) with the Citrix Cloud environment.

Download: https://portal.nutanix.com/#/page/releases/nosDetails?targetId=5.5&targetVal=GA
Release Notes: https://portal.nutanix.com/#/page/docs/details?targetId=Release-Notes-Acr-v55:Release-Notes-Acr-v55

Monday, November 13, 2017

My Experience Attending Nutanix .Next Europe 2017!

I was lucky enough to attend Nutanix .Next Europe 2017 in Nice, France. Really, it went beyond my expectations as a technology conference. Starting with the name of the venue “Acropolis Conference Center”, Opening Keynote with more than 2,200+ Cloud Builders, Recognizing of NutanixNTC, Live Demo by Steven Poitras (Writer of The Nutanix Bible) followed by very inspirational presentation by Fabien Cousteau & Rob Lloyd (CEO Hyperloop One), Ending with an remarkable closing keynote by Mick Ebeling “Founder NOT IMPOSSIBLE”.

Also, witness the passion for the technology & innovation between all attendees, including Nutanix Top Management, Staff, Sponsors and Customers.

Moreover, it was a good opportunity to hear all the latest announcements including “Acropolis Object Storage Service, Nutanix Calm & XI Cloud Services” and upcoming features in AHV 5.5 (e.g. Support for vGPU & Citrix PVS)

If you missed .Next Europe 2017, You still have the chance to watch the recorded Morning Keynote Day1, Afternoon Keynote Day1 & Keynote Day2

Or, register for .Next On-Tour to hear the highlights and hottest announcements from the .NEXT Conference.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Nutanix X-RAY

Nutanix X-Ray is an automated testing framework and benchmarking application for enterprise grade datacenters. With X-Ray, teams can simulate how applications are impacted during common events and scenarios, including system failures, spikes in application use, software upgrades, and more. Run multiple workloads in the same environment, while ensuring that heavy demand of one application does not negatively impact performance for other workloads.

The following areas are covered in the X-Ray test scenarios:

  • Availability X-Ray tests how a hyperconverged solution tolerates a node failure during a workload. Consistent performance and stability test the system's availability and the management fabric's failure tolerance.
  • Realistic Performance X-Ray tests the system's solution to handle mixed workloads. The solution can include running databases on a single node, simultaneously running VDI workloads on multiple nodes, mixing VM snapshot, VDI boot storms, VM provisioning, and multiple workloads or stability over an extended period of time.
  • Feature Set  Ideal features include clones for VM provisioning, deduplication, compression, VAAI support, native VMlevel replication, Cloud Connect, 1-click software and hypervisor upgrades, BIOS/drives, compatibility with multiple hypervisors and the ability to migrate and convert between hypervisors with the same solution.
  • Data Integrity X-Ray tests the data's safety during power outages or component failures.

Download Nutanix X-Ray and Docs

Nutanix Xtract

Nutanix Xtract provides a simple method for businesses to migrate existing VMs & Databases from VMware ESXi clusters to Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS.

Xtract for VMs has been designed for all workload types, providing an efficient method to onboard a large number of VMs very simply and quickly. Its architecture is designed with performance and efficiency in mind, and starts with a deployed virtual appliance. IT admins follow a 3-step process in the Xtract administrator console to configure and run migrations.





Where Xtract for VMs takes a “lift and shift” approach to migration, Xtract for DBs, operates at an application-level to handle the migration, and importantly, transformation of Microsoft SQL Server databases.From the initial discovery and scans of SQL Server environments, performance and configuration information is used in-conjunction with Nutanix best practises to create a design template. Xtract uses this template to create a new SQL Server deployment on Nutanix, migrating only the data within the databases into the newly created VM. The application of Nutanix best practices ensures the database instance is right-sized during the process.



Key Benefits:
  • Streamlined VM migrations with one-click simplicity
  • Agentless infrastructure discovery and migrations
  • Flexible VM network mappings
  • Control over the cutover process with near-zero downtime
  • Cost efficient – included with all Nutanix software editions
  • SQL migrations from any source platform (hardware, virtual or cloud)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Nutanix Xi Cloud Services

Nutanix Xi Cloud Services provide a native extension to the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform, delivering an integrated public cloud environment that can be instantly provisioned and automatically configured.


Xi Cloud Services will be operated by Nutanix and delivered from datacenters in the U.S., located in Northern Virginia and San Francisco Bay Area. We have also teamed up with Google to Fuse Cloud Environments for Enterprise Apps and deliver Xi from Google Cloud Platform datacenters.

Disaster Recovery (DR) Service

The first Xi Cloud Service that will be available is Xi Disaster Recovery (DR), a turnkey and integrated service that rapidly and intelligently protects the applications and data in your Nutanix environment without the need to purchase and maintain a separate infrastructure stack. Customers will be able to simply select VMs for protection, choose one of several subscription plans and setup protection – all from within Prism! The VMs will then be replicated in the background, ready to be recovered in the public environment in the event of a site failure.



Read More:

Nutanix Calm!

Nutanix Calm provides application automation and lifecycle management for the Nutanix and public clouds. Calm orchestrates the provisioning, scaling, and management of applications across multiple environments to make the entire IT infrastructure more agile and application-centric.



Calm defines applications via simple blueprints that administrators can easily create and instantly deploy. IT managers can either utilize pre-integrated blueprints or create their own, then publish them to the Nutanix Marketplace. 



Organizations can now fully automate hybrid cloud architecture deployments, scaling both multitiered and distributed applications across different cloud environments, including AWS.

Calm’s policy-based governance and reporting show the overall utilization and true cost of your public cloud consumption at a glance so you can base application provisioning decisions on business needs and budget requirements.


Friday, June 23, 2017

HYCU - The only backup and recovery purpose-built for Nutanix

HYCU  (Haiku: a traditional form of Japanese poetry valued for simplicity, openness, depth lightness) is the first data protection solution powered by ‘Comtrade Software’ that is fully integrated with Nutanix AHV. HYCU makes data protection easy to deploy and manage with automated application discovery. 


Features:
  • Native & Reliable data protection for VMs and mission-critical applications. 
  • 3 minutes to deploy through Nutanix Prism web console. 
  • 4 minutes to learn and protect virtual machines and applications. 
  • 2 minutes to restore VMs & Applications. 
  • Predefined backup policies (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) that simplify the data protection implementation. 
  • Automatic backup scheduling provides data protection based on your recovery point objectives (RPOs). 
  • In-built application awareness provides application discovery and application-specific backup and restore. 
  • Multiple data storage targets, including cloud services (Amazon, Azure) also local storages using NSF & SMB. 


Licensing:

HYCU comes with a prebuilt Instant-on license that expires automatically after 45 days and cannot be reused. HYCU license is based on the number of CPU sockets on all Nutanix clusters.

Perpetual license:

•Nutanix SX series: USD $999/socket

•Nutanix NX series: USD $1500/socket

Subscription:

•USD $75/month/socket

Resources:

Press Release: Comtrade Software Introduces the First Data Protection Solution Purpose-built for Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform

The Register: Software 'submarine' surfaces data protection for the Nutanix hypervisor crowd

Trial: http://tryhycu.com