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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…

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