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Nutanix Move - Simpler, Faster, Better: AWS Migrations Rearchitected!

  • 25 March 2021
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Nutanix Move - Simpler, Faster, Better: AWS Migrations Rearchitected!
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The Nutanix Move tool (formerly known as Xtract) is a cross-hypervisor mobility solution initially introduced to help customers migrate VMs onto the Nutanix platform with minimal downtime. Since the underlying infrastructures differ, a small amount of downtime is incurred during cutover from the source platform to the target.

Since its introduction, Nutanix has enhanced the Move tool to support a variety of lift and shift migrations, including migrations to and from AWS® EC2 instances. The latest release of Nutanix Move 3.7, launched in January 2021, makes AWS migrations much simpler, with a smoother UI workflow, improved security, more reliable migration process, and increased performance.

Nutanix Move Background

Starting with the Move 1.0 release, we had a framework that provided the foundation for workload migrations among Nutanix AHV and other hypervisors and cloud platforms.

In 2018, the Move Engineering team added support for Amazon EC2 migrations. Nutanix Move leverages published APIs to copy the base snapshot from source to target and efficiently keep the target disks in sync with the source by copying only the incrementals for subsequent snapshots.

With the release of Move 3.7, the Move team re-architected the Move tool, and took advantage of new APIs for AWS Elastic Block Store (EBS) to allow migrations to the Nutanix AOS™ systems.  The new architecture simplified the process, cutting back on the number of moving pieces and enhancing our story around AWS migrations.

Benefits Of The New Architecture

The new architecture brings many benefits in a variety of areas.

Functionality

We have eliminated almost all product restrictions imposed by the old architecture, enabling Move to support the migration of:

  • Most kernels (Windows®/Linux®) as well custom AMIs. Move no longer needs to update the in-kernel drivers to add support for new kernels.
  • Powered off EC instances.
  • EC2 instances that do not have public IPs or are in VPCs with no internet gateways.
  • EC2 instances with EBS volumes having marketplace codes.
  • EC2 instances launched as spot instances.

Additionally, due to the UI workflow simplification, there is no need to share credentials of EC2 instances in the UI.

Reliability

  • The new solution uses the EBS direct APIs for Changed Block Tracking (CBT), which makes the solution very simple and removes the need for deployment and lifecycle management of Move Agent proxy appliances.
  • The new architecture cuts down the number of moving pieces, leading to more reliable migrations. It makes the codebase cleaner and leaner, leading to less bugs.

Security

The new architecture improves the Move security posture because use of the tool does not require open ports on the proxy appliance and security group rules do not need to be updated.

Performance

We have seen a significant improvement in data seeding and cutover times with Move 3.7 compared to earlier versions.

Cost

Nutanix Move is free of charge to all Nutanix customers. Data ingress into AWS is free; however, data egress does incur AWS charges.

AWS charges typically comprise API and outbound data transfer costs. These AWS charges  will vary based on quantity of data and AWS region. Further pricing details on Amazon AWS data charges can be found here.

Move Roadmap

Now that Move 3.7 simplifies migrations out of AWS infrastructure, we are working to simplify migrations into AWS infrastructure and to help Nutanix customers to achieve savings in migration costs.

Read more about Move here, or for a complete list of new Move 3.7 features read the release notes here.

Continue the conversation in the Nutanix Move community forums.

This post was authored by Amol Karmarkar, Staff Engineer, Nutanix Move


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