This is the fourth installment in a blog series focused on the needs of Service Providers. You can find links to all blogs in the series at the end of this article.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) providers face mounting pressure from direct competition with public cloud. To compete in this new era, it is critical to be able to offer flexible, agile, and reliable services.
A Nutanix enterprise cloud gives IaaS providers more flexibility. Instead of the complexity of deploying and managing separate servers, SANs, and storage, Nutanix provides hyperconverged infrastructure that combines all three elements into simple-to-deploy, standard building blocks.
Combined with powerful integrations with some of the most popular cloud portals—such as OpenStack, VMware vRealize, and Microsoft AzurePack—Nutanix is the perfect building block for your cloud offering. Flexible options let you tailor services more closely to your needs and those of your customers:
Nutanix FlexPrice offers a better way to procure equipment. With FlexPrice, you purchase hardware directly (from Super Micro, Dell, or Lenovo currently) and license Nutanix software as it is needed. With three-month to three-year plans available, FlexPrice lets you run the newest generation hardware while expanding and contracting seasonally. By reducing overall costs, you can increase margins—or pass the savings on to customers.
Nutanix provides a broad range of platforms: compute-heavy, storage-heavy, and storage-only. All types and generations can be mixed in the same cluster to satisfy your needs. You can easily add whatever resource you need without re-architecting the entire solution. You can deploy multiple node types and offer those to your customers as different classes or tiers of service.
You can always deploy the latest generation technology so your cluster stays current. Older nodes can be repurposed or decommissioned as needed. You get more useful life out of your hardware investments and never suffer through painful and disruptive forklift upgrades.
A hybrid Nutanix cluster offers a combination of HDDs for capacity and SSDs for performance. Each node has local access to both types of resources. Storage is pooled across all nodes. Data is automatically tiered so that each VM’s data is preferentially stored on local storage with hot data stored on SSD for optimum performance.
Because each node in a Nutanix cluster offers both storage and compute, the noisy neighbor effect that plagues centralized storage systems shared by hundreds of VMs is eliminated. This design ensures that the data your customers care about is always stored in fast SSD while cold data is offloaded to less expensive HDD storage.
Distributed Storage Fabric provides tiering, data locality and more
In hybrid environments, critical VMs can be pinned in the SSD tier for even greater performance. This can be offered as a premium service.
Consumers of IT services increasingly recognize the value of all-flash architectures for predictable performance and reliability. You can use Nutanix all-flash nodes to create all-flash clusters. All-flash is ideal for a premium service where performance across the entire dataset is the number one concern, such as business-critical Tier-0 and Tier-1 databases.
A single Nutanix cluster can run your choice of hypervisor, and you can move VMs between cluster running different hypervisors using the App Mobility Fabric. Nutanix offers full support for VMware vSphere, Hyper-V, and Nutanix AHV, so you can offer your customers a choice of hypervisors without forcing them to change.
Advantages of AHV
Because Nutanix AHV is included with Nutanix purchases at no additional cost, you can deploy it to lower your virtualization licensing costs. AHV is a next-generation hypervisor built to take advantage of the Nutanix hyperconverged architecture—it’s streamlined and delivered the way core infrastructure should be—it’s simple, secure, and highly scalable. Managed through Nutanix Prism or REST APIs, AHV includes the core virtualization features required in today’s datacenters, such as high availability, live migration, and one-click upgrades.
Get Deeper Insights
You may have little direct visibility into the workloads your customers are running. Nutanix Prism provides deeper insight into running workloads. Prism’s resource runway shows you when you’ll need to add new nodes. Combined with what-if analysis, these capabilities remove the guesswork when it comes to scaling, and can provide additional value to your customers.
Save Space and Time
Because Nutanix replaces separate servers, storage, and SANs, it reduces space, power, and cooling requirements. Nutanix customers report reducing datacenter footprint by as much as 80%. Inline compression and deduplication reduces your overall storage requirement—and your IT footprint. Those savings contribute to significant time savings as well. Nutanix customers spend 71% less time on infrastructure management according to IDC.
Service providers need to protect against both planned and unplanned downtime. Nutanix eliminates the need for planned downtime with one-click, non-disruptive upgrades for Nutanix software, hypervisors, and firmware. A highly resilient architecture reduces outages due to failures through intelligence resource handling and self-healing. Nutanix clusters can be architected to withstand the failure of individual server nodes or an entire server enclosure (four nodes). And because the Nutanix architecture is self-healing, it reduces the urgency to replace failed drives and other hardware. With this technology in hand, iCore has eliminated the impact of hardware failures and maintained a %100 uptime for their workloads
The Nutanix solution includes everything you need for local backups, remote backups, asynchronous, and synchronous replication. These capabilities form the foundation of additional value-added data protection and availability services that you can offer customers.
