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
Last week I had a great conversation with Bipul Sinha, Mike Tornincasa and Julia Lee about their new adventure: Rubrik. The conversation focussed on the new technology that Rubrik brings in an old fashioned site of the IT infrastructure, the backup (and recovery) site.
As not all of you might know, Bipul is a very well known gentleman in the startup world. In his former/present life (sorry, I meant career) he was a well known VC with a lot of great companies he helped to set up. Companies like Nutanix, PernixData and others are started in the last couple of years and really changed the IT landscape. This looks like a strange move, going from VC to CEO of a Startup in a segment that’s not that well known for it’s capability to change…
But as with most of the startups, changing perspective and making sure a customer gets, what a customer needs, is not easy and in need of a person like Bipul to guide one in the right direction. Providing a game changing solution that will help the business move to a better performing, easy to scale and easy to manage environment is key here. Companies are challenged with so many changes these days and so many marketing shit like Software Defined everything, cloud, webscale IT and so on, while struggling maintaining their environments, most of them just want a way to make things better. Bipul and his team have seen (and provided) the change needed for better scale, easier management and moving to the next level of infrastructure.
Making sure your data is save, whereever it resides, is a important to every company. And most backup vendors have some kind of backup tool, but most of the time it is a solution for one silo in the backup environment. Focussed on virtualization, some on tape, some on cloud, and so on. But it always seems to be one of these and they always seem to need resources (CPU/Mem/Storage) from your excisting environment to backup your environment. Off course, there are backup solutions that brings their own hardware, but it’s always for a certain use case, and to make sure your data is save in the changing IT world of today requires something new.
An administrator is a human (really ;P) just like you. And as a human being they like simplicity and efficiency just like us. When the first mobile phones came to market, most people were amazed by the possibilities that came with this. When the Iphone came and changed the way mobile apps were being used, making it that easy to install and use the applications, people were even more amazed. Now almost a decade later we’re all used to that kind of simplicity. Even the most sceptic people are slowly moving towards Ipad’s, Microsoft Surface or other tablets because of their ease of use. An administrator wants the same thing. Spin it up, and making sure he’ll only needs to add more capacity (that’s with performance included) if the system tells him so. He wants to concentrate on giving the user the experience they want, and not firefighting the environment all day long just to start over again the next day.
In IT things are going quick. 10 years ago you probably had a mobile for one (maybe two) reasons. Reaching out to other people, by call or text, and using it as an agenda. That was it, for most of us. Fast forward ten years and were using our phones in a complete other way. Calling is almost gone, and if we do call we like to use things like Skype because it’s free… But these days we use our phones for surfing the web, social media, watching television/movies, watching the weather forecast and so on. Things change fast, not only with your phone but even more in the datacenters around the world.
10 years ago your average datacenter would look something like this:
Server hardware for compute (and some local storage) and a SAN or NAS for your shared storage, making a couple of racks for typical datacenter not uncommon.
Fast forward again 10 years, and a lot of companies are building their datacenter like this:
Converged, Hyperconverged, WebscaleIT, give it a name, but what companies are looking for is high performance, easy to scale and simplistic infrastructure. Making this change is not going to happen over a year, more like a decade. But with companies like Nutanix, Simplicity and big companies like VMware (EVO) things will change quicker. The common use cases for Hyperconverged (VDI/Test/DEV) are relatively easy to convince where the strength of hyperconverged is, and now that hyperconverged has proven his reliability for a couple of years, more and more companies move their production workloads to hyperconverged too.
With Hyperconverged and cloud the way to backup is changing too. Traditional backup vendors are able to provide you with some solutions in this change of compute usage, but that’s not always the case. That’s where Rubrik comes in.
If Apple is the company that made the mobile world change, Rubrik will probably do the the same for the backup market. And although the two are completely different the first (Apple) can not operate without the second (Rubrik). What would you think if a something goes wrong at apple and they just tell you, all pictures you moved (saved) to iCloud are gone and we can’t retrieve them because we don’t have a backup? Hell breaks loose on earth, Apple will be gone in a couple of days, and people will look for solutions where their data is save. As said the first can not live without the other. Which backup Apple uses is not relevant, replication is great, but if a virus would affect data, it might just impact all systems, not only the data in the primary datacenter (if that would be what Apple uses ;P). No data needs to backup.
