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Nov 28 2016

Nutanix 5.0 Features Overview (Beyond Marketing) – Part 2

This is a 4 part blog series.

 

This is Part 2 of the series.

 

These are the features introduced with this blog post series so far:

  • Cisco UCS B-Series Blade Servers Support
  • Acropolis Affinity and Anti-affinity
  • Acropolis Dynamic Scheduling (DRS++)
  • REST API 2.0 and 3.0
  • Support for XenServer TechPreview
  • Network Visualization
  • What-if analysis for New workloads and Allocation-based forecasting
  • Native Self-Service Portal
  • Snapshots – Self Service Restore UI
  • Network Partner Integration Framework
  • Metro Availability Witness
  • VM Flash Mode Improvements
  • Acropolis File Services GA (ESXi and AHV)
  • Acropolis Block Services (CHAP authentication)
  • Oracle VM and Oracle Linux Certified for AHV
  • SAP Netweaver stack Certified for AHV
  • (New) Prism Search Improvements (support for Boolean expressions)
  • (New) I/O Metrics Visualization
  • (New) 1-Click Licensing
  • (New) LCM – Lifecycle Manager
  • (New) Additional Prism Improvements
  • (New) AHV Scale Improvements
  • (New) AHV CPU and Memory Hot Add (Tech Preview)
  • (New) Advanced Compression for Cold Data
  • (New) Acropolis Change Block Tracking (CBT) for Backup Vendors
  • (New) Predictable Performance with Autonomic QoS
  • …more on the 3rd and final part of this blog series

 

Disclaimer: 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 not determined whether separate fees will be charged for any future product enhancements or functionality which may ultimately be made available, and may choose to charge separate fees for the delivery of any product enhancements or functionality which are ultimately made available.

 

For official information on features and timeframe refer to the official Nutanix Press Release (here).

 

Now that we have legal disclaimer out-of-the-way… let’s get into it!

 

Prism

Prism Search Improvements (support for Boolean expressions)

If you read part 1 of this series you possibly noticed that Prism is becoming the single-pane of glass for the datacenter, allowing administrator to manage compute, storage and network altogether. Moreover, network and security partners are now integrating their solutions with REST 3.0 and Prism.

AOS 4.6 introduced support for Keywords Based Search and Contextual Results; now AOS 5.0 adds additional support for Richer Alert Queries, Expressions Queries, Issue Discovery, Dynamic Cheat-Sheet and overall simplification of the search experience.

The focus of these improvements are on ‘degraded service quality’; those moments when takes IT admins a prolonged time to identify and isolate an infrastructure problem, or when IT admins have to go through complicated flows to finish simple tasks.

 

  • Support for Richer Alert Queries
    • Filtering of Alert
    • By Severity (Critical, Warning)
    • By Impact Type (Availability, Capacity)
    • By Resolution Status (Resolved, Unresolved)
    • By Acknowledgement Status (Acknowledged, Unacknowledged)
    • By Alert Title and part of title (CVM Rebooted, NIC Error)
    • Combination of the above
    • g. Resolved Critical Alerts
    • g. Host1 Critical Alerts

 

  • Support for Expressions Queries
  • Filtering of Entities by specifying Boolean expressions (“>”, “<“, “=“, “<=“, and “>=“)
    • Filters on Metrics (E.g. VMs IOPS > 100)
    • Filters on Attributes (g. VMs “power state”=On)
    • Combination of multiple filters
  • Auto Completion of Values in Expressions
    • AutoComplete with value for some attributes
    • “Block type”= (autocompletes with available block types)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Redesigned and Improved Cheat-Sheet that is auto-generated based on entities managed by Prism Central.Clean layout for – cheat sheet, recent search history, and saved search

 

 

I/O Metrics Visualization

Nutanix has always provided storage performance monitoring via Prism UI. Nutanix has also always provided advanced storage performance monitoring and workload profiling through pages on port 2009 on any CVM which shows very granular details for individual virtual disks. AOS 5.0 will now also display in Prism important VM centric metrics such as I/O Latency, I/O Performance and Distribution and Storage Tier utilization.

 

 

1-Click Licensing

AOS 5.0 now has ability to leverage the Support Connection to allow 1-Click licensing right from Prism. Using the Portal licensing API, Nutanix automatically determine possible actions available to the administrator and allow them to execute any of them with a single click.

  • Upgrade – Move to a higher license level
  • Downgrade – Move to a lower license level
  • Rebalance – Sync up license count with current node count
  • Renew – Swap licenses for ones that are not expired
  • Add – Add an add-on
  • Remove – Remove an add-on

 

 

 

LCM – Lifecycle Manager

In AOS 5.0 all 1-Click Upgrade options for cluster components have been moved into a Lifecycle Manager single-pane of glass for all software/firmware updates. This change decouples inventory and update code from AOS, creating a generic framework for running all software/firmware/inventory updates that is also able to accept out-of-band updates for individual cluster components. These changes occur behind the scenes, while maintaining the 1-Click Upgrade process completely seamless and fully integrated into Prism.

