NPP Training series – Drive Breakdown

To continue NPP training series here is my next topic:  Drive Breakdown
If you missed other parts of my series, check out links below:
Part 1 – NPP Training series – Nutanix Terminology
Part 2 – NPP Training series – Nutanix Terminology
Cluster Architecture with Hyper-V

Data Structure on Nutanix with Hyper-V
I/O Path Overview

To give credit, most of the content was taken from Steve Poitras’s “Nutanix Bible” blog as his content is the most accurate and then I put a Hyper-V lean to it.

Drive Breakdown

In this section I’ll cover how the various storage devices (SSD / HDD) are broken down, partitioned and utilized by the Nutanix platform. NOTE: All of the capacities used are in Base2 Gibibyte (GiB) instead of the Base10 Gigabyte (GB).  Formatting of the drives with a filesystem and associated overheads has also been taken into account.

SSD Devices

SSD devices store a few key items which are explained in greater detail above:

  • Nutanix Home (CVM core)
  • Cassandra (metadata storage) – MORE
  • OpLog (persistent write buffer) – MORE
  • Extent Store (persistent storage) – MORE

Below we show an example of the storage breakdown for a Nutanix node’s SSD(s):
NDFS_SSD_breakdown3 Drive Breakdown
NOTE: The sizing for OpLog is done dynamically as of release 4.0.1 which will allow the extent store portion to grow dynamically.  The values used are assuming a completely utilized OpLog.  Graphics and proportions aren’t drawn to scale.  When evaluating the Remaining GiB capacities do so from the top down.  For example the Remaining GiB to be used for the OpLog calculation would be after Nutanix Home and Cassandra have been subtracted from the formatted SSD capacity. Most models ship with 1 or 2 SSDs, however the same construct applies for models shipping with more SSD devices. For example, if we apply this to an example 3060 or 6060 node which has 2 x 400GB SSDs this would give us 100GiB of OpLog, 40GiB of Content Cache and ~440GiB of Extent Store SSD capacity per node.  Storage for Cassandra is a minimum reservation and may be larger depending on the quantity of data.
NDFS_SSD_3060_2 Drive Breakdown
For a 3061 node which has 2 x 800GB SSDs this would give us 100GiB of OpLog, 40GiB of Content Cache and ~1.1TiB of Extent Store SSD capacity per node.
NDFS_SSD_3061v2 Drive Breakdown

HDD Devices

Since HDD devices are primarily used for bulk storage, their breakdown is much simpler:

  • Curator Reservation (Curator storage) – MORE
  • Extent Store (persistent storage)

NDFS_HDD_breakdown Drive Breakdown
For example, if we apply this to an example 3060 node which has 4 x 1TB HDDs this would give us 80GiB reserved for Curator and ~3.4TiB of Extent Store HDD capacity per node.
NDFS_HDD_3060 Drive Breakdown
NOTE: the above values are accurate as of 4.0.1 and may vary by release.
Next up, I figured we would look at some of the cool software technologies that run on our CVM (Controller Virtual Machine), next up Elastic Dedupe Engine.

Until next time, Rob

Nutanix Community Edition – Public Beta – Now Available – Build Your Own Nutanix Test Lab for Free

nutanix-community-edition_w_500

Nutanix Community Edition

Another very exciting announcement was Nutanix Community Edition (CE) on June 9th, 2015 at our Inaugural .NEXT conference. So, what is it?…..Our website describes it the best “Community Edition is a 100% software solution enabling technology enthusiasts to easily evaluate the latest hyperconvergence technology at zero cost.”  In other words, you can use your own hardware to test out Nutanix.  Very cool.  This is great for building a lab and just gaining understanding of hyperconvergence hands on.
Nutanix is offering a hardware compatibility list (HCL) to users that includes the minimum requirements to run the software; essentially, any standard x86 server can be used….
And to quote our CEO and co-founder Dheeraj Pandey,
“From our very first software release in 2012, Nutanix has been dedicated to open architectures and technologies, offering unprecedented customer choice and flexibility,” “Community Edition is the next step in democratizing hyperconverged infrastructure technology, enabling anyone to experience the transformative benefits of our software. Only by eliminating the requirement for proprietary hardware and embracing off-the-shelf platforms can the next revolution of datacenter technologies be fully realized.”
As the name implies, the support for the CE will come from the community through Nutanix’s NEXT online portal. Users will be able to log in, ask questions and get answers from the community.
CE also allow you to also check our new hypervisor based on KVM and Acropolis. Check out Josh Odger’s Blog to learn more about Acropolis.
Join the beta…And don’t forget my NPP training series that helps you with all the concepts around hyperconvergence.
Currently, I am getting started with Nutanix CE installation and will be posting my experiences in a later blog post with how I build my Nutanix Lab @ Home. 🙂

