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difference between Phoenix, NOS, AOS

  • 11 June 2016
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Userlevel 1
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Hello,
I`m not new to nutanix, but have a long time not focusing on nutanix installation step. while I installed nutanix with foundation+Phonex(NOS location selection)+Hypervisor image one year ago, I think Phonix is just exactly NOS at that time.
I find it seems to have new method to image node: Foundation+AOS(NOS location selection)+Hypervisor image, or even having an JAVA applete+Foundation+AOS(NOS location selection)+Hypervisor image

I`d like to confirm detailed difference between NOS , AOS, and Phoenix. I have asked guys, no one can explain this clearly to me.

also what make me confused is there are varous statement about it in different guide(it is self-contradictory) , also Which phonex package should I use ? shows you need manually make/generate phonix ISO with AOS , but sees you shoud use the Phonix ISO downloaded from nutanix portal site !

look at these slices :
"Phoenix is a tool used to install the Nutanix Controller VM and provision a hypervisor on a new or replacement node in the field. You can download a Phoenix ISO file from this page. Each Phoenix ISO file is for a specific hypervisor and Acropolis base software (NOS) release"

"Starting with release 2.1, Foundation no longer uses a Phoenix ISO file for imaging. Phoenix ISO files are now used only for single node imaging (see Appendix: Imaging a Node (Phoenix) on page 64) and are generated by the user from Foundation and Acropolis base software tar files. The Phoenix ISOs available on the support portal are only for those who are using an older version of Foundation (pre 2.1)"

"Note: When adding a node to an existing cluster running Acropolis 4.5 or later, add that nodethrough the Prism web console, which allows you to install the hypervisor as part of the addprocess. See the "Expanding a Cluster" section in the Web Console Guide for this procedure. Youcan also use Foundation to image a single node (see Imaging Bare Metal Nodes on page 26), sothe procedure described in this appendix is typically not necessary or recommended. However,you can use it to image a single node when using Prism or Foundation is not a viable option, suchas in some hardware replacement scenarios."

"Before you can image a new or replacement node, you need to create an installation image. You need to run the installation image creation utility from a workstation."

"$ ./foundation --generate_phoenix --nos_package=nutanix_installer_package-version#.tar"

"Installing ESXiIf the hypervisor boot drive fails, the hypervisor must be reinstalled. This procedure describes how to install the hypervisor on a single node.Before you begin: Download both of the following ISO images to a temporary folder on a workstation:• The ISO image for the desired version of ESXi.Customers must provide the ESXi ISO image; it is not provided by Nutanix.• The Phoenix ISO image that matches both the ESXi and AOS version.Phoenix ISO images are available at https://portal.nutanix.com under Downloads > Phoenix"
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Best answer by Jon 13 June 2016, 18:19

Forget the work Phoenix, it is now completely an internal construct. We used to have a separate file that would be used, now it is not required, so it is very simple. The only time this ever needs to be thought of is for very tactical situations where the SATADOM fails and the hypervisor needs to be reimaged. If that happens, support will direct you through that, you dont have to worry about memorizing that now.


NOS and AOS are the same thing. Marketing recently changed the terminology, but for your purposes, they are the same thing.


There are two basic ways to image a nutanix box
1 - Foundation VM, using Foundation 3.1.1+, the Hypervisor Image, and the NOS Image
2 - Built-in Foundation on CVM's, using Java applet, hypervisor image, and NOS Image

They are the same code, just a different way to approach the same problem. With approach #2, you dont need a separate foundation VM and a virtualization product like virtualbox/workstation/fusion, you can just have the CVM's do all of the work.

To be clear, Approach #2 is the "go-forward" approach that we've been really focusing on internally, and will continue to focus on for the future. Approach #1 is the "old way" to do things, but will still work for a little while.
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7 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +30
Forget the work Phoenix, it is now completely an internal construct. We used to have a separate file that would be used, now it is not required, so it is very simple. The only time this ever needs to be thought of is for very tactical situations where the SATADOM fails and the hypervisor needs to be reimaged. If that happens, support will direct you through that, you dont have to worry about memorizing that now.


NOS and AOS are the same thing. Marketing recently changed the terminology, but for your purposes, they are the same thing.


There are two basic ways to image a nutanix box
1 - Foundation VM, using Foundation 3.1.1+, the Hypervisor Image, and the NOS Image
2 - Built-in Foundation on CVM's, using Java applet, hypervisor image, and NOS Image

They are the same code, just a different way to approach the same problem. With approach #2, you dont need a separate foundation VM and a virtualization product like virtualbox/workstation/fusion, you can just have the CVM's do all of the work.

To be clear, Approach #2 is the "go-forward" approach that we've been really focusing on internally, and will continue to focus on for the future. Approach #1 is the "old way" to do things, but will still work for a little while.
Userlevel 1
Badge +14
Hi Jon,
You make it clear really.
The only doubt is I think NOS(AOS) is almost same to Phoenix. Two differences is file format(TAR vs IOS) and Phoenix Can help re-image hypervisor without wiping existing CVM data.
Userlevel 7
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That is not correct.

Phoenix is a completely independent imaging process, that happens to install NOS/AOS (i.e the code that runs the CVM)
Userlevel 1
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Hello Jon,
What me confused is while installing hypervisor and NOS using Foundation tool. I found AOS and phonex is exactly in the same process page and selection location. So I simply thinks they are same.
look at it. old version foundation tool uses phenix+Hypervisor ,but new foundation use AOS+hypervisor.
If there`s guide showing it clear, that`s be better. I can ignore the difference and just install node step by step, but understanding concepts clearly helps me better.

Userlevel 7
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AOS and Phoenix are not the same thing


We have eliminated the Phoenix ISO from foundation, so you need less components to image a machine.

We've put the logic that USED to be in Phoenix into both AOS and Foundation directly.
Userlevel 1
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Hi jon,
It seems installation guide doc doesn`t explain the LOGIC.
Can I understand it as this: Phoenix = NOS(AOS) + LOGIC ?
And now it is NOS(AOS)+LOGIC(merged into AOS)+LOGCI(merged into Foundation) ?

thanks a lot !
Userlevel 7
Badge +30
Forget everything you know about Phoenix, it has nothing to do with the install process now.

The only components you need for installing Nutanix are Foundation, AOS, and the hypervisor image.

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