A couple of weeks ago I attended a seminar in which a Nutanix competitor stated that the Nutanix Licensing was a really hard nut to crack. I immediatly went to the Nutanix licensing site to see what was so difficult about it but couldn’t explain why someone would find it so hard to figure out the Nutanix Licensing.
The Acropolis editions
So let’s see how the Nutanix Licensing is done, and start with Acropolis:
Nutanix Acropolis is a powerful scale-out data fabric for storage, compute and virtualization. Acropolis combines feature-rich software-defined storage with built-in virtualization in a turnkey hyperconverged infrastructure solution that can run any application at any scale.
Well get back on the Acropolis licensing details shortly 😀
And on the other hand Nutanix Prism:
Nutanix Prism gives administrators a simple and elegant way to manage virtual environments. Powered by advanced data analytics and heuristics, Prism simplifies and streamlines common workflows within a datacenter eliminating the need to have disparate management solutions.
So after we know the different versions of Acropolis and Prism let’s dive into the differences between the Acropolis Starter, Pro and Ultimate editions:
The first difference between the three can be Storage side of things and is clearly stated on the Nutanix Website:
So if you need more then 12 hosts in a cluster or Deduplication, Compression or Erasure coding you’ll need at least Pro, if you need some of your workloads to be pinned on flash you’ll have to switch over to Ultimate. Easy as that on the storage side, let’s continue.
The next one in the Nutanix list is Infrastructure Resilience:
In this case it is even easier, if you need enclosure or rack awereness Starter is a NoNo. You’ll need to decide on other features (like storage) if you need to go to Pro or Ultimate.
Next please 😀 That will be Data Protection:
So you need Cloud Connect or Time Stream? Move to Pro, if you want Multi Site DR, Metro Availability or Sync Replicatie and DR you’ll need to go to Ultimate, if you don’t need all of these services, you’ll do just fine with starter…
No hard nuts for me until now, but we’re not there so let’s continue:
The one thing everybody seems to be talking about these days is security, and that’s also the next on the Nutanix list:
Just need Client Authentication? Go for Starter. Also need Cluster Lockdown?:
Cluster Shield, which allows administrators to restrict access to a Nutanix cluster in security-conscious environments, such as government facilities and healthcare provider systems. Cluster Shield disables interactive shell logins automatically.
Go to Pro and if you also need Data-at-Rest encryption please continue to Ultimate 😉
The next “hard nut” to crack, would be Management & Analytics. But for me it’s another easy comparison between what is in the licensing offer:
What is important for our Prism comparison is that every Acropolis edition already offers the Prism Starter edition. We don’t really need to look at that one than, so we’ll concentrate on Pro if we get there 😀 For Management and Analytics it is kind of easy again, because if you need Rest API’s you’ll need Pro or Ultimate, otherwise you could do with Starter. But again, it depends on the other features in these licensing deals if you can choose the Starter/Pro or Ultimate.
The last one would be Virtualization, but there is difference between the three on this:
That’s all for the Acropolis site of things, and to be honest I didn’t find any hard nuts to crack. The list is very clear, and based on the business and technical requirements it should be able to choose the flavor you need.
The Prism editions
So it must be in the Prism site of things than. Let’s see how difficult this Prism thingy really is.
For the people that payed attention, I already told that all Acropolis editions included the Prism Starter edition so we can concentrate on Pro.
Just to make clear on what is in both of them:
It’s not that hard to make your choice if you ask me, but let’s explain what Prism Pro offers more than the already included Starter:
- Prism search is an integrated google-like search experience that will help you query and perform actions with a single click
- Customizable Operations Dashboard is a Visually rich dashboards that give actionable summary of applications, virtual machines and infrastructure state at-a-glance.
- Capacity Behavior Analytics is a Predictive analysis of capacity usage and trends based on workload behavior enabling pay-as-you-grow scaling
- Capacity Optimization Advisor is an Infrastructure optimization recommendations to improve efficiency and performance
So if you need one of these features you’ll need to buy the Prism Pro license.
It is one thing to bash your competitors and I know they all do this, including Nutanix themselves, but if you want to say something about your competitors, please make sure to know what you’re talking about. In this case (and in my “humble” opinion) the statement about the Nutanix Licensing being a hard nut to crack is really based on nothing.
The Nutanix licensing is very clear in what the licensing does and does not include and it’s up to you to create clear requirements about the environment on which you can than base you choice for the Acropolis and Prism edition you’ll need.
This is a cross post from my Metis IT blogpost, which you can find here.