 

  • LCM is a single pane for all software/firmware updates
  • LCM modules can be released out-of-band from AOS (eg Disk/HBA update)
  • LCM Framework is the main module controlling LCM operation
  • The LCM Framework can self-update via the LCM update module

 

 

The New LCM – Lifecycle Manager

 

 

Additional Prism Improvements

  • 1-year data retention in Prism Central (Enhanced Analysis)
  • Internationalization for Static strings in Menus and Dashboards
  • Quick access to Prism Element widget in Prism Central dashboard
  • Entity Browser Enhancements:
    • Ability to export data (in JSON/CSV) from all table and tiles view
    • Support for Saved Queries
    • Search <> Entity-Browser Integration
  • Prism Central Improvements around reducing Disk I/O and Usage

 

 

Application Mobility Framework (AMF)

AHV Scale Improvements

Acropolis hypervisor management is continually under improvement to support the most demanding workloads. In AOS 5.0 the Acropolis Hypervisor now supports 12,500 virtual machines and 1.5 million alerts and events.

 

AHV CPU and Memory Hot-Add (Tech Preview)

AHV now supports CPU and Memory hot-add.  AHV hot-add Memory and hot-plug CPU functions allow you to add the CPU and Memory while virtual machine is up and running. It will help you to add the additional resources whenever required and no need to bring down the VM for each time. During Tech Preview only ACLI support is available.

 

 

Distributed Storage Fabric (DSF)

Advanced Compression for Cold Data

AOS 5.0 now compress cold data using extra capacity efficient algorithms (lz4 and lz4hc) to achieve the best storage efficiency. The changes introduced in this release improve compression ratios, reduce garbage and improve compression/decompression speeds. As of AOS 5.0 this post-process compression is enabled by default for all-flash clusters, and may be enabled manually for hybrid clusters.

 

 

Acropolis Change Block Tracking (CBT) for Backup Vendors

With AOS 5.0 backup vendors can take full advantage of Nutanix based CBT (hypervisor agnostic) to take both incremental and differential backups of disks and VMs more efficiently. If your cluster only running VMware vSphere you already have CBT via the hypervisor; however with Nutanix CBT similar capabilities are available to the base platform enabling multi-hypervisor CBT support. Administrator will now be able use the same backup tools and methods across all supported hypervisors.

Nutanix CBT utilizes the new REST 3.0 API that can be used to query for the changed meta-data regions given any two snapshots of a virtual disk or virtual machine. The approach is valuable for taking incremental and differential backups; and even useful while taking full backups because the API identifies regions that are spare (zeroed), therefore saving on read operations.

Nutanix will soon announce backup partners integrating natively with the platform.

 

 

Predictable Performance with Autonomic QoS

Autonomic QoS acts on behalf on the administrator adjusting resources bandwidth for front-end and back-end operations. During contention period, all front-end operations (user driven) get a higher priority; while during low load periods, backend operations get more resources. Autonomic QoS offers predictable performance for user applications with any user input, using automatic decision-making based on machine intelligence.

 

 

Some of other features Included in AOS 5.0 to be discussed in the 3rd and final part of this series:

  • 1-Node Replication Target
  • Support 1h RPO on Storage Heavy Platforms
  • Maintain EC protection even with node removals, keeping protection overhead limited
  • Multi Metadata Disk Support for use all the available SSDs on the node for metadata
  • Simplified and automated Host boot disk (SATADOM) replacement procedure
  • Erasure Coding(EC) support for changing the Replication Factor (RF) on containers
  • Inline Compression for OpLog
  • Improved Mixed Workload Support with QoS
  • Mixed Node Support with Adaptive Replica Selection
  • Linux kernel upgrade – 4.4.22

 

Keep tuned!

 

This article was first published by Andre Leibovici (@andreleibovici) at myvirtualcloud.net

4 comments

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  1. Tom

    Awesome! Looking forward to part 3… any news on when we can expect 5.0 to be released?

  2. Andre Leibovici

    @Tom I wish I could tell exactly when but it’s under Product Management control. It will soon thou.

  3. Tom Hardy

    Thanks Andre, Any new features for Hyper-V? and When will the Backup partners be announced? Hope Veeam will be included…

  4. naveed shaik

    Awesome info. Thanks a lot for sharing. Mixed Node Support with Adaptive Replica Selection, does it means can I have 10 node Nutanix cluster with 7 nodes running Vmware and 3 nodes AHV?

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