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Blog Roundup: What did you miss this week?

by Community Manager on ‎09-30-2016 12:10 AM (1,085 Views)

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It’s the end of another week, and the Nutanix team was at Microsoft Ignite and had an excellent time, it’s always fun to meet and chat with folks in person who you typically spend time with virtually on Twitter and other social media platforms.

 

There was a lot of news this week from Ignite, and we've included some of the announcements in this week's blog recap, in addition to some of our recent blog posts that you may have missed, enjoy!

 

Nutanix Launches .heart – Our New Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program | Nutanix Blog

At Nutanix, we care for the global communities where we live and work, and promote a culture of empathy and giving back. Over the past few weeks, it was my honor to launch Nutanix’s new Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program aptly named .heart.

 

Introducing Nutanix X-Powered Services | Nutanix Blog

When you look for an on-premises datacenter solution or a managed service, you want to be sure that the technology powering your services is based on industry-leading cutting-edge solutions that provide performance, reliability, and scale.

 

Introducing Docker For Windows Server 2016 | Docker Blog

Microsoft is announcing the general availability of Windows Server 2016 at the Ignite conference in Atlanta. For Windows developers and IT-pros, the most exciting new Windows feature is containers, and containers on Windows Server 2016 are powered by Docker.

 

6 Places to Visit While in Vienna | Nutanix Community Blog

This year, Nutanix is hosting it's first .NEXT conference in Vienna and we are super excited to be there. In addition to the cool technical sessions, Vienna is a beautiful place and if you are staying a few extra days, here are a few spots you might want to check out and enjoy.

 

8 Major Products Unveiled At Microsoft Ignite 2016 | CRN

Microsoft is seeking to do more than just solve problems for the IT professionals it serves; the company said Monday in connection with its Ignite 2016 conference. The company is seeking to provide opportunities for IT professionals to drive the "digital transformation" of the businesses they work with -- making IT much more of a value-add than it once was.

 

Configuring Iometer Performance Tests on Nutanix the Right Way | Nutanix Community Blog

On the Solutions & Performance team at Nutanix, we’re often working with customers or prospective customers to help them identify what they really need their hyperconverged infrastructure to do and how to evaluate their platform options based on those specific requirements.

 

Announcing the launch of Windows Server 2016 | TechNet

I’m incredibly excited that this morning at our Ignite conference in Atlanta we launched the newest release of our server operating system – Windows Server 2016! Now that we’re ready to share it with the world, I want to take a moment to thank our customers who helped shape this exciting release.

 

Bolt for Gold with All-flash Platforms | Nutanix Community Blog

As the XXXI Olympic Games came to a close, we were again reminded of the dedication required to compete at extraordinary levels. Athletes such as Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Simone Biles clearly separated themselves from the rest of the pack to be the fastest and the most consistent.

 

Microsoft Ignite On-Demand | Microsoft Ignite

Watch 800+ hours of idea-provoking content including Microsoft Ignite keynotes, overviews, deep dives, and more.

 

Hope you enjoyed this week’s roundup, and you can always continue the conversation on 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.

Bolt for Gold with All-flash Platforms

by Community Manager on ‎09-23-2016 12:10 AM (1,920 Views)

As the XXXI Olympic games came to a close, we were again reminded of the dedication required to compete at extraordinary levels. Athletes such as Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Simone Biles clearly separated themselves from the rest of the pack to be the fastest and the most consistent. They have what it takes to succeed and have won gold medals consistently.

 

For example, Usain Bolt has won nine gold medals at the last three Olympics, all while only spending a couple of minutes on the track. To achieve this goal, he trained for over 15 years. He did so by pushing himself to get to the gym every day and has a regime that is second to none. His motivation is derived from not wanting to be in second place, enabling him to reach a top speed of 27 mph. We have a similar mantra at Nutanix: we don’t want to be in second place!

