Author Archives: Seb

AHV Basics – Part 2 Network Segmentation



This is NOT an AHV only feature (ESXi and Hyper-V too) but a relevant follow up to the last post.

What is Network Segmentation?

Network segmentation is a security feature introduced in AOS 5.5 that separates management traffic from backplane traffic by creating separate virtual networks, one for each of these traffic types, on the default external virtual switch on each host. To enable the CVMs in a cluster to communicate over these networks, the CVMs are multihomed. Multihoming is facilitated by the addition of a virtual network interface card (vNIC) to the CVM and placing the new interface on the backplane network. Additionally, the hypervisor is assigned an interface on the backplane network.

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AHV Basics – Part 1 AHV Networking



Often when talking to customers about AHV, they are somewhat concerned that various aspects differ to that of other hypervisors they are familiar with, so I thought I would put some brief posts together explaining the basics, starting with networking.

AHV uses Open vSwitch (OVS) to connect the hypervisor, CVMs, and guest VMs to each other as well as to the physical network. As you would expect, the OVS service runs on each and every AHV node and starts automatically.

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Return of the home lab!



Back in January this year, I was lucky enough to attend an NPX bootcamp hosted at Nutanix HQ in San Jose. The week-long course is certainly the most intense course I have ever taken, leaving me feeling physically and mentally tired at the end of each day. It’s also the only course that is free (to external Nutanix people too) and the only course I have taken skills away from that I use in my job daily.

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Nutanix post build configuration script



When building out a net new Nutanix cluster, foundation does the majority of the work for you imaging the nodes, creating a cluster and populating the majority of configurations, however I wrote this (very basic) script to assist a customer with their post build configuration to ensure all their builds were standardised. Simply populate the variables and execute from a CVM. Continue reading

Upgrading vSphere from Nutanix Prism



Nutanix customers love the fact we give them their weekends back by having 1-click upgrades for the Acropolis operating system, BIOS, BMC, Firmware and the Hypervisor. When speaking to some customers still go through a multi-step process to include:

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Expanding a Nutanix Cluster



Number two in the video series……

One of the major appeals of Nutanix is pay as you grow economics. Start small and grow large, no forklift upgrades and having to forecast what your growth will be over the next ‘N’ years. Once you have your initial three node cluster, you can expand out your cluster at any time simply and non disruptively via Prism, you can even mix model types too to run different workloads in the same cluster.  Continue reading

Building a Nutanix cluster



I’ve been at Nutanix for 30 months now, and what a journey it has been. The software has many new features, some of which I would have never thought would be possible, H/W models to serve every application requirement and multiple H/W vendors with Supermicro, Dell, Lenovo, Cisco and now HPE and even multiple hypervisor options with our own AHV, VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer.  Continue reading

Home Lab Refresh


I’ve had my old lab a while now which consists of the following:

2 x Mac Mini w/16GB RAM and 256GB SSD upgrades

1 x Cisco SG300 24 port GB switch

1 x Synology DS412+ w/ 2 x 256GB Samsung Pro SSD and 2 x 2TB WD RED HDD

I also have an iMac with Core i7, 32GB RAM and 1TB fusion drive which allows me to spin up some workloads to ease congestion on the Mac Mini’s. 

This has served me well, however, the 16GB RAM in the Mac Minis was really a limitation, especially when I wanted to spin up and down different vApps consisting of a number of items which could easily consume the combined 32GB RAM available.

Luckily, there are a number of people in the community who had done the hard work for me in testing and blogging about various methods which meant I could be lazy and simply look for the feedback of others. The stand out two sites I looked at were that of  Frank Denneman and Fred Hoffer.

I had a few requirements that I needed to meet which were:

R01: Be quiet, be very quiet

R02: Have IPMI/WoL capability (IPMI preferred)

R03: Be able to spin up vApps containing multiple VMs (i.e., A Horizon View environment), without delay from resource constraints 

After some design workshops in my head, and avoiding talking to the CFO (in this case my wife to be) I decided I would keep a single Mac Mini as a management server (running ESXi 5.5) and I would host the vCenter appliance, a DC and a jump box which I can connect from remotely, all installed on a local 1TB SATA drive. The Mac Mini is silent and has very little power draw so I don’t mind leaving it powered on 24/7.

I already have a NAS which is more than adequate for the my needs and allows me to use the WoL function so I can power on remotely only when needed, and the switch I have, whilst is not 10GB but in reality id much more than I need.

Due to the expense of the system I went for I have only purchased one to start with, but plan on adding a second further down the line, for now though, this should keep me busy.

So, the all important kit list: (I’ll link to the manufacturer site for parts) I was lucky enough to be in the US twice already this year, so I got some parts over there! (Note: This setup may look familiar if you’ve read the above blogs)

Case: Fractal Design R4 

Motherborad: SuperMicro X9SRH-7TF

CPU: Intel Xeon E52620V2???

CPU Cooler: Noctura NH-U9DXi4

Power Supply: Corsair RM550

SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB (x2)

This platform rocks and is almost silent. I’m going to upgrade to vSphere 6 shortly so will have a further post about the configuration at a later date. Thanks to the vExpert programme for giving me the ability to licence my lab!

Hyper-V Terminology in VMware speak



 

I’ve never had much to do with Hyper-V and my knowledge of it is nowhere near as strong as VMware, however since joining Nutanix I find the topic comes up more and more in conversations with clients. It’s great that Nutanix is hypervisor agnostic and supports multiple platforms, but this means I need to get up to speed with the Hyper-V lingo!

I’ve come up with the below table that I can use as my mini translator, so when in conversation I have a quick reference point.

VMware vSphere Microsoft Hyper-V
Service Console Parent Partition
VMDK VHD
VMware HA Failover Clustering
VMotion Live Migration
Primary Node Co-Ordinator Node
VMFS Clustered Shared Volume
VM Affinity VM Affinity
Raw Device Mapping (RDM) Pass Through Disks
Distributed Power Management (DPM) Core Parking
VI Client Hyper-V Manager
vCenter SCVMM
Thin Provisioning Dynamic Disk
VM SCSI VM IDE Boot
VMware Tools Integration Components
Standard/Distributed Switch Virtual Switch
DRS PRO/DO – Performance and Resource Optimsation/Dynamic Optimisation
Web Access Self Service Portal
Storage VMotion Quick Storage Migration
Full Clones Clones
Snapshot Checkpoint
Update Manager VMST – Virtual Machine Servicing Tool