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10 Ways To Get Started with Nutanix and OpenStack

by Community Manager on ‎04-27-2016 05:40 PM (5,983 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. 

Where does Nutanix fit with my OpenStack environment?

by Community Manager ‎04-19-2016 07:07 AM - edited ‎04-19-2016 07:24 AM (10,776 Views)

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:


Related: Why build OpenStack Cloud using Nutanix Acropolis? ]


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


Why build OpenStack Cloud using Nutanix Acropolis?

by Community Manager on ‎04-05-2016 08:56 AM (6,222 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


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