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Posts Tagged ‘scalability’

#VDI Calculator v5 is Now Available with Major New Features – #IaaS, #Storage, #BYOD via @andreleibovici

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

This is awesome! Great work by @andreleibovici!

I am happy to announce the General Availability of the new VDI Calculator v5. This new version is the single biggest release since I started delivering the calculator. I have completely re-architected the way the calculator works, allowing multiple types of desktops to be configured in a single calculation for a single solution.
 
All existing features have been retained and will work in the exact same way you are used to, but you now have the ability to select different  options for different types of desktops or desktop pools.
 
As an example, you may choose Desktop Type 1 to be a ‘student’ desktop using Linked Clones with 10 different pools; conversely you may choose Desktop Type 2 to be a ‘professor’ desktop using Full Clones with 5 individual pools. This new calculator gives you much more granular control over your calculations eliminating repetitive tasks when sizing larger environments.
 
To enable multi-desktop pool calculations just select ‘-’ and ‘+’ in the top bar menu.
 

Screen Shot 2014-02-01 at 9.50.39 AM

 
Another additional feature is what I call ‘Ask for Help‘. During the application session when you select the Update option a new screen will show up asking if you would like to be contacted by VDI solutions vendors that can help reduce costs, improve performance or improve manageability of your VDI solution. If you are interested…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Nutanix NX-3000 review: Virtualization cloud-style – #Nutanix, #IaaS

January 29, 2014 Leave a comment

A great review of the Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform! 🙂

Nutanix NX-3000 Series
Nutanix NX-3000 review: Virtualization cloud-style

What do you get when you combine four independent servers, lots of memory, standard SATA disks and SSD, 10Gb networking, and custom software in a single box? In this instance, the answer would be a Nutanix NX-3000. Pigeonholing the Nutanix product into a traditional category is another riddle altogether. While the company refers to each unit it sells as an “appliance,” it really is a clustered combination of four individual servers and direct-attached storage that brings shared storage right into the box, eliminating the need for a back-end SAN or NAS.

I was recently given the opportunity to go hands on with a Nutanix NX-3000, the four nodes of which were running version 3.5.1 of the Nutanix operating system. It’s important to point out that the Nutanix platform handles clustering and file replication independent of any hosted virtualization system. Thus, a Nutanix cluster will automatically handle node, disk, and network failures while providing I/O at the speed of local disk — and using local SSD to accelerate access to the most frequently used data. Nutanix systems support the VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors, as well as KVM for Linux-based workloads.

[ The Nutanix NX-3000 is an InfoWorld 2014 Technology of the Year Award winner. Read about the other winning products in our slideshow, “InfoWorld’s 2014 Technology of the Year Award winners.” | For quick, smart takes on the news you’ll be talking about, check out InfoWorld TechBrief — subscribe today. ]

Nutanix was founded by experienced data center architects and engineers from the likes of Google, Facebook, and Yahoo. That background brings with it a keen sense of what makes a good distributed system and what software pieces are necessary to build a scalable, high-performance product. A heavy dose of innovation and ingenuity shows up in a sophisticated set of distributed cluster management services, which eliminate any single point of failure, and in features like disk block fingerprinting, which leverages a special Intel instruction set (for computing an SHA-1 hash) to perform data deduplication and to ensure data integrity and redundancy.

A Nutanix cluster starts at one appliance (technically three nodes, allowing for the failure of one node) and scales out to any number of nodes. The NDFS (Nutanix Distributed File System) provides a single store for all of your VMs, handling all disk and I/O load balancing and eliminating the need to use virtualization platform features like VMware’s Storage DRS. Otherwise, you manage your VMs no differently than you would on any other infrastructure, using VMware’s or Microsoft’s native management tools.

Nutanix architecture
The hardware behind the NX-3000 comes from SuperMicro. Apart from the fact that it squeezes four dual-processor server blades inside one 2U box, it isn’t anything special. All of the magic is in the software. Nutanix uses a combination of open source software, such as Apache Cassandra and ZooKeeper, plus a bevy of in-house developed tools. Nutanix built cluster configuration management services on ZooKeeper and heavily modified Cassandra for use as the primary object store for the cluster.