The Nutanix Operating System makes it easy to repurpose equipment as needed. You can switch a node from one hypervisor to another or take nodes offline in one datacenter where you’ve got excess capacity and move them to another where they are needed, eliminating expensive over-provisioning.
Another benefit of Nutanix for IaaS providers is the ability to get started quickly. Instead of spending days or weeks integrating servers, storage, and SANs, you can be up and running in minutes, and you can start small and scale out your Nutanix cluster incrementally. Many service providers deploy Nutanix for one service and expand the footprint to other services over time.
These are just some of the benefits that Nutanix brings to IaaS. Be sure to follow Nutanix on Twitter or reach out to us directly to get a demo and a deep dive into all of our technology. Also, continue to watch for additional blogs in this series.
byaluciani04-19-201607:07 AM - edited 04-19-201607:24 AM
OpenStack is a powerful tool for many organizations, especially those looking to give their IT users the Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) experience they would get with the public cloud. It also provides a neutral ground for your infrastructure, allowing you to integrate your entire stack into a single automation plane no matter how many vendors are involved. Starting in AOS 4.6 Nutanix AHV offers full integration with your choice of OpenStack controller, as long as you run version Kilo. Let’s take a look at how this works!
A Nutanix OpenStack deployment is made up of 3 components:
OpenStack Controller (OSC)
This can be an existing or new deployment that hosts the OpenStack UI, API, and services. This handles all of the OpenStack API calls and is your main point of management for OpenStack
Acropolis OpenStack Drivers
These translate OpenStack RPCs from the OSC into Acropolis API calls transparently. These allow you to utilize existing OpenStack automation or create new ones using the standard OpenStack API. The drivers can be deployed in 2 modes
Integrated on the OSC. The drivers can be installed directly on the OSC removing the need for additional VMs and following the OSC’s scaling/load balancing
Standalone package. The drivers are also available in a standalone VM
Acropolis OpenStack Services VM (OVM)
Available from portal.nutanix.com, this is an all-in-one VM that provides the drivers and easy integration to the OSC with a few simple commands. The OVM is stateless, which means it can easily be scaled out by simply deploying more and putting them behind a load balancer
The OVM is also available in an all-in-one mode for test/dev and lab environments that provides both the drivers and OSC in a single package. The OSC in this mode is very simple to deploy. However, it’s important to note that in all-in-one mode the drivers are supported by Nutanix but the OpenStack deployment is not.
Where does Nutanix fit in with my OpenStack environment?
An OpenStack deployment is made of many layers, depending on the features and services you require. At its core, however, is the infrastructure. Cinder, Neutron, and Nova provide the resource management needed for storage, networking, and compute respectively. Glance provides images for your users to deploy VMs from.
As you can see here, Nutanix sits at the core, providing the IaaS base for OpenStack. This gives your OpenStack deployment many benefits:
Turnkey - Nutanix provides simple to use building blocks for private clouds. You can easily scale compute and storage linearly removing bottlenecks common with 3-tier architecture. One-click operations for cluster expansion and rapid procurement means that you have what you need when you need it, saving on expensive overprovisioning.
Simple – Nutanix Prism offers integrated break-fix procedures for all the hardware and proactive monitoring for things that might cause problems down the road. Prism now also offers predicative capacity planning, allowing you to easily see based on your growth rates how long your infrastructure will last, including ways to squeeze the most out of it by identifying stale and overprovisioned VMs.
Resilient – Nutanix Acropolis offers automated self-healing and a rich set of options to keep your critical data safe, including integrated data protection and VM-centric features such as VM Snapshots, live migrations, and high availability. In a study by IDC, Nutanix environments had 98% lower unexpected downtime compared to traditional systems.
Integrated – With Nutanix Acropolis providing built-in storage and virtualization with AHV, the entire infrastructure is delivered from a single vendor, radically simplifying integration and giving you single-number support for all your infrastructure needs. As an integrated stack, Prism offers one-click non-disruptive software management for everything in the infrastructure (BIOS/BMC/Storage/Hypervisor) meaning there’s no need for expensive professional services to upgrade your system or long planning periods to avoid issues.
And that’s just the beginning! There are many benefits to backing your OpenStack deployment with Nutanix infrastructure. To learn more (and to download our CE edition to play with AHV for yourself) be sure to visit the Next forums at next.nutanix.com, follow us on Twitter and be sure to come visit us at the OpenStack Summit next week (we’ll be there with Intel).
This post is authored by Chris Brown, Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix