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Displaying articles for: 01-01-2017 - 01-07-2017

5 Ways To Achieve Full Speed Ahead With Enterprise Cloud

by Community Manager ‎01-06-2017 03:50 PM - edited ‎01-06-2017 04:28 PM (2,615 Views)

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This guest post was authored by Steve Chambers

 

In the snowy mountains of Davos last year, the World Economic Forum held their meeting of the great and the good. Fear not if you couldn’t afford the ticket (rumored to be tens of thousands of dollars) because you can subscribe to the content on YouTube. One of the best panels I saw was this on The Digital Transformation of Industries.

 

In that Davos 2016 session you’ll see Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, talk about “Speed is the new currency of business” and the panel talk about “rewiring the organization” and “increasing the organization clock speed”. They talk about executive struggles with moving to a digital culture and the panelists cover consulting, health insurance, banking, metals industry and cloud.

 

Our customers are faced with this “need for speed” and they also have to balance this with their organization’s need for resiliency: how can they provide digital applications on-demand with high uptimes and responsiveness?

 

Nutanix has a lot of experience helping customers balance competing priorities such as speed and resilience. We do this by helping customers identify the right cloud solution and take care of people and process aspects.

 

These are the five ways that we help customers achieve full speed ahead with the Enterprise Cloud:

 

  1. Do Your Enterprise Cloud Research
  2. Leverage Hyperconvergence In An Enterprise Cloud
  3. Overcoming Resistance to Enterprise Cloud
  4. Rewire Your Organization for Enterprise Cloud
  5. Focus on User Needs

 

1. Do Your Enterprise Cloud Research

You don’t need to take the word of the panelists at Davos that speed is the new currency of business. Here’s just a small selection of the available research from high-level executive insight down to practitioner-level guidance:

 

  1. Boston Consulting Group talks about how the multispeed digital word is disrupting banking.
  2. The RightScale State of Cloud Report 2016 reveals that speed to market and access to infrastructure increases with Enterprise Cloud.
  3. Forrester identifies ten critical success factors for customer obsessed winners.
  4. Puppet State of DevOps 2015 Report on what a high-performing organization does.
  5. The Role of Continuous Delivery in IT and Organizational Performance because the gap between applications and infrastructure is vanishing.

No matter where you are on your Enterprise Cloud journey we recommend you survey your own organization using your own version of the RightScale State of Cloud. Companies can underestimate and misunderstand their own organization, or at the least have a biased opinion, and risk starting from the wrong position. Take shadow IT: research from Sky High Networks has shown that the problem is ten times the size that an enterprise thinks they have with enterprises using around a thousand cloud services.

 

The kind of data you’ll get from doing such a survey is answers to questions like:

 

  1. Where are we on the Enterprise Cloud journey?
  2. How do we compare to the 1000+ enterprises in the RightScale report?
  3. What are our challenges for Enterprise Cloud?

Nutanix and our services team help customers get to the bottom of these questions and work out a response, one of the answers being how to exploit Invisible Infrastructure.

 

2. Leverage Hyperconvergence In An Enterprise Cloud

If you spend 70% of your time keeping the lights on, then you will not succeed with Enterprise Cloud. You need to use underlying infrastructure that is simple to plan, provision, remediate and upgrade. The operational envelope for infrastructure has to shrink to allow staff to shift focus up the stack.

 

In 2016, Nutanix set a new standard for the Enterprise Cloud platform with performance, choice, and, simplicity.

 

An IDC report revealed the business benefits of the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform:

 

The findings were that Enterprise Cloud Platform based on a hyperconverged infrastructure freed up staff to focus on the business, flipping the usual maintenance vs innovation metrics:

 

Most of our customers find that they are doing far more projects for their business units, spending a majority of their time working on the core business, and have become enablers rather than a hindrance.

 

These are the kind of findings that aren’t just important in deciding whether to progress with Enterprise Cloud or not: they are also useful tools to overcome resistance along the journey.

 

As the IDC report shows, Nutanix can help shape the business outcomes for Enterprise Cloud.

 

3. Overcoming Resistance to Enterprise Cloud

Even if the research shows that there is an opportunity for you to “do” Enterprise Cloud, everyone hits speed bumps that slow them down.

