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10 Ways To Get Started with Nutanix and OpenStack

by Community Manager on ‎04-27-2016 05:40 PM (5,978 Views)

Fast Trackyour way to OpenStack andNutanix1.jpg 

This week the team was attending the OpenStack Summit in Austin, and I wanted to pull together some Nutanix + OpenStack blogs that were published this month. If you are interested in getting started with Nutanix and OpenStack, this selection of blog posts will help get you on the fast track.


One easy way to get started with Nutanix is to download our Community Edition. Community Edition is a 100% software solution in which you can now experience the same Nutanix technology that powers the data centers of thousands of leading enterprises around the world.


Hope you enjoy these ten post from our community


Why build OpenStack Cloud using Nutanix Acropolis?

We introduced AHV drivers for OpenStack in the recently released AOS 4.6 to build further out on our Enterprise cloud strategy. A key pillar of our vision is to provide choice to customers when deciding how to build a cloud to meet their business SLAs.


Where does Nutanix fit with my OpenStack environment?

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.


Getting Started with OpenStack: Nutanix Integration in 5 minutes

Chris Brown, Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, put together this cool video showing how Nutanix quickly integrates with your choice of OpenStack controller and provides complete automation with Nova, Cinder, Glance, and Neutron drivers.


Openstack + Nutanix : Nova and Cinder integration

It’s time to look at the steps required to launch virtual machine (VM) instances and setup appropriate storage.  The first steps to take are to provide the necessary network access rules for the VM’s if they don’t already exist.


Openstack + Nutanix: Glance Image Service

This post will cover the retrieval of base or cloud OS images via the Openstack Glance image service and how the Acropolis driver interacts with Glance and maintains the image data on the Nutanix Distributed Storage Fabric (DSF).


Openstack + Nutanix : Neutron Networking

In this post I intend to talk about setting up a Network Topology using the Openstack dashboard and the Neutron service integration with Nutanix. I will be able to show how this gets reflected in the Acropolis Prism GUI.


Openstack + Nutanix Integration : A Configuration Primer

As of Acropolis Base Software (NOS) version 4.6, Nutanix released a set of Acropolis drivers that provide OpenStack + Nutanix integration.


Nutanix AHV, OpenStack & vRealize Automation

There has been a lot of discussions lately around vRealize Automation (vRA) and AHV, formerly known as Acropolis Hypervisor, integrations and if it possible to manage AHV based virtual machines (VMs) via vRA.


Nutanix OpenStack Part II – Project & User Management

Now when we have the solution up and running it’s time to create the Projects needed and for those of you who have never worked with OpenStack a project can be considered a Tenant in other solutions.


Nutanix OpenStack Part I – Deployment

This will be the first blog post in a series that will cover the Nutanix OpenStack solution and what could be better than starting with the deployment. 

Why build OpenStack Cloud using Nutanix Acropolis?

by Community Manager on ‎04-05-2016 08:56 AM (6,219 Views)

We introduced AHV drivers for OpenStack in the recently released AOS 4.6 to build further out on our Enterprise cloud strategy. A key pillar of our vision is to provide choice to customers when deciding how to build a cloud to meet their business SLAs.


OpenStack is widely considered by many enterprises as an open source option to create their AWS-like private cloud. Often the goal is to achieve higher agility and lower the total cost of IT infrastructure ownership while also avoiding lock-in to any cloud management /hypervisor vendor. In the past 6-9 months alone, we have received several queries from prospects looking for an OpenStack solution integrated with best in class hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) from Nutanix.


But why are these companies seeking to use AHV-based Nutanix HCI with OpenStack? A closer look at how enterprises are using OpenStack for building clouds provides some insights.


We see two distinct approaches to infrastructure when building clouds using OpenStack:


1) DIY Approach to OpenStack Cloud


Some enterprises are building an OpenStack-based cloud by assembling commodity hardware components into compute, storage and network infrastructure. The table below captures the pros and cons of DIY.




 In our experience, not all enterprises find DIY appealing, and it is preferred mostly by firms that have high competency in software development - for example, PayPal, has chosen to go down this path. Still, many early adopters of OpenStack have realized that the current set of tools available for day-to-day management of a cloud assembled from nuts and bolts have not matured yet.


