Nutanix .NEXT Conference
After the success of the first ever Nutanix .NEXT conference in Miami, Nutanix have provided a raft of new features to their already magnificent software.
Some of these features will be available immediately, whilst a few that are still in development, will be following later on this year.
The video above provides a brief summary of the .NEXT conference.
Nutanix have now officially called their Hypervisor Acropolis and the management side Prism. So effectively, Acropolis uses the KVM Hypervisor but offloads Storage IO to their NDSF and they use the Web GUI to provide enhanced management of KVM based virtual machines; like creating, adding, cloning, migration, snapshots… you get the idea. Acropolis is always delivered as standard on any of their hardware delivered direct from the factory, along with NDSF (Nutanix Distributed Storage Fabric) and associated controllers. If you preferred a different Hyper-visor, for example VMware or Hyper-V, you could install that instead (using Foundation/Phoenix and VirtualBox tools once it had been delivered) and most people did. However, I have a feeling this will no longer be the case!
The Nutanix features have advanced with the new Acropolis introduction. Only recently Nutanix announced that they had provided management within the Web GUI to allow easier deployment of Virtual machines based on the KVM Hyper-visor. This was a significant achievement and was just a taste of what is to come, providing live migrations like vMotion, iSCSI for Microsoft Exchange (Certified by Microsoft) and later this year adding workload migrations. Now Acropolis is bringing some of those useful features that us IT Administrators (myself included) really use. All in all, Acropolis is now looking like a viable option that provides key features without the need to have a heavy v-tax (purchasing VMware or other hyper-visors). Another feature that has been mentioned will be the ability to migrate workloads between hypervisors, so from VMware to Acropolis or to a Public Cloud provider and the ability, if you have enough nodes, to have a mixed cluster of hyper-visors. One last feature that will also be added later in the year is CIFS. You will be able to host your file shares on Nutanix directly and with the NX-6035C available for storage expansion, this really does add another level of flexibility to the platform.
According to Nutanix, there is already more than 1200 nodes using their Acropolis software, so this isn’t just some product that has only been completed in the last few days, this is an established piece of code and proven within current infrastructures.
Prism is their management and reporting layer, cough up a bit more for Prism Central and you can also manage multiple clusters. You now have a very commanding grasp of your entire infrastructure. Prism and Prism Central is, once again, very similar to the VMware Ops Manager, providing detailed reporting and diagnostics.
Prism has been designed to be initiative in its use, using 3 or 4 columns to depict the health and wellbeing of your cluster, node or VMs.
They have also changed the naming of their hardware and now call it Xtreme Computing Platform. They have added the NX-6035C (storage node) and NX-60-35-G4 (moderate compute and storage) to their collection of hardware.
They have also upgraded a few nodes to support the Intel Haswell chipset and whilst doing so, the NX-3174-G4 now allows 2 x 6TB drives, providing a much improved storage capacity over the previous models.