Nutanix Announces New Release with 4x Performance Improvement

Nutanix-Logo

The Nutanix web-scale computing platform is getting an upgrade!  A new release was announced on February 16 that promises 4x performance improvement for any workload without additional hardware or software license.  Some snippets from the press release are below:

SAN JOSE, Calif. – February 16, 2016Nutanix, the enterprise cloud company, today announced a new release of its web-scale computing platform that delivers up to 4x performance improvement for any workload with no additional hardware or software license, freedom to choose hypervisors without lock-in, and built-in machine learning capabilities that increase operational efficiency. Nutanix solutions for building and operating enterprise clouds uniquely deliver the agility, pay-as-you-grow consumption, and operational simplicity of the public cloud without sacrificing the predictability, security, and control of on-premises infrastructure.

To support the increasing demands of modern businesses, an enterprise cloud platform must include a web-scale infrastructure fabric that delivers resiliency, availability, predictable performance across a wide range of enterprise applications. In addition, it should incorporate seamless application and data mobility, invisible operations with one-click simplicity through built-in machine intelligence, extensive automation and rich analytics, and a security-first design. The 4.6 release of the Nutanix software extends the company’s technology leadership and provides a platform that furthers its mission to deliver invisible infrastructure to elevate IT.

 

Delivering Continuous Value with 4x Better Price/Performance
Enterprise clouds must offer versatile performance for traditional and next-generation enterprise applications, delivering value back to businesses through continuous innovation. Acropolis 4.6 includes more than 25 powerful software enhancements that increase system performance by up to 4x compared to earlier versions. Current customers can get these benefits through a simple software upgrade at no additional expense. These enhancements increase performance across the full portfolio of Nutanix appliances, including the recently updated NX-9000 all-flash model. Customers benefit from:

  • 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.

 

As with public clouds such as AWS, wherein cost reductions achieved due to innovation and scale are passed back to the customer on an ongoing basis, customers deploying enterprise clouds powered by Nutanix also benefit from ongoing price/performance improvements on their existing investments without additional costs.

Removing Hypervisor Lock-In To Enable Infrastructure Choice for Traditional and Next Generation Apps
Public cloud services provide a single runtime environment, which while suited to some applications is a poor fit for others. In the new era of enterprise clouds, flexibility and choice are fundamental tenets, allowing businesses to run traditional enterprise applications such as databases and VDI as well as next-generation big data and DevOps applications uniformly and consistently on the best runtime environment for each application. This release extends the ambitious Acropolis App Mobility Fabric (AMF) with critical software updates that give IT teams the freedom to pick the right virtualization environment for their applications, and the flexibility to switch easily in order to reduce costs or simplify operations. New features include:

  • 1-click Hypervisor Conversion – Switch the hypervisor running on a Nutanix system from VMware vSphere to the built-in Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV) in a completely automatic operation that can be completed in minutes with minimal disruption and risk.
  • Cross-hypervisor DR and Backup – Rapidly recover from a site failure by failing over VMs from one site to another location running a completely different hypervisor. Perform automatic backups of VM-level data from one Nutanix system to another running a different hypervisor. IT professionals can choose the best hypervisor for each environment to minimize virtualization license costs.

 

Making Datacenter Operations Invisible With Built-in Machine Intelligence
Enterprise clouds require machine intelligence and automation to simplify complex operations from many clicks to a single click, and eventually from a single click to zero-touch management. New in this release is Prism Pro, a datacenter automation solution with a unique search-first interface and customizable dashboards that bring unmatched simplicity to a diverse set of IT operations.

Prism Pro features the new X-Fit™ technology with foundational machine intelligence built into the platform, delivering streamlined operations for every workload. With X-Fit™, the platform now includes self-learning capabilities that continuously improve prediction accuracy and the quality of automated decisions over time. Prism Pro leverages X-Fit to power automation and intelligence across a variety of operations, such as smart capacity management. This technology pits multiple predictive algorithms against one another, picking the best fit and making actionable recommendations to eliminate over-provisioning without increasing risk to application performance.

A link to the press release can be found here.

Oracle Buys Ravello Systems

Big news to anyone following Ravello Systems. Revello has agreed to be acquired by Oracle.