 

An article in ReadWriteWeb succinctly reduced these to four barriers, which are common to many technology adoption programs. They happened with virtualization in the early 2000’s, it happened with resistance to hyperconvergence, and it happens with cloud:

 

  1. Overcome the Fiefdom Syndrome with a multi-disciplinary Tiger Team.
  2. Break free of Analysis Paralysis with a small, focused SWAT Team reporting to Executive.
  3. Dissolve Legacy Obstinacy by focusing on the data, the user needs, the case for Enterprise Cloud.
  4. Change Habitual Inefficiency by putting the spotlight on current working practices and test if they meet new user needs.

 

Nutanix Services can help identify and overcome these non-technical barriers to Enterprise Cloud because they have experienced them in other organizations and helped develop methods to help overcome them.

 

4. Rewire Your Organization for Enterprise Cloud

At Davos 2016 there was a lot of talk about “rewriting the organization” because digital is a disruptor to all businesses. But how do you move to a new mode of operations when you have a big enterprise working in an existing mode?

 

The Gartner Bimodal IT model has supporters and detractors, but it does represent the “fear” that CIOs have. On the one hand, they don’t want “fashionable” practices such as Agile touching their bank reconciliation systems. But equally, they like the speed and robustness of lean DevOps and want to apply it across the business.

 

This is emotive beyond the CIO because people fear being left behind in “Mode 1”, leading some commentators to refer to Bimodal as Snake Oil and “cultural poison.”

 

An alternative model of how to rewire the organization is the “tri-modal” model that Simon Wardley succinctly describes. Recognizing that people and groups have personalities and capabilities, this model aligns those capabilities to the evolutionary phases of a product.

 

This model has a correlation with the evolved Enterprise Cloud in that if you release a half-finished product (Pioneers) to the enterprise (Town Planners) and skip the steps in between (Settlers) then it is unlikely to work: Enterprise Cloud has to evolve, and this is demonstrated by the discover, alpha- and beta-program phases that organizations such as AWS and UK Government Digital Service use.

 

5. Focus on User Needs

When an enterprise organizes itself into silos, people can lose sight of the real customer. The real customer is the outside entity who has a relationship with the business and buys products from the business. The real customer is not another enterprise team. This false sense of customer is what causes problems in enterprises as teams optimize themselves towards each other and away from the real customer.

 

The Nutanix Services organization can help you create and evolve an Enterprise Cloud in the same manner as the UK Government Digital Service introduces new services, in this case merging it with the Pioneers, Settlers, and Town Planners model.

 

  1. Discover who your users are (and are not), understand their needs and engage them in the service development.
  2. The Pioneers should test early versions of the Enterprise Cloud with invite-only users in an Alpha program.
  3. As the Enterprise Cloud evolves, pass it on to the Settlers who can run a Beta program with invited users to produce the finished article.
  4. Pass the working Enterprise Cloud to the Town Planners who will run it live and industrialize it.

 

Call To Action

If speed is the new currency, then Enterprise Cloud can be the new engine for your enterprise. Instead of trying to eat the elephant in one bite, break down what you need to do into these five chunks. Engage Nutanix Services to learn from their industry-wide know-how and turbo-charge your Enterprise Cloud.

 

Disclaimer: This blog may contain links to external websites that are not part of Nutanix.com. Nutanix does not control these sites and disclaims all responsibility for the content or accuracy of any external site. Our decision to link to an external site should not be considered an endorsement of any content on such site.

 

Top Things to Know About AHV: AOS 5.0 Edition

by Community Manager on ‎01-05-2017 08:56 AM (2,522 Views)

 

This post was authored by Mike Wronski, Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Nutanix

 

Big Finish

 

The end of 2016 brings us a monumental Nutanix software release. AOS 5.0 has a ton of new features and enhancements.  Within that AHV is no exception.  As of 5.0, AHV has features needed to run the majority of enterprise applications.  Below is a quick overview of some existing and new AHV features:

 

Free Native Hypervisor, AHV 

 

When talking about cloud models, virtualization is a given. More specifically, the hypervisor is just something that is expected to be there. In the last ten years, the features and functions of a hypervisor have matured and become commoditized. This is clear in the continued success and advancement of Amazon’s EC2 which does not use a market leading enterprise hypervisor.

