Nutanix recently announced that Nutanix XCP is now a certified and fully supported solution for SAP NetWeaver, the first-ever hyperconverged infrastructure on the list. We have also entered into a collaborative technical support agreement that will give our joint customers a seamless support experience.
Here are some of the frequently asked questions related to the announcement. You can also read the companion blog post here.
1. When will the Nutanix solution for SAP NetWeaver be available?
The Nutanix Solution for SAP NetWeaver is available today. We are closely working with SAP on the various permutations and combinations of hypervisors and guest operating systems running NetWeaver. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on Twitter @nutanix if you are looking for more information or to setup a briefing.
2. I was told that Nutanix and hyperconverged infrastructure in general was not ready for tier-1 SAP workloads. Is that true?
Nothing can be further from the truth. Nutanix XCP is ready for tier-1 workloads today. Numerous world-class companies, such as Kellogg, Toyota, Fitness First, Lion Group, and Empire Life, are running their critical server workloads on Nutanix, including SAP NetWeaver, Oracle applications and databases, IBM DB2, and SQL Server. What differentiates Nutanix from the other HCI vendors is our core web-scale architecture, which brings together the predictable performance and scalability of web-scale designs with the enterprise reliability of traditional architectures
In order for infrastructure to be considered tier-1 production ready, it has to meet some fundamental criteria. Nutanix has significantly exceeded customer expectations in this area. Key criteria include:
- Having the right mix of fast, predictable performance and price/performance for even the most demanding of databases. Nutanix XCP can deliver 10,000s to 100,000s of IOPS on the storage front for real-world transactional and analytical workloads. On the compute front, Nutanix has different models to meet your application/VM needs, including the compute and flash heavy NX-8000 and all flash NX-9000, compute/storage balanced NX-3000, and the entry level NX-1000.
- Being able to deliver enterprise levels of resiliency, data protection, and uptime. IDC found that Nutanix customers reduced their unplanned downtime (vs. their legacy 3-tier infrastructure) by 98%. This is taking into account the entire infrastructure stack. Numerous customers, including Empire Life, have incurred minimal to no downtime in their years of operation for their critical applications.
- Nutanix web-scale architecture was designed to be self-healing – from tolerating hardware failure without application downtime to allowing non-disruptive upgrades to scaling without impacting end users. Additionally, app and infrastructure admins can setup local and remote VM-centric backups and even synchronous metro-wide clusters to protect databases and key files.
- Having enterprise levels of support. Nutanix prides itself in delivering the industry’s best support for the entire infrastructure stack (and more). Nutanix has a net promoter score (a metric that aggregates various factors on a scale of -100 to + 100) of over 90, indicative of our customers’ experience with Nutanix Support.
- The collaborative technical support agreement gives our SAP-Nutanix customers a seamless support experience for their SAP NetWeaver deployments, from setting up the environment to resolving issues to optimizing environments.
Storage performance and scalability – The Nutanix web-scale architecture with intelligent caching and tiering of data enables linear scaling of storage performance with low latencies. The Nutanix CVM (the brain) aggregates storage across all the nodes in a cluster into a single pool. Data can be tiered across local flash, remote flash, local disk drives and remote disk drives depending on when it was accessed. Additional new nodes, including the capacity-heavy NX-6000 series, can be quickly added without incurring any downtime.
The active data related to a VM (e.g., RDBMS server) resides on the same server, either in RAM (read cache) and/or in flash (read/write cache and persistent storage). This makes storage access very fast without compromising scalability.
Compute and virtualization – Nutanix XCP includes support for different individual nodes with varying amounts of compute, flash, and storage. By supporting a wide range of cutting-edge Intel processors and large capacity flash on a single XCP cluster, Nutanix customers can run larger application servers, databases, and datasets. Nutanix boasts the widest range of server/storage models and options for customers, including the all flash NX-9000 series. This makes migration from legacy platforms, including mainframe and UNIX, a no-brainer.
It also includes support for different hypervisors, including VMware vSphere (ESXi), Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 (Hyper-V), and Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor – giving you the widest choice of virtualization solutions for your enterprise applications, including the RDBMS.
Uptime/high availability – Nutanix has built-in features for resiliency, data protection, and disaster recovery. Resiliency features, such as Nutanix tunable redundancy (active data), erasure coding (colder/WORM-style data), and transparent data integrity checking, ensure that data in a system is available and accessible, even if the individual CVM/node is not. This also facilitates 1-click non-disruptive upgrades of the Nutanix CVM.
Nutanix VM-centric snapshots and clones facilitate quick roll backs in case there are issues. The same snapshots can be asynchronously replicated to another system for backup/archival, disaster recovery, or to public clouds (e.g., AWS). For environments requiring zero RPOs, Nutanix Metro Availability enables NetWeaver and RDBMS systems to be synchronously replicated across metro distances over IP networks.
Simplified management and troubleshooting – One of the key reasons why Nutanix is ‘invisible infrastructure’ is Nutanix Prism. The consumer-grade management framework not only simplifies infrastructure management, it also delivers improved metrics and reporting for faster troubleshooting. Nutanix Prism and Acropolis both deliver APIs for customize tasks like provisioning and reporting.
4. We haven’t virtualized SAP NetWeaver or our RDBMS yet. Why should we consider it?
With the maturity and pervasiveness of virtualization, it is common for organizations large and small to virtualize their critical transactional and analytic applications and databases, such as NetWeaver, SQL Server, Oracle, and DB2. Microsoft and VMware regularly report that a vast majority of the SAP landscapes their teams encounter are virtualized.
Supportability and stability are no longer an issue when virtualizing monster application VMs with the extensive amount of testing and documented best practices available. So why consider virtualizing in the first place?
Here are some reasons why virtualizing NetWeaver and corresponding databases, especially on Nutanix XCP, makes sense:
- Improved performance – effectively leverage compute resources and flash as it should be used without worrying about constant optimization.
- Rapid provisioning – from infrastructure to applications to test/dev environments with Nutanix XCP and virtualization stacks.
- High availability – leverage VM-centric data protection/disaster recovery functionality to meet and exceed application SLAs.
- Flexibility – leverage virtualization functionality, such as live migration and dynamic resource scheduling, to ensure virtual machines are running optimally.
- Improved productivity – use VM-centric operations to snapshot and clone VMs for providing developers and QA teams with their own environments for faster development and more thorough testing.
- Lower TCO – get better utilization of software licenses and greatly reduce operational overhead to lower the overall costs of running tier-1 applications, such as NetWeaver and databases.
5. What databases does Nutanix XCP support?
Nutanix customers are running a wide variety of different databases for transactional to analytics workloads, including SAP. The most common RDBMSs seen in the Nutanix installed base are SQL Server and Oracle. We also have customers running DB2 (you can read about Empire Life’s journey from a mainframe to Nutanix XCP running VMware vSphere here) and open source databases, including MySQL, MariaDB, and PostgreSQL.
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