 

We do this through the collective efforts of our broad set of employees with various backgrounds that come to win every day. Nutanix uses consistent innovation and adoption of game-changing technologies such as NVMe, Persistent Memory, and container, file and block services, to push past the norm.

 

Data continues to expand at exponential rates, and these technologies become paramount in making sense of the massive amounts of data being collected. To fully realize the benefits of these technologies, compute resources must sit near storage resources. This can massively reduce CPU wait times while delivering consistently low latency access to data.

 

As these technologies mature and become mainstream, choosing the right platform becomes paramount. The Nutanix enterprise cloud platform is built to adapt and take advantage of newer technologies, putting your business ahead of the competition

 

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Sprint the Globe  

Sprinting versus running, what’s the difference? A runner maintains an average speed for a longer period, typically not having a great top speed or ever reaching it during a race. However, a sprinter, like Usain Bolt, will accelerate to a top speed in a matter of seconds and will maintain that speed for the entire race. Now imagine if you could utilize the sprinting methodology for the way an application accesses data, but at the duration of a runner. That would be revolutionary!

 

To understand what these technologies – NVMe and Persistent Memory - can produce, we have to look at where it started. Rotational media, such as Hard Disk Drives (HDD) have been around for a long time. HDDs provided adequate performance for single workloads at very low costs, but as additional workloads are added HDD performance suffers.

 

HDDs are significantly constrained in performance especially with mixed workloads on the same infrastructure, and for applications like OLTP and OLAP. HDDs have remained stagnant in terms of performance capabilities, and in fact, the I/O density (IOPS/GB) has continued to precipitously decline with each step-up in HDD capacity (e.g. HDD capacities are 6x to 10x higher than they were a few years back, but IOPS have remained at about 75).

 

HDDs can be viewed as the long distance runner that doesn’t have a high top speed (IOPS). At the same time, flash costs continue to fall as densities increase resulting in Solid State Drives (SSDs) moving into many enterprise datacenters, replacing the long distance runners - HDDs. However, SDDs were built using the same interfaces as HDDs, and can’t reap the true performance flash offers.

 

As newer solid state and persistent memory technologies are developed, new interfaces must be designed to take advantage of these performance characteristics.

 

NVMe is the new access standard for PCI express SSDs. NVMe takes advantage of SSDs by being able to read or write lots of data simultaneously, parallelizing access. As an example, 3D-XPoint technology, with the right interface, has made waves on the performance it will offer. Intel and Micron have summarized the benefits of the technology in a document they wrote (included a small excerpt below).

 

“In the time it takes an HDD to sprint the length of a basketball court, NAND could finish a marathon, and 3D-XPoint technology could nearly circle the globe.”[1]

 

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Looking at today’s options for high-performance workloads, NAND and DRAM are the two storage/memory media that come to mind. Today’s NAND technologies provide low costs and are non-volatility, and DRAM provides superior performance.

 

If you take the best of these two technologies and combine them, you get persistent memory technology. It is memory-class speeds which are cheaper than DRAM, faster than NAND, and non-volatile like NAND. We believe as this technology makes inroads into the datacenter, you will start seeing it in SSD type form factors.   

 

The culmination of the two technologies enables applications to have unparalleled access to data without bottlenecks. The only way to truly harness these technologies is to converge compute, flash storage and virtualization on the same platform.

 

Nutanix keeps the server close to the data. In contrast, legacy three-tier architectures separate applications from storage by networks and storage controllers incurring additional latencies. In these legacy architectures, networks will quickly become saturated as these technologies surface.  

 

Multiple Parallel Lanes

Consider a scenario where you can leverage many Usain Bolt type sprinters in a widened lane, each holding a piece of data. They would be able to get data between two different points at blazing fast speeds. Applying this to applications accessing data increases the amount of I/O between the application and SSD. Applications would just scream with performance, minimizing the amount of time your users wait for access.