Until next time….Rob

Understanding Windows Azure Pack – How to guide with Express Edition on Nutanix – Deploying Service Provider Foundation – Part 4

To continue the Windows Azure Pack series, here is my next topic: Installing and Configuring Service Provider Foundation
If you missed other parts of the series, check links below:
Part 1 – Understanding Windows Azure Pack
Part 2 – Understanding Windows Azure Pack – Deployment Scenarios
Part 3 – Understanding Windows Azure Pack – How to guide with Express Edition on Nutanix – Environment Requirements

There are 2 main steps to deploying WAP (Windows Azure Pack) on Nutanix:

  • Deploying SPF (Service Provider Foundation) – This blog post
  • Deploying Windows Azure Pack (coming soon)

Service Provider Foundation

SPF is provided with System Center 2012 – Orchestrator, a component of System Center 2012 R2. SPF exposes an extensible OData web service that interacts with System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM). This enables service providers and hosters to design and implement multi-tenant self-service portals that integrate IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) capabilities available on System Center 2012 R2. The following picture shows how System Center w/SPF interacts with WAP to provide VM Cloud Services (see TechNet article for more info):
SPF-overview Service Provider FoundationAs with every installation, SPF requires additional software, features and server roles. Setup wizard checks prerequisites and reports about their status. Unfortunately, there is no “button” to install all of requirements automatically. I’ve wrote a script to automate this process (see below). Please note:  Don’t try to install SPF on the SCVMM Server. It’s not supported.
Requirements:

  • SQL Server 2012 SP1 or higher instance (Already Deployed)
  • OS – Windows Server 2012 R2 VM (Already Deployed)
    • 2 CPU Cores
    • 4 Gigs of RAM
    • 100 Gig OS Drive
  • Feature – Management OData Internet Information Services (IIS) Extension
  • Feature – NET Framework 4.5 features, WCF Services, and HTTP Activation.
  • Web Server (IIS) server. Include the following services:
    Basic Authentication
    Windows Authentication
    Application Deployment ASP.NET 4.5
    Application Development ISAPI Extensions
    Application Deployment ISAPI Filters
    IIS Management Scripts and Tools Role Service
  • Downloads:
    WCF Data Services 5.0 for OData V3
    ASP.NET MVC 4
  • Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 Console
  • Certificates: self-signed (wizard creates one automatically) or obtained SSL-certificate (recommended for production)

This script will install all requirements except SCVMM console (please note that SCVMM console has to be installed manually):

#IIS + Process activation model
Install-WindowsFeature Web-Asp-Net45,Web-Scripting-Tools,Web-Basic-Auth,Web-Windows-Auth,NET-WCF-Services45,Web-ISAPI-Ext,Web-ISAPI-Filter,Web-Scripting-Tools,WAS-Process-Model,WAS-Config-APIs,ManagementOdata
#Download and install WcfDataServices and AspNetMVC4
New-Item C:SPFRequirements -ItemType Directory
Invoke-WebRequest http://download.microsoft.com/download/8/F/9/8F93DBBD-896B-4760-AC81-646F61363A6D/WcfDataServices.exe -OutFile C:SPFRequirementswcfdatasvc.exe
Invoke-WebRequest http://download.microsoft.com/download/2/F/6/2F63CCD8-9288-4CC8-B58C-81D109F8F5A3/AspNetMVC4Setup.exe -OutFile C:SPFRequirementsaspnetmvc.exe
Set-Location C:SPFRequirements
.aspnetmvc.exe /quiet
Wait-Process aspnetmvc
.wcfdatasvc.exe /quiet
Wait-Process wcfdatasvc
Write-Host “All prerequisites are installed. Insert your SCVMM 2012 R2 DVD and install SCVMM Console manually. Then your environment will be ready for SPF installation

Required user accounts

We need to create a domain user account for the Service Provider Foundation application pools and a domain group that will be used for the permissions on the individual virtual directories created by the installer.
In my test lab I have created the following domain service accounts. They do not need any special rights other than domain users group.