2) Traditional infrastructure Approach to OpenStack cloud


Many enterprises are building an OpenStack-based cloud backed by legacy 3-tier infrastructure (discrete storage, Server, and Virtualization components). These firms have concluded that the DIY approach is not optimal for them, but they desire to leverage OpenStack’s open APIs for provisioning.

Often such clouds are built by “stitching together” legacy 3-tier infrastructure from multiple vendors behind a unifying provisioning API. Even though this approach promises to preserve customers’ existing investments, keeping such a cloud operational and running is challenging and costly.




This is due to the complexity of managing legacy 3-tier infrastructure on a day to day basis. Unlike public clouds that have built a sophisticated infrastructure and custom tools to operate it, OpenStack clouds using legacy infrastructure lack commercially available mature operational tools and automation that can work reliably across multiple vendor solutions.




To give you a recent real world example, a Fortune 500 company in the consumer goods vertical was using OpenStack with 3-tier infrastructure on ESXi. It was facing a lot of issues around manageability due to stability and performance of drivers and immaturity of tools for capacity planning, troubleshooting, upgrades, etc.


The ecosystem for such open source tools for OpenStack is still in its infancy. Without an additional investment in custom automation by a user, OpenStack-based clouds built on top of legacy infrastructure often are not able to deliver on the promise of low total cost of ownership.

Both of the above infrastructure approaches have resulted in many failed OpenStack projects. As per a recent survey by SUSE, “Half of all enterprises that tried to implement an OpenStack cloud have failed.”


The Nutanix way:


A combined approach of using OpenStack with Nutanix Acropolis offers the best of both worlds:


  1. OpenStack’s open API for provisioning automation
  2. Ease of operations provided by the best of breed hyper-converged infrastructure.


It enables users to build a private or public cloud that delivers both agility and lower cost, without requiring users to spend time and money on developing software for custom tools.

After evaluating the Nutanix solution, the company referenced above decided to forego their legacy 3-tier infrastructure and instead run OpenStack on the Nutanix hyper-converged infrastructure using AHV as the hypervisor. The enhanced value for them was the management capabilities in Prism (single pane of glass for end-to-end troubleshooting, 1-click controller software/hypervisor/BIOS and firmware upgrades, predictive capacity forecasting, high availability/DR management) and accelerated time to value.




Nutanix AHV drivers for OpenStack in AOS release 4.6 enable customers to use OpenStack with Nutanix HCI on the AHV hypervisor. We are providing drivers for:


  • Nova-compute
  • Cinder-volume
  • Glance-Image
  • Neutron-network


While users can also use other OpenStack services - e.g. swift, HEAT, etc. - in their overall solution. The drivers are packaged as a VM disk image (qcow2 format) for ease of deployment.




Nutanix Acropolis provides a superior alternative to building an OpenStack-based cloud than alternative approaches.


It is incredibly easy to get started with Nutanix and OpenStack. If you already have an existing OpenStack controller, then you can just use the driver package to add Nutanix clusters as OpenStack resources without making any change to your OpenStack controller code. If you do not yet have an OpenStack controller, you can use the pre-packaged open source OpenStack with the driver distribution for quick evaluation.


For detailed solution architecture and deployment considerations, you may refer to the Nutanix Bible., also, continue the conversation on the Nutanix NEXT community and follow Nutanix on Twitter for the latest news and announcements. 


Related: Nutanix's Acropolis solution with an OpenStack cloud deployment, Video


This post was authored by Manish Lohani, Director of Product Management Nutanix

VMware NSX on Nutanix: Build a Software-Defined Datacenter

by Community Manager ‎02-23-2016 10:07 AM - edited ‎02-23-2016 10:44 AM (9,566 Views)

VMware NSX for vSphere and the Nutanix Xtreme Computing Platform (XCP) combine to make the software-defined datacenter a reality. XCP lets administrators build an invisible virtualization infrastructure free from the limits of traditional compute, storage, and storage networking architectures. The VMware NSX and Nutanix XCP solution ensures that VMs always have access to fast local storage and compute, as well as consistent network addressing and security, all without the burden of physical infrastructure constraints.


Nutanix has tested two crucial NSX deployment scenarios to validate that VMware NSX for vSphere operates seamlessly in a Nutanix cluster. The first scenario has the Nutanix Controller VM (CVM) connected to a traditional VLAN network, with user VMs inside NSX virtual networks. In the second scenario, both the CVM and user VMs are connected to NSX virtual networks. Connecting the CVM to an NSX virtual network increases configuration complexity, but it also provides access to features such as isolation and microsegmentation for the Nutanix cluster.