But with traditional backup, a lot calculation comes into account to make sure resources aren’t over utilized. Because a lot of the traditional backup solutions use those resources during the quiet hours within a company, this might be no problem. But a lot of companies are using their infrastructure 24/7 these days. With the Internet of Things closing your company during night time is killing. Reaching people across the globe is easy, and most companies are trying to do this or are moving to this. And so it’s getting more important to be able to make sure your environment won’t stall during backup hours, as well as making sure you’ll have your backup to fall back to in case of an emergency.
Rubrik will change the way we are thinking of backup. The software will be intuitive, easy to use and to the point, like IOS, Android and Windows Phone. But Rubrik will be based on commodity hardware, which will leverage Flash to meet the performance needs of these days. Making this change in backup with software and hardware is something I really look forward to. There is so much more to say about Rubrik, but it will just have to wait a bit, as I’m sure I’ll write about them more often. But I just wanted to give you a feel of what I thought of when I first had contact with this company. In the next posts I’ll dive into their technology more and figure try to figure out what’s really under the hood, in hardware as well as in software.
I’m not the first to have been writing about Rubrik, and I recommend you to read the following post too:
Stealthy upstart Rubrik: We’ll make enterprise data “beautiful”
Startup intro: Rubrik. Backup and Recovery redefined
A quick introduction to Rubrik
And don’t forget to visit Rubriks own website HERE
About a month ago, just a week before VMworld 2014 US, Nutanix announced their version 4.1 of their already famous Nutanix Operating System (NOS). While investigating all the features already included within NOS one might overlook a couple of great features. Let’s dive into a couple of the features and strength of the Nutanix Offering and the new 4.1 features:
Multi Hypervisor Support:
I’m a very big fan of VMware and as VMware fanboy I’ve always been weary about multi hypervisor environments. But the last couple of months I’ve seen (and heard) more and more companies talking about choosing the right hypervisor for specific jobs. Where people always talked about doing it all on ESXi, it seems Hyper-V (and in some cases KVM) are cheaper and better then ESXi.
That’s why it is important to have a choice. Nutanix as one of the view Hyper-convergence solution offers you the choice of all these Hypervisors. As said it might be you do everything on ESXi but having a choice is important.
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Multi Hardware choice:
While we’re at it, let’s keep the multi thing up. Software Defined is everything these days. Although I’m still not a big fan of this term I do use it but only when the hardware part is well covered.
Nutanix offers a great hardware platform as the base of their offering. Using commodity hardware is one thing, leverage this hardware to build for all the challenges produced by a virtual environment is another. Nutanix uses different terminology for their hardware. A block is 2U hardware unit which can hold 1, 2 or 4 compute units, known as nodes. Don’t worry the intelligence is in the nodes, and the 2U Block is not some sort of blade chassis with intellegence in it.
Due to the great solution Nutanix was (and is) for VDI a lot of environments started with a PoC in this area, and then noticed this was a solution for most of there environment. In some cases Nutanix needed to evolve their portfolio to better service the customer and with that the Nutanix hardware platform has grown into a great line of products, namely:
– The NX-1000 series (NX-1020 and NX-1050 and 4 nodes per block. More information below).
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Perfect for Small to medium businesses. The power of Nutanix lays in the fact you can start small and grow big. So let’s jump over to the next product line:
– The NX-3000 series. (NX-3050 and NX-3051 and the NX-3060 and NX-3061 also with 4 nodes per block. More information below)
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These are targeted much more on Medium and Enterprise businesses where scale is important. Starting with 2 blocks and being able to grow fast is an important expect of these machines, as well as providing a lot power as well as possibilities. Next:
– The NX-6000 series. (NX-6020, NX-6050 and NX6051, NX-6060, NX-6070 and the NX-6080 all with 2 nodes per block. more information below)
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These nodes are both capacity as well as compute power. With two of these high capacity nodes you’ll have about twice the capacity of the 4 node blocks, and still you get a whole lot of compute power. Next in line are the 7000 series where GPU power is most important:
– The NX-7000 series. (NX-7110 which contains 1 node per 2 U. more information below)
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VDI has always been a big part of Nutanix. First of all it is an easy use case to start with the Nutanix offering and a PoC is setup and running within the hour (VMware and Citrix installation and configuration not included). Dealing with VDI is a complex task that involves a lot of different user types. Most users don’t need a whole lot of GPU power, and the NX-1000 and NX-3000 series will be more then sufficient for them. But for the GPU intensive loads (CAD, Animation creation, 3D modeling and others) the NX-7110 is the bomb. They need this and providing it is just awesome. Last but not least the brand new 8000 series.
