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Why is LCM feature NOT simple?


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One click upgrade feature of Nutanix is probably the best liked feature by admins.
You upload the required file on PRISM console and ONE CLICK...

But with Life Cycle Management, its either of below -
1) Connect to internet which many organizations frown up regardless of the security or purpose. Nutanix knows this and also gave below option
2) Upload files via local web server.
But why increase the complexity by adding the need for setting up local web server?
Why not stick to upload file to PRISM as before?

Or am i missing the big picture or some other workaround?
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Best answer by cameron 29 November 2017, 08:36

Right now, we control the firmware for Nutanix appliances so we can host those files (no need to manually upload your own BIOS update for example). LCM doesn't do Nutanix software or hypervisor upgrades yet - so that's why there isn't a need for the manual upload today. LCM in Prism Central will need a way to upload ESXi ISOs for example since they cannot be part of the official LCM bundle or internet hosted by us. Equally, you should be able to add any such files to your local LCM webserver for dark sites - so some form of manual upload needs to be supported.

At scale (say you have more than a few clusters to upgrade) it makes more sense to host all the files centrally somewhere and simply point LCM on each cluster to a location where all the binaries are held (eg. Prism Central or the webserver).... upload files once somewhere to be re-used by lots of clusters....We will be considering low bandwidth wan links (for ROBO clusters) as well - perhaps you need each ROBO site to have access to a local file repo (it may be quicker to send files via usb stick and pidgeon than some low bw/high latency satellite links for example).

The idea is that whether you have 1 cluster or 100s of clusters, the effort to upgrade software or firmware should be '1 click' easy - and we will need to take into account manual upload of certain files. Even if you have a mix of Nutanix platforms (NX or XC or HX) in your environment (different clusters), LCM needs to determine what you are running and provide the correct files without the admin having to read a manual or work out in what order upgrades need to happen.

Given that Prism Central is becoming more required as features grow in AOS generally, we think using it as a file repo seems to make a lot of sense for LCM. "Upload once, upgrade many" so to speak.
Cheers
Cameron

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Hi Sach2910_NSEL and thank you for taking the time to provide feedback !

LCM is a relatively new feature. LCM should be thought of as the next evolution in our 1-click story. It will not only have better pre-checks and guardrails than existing upgrade workflows, but by design LCM handles all dependencies and orchestration of the actual upgrade process so the admin doesn't need to do anything manually.

LCM's primary aim since launch was to make firmware upgrades (eg. satadom / disks / bios etc) easier to upgrade over current methods. Over the coming months, LCM will expand to cover existing workflows such as software upgrades which currently is done via Prism's 'Upgrade Software' menu. You will see this current upgrade menu redirect to LCM over time.

Once LCM covers firmware and Nutanix software (and potentially beyond) then the admin will have the ability to upgrade BIOS, disk firmware, AOS and Hypervisor (for example) in a single operation if he/she chooses, and LCM will handle it all (reboots, vMotions etc if necessary).

While it is true that not every organisation will allow http/https requests outbound from their clusters, some do - so we wanted to cater for that. LCM will therefore allow those customers upgrade firmware and (eventually) all Nutanix software with '1 click' without needing to look for binaries themselves. For those that don't allow http or https (eg dark sites) we offer the same mechanism in a downloadable bundle today (LCM Dark Site Bundle), and all you need to do is host them on a web server and change the LCM URL to point to that webserver. There will always be a method to allow for manual upload of binaries for files that we are not legally allowed to host.

To your point about the webserver, there is current development work underway to incorporate the same bundle into Prism Central (LCM in Prism Central) which will allow your clusters to get their LCM updates from Prism Central instead of a private webserver. This is due 1H 2018.

More info on LCM can be found here: https://invisibleinfra.com/2017/10/18/intro-to-nutanix-lifecycle-manager-lcm-v1-2/

Hope that helps
Cameron

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Hi Cameron,
Thank you for your kind reponse and below inputs.
I understand and agree with the approach. Excited to see further enhancements in LCM.
Just wish to clarify if the "host them on a web server" is the only way for manual upload of binaries for files under LCM for those that don't allow http or https (eg dark sites)?
No browse/upload button to simply point to downloaded files?
Userlevel 1
Badge +9
Right now, we control the firmware for Nutanix appliances so we can host those files (no need to manually upload your own BIOS update for example). LCM doesn't do Nutanix software or hypervisor upgrades yet - so that's why there isn't a need for the manual upload today. LCM in Prism Central will need a way to upload ESXi ISOs for example since they cannot be part of the official LCM bundle or internet hosted by us. Equally, you should be able to add any such files to your local LCM webserver for dark sites - so some form of manual upload needs to be supported.

At scale (say you have more than a few clusters to upgrade) it makes more sense to host all the files centrally somewhere and simply point LCM on each cluster to a location where all the binaries are held (eg. Prism Central or the webserver).... upload files once somewhere to be re-used by lots of clusters....We will be considering low bandwidth wan links (for ROBO clusters) as well - perhaps you need each ROBO site to have access to a local file repo (it may be quicker to send files via usb stick and pidgeon than some low bw/high latency satellite links for example).

The idea is that whether you have 1 cluster or 100s of clusters, the effort to upgrade software or firmware should be '1 click' easy - and we will need to take into account manual upload of certain files. Even if you have a mix of Nutanix platforms (NX or XC or HX) in your environment (different clusters), LCM needs to determine what you are running and provide the correct files without the admin having to read a manual or work out in what order upgrades need to happen.

Given that Prism Central is becoming more required as features grow in AOS generally, we think using it as a file repo seems to make a lot of sense for LCM. "Upload once, upgrade many" so to speak.
Cheers
Cameron

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