Today, April 5, 2016, SimpliVity announced new capabilities of the OmniStack Data Virtualization Platform. The announcement consists of three subjects:
- OmniStack 3.5
This new version is the first major update of this year and I hope there will come more updates. The latest major release, version 3.0, was in the early second half of 2015. SimpliVity say this new version will deliver new capabilities optimized for large, mission-critical and global enterprise deployments. Besides improvements to the code, this release will add three new main capabilities to the OmniStack Data Virtualization Platform.
The first improvement in the OmniStack software is the ability to create multi-node stretched clusters. In the current versions it is only possible to create a stretched cluster with a total of 2 nodes divided over two sites. This limit is now increased and supported by default. With a stretched cluster it will be possible to achieve a RPO of zero and a RTO of seconds.
Intelligent Workload Optimizer
The second new capability is the Intelligent Workload Optimizer. SimpliVity will use a multi-dimensional approach to balance the workload over the platform. The balancing will be based on CPU, Memory, I/O performance and Data Location. This will result in less data migrations and a greater virtual machine improvement.
And the last new capability in the OmniStack Software is the REST API. In version 3.5 it will be possible to use the REST API to manage the SimpliVity data virtualization platform. It was already possible to integrate with VMware vRealize Automation but now it will be a lot easier to integrate with third-party management portals and applications.
OmniView Predictive Insight tool is the second part of the announcement. OmniView is a web-based tool that gives custom visualization of an entire SimpliVity deployment. It can give predictive analytics and trends within a SimpliVity environment and helps to plan future grow. The tool can also help to investigate and troubleshoot issues within the environment. OmniView will be available for Mission-Critical-level support customers and approved partners.
The last part of the announcement is support for Hyper-V. The OmniStack Data Virtualization platform will be extended to this platform to give customers more choice. SimpliVity will support mixed and dedicated Hyper-V environments with the release of Windows Server 2016. Planning and timing about the availability is aligned to the release of Microsoft Windows Server 2016.
The announcement is a great step in the right direction and I think just-in-time. For me the most important part of the announcement is the announcement of version 3.5 and more specifically the support for stretched clusters. In more and more large European organizations stretched cluster support is a requirement nowadays and SimpliVity will now have the ability to support this. Also the REST API will help to integrate SimpliVity in an existing ecosystem of a customer.
The OmniView Predictive Insight tool will give customers insight to their SimpliVity environment and provide predictive analytics and forecasts. In the current 3.0 version it was only possible to get some statistics about the storage but now you will have a self-learning system which customers can use to improve their environment.
The Hyper-V support announcement is also a long-awaited one. Now we only have to wait till Microsoft will release Windows Server 2016 to use this feature.
This is a cross post from my Metis IT blogpost, which you can find here.
After teasing the market with a photo containing three servers, the word Hyper and some blank puzzle pieces, Cisco announced their own Hyper-converged Solution: Cisco HyperFlex. This solution is an extension of Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS). Until now the UCS platform portfolio did not contain a native Cisco storage solution. Finally Cisco entered the highly competitive Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI) market with HyperFlex.
The Cisco HyperFlex solution combines compute, storage and the network in one appliance. Cisco says the solution is unique in three ways: flexible scaling, continuous data optimization and an integrated network. All other HCI vendors do Hyper-converged with compute, storage and networking, but none of these have a complete integrated network solution. As expected of a former networking only company, Cisco also integrated the network.
The platform is built on existing UCS components and a new storage component. The servers used in the solution are based on the existing Cisco UCS product line. Networking is based on the Cisco UCS Fabric interconnects. The new storage component in Cisco’s platform is called the Cisco HyperFlex HX Data Platform, which is based on Springpath technology.
Springpath HALO and Cisco HyperFlex HX Data Platform
Springpath was founded in 2012 and Cisco co-invested the start-up. Springpath has developed its own data platform using HALO (Hardware Agnostic Log-structured Object) architecture. The HALO architecture offers a flexible platform with data distribution, caching, persistence and optimization. Cisco has re-branded this to the Cisco HyperFlex HX Data Platform.
All data on the Cisco HX Data platform is distributed over the cluster. Data optimization takes place by using inline de-duplication and compression. Cisco indicates most customers should reach 20-30% capacity reduction with de-duplication and another 30-50% with compression without any performance impact.
VMware and Cisco HyperFlex
First the HyperFlex solution will only be available with the VMware hypervisor using NFS as storage protocol. A Data Platform Controller for communication with the physical hardware will be used for the HyperFlex platform. This Data Platform Controller requires a dedicated number of processor cores and dedicated amount of memory. The controller integrates the HX Data Platform with the use of two preinstalled VMware ESXi vSphere Installation Bundles (VIBs): IO Visor and VAAI. IO Visor provides a NFS mount point and VAAI offloads file system operations.