Use Cases and Benefits

Before we dive into the different scenarios, lets take a look at a commonly used example that shows up in the VMware NSX design guide. We'll examine a few of the benefits of software-defined networking using this example. Here we see three virtual machine tiers: web, application, and database. Traffic from these VMs is carried in three separate VXLAN-based virtual networks (VNI 5001 - 5003).




Each isolated virtual network is abstracted from the physical network thanks to VXLAN encapsulation. The distributed logical router (DLR) on each hypervisor can connect disparate layer-3 virtual networks without having to hairpin traffic to a physical router. Routing happens right at the hypervisor. Further, the distributed firewall (DFW) can apply security policy at the VM virtual NIC-level that follows the VM regardless of the location of physical firewalls or layer-3 boundaries.




The DFW and DLR operate at the hypervisor level and exist in every hypervisor within the compute cluster. Because these components are distributed, routing and firewall actions happen close to the VMs without depending on the underlying network infrastructure. The only two requirements of the physical network are to enable connectivity between hypervisors and allow jumbo frames to accommodate for VXLAN overhead.


Separation from the physical network means that VMs can be addressed and managed without impact to the physical network. Isolated network enclaves can be created within virtual networks that can be quickly duplicated as required. One example would be building a completely new environment for each developer that is created on demand. Another example would be restoring a snapshot of the production environment into a full-featured backup virtual network without having to worry about impacting production or having to change VM IP addresses.




For further information on each of these use cases check out the full solution note (INSERT LP LINK HERE).


Scenario 1 - NSX for User Virtual Machines

The recommended configuration for NSX on Nutanix is to enable NSX for user VMs, such as the web, application, and database in our three-tiered application example. The Nutanix CVM is connected to a regular VLAN backed port group to keep configuration as simple as possible.


Storage traffic is transmitted between nodes in VLAN 101 shown here. User VM traffic can take advantage of NSX benefits that we've highlighted above. In our example we ensure that the distributed firewall allows traffic between CVMs and ESXi hosts by either adding explicit rules, or adding a default allow policy to the rule set.




Scenario 2 - NSX for the Nutanix CVM and User VMs

The next example shows the alternate scenario, where both the Nutanix CVM and user VMs are connected to an NSX virtual network. An additional storage VMk adapter in virtual network 5000 ensures that L2 and L3 connectivity requirements between CVM and ESXi cluster hosts are met. The management and VXLAN VMk addresses in the figure illustrate addressing two nodes in separate racks with an L3 boundary separating the racks. The VXLAN-encapsulated storage network traffic in VNI 5000 spans this L3 boundary.




With a little added complexity, this configuration allows the Nutanix CVM to take advantage of features such as microsegmentation and isolation. You can isolate the CVM and storage network in a single virtual network that can span physical network layer-3 boundaries while still keeping the CVM and storage VMk adapters in the same layer-3 network.


It is critical to note that leaf-spine topology recommendations for the physical network still hold true between Nutanix nodes. Addressing between ESXi hosts in separate racks may cross a layer-3 boundary, but the network must still meet the requirement for high throughput and low latency between Nutanix nodes.



Running VMware NSX on Nutanix enables administrators to architect powerful and agile solutions free from traditional physical storage and networking constraints. The Xtreme Computing Platform (XCP) delivers the invisible compute and storage infrastructure, while NSX emulates network functions abstracted from the underlying physical network. Nutanix has verified that these tools integrate seamlessly to achieve all of the advantages associated with a software-defined datacenter, including logical separation from the storage infrastructure, isolated virtual networks that can span physical networks, security policies that follow ever-moving virtual machines, and true workflow automation.


Deploying Nutanix with VMware NSX lets administrators focus on building scalable applications, confident that, wherever a VM resides, it will have access to essential compute, storage, and network resources. A stable and robust physical infrastructure provides the underlay for a malleable and responsive virtual overlay ready to meet challenges on demand.


For more information on VMware NSX use cases and testing with Nutanix, please check out the full solution note here and continue the conversation on the community forums.


This post was authored by Jason Burns, Senior Solutions & Performance Engineer at Nutanix 


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