What are the Nutanix compute nodes?

  • 29 April 2020
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There are 3 types of Nutanix nodes: 


  • An HCI Node is the most common kind of node. It is heavily equipped with all three components: processing capacity (CPU), memory (RAM), and data storage capacity. An HCI node can run any kind of supported hypervisor.

  • A Storage Node only runs the Nutanix AHV hypervisor. These nodes have a bare minimum of processing and memory capacity however, as the name suggests, have plenty of storage onboard.

  • A Compute Node only runs the Nutanix AHV hypervisor. Logically, these are nodes that have minimum storage onboard but are powerful compute and memory devices.


We are going to take a look at compute nodes in this post.


A compute-only (CO) node allows you to seamlessly and efficiently expand the computing capacity (CPU and memory) of your AHV cluster. The Nutanix cluster uses the resources (CPUs and memory) of a CO node exclusively for computing purposes.


CO nodes enable you to achieve more control and value from restrictive licenses such as Oracle. A CO node is part of a Nutanix HC cluster, and there is no CVM running on the CO node (VMs use CVMs running on the HC nodes to access disks). As a result, licensed cores on the CO node are used only for the application VMs.


Applications or databases that are licensed on a per CPU core basis require the entire node to be licensed and that also includes the cores on which the CVM runs. With CO nodes, you get a much higher return of investment on the purchase of your database licenses (such as Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server) since the CVM does not consume any computing resources.


Following are the key features of CO nodes:

  • CO nodes do not have a Controller VM (CVM) or local storage.

  • AOS sources the storage for vDisks associated with VMs running on CO nodes from the hyper-converged nodes in the cluster.

  • VMs administration process remains the same and as seamless as always from the Prism element of Prism Central.

  • AHV runs on the local storage media of the CO node.

  • To update the AHV version of a cluster that contains a compute-only node, use the Life Cycle Manager. 


To take a look at the supported hardware, cluster requirements, and how to add a compute node to the cluster, take a look at: 


Want to take a look at a similar post for storage only nodes? Give a read to https://next.nutanix.com/discussion-forum-14/what-are-the-nutanix-storage-nodes-37487

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