Thincomputing.net
17Feb/160

Nutanix 4.6 released – here are the new features

Nutanix today announced the release of version 4.6 of their software, which of course is comprised of several different subproduct and features. Here's what's new as described by Nutanix' Andre Lebovici (but without too much marketing fluff). 

Native File Services (Tech Preview)

Nutanix has been primarily used to host virtual machine storage in the format of vdisks, but now it is also possible to host file storage (file services). This release is introducing a new Tech Preview technology that make File Services an integral and native component of the Nutanix Distributed Storage Fabric, removing the need for Windows File servers VMs or external NAS arrays, such as Netapp or EMC Centera or Isilon.

Performance Improvements

  • Better performance across a wide range of enterprise application workloads, e.g., powering up to 30,000 Microsoft Exchange mailboxes in just 8U of rack space, as validated through the Microsoft Exchange Solution Reviewed Program (ESRP)
  • Delivering the industry’s fastest storage I/O performance across hyperconverged all flash solutions with over 1 million storage IOPS in just 4U of datacenter space.
  • Up to 4x price/performance gains on existing investments to deliver as low as $0.35/IOPS, better than top-selling all-flash arrays which also suffer from complex management and additional networking requirements.

Volume Groups in PRISM

Volume groups have been available since NOS 4.5 via CLI, but now the feature is also available and supported via the PRISM user interface.

Volume Groups provide block storage and are particularly important for enterprise applications that do not provide support for NFS datastores, or applications that require block storage “shared” across deployment instances. The use cases include: Microsoft Exchange on ESXi, Windows 2008 Guest Clustering, Microsoft SQL 2008 Clustering and Oracle RAC.

Volume Groups provide support for Snapshots, Asynchronous Replication and scripted DR orchestration.

 

Volume Groups in PRISM

Volume groups have been available since NOS 4.5 via CLI, but now the feature is also available and supported via the PRISM user interface.

Volume Groups provide block storage and are particularly important for enterprise applications that do not provide support for NFS datastores, or applications that require block storage “shared” across deployment instances. The use cases include: Microsoft Exchange on ESXi, Windows 2008 Guest Clustering, Microsoft SQL 2008 Clustering and Oracle RAC.

Volume Groups provide support for Snapshots, Asynchronous Replication and scripted DR orchestration.

 

Self Service Restore (SSR)

This feature enables the administrator to give control of a VM’s snapshots to the end-user. This way an authorized end-user can see only his/her snapshots within the guest, then mount the appropriate snapshot to the guest (which shows up like a drive letter) and then copy over lost files.

This feature requires NGT (Nutanix Guest Tools) installed in the guest and SSR enabled on a per-VM basis. The entire workflow is done in-guest without administrative intervention, hiding much of the complexity such as disk signature clashes and system reserved partitions. File ACLs are preserved and restored disks show up as a new drive letter within the VM.

 

 

 

Cross Hypervisor Disaster Recovery

Cross Hypervisor DR addresses use cases where additional hypervisor deployments are required for DR sites, ROBO replication into core datacenters, Service Providers offering DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) using AHV in their datacenters, and also to avoid vTax for secondary datacenters.

The new feature makes it simple and seamless to replicate and migrate VMs between vSphere and AHV without the requirement of external tools.

As with other Nutanix replication use cases this one is bi-directional with native two-way VM configuration conversion when migrating or failing over; native 1-click migration between sites. Scripted Workflow customization is also supported, and the best thing is that the feature is available to all license editions.

 

In-Place Hypervisor Conversion (Tech Preview)

This is a new feature in Tech Preview. 1-click conversion of cluster hypervisor, CVM and user VMs from ESXi to AHV without data migration required. The software executes all pre-conversion cluster level checks to ensure a successful conversion. Future versions may enable any direction conversion as part of the App Mobility Fabric.

 

OpenStack Integration

Nutanix 4.6 now has full OpenStack integration and support for AHV hypervisor, offering drivers for Nova, Cinder, Glance and Neutron. The solution comes packaged as a disk image and is deployed as a standalone System VM (SVM) that directly talks to the Acropolis APIs and also enable any OpenStack distribution to work with AHV without any changes to OpenStack – a Nutanix cluster appears as a “hypervisor” to OpenStack.

 

Actionable Capacity Forecasting

PRISM now offers cross-cluster forecasting for CPU, memory, and storage capacity runway (time remaining) based on machine-learned consumption behavior from the running workloads with Nutanix X-FitTM, a patent-pending machine learning technology. It also demonstrates detailed trending information of hosts (in CPU and memory) and containers (in storage) level with recommendation of appropriate scale-out options (node types and numbers).

 

Customizable Dashboards

PRISM now offers the ability to create and customize your own dashboard by dragging and dropping widgets. Widgets can be pre-defined or customizable for charting, alerts, cluster status, capacity runway, and top resource utilization top.

Intelligent keywords search

PRISM now offers keywords based search with auto-complete and instant results. These searches provide contextual results, showing configuration, charts, alerts, appropriate actions, and help contents.

Entity Explorer

PRISM now offers a single pane of glass for all cluster entities and VMs where administrators can easily execution of actions within the explorer. The entity explorer allows for powerful filters, including configuration, status, and usage, to narrow down the selection; all with different view formats (e.g. grid and tile) with grouping and focus perspective.

Citrix Power Management Plugin

The current version of the Citrix Power Management plug-in integrates with XenDesktop 7.6 and enable power management operations for the desktops being managed by XenDesktop on AHV hypervisor, but it does not use MCS for desktop life-cycle management. The new release that is in Tech Preview offers complete desktop life-cycle management from within XenDesktop Studio and offer all the benefits of Citrix MCS technology, without any of the drawbacks.

I recommend reading this article by Kees Baggerman for more information and tech preview demo.

And if that is not enough Andre will continue to describe some of the other new features in a second blog post.

Source: http://myvirtualcloud.net/?p=7731

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