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Dec 10 2016

Nutanix 5.0 Features Overview (Beyond Marketing) – Part 4

This is a 4 part 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).

 

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
  • Prism Search Improvements (support for Boolean expressions)
  •  I/O Metrics Visualization
  • 1-Click Licensing
  • LCM – Lifecycle Manager
  • Additional Prism Improvements
  • AHV Scale Improvements
  • AHV CPU and Memory Hot Add (Tech Preview)
  • Advanced Compression for Cold Data
  • Acropolis Change Block Tracking (CBT) for Backup Vendors
  • Predictable Performance with Autonomic QoS
  • NCC 3.0 with Prism Integration
  • 1-Node Replication Target
  • Improved Mixed Workload Support with QoS
  • Simplified SATADOM Replacement Workflow
  • Mixed Node Support with Adaptive Replica Selection
  • Dynamically Decreased Erasure Coding Stripes – Node Removals
  • Multi Metadata Disk Support for use available SSDs on the node for metadata
  • Erasure Coding(EC) support for changing the Replication Factor (RF) on containers
  • Inline Compression for OpLog
  • (New) Linux Kernel Upgrade

 

When I thought that I was finished with the announcements regarding the new features in Nutanix 5.0 one of my readers, Tom Hardy, reminded me that I forgot to include the Linux Kernel upgrade for AHV. It is always good to have readers willing to support and chime in when I make a mistake. Thanks, Tom!

 

Linux Kernel Upgrade

Nutanix AHV (aka Acropolis Hypervisor) is having its Linux Kernel upgraded to version 4.4.22 (currently Linux Kernel is 2.6.1. UPDATE: My mistake, current AHV Linux Kernel is 3.10.0-229.26.2). All new features and improvements for Linux 4.4 can be found here. Among prominent features, various bugs and security fixes for KVM, QEMU and libvirt are part of the release.

To learn about all Kernel changes between version 3.10.0 and 4.4.22 read this. However, not all features are part of AHV given that Nutanix only include modules that are relevant to the Nutanix solution in order to streamline footprint and reduce attack surface, making the solution more stable and more secure.

Personally I would like to highlight couple important improvements coming with the Kernel upgrade.

 

3D support in virtual GPU driver

virtio-gpu is a driver for virtualization guests that allows to use the host graphics card efficiently. In this release, it allows the virtualization guest to use the capabilities of the host GPU to accelerate 3D rendering. In practice, this means that a virtualized Linux guest can run a OpenGL game while using the GPU acceleration capabilities of the host, as show in this or this video. (Important – GPU acceleration is not yet supported in AOS 5.0, but this upgrade make AHV ready for upcoming supportability.)

 

HugePages Support (aka Large Page support)

HugePages is the mechanism that allows the Linux kernel to utilize the multiple page size capabilities of modern hardware architectures. HugePages makes it possible for the operating system to support memory pages greater than the default (usually 4KB). Using very large page sizes can improve system performance by reducing the amount of system resources.

HugePages is useful for both 32-bit and 64-bit configurations. HugePage sizes vary from 2MB to 256MB, depending on the kernel version and the hardware architecture

 

One more thing!

I would like to leave you with an exciting solution put together by our friends at Plexxi. Plexxi has integrated their Fabric Utilization into Nutanix Prism, essentially making Prism the single-pane of glass for managing compute, storage and network fabric across the entire datacenter. That is indeed very clever and very cool. I expect to see more of that moving forward as start enabling our technology partners to use the new Nutanix V3.0 APIs.

 

 

 

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

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