 

What has become evident is that real value comes from the management and additional services offered above virtualization. This value is even greater when combined with the financial model and agility offered by the Enterprise Cloud. Nutanix understands this and that is why we include our native hypervisor, AHV, for no additional charge on every node licensed.

 

No licensing for hypervisor management either. With Nutanix Acropolis and AHV, you get a complete Enterprise Cloud solution including HCI infrastructure, virtualization, management, monitoring, cloud portal, and predictive analytics.

 

CE.pngAnd yes, there is a completely free way to try out Nutanix and AHV. The Nutanix Community Edition (CE) is a totally free and full-featured version of our software. You provide the hardware and we provide software and a community support forum.

 

With the next CE release, CE is anticipated to be on-par with our GA 5.0 software. We plan to keep CE at the forefront of our software development and potentially provide early access or preview features in those releases.

 

Can’t we all just get along?

 

Easy scaling is important. Nutanix storage has always allowed mixing and matching of node configurations to deliver the capacity and performance needed by new workloads. This mix-and-match extends to virtualization.  When expanding capacity by adding nodes with different CPU types, AHV automatically detects that difference and will ensure CPU compatibility across all nodes in the cluster.

 

 Picture1.pngHot Stuff 

 

The sun always sets and requirements will always change.  When VM requirements change, it’s much easier if additions can be made non-disruptively.  In 5.0, AHV gets RAM and CPU hot-add functionality for guest OSs that support that operation. This new feature is in tech preview in 5.0.

 

Picture1.pngWorking in Harmony

 

A basic tenet of virtualization is an efficient use of available capacity. Using all resources is great, but in doing that, performance must not be compromised.  A previous release of AHV introduced VM initial placement, making decisions on the best fit for a VM in the cluster.  With 5.0, we add the Acropolis Dynamic Scheduler (ADS).  

 

ADS can examine running workloads to prevent resource contention, by mitigating “hot spots.”   This is the Nutanix version of VMware DRS, with broader visibility into storage. ADS can monitor VM and storage controller resource utilization then leverage historical data from Prism and machine learning to create a solution that is based on VM location.

 

All completely automated with no need for user configuration or tuning.

 

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For some applications and use cases, there can be VMs that just SHOULD not be together. This can be due to availability concerns or known resource needs.  5.0 introduces VM anti-affinity policies to match those requirements.  

 

Similarly, there are situations where it can be desirable to limit a VMs location to a specific host or set of hosts (e.g. license compliance).  For these use cases, AHV now includes host-based affinity policies.   Both host affinity and VM anti-affinity policies are considered by ADS when deciding if VMs need to be migrated as part of hotspot avoidance.


Power to the People Picture1.png

 

A large value of the cloud is quicker access to IT resources for application owners. With 5.0 Nutanix includes a project based, self-service portal (SSP).  With SSP, admins and project owners can create projects, assign users, and resource allocations  (CPU, RAM, Storage). This allows users to manage their workloads and get resources when they need them all via a managed HTML5 portal.

 

IT Happens

 

No one will profess that disaster recovery isn’t important.  That said, DR done right can be expensive. Because of the costs, many DR plans are full of compromises.  You may know that Nutanix Distributed Storage Fabric (DSF) provides replication, DR, and backup features between clusters.  What you may not know is that those clusters DON’T have to be running the same hypervisor.  

 

With cross-hypervisor DR, the primary site can be running VMware ESXi and the DR site AHV.  The license savings from AHV can help remove some of those DR compromises or even allow for more DR capacity, automation software or network enhancements.   

 

Our cross-hypervisor DR allows VMs to fail forward and back between ESXi and AHV with everything managed via Prism GUI.

 

KISS

 

If you have been following Nutanix, you will know that “simple” is what we focus on. Web-scale HCI simplified the complexity of the infrastructure, and “1-Click” management made upgrades of our software incredibly simple.