 

from https://www.ravellosystems.com/blog/oracle-buys-ravello-systems/

I am thrilled to share that Ravello Systems has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Oracle. The proposed transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. Upon closing of the transaction, our team will join the Oracle Public Cloud (OPC) organization and our products will become part of Oracle Cloud. We believe this agreement will accelerate our ability to reach more customers, deliver more value, and enhance our technology at an accelerated pace in order to better serve you.

Thank you for your continued support. I want to emphasize that our top priority is ensuring an uninterrupted service and seamless experience for you and all of our customers and partners. Rest assured, Ravello’s service will continue “as is.” In the coming months, we will be working to continue enhancing our value to you and we are looking forward to developing new products and services enabled by this combination.

Oracle Cloud offers best-in-class services across a full suite of products in software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Ravello will join in Oracle’s IaaS mission to allow customers to run any type of workload in the cloud, accelerating Oracle’s ability to help customers quickly and simply move complex applications to the cloud without costly and time-consuming application rewrites.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or anyone at Ravello if you have any specific questions and corporate information can be found at http://www.oracle.com/ravellosystems.

Thank you,

Rami Tamir
CEO
Ravello Systems

Huge news indeed. I hope the entire team at Ravello the best of luck at Oracle

No news on how this will impact Revello’s support of VMware products on it’s cloud offering.

 

 

Roger Lund

vCenterServer FQDN does not match DNS when upgrading vCenter Appliance from 5.5 to 6.0

Thanks to the vExpert program I have some new licenses for my lab systems.  Since I only have vCenter 6 Standard licenses and my current vCenter Appliance is running 5.5, I need to upgrade to 6.0.  I found a great walkthrough article on the VMware site that I followed.  During step 4 of the appliance deployment, the wizard goes out to confirm communication to the existing 5.5 appliance.  I ran across the following error and could not proceed:

vCenterServer FQDN Source_vCenter_Server_Appliance_FQDN does not match DNS servers “localhost.localdom,localhost” and IP addresses “Source_vCenter_Server_Appliance_IP_Address” from VC Certificate

As usual I did some research and found KB Article 2110772 which explained how to fix this issue.  I have included the steps from this article to fix the issue:

To resolve this issue, toggle the certificate settings on the source vCenter Server Appliance to regenerate new certificates with the appropriate hostname and IP address.
To toggle the certificate settings:
  1. Log in to the source vCenter Server Appliance Web interface athttps://Source_vCenter_Server_Appliance_FQDN:5480/.
  2. Click the Admin tab.
  3. Regenerate certificates:
    • vCenter Server 5.1: Select Toggle certificate setting so that the Certificate regeneration enabled displays Yes.
    • vCenter Server 5.5: Select Yes under Certificate regeneration enabled.
  4. Click Submit.
  5. Reboot the vCenter Server Appliance.
  6. After the vCenter Server Appliance reboots, ensure that the Certificate regeneration enabled option is set to disabled and disable if it is enabled.

After completing, attempt to upgrade the vCenter Server Appliance 5.x to vSphere 6.0.

After performing these steps I was able to successfully upgrade my appliance from 5.5. to 6.0.

Install VMware tools on Centos 7

I was standing up some Centos 7 boxes in VMware vSphere. And I figured I would blog on the steps to install VMware Tools.

 

The below Steps are taken from http://partnerweb.vmware.com/GOSIG/CentOS_7.html

 

 “CentOS 7 documentation covers information on how to install the operating system in a virtual machine. For additional information about the operating system, refer to the instructions included in the installation media.

CentOS 7 documentation includes the following topics:

Installation Instructions

To install CentOS 7 in a virtual machine you can use either the standard CentOS distribution CD or the boot floppy/network method. The following installation instructions are for standard distribution CD.