Test Center Scorecard
 
  20% 20% 20% 20% 10% 10%  
Nutanix NX-3000 Series 10 9 10 9 9 8
9.3 EXCELLENT

 

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Under the Covers of a Distributed Virtual Computing Platform – Built For Scale and Agility – via @dlink7, #Nutanix

November 21, 2013 Leave a comment

I must say that Dwayne did a great job with this blog post series!! It goes into expelling the Nutanix Distributed File System (NDFS) that I must say is the most amazing enterprise product out there if you need a truly scalable and agile Compute and Storage platform! I advise you to read this series!!

Under the Covers of a Distributed Virtual Computing Platform – Part 1: Built For Scale and Agility

Lots of talk in the industry about how had software defined storage first and who was using what components. I don’t want to go down that rat hole since it’s all marketing and it won’t help you at the end of the day to enable your business. I want to really get into the nitty gritty of the Nutanix Distributed Files System(NDFS). NDFS has been in production for over a year and half with good success, take read of the article on the Wall Street Journal.

Below are core services and components that make NDFS tick. There are actually over 13 services, for example our replication is distributed across all the nodes to provide speed and low impact on the system. The replication service is called Cerebro which we will get to in this series.
Nuntaix Distrubuted File System

 

This isn’t some home grown science experiment, the engineers that wrote the code come from Google, Facebook, Yahoo where this components where invented. It’s important to realize that all components are replaceable or future proofed if you will. The services\libraries provide the API’s so as newest innovations happen in the community, Nutanix is positioned to take advantage.

All the services mentioned above run on multiple nodes in cluster a master-less fashion to provide availability. The nodes talk over 10 GbE and are able to scale in a linear fashion. There is no performance degradation as you add nodes. Other vendors have to use InfiniBand because they don’t share the metadata cross all of the nodes. Those vendors end up putting a full copy of the metadata on each node, this eventually will cause them to hit a performance cliff and the scaling stops. Each Nutanix node acts a storage controller allowing you to do things like have a datastore of 10,000 VM’s without any performance impact… continue reading part 1 here

Under the Covers of a Distributed Virtual Computing Platform – Part 2: ZZ Top

In case you missed Part 1 – Part 1: Built For Scale and Agility
zz-top-03082012-19
No it’s not Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, or drummer Frank Beard. It’s Zeus and Zookeeper providing the strong blues that allow the Nutanix Distributed File System to maintain it’s configuration across the entire cluster. Read more…

Sizing #XenDesktop 7 App Edition VMs – #Citrix

November 5, 2013 Leave a comment

A good update on VM sizing by Daniel Feller!

In the Mobilizing Windows applications for 500 users design guide, we made the recommendation to allocate 8vCPUs for each virtual XenDesktop 7 App Edition host (formerly known as XenApp). Spreading this out across a server with two Intel Xeon E5-2690 @2.9GHz processors and 192 GB of RAM, we were yielding about 200 users per physical server and roughly 50 users per virtual server.

Of course, the design guide is the end result of a lot of testing by the Citrix Solutions Lab. During the tests, we had the Solutions Lab compare many (and I mean many) different configurations where they changed the number of vCPU, RAM size, and RAM allocation (dynamic/static) as well as a few other things. All of these tests were done with Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V. We ended up with the following:

A few interesting things:

  1. Dynamic vs static RAM in Hyper-V appeared to have little, if any, impact on overall scalability. The only time when the RAM allocation had a negative impact was when not enough RAM was allocated (no surprise there).
  2. The 8vCPU and the 4vCPU configurations resulted in very similar user concurrency levels. Get ready… The battle is about to begin as to whether we should use 8 or 4 vCPU. (Is anyone else besides me having flashbacks to 2009?)