 

Though we provide a 1-click option for ESXi and Hyper-V, there’s much more required to upgrade the rest of those virtualization stacks (e.g. VUM, vCenter, SCVMM, vROPs, etc). When using AHV, there are no external management requirements, which means its 1-click and GO.

 

Picture1.pngMaking Connections

 

Networking is a key component to any cloud deployment.  In the past, network troubleshooting started with diagrams or tracing physical cables in the datacenter. As we move more and more into software defined and virtual networks,  those methods are either too complex to maintain or physically impossible.  Nutanix now provides a network visualization view that maps from VM to the physical switching layer.

 

Picture1.png

 

You may be aware that AHV networking is based on Open vSwitch. This is a robust software-defined networking (SDN) layer that shares some lineage with VMware’s NSX. Open vSwitch was created by the team at Nicira; that was later acquired by VMware. At our .NEXT user conference in Vienna we announced two big advances for our networking features that are not part of 5.0 but we expect to be delivered in a future release:

 

  • Network Services - Which will allow 3rd party network function providers to insert themselves into our network path to provide those services
  • Microsegmentation - Which will allow granular, secure control of data flows between VMs and policies for network services.

For more details, check out the Press Release and this blog post.

 

Want to Learn More?
As mentioned earlier, there are many new enhancements in the 5.0 release. Below are some other blog posts that focus more on those features:

 

The 5.0 Release is Here

Nutanix 5.0 Features Overview (Beyond Marketing) – Part 1
Ten Things you need to know about Nutanix Acropolis Block Services (ABS)
Ten Things you need to know about Nutanix Acropolis File Services
Ten Things you need to know about Prism Self-Service

 

Connect with Nutanix
We have worked with a lot of you over the past several months as we built all these new capabilities to get valuable feedback. But it doesn’t have to stop there. We encourage you to try out 5.0 and let us know what you liked, what you didn’t and what else you would like to see in the product.

If you are new to Nutanix, we invite you to start the conversation on how Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform can work for your IT environment. Send us a note at info@nutanix.com or follow us on Twitter and join the conversation in our community forums.

 


Disclaimer: This blog contains links to external websites that are not part of Nutanix.com. Nutanix does not control these sites and disclaims all responsibility for the content or accuracy of any external site. Our decision to link to an external site should not be considered an endorsement of any content on such site.

 

Forward-Looking Statements: This blog includes express and implied forward-looking statements concerning product features and technology that are under development or in process, capabilities of such product features and technology, and our plans to introduce product features, including micro-segmentation, network services, and updates to our Community Edition software, in a future release. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts and instead are based on our current expectations, estimates, opinions and beliefs. The accuracy of such forward-looking statements depends upon future events, and involves risks, uncertainties and other factors beyond our control that may cause these statements to be inaccurate and cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied by such statements, including, among others: failure to develop, or unexpected difficulties or delays in developing, new product features or technology on a timely or cost-effective basis; the introduction, or acceleration of adoption of, competing solutions; a shift in industry or competitive dynamics or customer demand; and other risks detailed in our quarterly report on form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended October 31, 2016, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this blog and, except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results or subsequent events or circumstances. Any future product or roadmap information is intended to outline general product directions and is not a commitment, promise or legal obligation for Nutanix to deliver any material, code, or functionality. This information should not be used when making a purchasing decision. Further, note that Nutanix has made no determination as to if separate fees will be charged for any future product enhancements or functionality which may ultimately be made available. Nutanix may, in its own discretion, choose to charge separate fees for the delivery of any product enhancements or functionality which are ultimately made available.

 

Nutanix Community Top Contributors | December 2016

by Community Manager ‎01-04-2017 09:33 AM - edited ‎01-04-2017 09:36 AM (1,003 Views)

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A community is only as vibrant as its members - these are folks who jump into conversations, offer solutions and genuinely want to collaborate with others. Each month we highlight community members that have spent their free time sharing and helping others.

 

I want to take a moment and recognize our top community contributors for the month of December. They have all authored posts, provided guidance and demonstrated their expertise.

 

Congratulations to December top contributors!

 

Top Topics Posted

 

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Top Replies Authored

 

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Thanks for all your contributions folks and let's make 2017 - Super Awesome!

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