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Nutanix One-Click Upgrade now takes care of Firmware and Hypervisor too!

As the name says, it’s a One-Click upgrade for the entire Nutanix cluster. Nutanix One-Click upgrade automatically indicates when a new NOS version is available and it will auto-download the binaries if the auto-download option is enabled. With a single-click to upgrade all nodes in a cluster, Nutanix uses a highly parallel process and reboot one CVM at a time using a rolling upgrade mechanism. The entire cluster upgrade can be fully monitored by the administrator.

During the upgrade process a feature called Autopathing kicks-in redirecting VM I/Os on the Hypervisor host to another CVM (Nutanix Controller) on a different hypervisor host. This has several benefits including allowing you to upgrade a CVM without disruption. The CVM AutoPathing prevents performance loss during rolling upgrades minimizing I/O timeout by pre-emptively redirecting storage traffic to other CVMs. Failover traffic is also automatically load-balanced with the rest of the cluster based on node load.

 

What’s New?

For most of you already running Nutanix 4.0.1 this is not new. However, this time around I am writing about the new One-Click upgrade feature being released with the next NOS release. In addition to the already non-disruptive NOS upgrade, the One-Click upgrade feature now ensures that the hypervisor (vSphere, HyperV and KVM) is also automatically upgraded in a distributed and rolling fashion. Nutanix is solving a huge problem, where either manual intervention or external automation tools are required.

In addition to the new hypervisor upgrade feature Nutanix is now enabling NCC (Nutanix Cluster Health) upgrade and hardware firmware upgrade. Let’s talks about firmware upgrade.

Upgrading firmware on servers, controllers, disks and other interfaces is probably one of the major pain points for datacenter administrators. The workflow normally goes as follows: schedule maintenance outage, go to the manufacturer website, download correct firmware, flash firmware via web interface or with a Linux cli tool, reboot server, and then repeat this task for every server in the datacenter that require firmware upgrade. It’s complex and lengthy.

Because NOS runs in hypervisor user space Nutanix is able to execute complex firmware and hardware upgrade processes across multiple server components without requiring reboots. Using Nutanix a highly distributed parallel processing the One-Click upgrade takes care of firmware upgrade for all disk devices in the cluster with zero impact to virtual machines and workloads. No reboots required, true AlwaysOn! It isn’t hard hard to see or predict Nutanix taking care of all other components in the cluster in a foreseeable future.

As a bonus the framework that is serving as the engine for the Nutanix Cluster Health, also knows as NCC, is also part of the One-Click upgrade process. Read more about NCC here.

Below you will find a screenshot of a Beta NOS release that supports upgrades for NOS, Hypervisor, Disk Firmware and NCC. As I have more non-NDA content about the new One-Click upgrade I will share it here. This is true Nutanix innovation and something that only software defined solutions can achieve via heavy use of automation and workflows.

 

 

Note: The hypervisor upgrade process requires server reboot.

 

If you have not yet seen the current release of Nutanix One-Click upgrade click Nutanix One-Click Upgrade Demo Video (Simple & Easy).

 

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

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