Part I: How to setup a three-node NUC Nutanix CE cluster
This blog was authorized by @MarcNutanix Sr. Systems Engineer at Nutanix.
The following is my experience in successfully setting up a three-node Nutanix Community Edition (CE) cluster for my home lab. During this process I did a lot of research and reviewed the CE forums, [go].
Since much of the information can be found in many locations, I thought it was a good idea to put them together in a single post that consolidates the details on how to get your first Nutanix CE cluster up and running.
A single NUC using the ingredients above will cost you around $1,000.
NOTE: Nutanix CE can run on 1, 3 or 4 Node Configurations. I specifically selected a (3) Node configuration in my home lab since this is also the minimum config for our Nutanix Customers in the real world.
The hardware install is very easy, just flip the NUC over, loosen 4 screws at each corner, remove the bottom cover and insert memory and the SSD drives.
Now that you have your hardware setup, the next step is to register and download the Nutanix CE software.
Next, you have to get the image onto a USB Drive which your Node will boot from. I used Rufus on Windows, https://rufus.akeo.ie/
Verify you have the following files downloaded.
Create a bootable Nutanix CE image on your USB Flash Drive
Insert your USB Flash Drive.
Run Rufus and click on the Image Icon.
Make sure to change below to “All files” instead of ISO file, find the Nutanix CE Image file and click Open.
Just click on Start and the Nutanix CE Image will be “burned” onto the USB Flash Drive.
IMPORTANT: Each NUC needs its own USB flash drive to boot up and run Nutanix CE.
Now plug in the USB flash drives into each one of your NUCs, power on the NUCs and install Nutanix CE.
Planning my (3) Node NUC Nutanix CE Cluster
I wanted to take some time and explain how my home network setup is configured and how my Nutanix CE home lab will interface with it. The Nutanix CE configuration will be sitting on my bookshelf in my home office, ready for use!
So my cable modem and wireless access point (with 4 Ports) sits on the main floor. All my laptops, tablets, phones, devices connect to the main floor WAP.
Since I wanted to have my Nutanix CE home lab sit in the bookshelf of my home office which is upstairs, I did the following:
- Purchased a gigabit ethernet switch for my lab
- Purchased a WAP to extend my home wireless
- Simply plugged in each NUC’s ethernet port into the gigabit ethernet switch
- Since the WAP is extending my home wireless, anything I plug into the bookshelf switch is connected to the internet
NOTE: You need to have internet connectivity when you log into the CVM or Cluster IP address via Prism to manage and run your Nutanix CE Cluster because this is tied to your Community email/password on my.nutanix.com
Host (Physical NUC) IP Address: 192.168.1.150-152
Host Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Host Gateway: 192.168.1.1
CVM (Each Host runs a Nutanix Controller Virtual Machine) IP Address: 192.168.1.160-162
CVM Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
CVM Gateway: 192.168.1.1
Things to do after Nutanix CE Installation and before you create your Cluster
After the installation, the first thing I did was to change the CVM memory which by default takes up 16GB. The NUC has a total of 32GB of memory, I wanted to reduce the amount of memory the CVM default takes so I can run plenty of virtual machines in my Nutanix CE home lab.
I decided to reduce the CVM memory to 8GB. After a couple weeks of using my Nutanix CE Cluster with plenty of virtual machines, I have not experienced any problems or concerns at all running each CVM with 8GB of memory.
To reduce the CVM memory to 8GB you can either (1) log directly into the Nutanix CE node or (2) SSH into the Nutanix CE node. Either way make sure to log in as “root” and not “nutanix”.
NOTE: Remember anytime you log into the NUC or Node you use “root” and anytime you log into the CVM you use “nutanix”. The password by default is nutanix/4u for either “root” or “nutanix”.
To set the CVM memory to 8GB
virsh list --all
virsh shutdown <CVM-Name>
virsh setmem <CVM-Name> 8G --config
virsh setmaxmem <CVM-Name> 8G --config
virsh start <CVM-Name>
virsh list –all, to make sure CVM is back up and running
Confirm CVM memory is set to 8GB
virsh dominfo <CVM-Name>
Creating the Cluster
Now that you have installed each NUC node and configured each CVM with 8GB of memory, now is the exciting step of setting up a Cluster with your NUC Nodes.
SSH into one of the CVMs, I opened up terminal on my Mac and typed “ssh firstname.lastname@example.org” and used the password “nutanix/4u”
Type “cluster –s cvmip,cvmip,cvmip create (no spaces between the commas)
Example, to create my cluster I used “cluster –s 192.168.1.160,192.168.1.161,192.168.1.162 create”
After completion, hopefully everything is up and running
You can type “cluster status” and each CVM will display its status
Logging into your super cool new Nutanix CE Cluster for the first time
Open your web browser of choice and connect to one of your CVM IP Addresses
Use “admin” for the username and the password
You will then be asked to change the password
NOTE: You need to make sure your laptop, tablet, etc. that you are using to access Prism also has internet access since Prism will ask for your email/password that you used to log into the Community site (my.nutanix.com).
Congrats! You are now logged into your Nutanix CE Cluster
Confirm that CVMs are set to 8GB of memory
- Click on Home – VM
- Click on Table, check the Include Controller VMs box and verify your CVMs are running at 8GB of Memory
Now let the fun begin!
Here is a pic of my Nutanix CE Home Lab Bookshelf Cluster
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