– NX-8000 series. (The NX-8150 also contains 1 node per block. more information below).
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Why in the … would you need a monster like this? No clue? Think Oracle, SQL and SAP. Where most of the NX nodes provide multiple of thousands (10s of thousands) IOPS. But some applications just need more… That’s where the NX-8150 comes in. This is the machine you need for your Tier 1 apps, with 2-4 times the SSD density of the other NX nodes this monster will help you to tame every application in your environment.
If you thought you wouldn’t be able to build a whole “SD” DataCenter with Nutanix, Think Again!!!
The NOS 4.1 new featueres:
When you make a list of all the features already included in the NOS, you might wonder if there were any new and important updates. With features like reduplication, compression, replication, PRISM. NDFS, SRA and so on the list is long, but still Nutanix is capable of providing awesome new features:
The era of cloud is alive and kicking… Using the Public cloud is still a step to far for a lot companies especially outside the US. So providing companies the ability to backup to EC2 and S3 looks awesome, is awesome, but might just not be used that much outside the US. Being able to Backup other Nutanix infrastructures on any hypervisor is a great feature. Where a lot companies struggle with the licensing fees of the hypervisor, this feature gives a company the ability to backup to another site with another hypervisor installed. So If your main datacenter runs VMware and your second datacenter runs Hyper-V, Nutanix got you covered.
As said a lot of companies are still struggling with putting their data into the public cloud. Using AWS (EC2 or S3) might be something for the US only at this moment, but I’m sure Nutanix will not leave it with this. Other Cloud providers and even local cloud providers (think vCloud Director and Microsoft Azure) will probably follow in the near future.
For a multitude of companies Data at Rest Encryption is a must. Think Government, Banking and hospitals for one, but there are many more that need this feature.
Nutanix provides this feature for the following nodes: NX-3060-E, NX-3061-E and the NX-6060E and there are a couple of requirements that must be met. First of all this feature is ESXi only for the moment. Mixing clusters with host with and without DRE is not possible. Either you have DRE or you don’t. You can still manage everything via the same PRISM interface, though. To enable DRE you need a third party key management server, for the time being the only certified by Nutanix is the SafeNet KeySecure Cryptographic Key Management System. I know, that’s another at the moment, but I’m absolutely sure this offering will grow over time.
- One click Hypervisor and Firmware upgrade:
I really love this new feature, as there aren’t that many product featuring this kind of solution while extremely important. In many environments I work the upgrades of both soft- and firmware are a pain in the …. Most of the time the Software part of the upgrade is doable thanks to tools like VMware Update Manager, but when talking about firmware most of the time administrators are talking about 20 to 30 minutes per server to take care of it… When talking about 100’s of servers per datacenter and multiple datacenters you can do the math….
This new feature provided by Nutanix is a timesaver of big proportions… In an environment of a 1000 hosts this can save you up to 80 days (yes days) of work. Doing it in an automated way, and doing the updates and upgrades that don’t need a reboot quickly and on the fly, while providing the possibility to update and upgrade and reboot all your hosts through one and the same interface in this automated way is just awesome, and for as I know a Nutanix only feature (correct me if I’m wrong ;-)).
These are some awesome features added to an already awesome product line. The only thing that was missing in the Nutanix offering was the ability to leverage hardware provided by the „big” vendors… That might seem like a strange thing to ask for, but with large enterprises and governments holding a tight policy on which vendors they do business with this is a must if you ask me. Where everybody shouts Software Defined it’s kinda weird to only support your own (OEM) hardware. This all changed with the announcement made by Nutanix and Dell that Dell hardware (DX-series) will be supported to run the Nutanix software… For me this is great news and I can only hope others will follow soon ;P
To find out more of the Nutanix Operating System 4.1 features I would like to point out to these great blogs and sites:
Andre Leibovici – Nutanix 4.1 Features Overview (Beyond Marketing) – Part 1
Don’t forget to read the rest of this blog for some awesome information and tools.
Dwayne Lessner – Hypervisor Agnostic Backuup -> Hyper-V -> ESXi -> AWS
Again don’t forget to read the rest of this blog ;P
Nutanix – The Nutanix Website