 

Flash performance is steadily increasing as demand for faster systems continues to rise. Today’s SSDs can deliver over 100,000 IOPS and with a few of them aggregated, they can quickly saturate storage controllers. If a single array holds 10-20 SSDs on average, then you are probably not getting the full potential of the SSDs.

 

The same situation applies when looking at the network where bandwidth becomes a concern. A typical enterprise SSD using AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) interfaces can deliver on average 500MB/s read and 450MB/s write performance, again saturating common network infrastructure. SATA drives with AHCI interfaces typically have a single queue and can handle 32 commands.

 

AHCI was designed to handle slow read/write operations and not designed for SSDs that can handle large amounts of I/Os. NVMe, on the other hand can handle parallel operations, up to 64,000 queues with 64,000 commands per queue, enabling simultaneous disk I/Os.

 

Keep Pushing the Norm

The modern hyperconverged architectures not only shorten the path (direct PCIe access) but also enable a significant increase in parallelization, which can allow massive amounts of data to be processed in real time.

 

As you look for a next-generation platform to push mixed application workloads and drive higher business value, consider a solution that can take advantage of newer NVMe and SSDs options as these technologies become mainstream.

 

Come See Us at Microsoft Ignite 2016

Nutanix is proud to be a Platinum Sponsor at Microsoft Ignite 2016 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, September 26 – September 30, 2016. Visit us at our booth and hear how our customers are deploying large-scale environments with Nutanix all-flash solutions.

 

If you like what you see on the show floor and want to have a more in-depth discussion about our solutions, we would love to talk to you. Visit the Nutanix booth to schedule a meeting with our engineering, product management, or product marketing team.

 

Let’s Get Social!

You can stay connected with Nutanix throughout the entire Ignite 2016 event by following @Nutanix on Twitter, and connecting with us on the Next community forms (next.nutanix.com)

 

We look forward to meeting you at our booth #1310 at Ignite in Atlanta where we will show you how to deliver mission-critical business applications securely and reliably, all while reducing your TCO at scale.  Your IT organization will truly be elevated to focus on delivering core business value and innovation by making your infrastructure invisible with the Nutanix enterprise cloud platform.

 

 

This post is authored by Rohit Goyal, Product Marketing Manager at Nutanix

 

 

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.

 

 

[1] http://www.intel.com/newsroom/kits/nvm/3dxpoint/pdfs/NextGen_NVM_FunFacts.pdf

Nutanix and Microsoft Create Hybrid Cloud Building Blocks with Cloud Platform System - Standard

by Community Manager ‎09-21-2016 06:05 PM - edited ‎09-21-2016 06:08 PM (4,102 Views)

As IT continues to evolve, private clouds have become a core part of many businesses.  The flexibility and agility these clouds can provide to IT consumers is rapidly becoming an expected deliverable, rather than just a value-addition. 

 

However, these clouds often come at the expense of IT, with complexity in setup, configuration, and scaling.  In light of this, Nutanix has teamed up with Microsoft to offer the Microsoft Cloud Platform System (CPS)-Standard for Nutanix

 

Combining the cloud experience of Microsoft, with their Azure and System Center product lines, with Nutanix’s own Enterprise Cloud platform, consisting of Acropolis and Prism, IT departments are able to rapidly deploy, manage, and most importantly scale these critical services.

 

What is Microsoft CPS – Standard for Nutanix?

 

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Microsoft CPS-Standard for Nutanix automates the installation of the Microsoft stack on the award-winning Nutanix platform.  CPS-S includes:

 

  • Our most common model – the NX-3000 Series – which provides a balanced set of storage and compute
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Microsoft System Center – Both Operations Manager (SCOM) to monitor your datacenter and Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) for VM management
  • Microsoft Azure Pack (WAP) which provides an Azure-like portal for your users to consume on-prem IT resources
  • Microsoft SQL to support System Center and Windows Azure Pack

 

These four Microsoft products are all installed directly from the factory.  This means that setup is extremely straightforward.  Simply rack and stack the gear, and then run through the automated Nutanix Foundation process to assign the correct IPs to the cluster with no need to image. Foundation combines cluster initialization with imaging as needed.  Once the cluster is created, Foundation will redirect you to Prism.

