Nutanix releases NOS 3.5 with many new features and tech preview of Hyper-V support

Nutanix today released Nutanix Operating System (NOS) version 3.5. NOS 3.5 has many new features including a tech preview of support for  Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V. This article will shortly introduce Nutanix and the new features delivered in NOS 3.5

Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform is a hyper-converged infrastructure solution for virtual infrastructures which is hypervisor agnostic. It is delivered as a virtual appliance based on commodity x86 server hardware which has compute, memory, storage and networking in a single box. Using Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform there is no need to use a traditional SAN as shared, high available storage is provided by local storage.

Nutanix support VMware vSphere 5.0 and later, KVM and now Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V (as technical preview)

nutanix-nodesValue for customers are:

  • -lower capital costs compares to running blades and SAN
  • -very quick to deploy delivering agility to the business
  • -very good performance due to usage of PCIe Flash/SSD and ILM (hot blocks are moved to faster storage)
  • -scaleable in very small steps
  • -integration with virtualization platform

Local storage in Nutanix servers is aggregated into  volumes which can be used by VMware ESXi, KVM or soon Hyper-V to run virtual machine off. To make the data high available, data is distributed over nodes. You will need at least 3 Nutanix nodes to start a cluster.

Besides presenting  volumes the Nutanix Operating System has a lot of other features like compression, de-duplication, in the box Disaster Recovery, per VM policies, snapshotting, cloning, read caching, write buffer and data tiering. Next week I will release a blogpost with lots more info.

All these features are delivered by NOS. NOS runs inside a CentOS Linux virtual machine which runs on the hypervisor installed on each node. This Controller VM deliveres features which are typically delivered by controllers and firmware in traditional SAN. The Controller VM sits between the storage and the hypervisor.

So what is new in NOS 3.5?

1. Technical preview for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V. Hyper-V can now be installed on the server nodes. The Controller VM will present storage to Hyper-v as SMB3 shares. General availability production support will be delivered towards the end of calendar 2013.

2. Nutanix Prism — a newly announced, completely resigned UI — so there is never a need to learn additional management tools for multi-hypervisor environments. See this video for an overview of the Prism UI which is powered by HTML5.

3. Introduction of a  VMware validated Storage Replication Adapter (SRA) for vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM). The SRA is a storage vendor supplied software interface which intercepts SRM command and translates those to storage instructions. Think about initiating a replication, or presenting a volume to a hypervisor.

4. Introduction of a REST-based API enabling Nutanix to be easily integrated into enterprise or cloud management systems. A good post of REST API used by Nutanix and Veeam here.

5.Introduction of the Nutanix Elastic Deduplication Engine, a ground-breaking deduplication technology that accelerates application performance and increases effective storage capacity for virtual datacenters. The industry’s first deduplication technology to span memory, flash and hard disk drive (HDD) resources simultaneously in any storage offering or converged infrastructure platform, the Nutanix Elastic Deduplication Engine is built specifically for scale-out architectures to accelerate performance while enabling large clusters with the best economics.

The Nutanix Elastic Deduplication Engine continuously analyzes read I/O access patterns and granularly deduplicates data to deliver the highest possible performance and to maximize effective storage capacity. For applications with large working sets, such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments, the technology increases effective flash and memory resources by up to 10x and delivers nearly instantaneous application response times. Additionally, Nutanix is also announcing plans to extend the technology to optimize the storage of “cold data” on HDDs in an upcoming 2013 release.

The NOS 3.5 release packages more than 75 additional enhancements, including the extension of compression to the native Nutanix Disaster Recovery feature for unmatched capacity optimization.

Nutanix OS 3.5 including the Elastic Deduplication Engine is available at no cost to all Nutanix customers with current maintenance agreements.

The image below shows a detail of the Prism interface.

Other posts on the release of NOS 3.5 are:
Nutanix introduced NOS 3.5 with Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 Support (Tech Preview)
Nutanix Release 3.5 comes with huge improvements
Nutanix Dedupe: Past, Present, Powerful

Nutananix-prism-ui-

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About Marcel van den Berg
I am a technical consultant with a strong focus on server virtualization, desktop virtualization, cloud computing and business continuity/disaster recovery.

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