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What’s New in Prism Pro 5.0 - Part 1: The Context

by Community Manager ‎01-10-2017 09:33 AM - edited ‎01-18-2017 09:42 AM (2,231 Views)

This blog is authored by Harry Yang, Principal Product Manager at Nutanix

 

Among the many reasons that enterprises choose the public cloud, there is one that stands out universally. The cloud enables IT to become a business driver by closely matching and aligning IT resources, including infrastructure and services, with business agility. As an Enterprise Cloud Platform, Nutanix is bringing this benefit to on-premises data centers through Acropolis and Prism.

 

Just-in-Time Forecast is a new feature that was just introduced in Prism Pro 5.0. It will enable you to analyze, plan, and optimize your infrastructure resources based on workload growth. Just-in-Time Forecast is based on X-FIT machine learning technology and is designed with unprecedented simplicity. In this blog, we will share the background of Prism Pro and familiarize you with its terminologies. Part 2 will introduce the new features and enhancements in the 5.0 release of Prism Pro.

 

Since day one, our goal at Nutanix has been to make your IT experience easier by providing the systems and tools that will help you better manage your infrastructure, without introducing additional complexity. Simplicity is our guiding design principal, and Prism was created as the result of that thinking. Prism’s goal is to eliminate the “management” from data center operations.

 

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Prism Starter

Nutanix has spent the last six years building the solid, distributed, and easy-to-use Prism platform layer. This layer started with full-stack cluster management and later expanded to multi-cluster view and control. Along the way, the one-click upgrades that were built into this platform became very popular. With the one-click upgrades, customers finally have the freedom to enjoy all of the performance improvements and new features offered in each release, without the fear of business interruption or involving the difficult upgrade processes of previous enterprise software platforms. We called this Prism platform layer the Prism Starter. Any time you buy a Nutanix solution, Prism Starter is included with it.

 

In Prism Starter’s 5.0 release, you will see a new UI that lets you run Nutanix Cluster Check within Prism, providing a new way to visualize I/O metrics, an expanded capability of VM management, a customizable explorer, network visualization, and a self-service portal.  

 

Prism Pro

Prism collects machine data across the compute, VM, and storage layers. This data provides valuable insights that will enable you to improve the efficiency and quality of your everyday data center operations and further simplify IT.

 

Nutanix has also developed a machine learning technology, X-FIT, that brings the best machine intelligence algorithms into data center management. Prism Pro is the result of that effort, providing you with additional operational intelligence and personalized insights.

 

Management Interfaces

Customers can access all Prism features from two consoles: Prism Element and Prism Central. (The following diagram illustrates the relationship between these two consoles.) Prism Element is a distributed console that is built into the cluster, and serves as the management console for a single cluster. The Prism Central console is used for managing multiple clusters, providing a centralized view and configuration across clusters. Customers who have Prism Pro can access all of its features in Prism Central.

 

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Over the last six years, Prism has evolved from a single cluster management front end, to a complete infrastructure management solution. In each release, we strive to provide more value and accelerate this evolution. Part 2 will explain the new features that we have developed for the 5.0 release. Stay tuned.

 

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.

 

Opposites AttractPicture1.png


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.

 

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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.

 

What's New in Acropolis 4.6.1

by Community Manager ‎04-20-2016 03:17 PM - edited ‎04-20-2016 03:19 PM (3,828 Views)

On April 19, 2016, AOS 4.6.1 and Prism Central 4.6.1 were released. Along with many security enhancements, I wanted to highlight several items; I encourage you to download and start a discussion in our forums.

Prism Web Console Support for 1-Click Minor Release Upgrades for ESXi Hosts - With AOS 4.6.1, customers can now patch hosts by uploading the offline bundle and md5sum checksum available from VMware and by using the Prism Web Console Upgrade Software feature.

 

Tech Preview Features

 

In-Place Hypervisor Conversion - This 1-click feature available through the Prism web console allows you to convert your cluster from using ESXi hosts to using AHV hosts. Guest VMs are converted to the hypervisor target format, and cluster network configurations are stored and then restored as part of the conversion process.

 

Acropolis File Services - Provides file server capability within a Nutanix AHV cluster, as one or more network-attached VMs, to form a virtual file server.

 

What's New in Prism Central

 

Prism Search - Previously a tech preview feature. Intelligent, keyword-based search across your Nutanix cluster for improved access to information in the web console. Click the magnifying glass icon (known as Spotlight search) to display a search page, which provides query options and information about entities (cluster, VM, host, disk, or container) and operations across clusters.

 

Dashboard Customization - Previously a tech preview feature. Management and customization of dashboard views for information around infrastructure resources, such as VMs, clusters, hosts, disks, containers, and so on.

 

Capacity Forecast - Previously a tech preview feature. The Capacity tab displays current and historical usage information and provides capacity resource tools It calculates the runway - time until the capacity (CPU, memory, and disk space) runs out. The user can select the runway threshold to trigger an alert.

 

Note: An optimal experience with the Capacity Forecasting and Planning feature requires synchronization of historical statistics between Prism Central and a managed cluster. As these statistics might be incomplete for a recently-upgraded cluster, Nutanix recommends you wait six to eight hours before registering the cluster with Prism Central.

 

Find out more about Acropolis and Prism Central.

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