 

From Prism, you can run the integrated Hyper-V configuration scripts.  The first two are standard for all installs of Hyper-V and prepare the cluster to run VMs by joining the Hyper-V nodes to the domain and creating a failover cluster for HA VMs. Check out this video for a demo of these scripts.

 

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 Prepare the cluster for VMs with a few clicks and simple input

 

At this point the CPS-S process diverges slightly.  A third setup script is run which deploys SCOM, SCVMM, and WAP. These files are already on the system, so no need to provide additional files.  Once this final script is finished you are ready to provision clouds from SCVMM which your users can consume through WAP. 

 

The beauty of this process is that in a traditional environment each one of these steps is incredibly time-consuming.  SCVMM by itself is a 15 step process that includes resolving multiple dependences and configuring a database to store its information.  With CPS, all of that configuration is handled for you automatically and you can go from installation to deployed in hours, not days or weeks.

 

The configuration is only part of why CPS-S is so special.  As outlined above, scalability is a critical part of any private cloud.  Luckily this is our specialty.  With a few simple GUI steps you can quickly scale your infrastructure by adding new nodes.  With the Acropolis Distributed Storage Fabric (ADSF), you know that this scaling will be linear and won’t introduce any new bottlenecks.  Check out “How it works” for a detailed overview of how Nutanix makes scaling a breeze.

 

CPS-S as a Management Cluster

Since SCVMM is not bound by hardware vendor, it can manage and serve up resources from any Hyper-V infrastructure.  This means that using CPS-S you can quickly retrofit your existing Hyper-V environment – no matter if it is a Nutanix solution or other Hyper-V system - and serve the resources in a cloud-like fashion.

 

CPS-S for Your Critical Applications

In the press release Nutanix issued during the launch of CPS-S for Nutanix, we reported that over 50% of the new workloads new customers brought (or were anticipated to bring) on to Nutanix during the financial quarter ending April 30, 2016, were Enterprise Applications.

 

Microsoft CPS-S for Nutanix delivers the agility, scalability, and predictability that our approximately 3,750 customers are already familiar with to a wide range of Microsoft and Windows applications including SQL Server, Exchange, SharePoint, Dynamics, and Skype for Business.

 

No matter where you are on your cloud journey today, CPS-S can accelerate your adoption and help your IT users reap the benefits.  With Nutanix and Microsoft the cloud is closer than ever.

 

Nutanix at Ignite

Nutanix is proud to be a Platinum Sponsor at Microsoft Ignite 2016 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, September 26 – September 30, 2016. Visit us at booth #1310 to learn more about CPS-S, including a demo of the various integrations between Nutanix and Microsoft.  We covering these integrations in-depth from one of our senior technical and solutions engineers, Mike McGhee.

 

If you like what you see on the show floor and want to have a more in-depth discussion about our solutions, we would love to talk to you. Visit the Nutanix booth to schedule a meeting with our engineering, product management, or marketing team.

 

Finally, Nutanix is co-hosting a private party with Lenovo at the College Football Hall of fame.  Come to relax in style, tailgate Monday Night Football, and get a private tour!  Registration is available here.

  

Let’s Get Social!

You can stay connected with Nutanix throughout the entire Ignite 2016 event by following Nutanix or tweeting using the hashtag #NutanixAtIgnite on Twitter, and connecting with us on the Next community forms (next.nutanix.com)

 

We look forward to meeting you at our booth #1310 at Ignite in Atlanta where we will show you how to deliver mission-critical business applications securely and reliably, all while reducing your TCO at scale.  Your IT organization will truly be elevated to focus on delivering core business value and innovation by making your infrastructure invisible with the Nutanix enterprise cloud platform.

 

This post was authored by Chris Brown, Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix

 

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.

 

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