The HyperFlex storage is managed with a vCenter plug-in. There are currently no details available about the layout and functionality of this plug-in. We expect the plugin will be the same as Springpath with Cisco branding.
The physical server and network is managed like any other Cisco UCS server. Each server will be connected to the Fabric Interconnect and managed from the UCS manager interface.
Cisco HyperFlex range
The HyperFlex platform is available in three different models, an 1U and 2U rack based server and a combination of rack servers with blade servers. The first model is for a small footprint, the 2U model is for maximal capacity and the last option is for maximal capacity and high compute.
All configurations must be ordered with a minimum of four servers. As far as we know at this stage the maximum number of servers in a HyperFlex cluster is eight. Each server will be delivered with VMware pre-installed.
The hardware configuration of the HyperFlex nodes is not fixed. You can choose your type of processor, amount of memory and the amount of disks. On the Cisco Build & Price website all available configuration options can be found. You can always scale your cluster by adding storage and/or compute nodes.
Cisco has an interesting licensing model for the HyperFlex HX Data Platform. The HX Data Platform will be licensed on a per year basis. In the configuration tool by default a server is configured with a license for one year. This licensing model deviates from other HCI vendors who base their license model on raw or used TB’s, or use a perpetual license.
Cisco is a new and interesting player in the rapidly growing Hyper-converged market. The technology used provides some nice features, capabilities and an interesting licensing model. Time will tell if the product will be successful and what the roadmap will bring for the future. But at first sight it looks like a good alternative for the leading Hyper-converged solutions.
So after a long day of travel on sunday (Amsterdam-Detroit and Detroit-Las Vegas) I arrived in Las Vegas late in the evening and fell into a deep sleep as soon as I hit the rather large bed in the Aria Resort and Casino, where the #VeeamOn2015 is held. I really like the venue in the way that it is an awesome resort where everything you need is in the same building(s) and if you need something it’s just a short 5 minute (or a little longer) walk. A esbig surprise was waiting for me when I entered the room and found a great gift (See picture). I actually had a discussion in the plane with the dutch guy (Ikea filmcrew) about this awesome headphones.. So a big thanks Veeam!
Monday at VeeamOn2015
So on monday after a good night sleep I went to the conference location to pick up my pass as well as a backpack and meet with a couple of guys. As I’m a foreigner with a big jetlag I decided to really take it easy this (Partner)day, and give myself the time to adjust.
I did went to the Grand opening of the Expo Lounge, to meet with peers and enjoy some great food and drinks. Always great to meet with people like Vladan Seget (blog: ESX Virtualization), Andrea Mauro (blog: vInfrastructure) and Joep Piscaer (blog: VirtualLifeStyle). Those three guys are all Veeam Vanguards and if you don’t know what that is, my suggestion is that you start reading more about this program here.
Evening in Vegas
In the evening I decided to make the best of my time here in Sincity and did a walk over the strip to see the fountains, take pictures of all the crazy stuff in this town, before heading to my room to do a Skype call with the homefront and get a (not so) good night sleep.
Day 1 of VeeamOn2015 is already started and I’ll be writing another blogpost on that asap
Next week I’ll fly to London to attent the Techunplugged event created by Enrico Signoretti. I do admire what Enrico is achieving and it is awesome to so see all the effort he’s putting into these events to serve the community. I would highly recommend you to join us next week in London if you’re in the neighbourhood or have the opportunity to join.
Looking at the agenda it is going to be a very enjoyable and leaningfull day in which you’ll be able to ask your questions, listen to the experts and talk with them face to face.
With a great line-up of sponsors who’ll tell their story. With companies like PernixData, Zerto, Cloudian, Load DynamiX and Zadara Storage you’ll know you’ll join the beer party J with a head full of knowledge. But wait hearing from these companies alone would be awesome, but there is much more.
Enrico made sure to invite a couple of great guys (Gurus) from the industry to do a couple of great presentations and roundtables. People like Enrico Signoretti, Chris M Evans, Stephen Foskett, Hans DeLeenheer, Nigel Poulton and Martin Glassborow should ring a bell if you work in the industry, and they will all have a great story to tell…
So if you haven’t already, make sure to join us next week in London and make sure to reserve your FREE seat!
More information and registration at techunplugged.io
During Storage Field Day 5 we got a little introduction into a big event Veeam was planning for october in Las Vegas. As I’ve been quiet busy the last couple of months (Became father for the 3rd time in July) I wasn’t able to spend to much time to dive further into this. Now evenings are getting a bit better I can spend some time on reading into what will be happening in Las Vegas.