A few years ago, we debated about using 2vCPU or 4vCPU for XenApp 5 virtual machines. A few years later, the debate is resurfacing but this time, the numbers have doubled: 4 or 8. Here is what you should be thinking about… VMs are getting bigger because the hardware is getting faster, RAM is getting cheaper and the hypervisors are getting better…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

True Scale Out Shared Nothing Architecture – #Compute, #Storage, #Nutanix via @josh_odgers

October 26, 2013 Leave a comment

This is yet another great blog post by Josh! Great work and keep it up! 😉

I love this statement:

I think this really highlights what VMware and players like Google, Facebook & Twitter have been saying for a long time, scaling out not up, and shared nothing architecture is the way of the future.

At VMware vForum Sydney this week I presented “Taking vSphere to the next level with converged infrastructure”.

Firstly, I wanted to thank everyone who attended the session, it was a great turnout and during the Q&A there were a ton of great questions.

I got a lot of feedback at the session and when meeting people at vForum about how the Nutanix scale out shared nothing architecture tolerates failures.

I thought I would summarize this capability as I believe its quite impressive and should put everyone’s mind at ease when moving to this kind of architecture.

So lets take a look at a 5 node Nutanix cluster, and for this example, we have one running VM. The VM has all its data locally, represented by the “A” , “B” and “C” and this data is also distributed across the Nutanix cluster to provide data protection / resiliency etc.

Nutanix5NodeCluster

So, what happens when an ESXi host failure, which results in the Nutanix Controller VM (CVM) going offline and the storage which is locally connected to the Nutanix CVM being unavailable?

Firstly, VMware HA restarts the VM onto another ESXi host in the vSphere Cluster and it runs as normal, accessing data both locally where it is available (in this case, the “A” data is local) and remotely (if required) to get data “B” and “C”.

Nutanix5nodecluster1failed

Secondly, when data which is not local (in this example “B” and “C”) is accessed via other Nutanix CVMs in the cluster, it will be “localized” onto the host where the VM resides for faster future access.

It is importaint to note, if data which is not local is not accessed by the VM, it will remain remote, as there is no benefit in relocating it and this reduces the workload on the network and cluster.

The end result is the VM restarts the same as it would using traditional storage, then the Nutanix cluster “curator” detects if any data only has one copy, and replicates the required data throughout the cluster to ensure full resiliency.

The cluster will then look like a fully functioning 4 node cluster as show below.

5NodeCluster1FailedRebuild

The process of repairing the cluster from a failure is commonly incorrectly compared to a RAID pack rebuild. With a raid rebuild, a small number of disks, say 8, are under heavy load re striping data across a hot spare or a replacement drive. During this time the performance of everything on the RAID pack is significantly impacted.

With Nutanix, the data is distributed across the entire cluster, which even with a 5 node cluster will be at least 20 SATA drives, but with all data being written to SSD then sequentially offloaded to SATA.

The impact of this process is much less than a RAID…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Solving the Compute and Storage scalability dilemma – #Nutanix, via @josh_odgers

October 24, 2013 Leave a comment

The topic of Compute, Network and STORAGE is a hot topic as I’ve written in blog posts before this one (How to pick virtualization (HW, NW, Storage) solution for your #VDI environment? – #Nutanix, @StevenPoitras) … and still a lot of colleagues and customers are struggling with finding better solutions and architecture.

How can we ensure that we get the same or better performance of our new architecture? How can we scale in a more simple and linear manner? How can we ensure that we don’t have a single point of failure for all of our VM’s etc..? How are others scaling and doing this in a better way?

I’m not a storage expert, but I do know and read that many companies out there are working on finding the optimal solution for Compute and Storage, and how they can get the cost down and be left with a more simple architecture to manage…

This is a topic that most need to address as well now when more and more organisations are starting to build their private clouds, because how are you going to scale it and how can you get closer to the delivery that the big players provide? Gartner even had Software-Defined-Storage (SDS) as the number 2 trend going forward: #Gartner Outlines 10 IT Trends To Watch – via @MichealRoth, #Nutanix, #VMWare

Right now I see Nutanix as the leader here! They rock! Just have a look at this linear scalability:

If you want to learn more how Nutanix can bring great value please contact us at EnvokeIT!

For an intro of Nutanix in 2 minutes have a look at these videos:

Overview:

Read more…

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