Prerequisites

Before you begin, verify that the following tasks are complete:

Installation Steps

  1. Insert the CentOS 7 CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive.
  2. Power on the virtual machine to start installing CentOS 7.
  3. Follow the prompts to complete the installation.
  4. Set the storage location for installation. In the INSTALLATION SUMMARY screen, in the STORAGE session area, select INSTALLATION DESTINATION.
  5. Change the Base Environment and select Add-Ons to install. In the INSTALLATION SUMMARY screen, in the SOFTWARE session area, click SOFTWARE SELECTION.CentOS 7 includes Open VMware Tools. The default Base Environment is Minimal install, which only has basic functionality.
    • For Minimal install and Virtualization Host environments, Open VMware Tools is not available during installation.
      After CentOS 7 installation, to install Open VMware Tools, using root privileges, run the command:
      # yum install open-vm-tools
    • For other types of Base Environments, to install Open VMware Tools, select the Guest Agents Add-On.
    • If this Add-On is not listed, the Base Environment already includes Open VMware Tools and installs it by default.
  6. Click Done.
  7. Click Begin Installation to continue.
  8. Set root password and create new users, as needed, in the CONFIGURATION screen.

VMware Tools in an CentOS 7 Guest

Use the guest OS provided Open VM Tools or install VMware Tools, as needed.

Open VM Tools

Open VM Tools is the open source implementation of VMware Tools and consist of a suite of virtualization utilities that improves the functionality, administration, and management of virtual machines on VMware hypervisors. VMware recommends using the Open VM Tools redistributed by the operating system vendors. To use Open VM Tools:

  1. Add the vmhgfs Driver
    If you use the file sharing feature by using Shared Folders in VMware Workstation and Fusion, install the vmhgfs driver in the virtual machine. This driver is not included inbox in the operating system. Installing the additional vmhgfs driver does not disturb the other inbox VMware drivers or Open VMware Tools. To install this driver:

    1. Install Open VMware Tools.
    2. Install the traditional TAR Format VMware Tools that is bundled with VMware Workstation or Fusion products.
  2. Add the deployPkg Tools Plug-in
    If you are using the virtual machine as a template or if it will be protected by SRM (Site Recovery Manager), then install the deployPkg Tools plug-in. To install this plug-in:

    1. Create a file, /etc/yum.repos.d/vmware-tools.repo, with the following content:
      [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][vmware-tools]
      name = VMware Tools
      baseurl = http://packages.vmware.com/packages/rhel7/x86_64/
      enabled = 1
      gpgcheck = 1
    2. Install the package:
      $ sudo yum install open-vm-tools-deploypkg
      See knowledge base article 2075048, Installing the deployPkg plug-in in a Linux virtual machine, at http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2075048.

For additional information, see:

VMware Tools

For additional information on VMware Tools, see knowledge base article 1014294, General VMware Tools installation instructions, at http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1014294.

Knowledge Base Articles for CentOS 7

The following link refers to knowledge base articles on operating system specific issues. See VMware Knowledge Base for a list of known issues about the operating system.

VMware Compatibility Guide

The VMware Compatibility Guide Web site lists supported guest and host operating systems and provides related support information.”

 

 

Here we go.

 

  1. Login to the linux guest via putty.
  2. Login as root:
  3. [email protected]’s password. I entered the password.
  4. # yum install open-vm-tools -y

Then I wanted to update Centos as well.

 

  1. yum update -y
  2. shutdown -r -t now

 

Now lets look at the VM in the vSphere client.

 

 

 

 

centos7_vmware_tools_vm_selection centos7_vmware_tools_install

Now we have Running VMware Tools!

 

 

Roger L[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Updating DNS, NTP, and Domain via PowerCLI

To start off with, I did not write this script but I have tested a modified version of it (removed NTP and Domain pieces) as I did not need to perform everything it does.

 


# PowerCLI Script to Configure DNS and NTP on ESXi Hosts
# PowerCLI Session must be connected to vCenter Server using Connect-VIServer

# Prompt for Primary and Alternate DNS Servers
$dnspri = read-host “Enter Primary DNS”
$dnsalt = read-host “Enter Alternate DNS”

# Prompt for Domain
$domainname = read-host “Enter Domain Name”

#Prompt for NTP Servers
$ntpone = read-host “Enter NTP Server One”
$ntptwo = read-host “Enter NTP Server Two”

