Nutanix Calm 5.7 and 5.8: New Clouds, New Power

  • 6 September 2018
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Nutanix Calm 5.7 and 5.8: New Clouds, New Power
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This post was authored by Chris Brown Technical Marketing Manager, Nutanix

It’s hard to believe it’s been over 6 months since we released AOS 5.5 and with it, Nutanix Calm! In that time Calm had one major patch in PC 5.7 - the first Prism standalone release - and a few minor features added in the dual AOS/PC releases of 5.6 and 5.8. Today we’ll take a look at what clouds, tools, and capabilities these releases added and how you can take advantage of this new power right now.

Driving workloads to ESXi (on any infrastructure) and GCP

The most exciting new feature that PC 5.7 added is the ability to drive workloads to ESXi - both ESXi backed by a Nutanix cluster and ESXi running on traditional infrastructure. This means that you can use the automations and application defined in Calm across all your existing or legacy infrastructure right from Prism. Now you can define, control, and manage workloads on any ESXi infrastructure (running ESXi 5.5, 6.0, or 6.5) from a single interface - Prism.

5.7 also added support for Google Cloud Platform (GCP), allowing your blueprints to reach beyond your datacenter into the Google Cloud to take advantage of all the Google Compute Engine features. With 5.8.1 we also added support for AWS GovCloud, bringing the total number of supported clouds to 5 (AHV, ESXi, AWS, AWS GovCloud, GCP). Be sure to checkout our TechTopX video on Application Profiles to see how easy it is to start using these new clouds.

Blueprints and the Marketplace Updates

5.7 and 5.8 also added many new tools that make it easier to manage, publish, and automate with blueprints. While we can’t possibly cover them all, here’s a taste of what’s now available:

Application Scaling: With 5.7, applications can be natively scaled up or down using the special “Scale” task while building out an automation action. This will automatically provision additional copies of a service and you can setup other tasks in the scaling action to make sure the rest of your application responds as expected to this added component. You can also set minimum and maximums on the number of replicas allowed, ensuring that applications never grow out of expected limits or lose their resilience due to scaling-in too far.

Brownfield Import: You can take any existing set of VMs or cloud instances and import them directly into an application, allowing you to create new automations, integrate new services with existing ones, and manage existing applications as first class citizens in Calm. Be sure to checkout the documentation for more information

Marketplace Blueprint Versioning: When you publish a blueprint you can now give it a version and either make an entirely new application to publish, or associate it with an already published application and control who sees what version, allowing you to update applications with new blueprints and actions without losing access to previous work.

Web SSH Console: Application Management received an upgrade as well! You can now open an SSH console - using the credentials or keys stored in the blueprint - directly to any service. Everything is logged in Calm, so even if everyone logs in with the same username, Calm still knows who did what (and what the results were).

Macro Autocomplete: Authoring is easier with built-in autocomplete. Calm now recognizes the beginning of a macro (@@{}@@) and offers up a list of available commands making it easier than ever to use the built-in macros or your own custom variables.

Native Powershell: 5.8.1, while a minor Calm release, nonetheless added a new much simpler way to manage Windows boxes. Calm can now directly send Powershell scripts to Windows boxes without the need for an external Windows Server relay.

Turn on Calm today!

We could only cover a small sliver of the capabilities added in 5.7 and 5.8 here, and there’s plenty of more power available. From Flow integration, to Internationalization, to improved install and uninstall packages, there’s something for everyone. Be sure to checkout the release notes from 5.7 and 5.8 for a full list of new features, and the Operations Guide for information on using every feature available in Calm.

If you haven’t tried Calm yet, there’s no better time to check it out. Calm is natively integrated into Prism Central, so there’s nothing to download or install - simply enable it by click on the Calm tab (or Apps if you’re running code earlier then 5.8.1) in Prism Central. Every Prism Central has a 25 VM License for Calm pre-installed as well, meaning that you can start using it to automate VMs, Clouds, and Applications instantly. And as always, be sure to share what you create and join the conversation on the community forums.

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