After this Doug eleborated on the availability for the Modern Data Center with Veeam and NetApp:
Second on stage was the one and only Rickatron (Rick vanOver) on Veeam Explorers:
He then introduces the Veeam Explorer for MS SQL:
Last but certainly not least the stage was given to our Storage Field Friend Luca Dell’Oca with some super secret stuff (back then) we all got to now by the name Veeam Cloud Connect, which will be available in the Veeam Availability Suite 8.
Let’s be honest, Veeam knows how to present, how party and how backup, replicate and explore your VM’s and they will be hosting a great event in Las Vegas.
Where a lot these events cost a lot of money to attend Veeam made sure the can be attended for a great price and with only $ 150,- extra you can do the Veeam certified engineer training, making this a great deal during an event packed with awesome session. Let’s look at a view of the sessions:
In session VT-09 Luca Dell’Oca will discuss Multi-tenancy: Roles, scopes and encryption in Veeam Enterprise Manager:
Veeam Enterprise Manager has introduced in its latest version’s advanced multi-tenancy capabilities. By properly configuring it, service providers and large companies can allow different customers and lines of business to safely access their own content, browse backups and start restore activities, guaranteeing, at the same time, complete data confidentiality and total isolation from others’ information. Come learn how to configure Enterprise Manager, its roles and scope and how the new encryption feature can further improve multi-tenancy, including:
- How to ensure data confidentiality in a multi-tenant environment
- How to tweak repository storage settings as a provider
- Configuring source backup jobs for multi-tenancy
In session VT-10 Doug Hazelman and Anton Gostev will talk on What’s new in Veeam Availability Suite v8:
Join us for a deep dive into Veeam’s next generation of Data Center availability—Veeam® Data Center Availability Suite v8. Anton Gostev and Doug Hazelman will introduce Veeam’s new features and enhancements designed to help you manage the complexities of virtualization, storage and the cloud to meet the demands of the Always-On Business. The session will show you:
- How to achieve efficient and affordable offsite backup
- How to back up your vSphere virtual machines (VMs) using storage snapshots
- How to put your DR site to work
Stick around to learn about all of our easy-to-use, industry-leading features, including secure and efficient backup to popular deduplication appliances, monitoring of backups directly from the vSphere Web Client, protecting Hyper-V VMs with shared VHDX, high-speed recovery with Veeam Explorers and much more!
In session CS-02 Joep Piscaer and Robbert Erents will be talking about Using Veeam B&R in an IaaS-environment with vCAC, Nutanix and NSX:
In 2014, Joep Piscaer and his team designed and implemented an IaaS-environment using a stretched Nutanix and vSphere cluster, vCloud Automation Center, VMware NSX and Veeam Backup & Replication. In this session, you’ll learn how Veeam plays a big part in the DR strategy for this environment. We will share specifics about multi-tenancy, integration with vCAC, the dependency on NSX and much more!
- Learn how to implement Veeam Backup & Replication in a multi-site, multi-tenant vSphere deployment.
- Get real life, tested and proven best practices for using Veeam Backup & Replication with a Nutanix infrastructure.
- See how we integrate into vCloud Automation Center and discover how we make backup and restore operations available to end users.
- Discover the caveats of NSX when backing up and restoring tenant VMs
And in session CS-04 Spongebob friend Chris Wahl will do a story on:
vSphere does an amazing job at abstracting away all of the hardware resources from virtual machines, there’s still a lot of design and configuration work to be done around plumbing the physical network into the virtual switches. There are a number of recommended practices for connecting your management, vMotion, IP storage, replication, and virtual machine traffic flows without sacrificing performance or incurring costs. In this session, join Chris Wahl, a VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) as he shares his experiences and secrets around real-world deployments of virtual networks for a myriad of use cases just like yours. In this breakout session, the following will be covered:
- The differences, advantages and caveats between using standard and distributed vSwitches.
- How the ESXi hypervisor handles switching, routing and network lookup tables
- All of the networking jargon necessary to request or build the right 802. 1Q VLANs to successfully tag your port groups.
- Methods to integrate your iSCSI and NFS storage networks into a vSphere environment.
- Proven ways to design for server hardware that uses 1 GB, 10 GB, and mixed-speed network interface cards (NICs).
As you can see there is a lot of great content during the event but Veeam won’t be Veeam if there wasn’t an awesome party (or two or three…) during the event.
Make sure you see what will be going on at this awesome Veeam Event and if you do haven’t already signed up, this might be a good time ;-P
All information and signup can be done here: