Nutanix Files design - running alongside other types of workloads

  • 3 March 2021
  • 7 replies

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Can you please help me with any recommendation and/or point me to any documentation around running Nutanix Files alongside other types of workloads (on ESXi)? I.e. server virtualisation, VDI, other Files instances, sustainability for resource contention, resource reservation, etc.

While I do understand that in an extreme case of a dedicated HCI cluster where only FSVM-s are spread across the nodes, Files would surely perform well, I’m after more real-world scenarios, where Files still deliver.

Thank you, Victor.


Best answer by Alona 4 March 2021, 03:41

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Hi Victor,

Running Nutanix Files alongside other types of workloads in a Nutanix cluster is a perfectly viable solution. As always, the main question here is to make sure that the cluster has sufficient resources to cope with the load.

Nutanix Files Sizing Guide

You can also try Nutanix Sizer to help you determine the resources required on the cluster altogether.

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Hi Alona,

Thank you for replying to my question.

I also recall from various NEXT conferences and other events and documentation, that Nutanix would be perfectly fine with mixed workloads.

The reason I asked, was that some external party that works with us on a design of an additional Files instance in our existing environment, advised that:

“Please note that Nutanix strongly recommend deploying files on dedicated cluster or server virtualization cluster with minimal CPU / Memory contention, does NOT recommend placing files cluster on busy VDI or database cluster.”

The external party was aware that although we’re placing the Files on to a cluster with XenApp and VDI, there wouldn’t be memory contention, and CPU ratio would be around 1:3 or below.

I was trying to find any documentation that confirms their statement, but wasn’t able to, therefore decided to reach the source of truth, i.e. you, the vendor. :) Can you please advise if Nutanix indeed has such recommendation, and in what form?

Thank you!

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Hmm, interesting.

You can run Nutanix Files on a dedicated cluster or place it on a cluster running user VMs. Unlike standalone NAS appliances, Files consolidates VM and file storage, eliminating the need to create an infrastructure silo. Administrators can manage Files with Nutanix Prism, just like VM services, which unifies and simplifies management. Integration with Active Directory (AD) enables support for authentication, access-based enumeration, quotas, and the Self-Service Restore feature. Nutanix Files also supports file server cloning, which lets you back up Files off-site, as well as run antivirus scans and machine learning without affecting production.

Nutanix Files Performance

Again, as long as the cluster is sized according to the workloads and is configured correctly. Maybe he has seen some issues with a particular version? I’d ask that external party to elaborate.

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They are proposing to deploy the coming Files version 3.8. And they just adhere to that “Nutanix recommendation”.

Properly sizing the cluster is without a doubt. The comment is around their hesitance to guarantee any performance if we deploy Files in a shared environment, even when properly sized.

So in brief, Nutanix themselves don’t have such recommendation documented anywhere, or otherwise known?

Thanks Alona.

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It is peculiar that they press for a standalone deployment of the Files. I can see how it would be easy to guarantee performance in a mono-environment. I would also understand if they worded it as their recommendation but Nutanix does not insist on deploying Files separately from other workloads. On the contrary, most things are designed to be able to co-exist in the same cluster.

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Thank you very much Alona for your comment on this.

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Happy to help, Victor.