$esxHosts = get-VMHost

foreach ($esx in $esxHosts) {

Write-Host “Configuring DNS and Domain Name on $esx” -ForegroundColor Green
Get-VMHostNetwork -VMHost $esx | Set-VMHostNetwork -DomainName $domainname -DNSAddress $dnspri , $dnsalt -Confirm:$false

Write-Host “Configuring NTP Servers on $esx” -ForegroundColor Green
Add-VMHostNTPServer -NtpServer $ntpone , $ntptwo -VMHost $esx -Confirm:$false

Write-Host “Configuring NTP Client Policy on $esx” -ForegroundColor Green
Get-VMHostService -VMHost $esx | where{$_.Key -eq “ntpd”} | Set-VMHostService -policy “on” -Confirm:$false

Write-Host “Restarting NTP Client on $esx” -ForegroundColor Green
Get-VMHostService -VMHost $esx | where{$_.Key -eq “ntpd”} | Restart-VMHostService -Confirm:$false

}
Write-Host “Done!” -ForegroundColor Green

Credit for this script goes to vHersey
Full article fond HERE

EMC and VMware Introduce Hyper-Converged VCE VXRAIL Appliance Family

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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
·         Delivers a jointly engineered, simple and proven turnkey VCE Appliance Family for use cases including small/midsize data centers and for enterprise departmental and edge environments
·         Incorporates software from EMC/VCE and VMware including VMware’s hyper-converged software
·         Starts small with a list price of $60,000 and scales to match a variety of workloads with a range of configurations including all-flash options with 2x more flash than any other hyper-converged infrastructure appliance
·         Seamlessly integrates with existing VMware ecosystem management solutions for streamlined deployment and management in VMware environments
·         Integrated VCE VxRail Manager for deep element management and monitoring along with a full suite of best-of-breed data services from EMC and VMware, including deduplication, compression, replication and backup
·         EMC cloud tiering to public clouds, such as Virtustream, VMware vCloud Air, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure
·         Expands one of the industry’s most comprehensive and complete converged and hyper-converged portfolio, including VCE’s Vblock™, VxBlock™ and VxRack™ Systems, that uniquely cover every customer, every workload and every scale point with the ability to manage any combination of infrastructure centrally.

VMware Confirms Layoffs

 

Very interesting article posted yesterday and getting a lot of attention today.

 

vmware

VMware confirmed that it was laying off 800 employees today as part of its fourth quarter earnings statement. The layoffs had been originally reported by Fortune last week.

The move appears to be part of the ongoing dance among EMC federated companies prior to the Dell acquisition expected to go through later this year. Dell announced it was buying EMC in October for $67 billion. EMC owns 80 percent of VMware, but it operates as a separate, independent company with its own stock. It decides when to make layoffs and other strategic decisions.

 

Read the entire article here

Atlantis Computing CX-4 SuperMicro

Atlantis Computing Expands HyperScale Lineup

Atlantis Computing has expanded their hyperconverged lineup with the HyperScale CX-4; a new offering targeting both ROBO deployments and smaller SMB customers. The two node CX-4 features 4TB (usable capacity) of all flash storage, 10GbE networking, 48 CPU cores, and up to 1.5TB of RAM in a tidy 2U package starting at $43,000 with three years of 24/7 support (4 hour parts replacement). This price point places it among the lowest cost hyperconverged appliances on the market with Chetan Venkatesh, Atlantis CEO, calling it a game changer for ROBO customers.

To make deployment easier and faster if a customer provides the IPs Atlantis will ship units with all the networking pre-configured along with connection details for the Atlantis Manager virtual appliance whether running centrally or on the ROBO appliance. Additionally the check boxes of inclusive data protection, high availability and disaster recovery are all ticked.

The expanded HyperScale lineup now includes the CX-4, CX-12, and CX-24 which are available on Dell’s FX2 modular server platform. This marks the first time Dell’s FX2 platform has been used for a hyperconverged appliance and allows for 10GbE networking between nodes without a separate 10GbE switch.   Dell based CX series appliances are available through Dell distributors and channel partners in the US, Europe and Middle East. Fans of Lenovo, Cisco, SuperMicro, and HP will be pleased to see the entire lineup available from those manufacturers as well.

For more details and to configure your own, head over to Atlantis Computing.