  • spfadmnsvc – SPF Admin Web Service
  • spfprovsvc – SPF Provisioning Web Service
  • spfusagesvc – SPF Provisioning Web Service

And the following domain group

  • SPF_Admins – Group for SPF Administrators – Add all your WAP admins to this gorup

This admin group should be added to the local Administrators group on the SPF server.

Certificates

The Service Provider Foundation provides an extensible OData web service. Communications to this web service can and should be encrypted by SSL. SSL requires certificates. The Service Provider Foundation allows for self-singed certificates (for testing purposes) and certificates issued by a standalone Certificate Authority, an enterprise Certificate Authority or a public Certificate Authority. The Service Provider Foundation install defaults to self-signed (wizard creates one automatically) or you can obtain a certificate from a Public CA for production.

Installation

The Service Provider Foundation setup is on the System Center Orchestrator R2 media.

When installing, login to the SPF server as a user that has DBO/SA rights to the SQL 2012 instance that will be hosting SPF databases.

Mount ISO with Orchestrator and run SetupOrchestrator.exe and click on “Service Provider Foundation”
spf2 Service Provider Foundation
Click Install
spf3 Service Provider Foundation
Accept license terms and click Next
spf4 Service Provider Foundation
We’ve already installed all prerequisites using my script, so just click Next
spf5 Service Provider Foundation
Define SQL Server 2012 SP1 Instance Name , Port Number and click Next. If you unable to reach SQL Server you have to open firewall ports (https://support.microsoft.com/kb/968872) or check SQL TCP properties
spf6 Service Provider Foundation
Choose certificate type (For test lab, use self-signed and can be changed out later) and click Next
spf7 Service Provider Foundation

Define application pool credentials (spfadminsvc) and SPF_Admin Group that will have an access to SPF services and click Next. It’s best practices to create new domain accounts for every SPF services instead of using Network Service account.
spf8 Service Provider Foundation
Provider Web Service properties , click Next
spf9 Service Provider Foundation
Usage Web Service configuration, click Next
spf10 Service Provider Foundation
Windows updates + CEIP – yes (Microsoft needs your feedback 🙂 ), click Next
spf11 Service Provider Foundation
Click Install
spf12 Service Provider Foundation
Setup is complete!
spf13 Service Provider Foundation
Update SPF with the latest rollup (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3021802) or use Windows Update.
Please note, the latest roll-up causing an issue in IIS and breaks SPF Web from working. I ran into this during my lab deployment. Check out this blog post on “System Center 2012 R2 : Update Rollup 4 breaks the SPF website” that fixes the issue.
This completes the SPF install. In a future blog post, we will be integrating SPF with WAP and SCVMM.
Additional links:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj642895.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn266007.aspx
Next up in my series, Installing the Windows Azure Pack on Nutanix

Until next time, Rob….

Nutanix Inaugural NEXT 2015 Conference…Miami….A Picture Tour

Image

EXT 2015

A special thanks to @andreleibovici @LauraPadillaSF @jweingarten @Tomorrowisms @LukasLundell @nutanix for all the great pics and videos….
This was our first user conference in sunny Miami, Fla. The conference turned out great and we had lots of customers and partners at the event from around the world. And as you know, its all about the customer. 🙂 Some Highlights include a speech from Condalisa Rice and a guest appearance from Microsoft’s Vjay Tewari from General Manager, Global Network Services. Also, we launch our first NPX boot camp and certified 7 people.

calm .NEXT 2015

said .NEXT 2015
nextkeynotecroud .NEXT 2015
.NEXT 2015
.NEXT 2015

said .NEXT 2015
nextkeynotecroud .NEXT 2015
.NEXT 2015

.NEXT 2015

.NEXT 2015
complex .NEXT 2015
.NEXT 2015

.NEXT 2015 .NEXT 2015
.NEXT 2015
broadsupport .NEXT 2015

nextontour .NEXT 2015
next2016 .NEXT 2015
nextms .NEXT 2015
.NEXT 2015

360view .NEXT 2015
league7 .NEXT 2015Community .NEXT 2015panel .NEXT 2015thankyou .NEXT 2015

.NEXT 2015

Nutanix – Invisible Infrastructure – Special Announcement from .NEXT conference – 6/9/15

Nutanix’s Invisible Infrastructure

Invisible Infrastructure

Very exciting day today….at our Nutanix .NEXT conference…We announced our vision for Invisible Infrastructure for the Datacenter of the Future…Which is the future of datacenter weather you are onpremis or in the cloud….WebScale methodology is how you build out your datacenter….the second video is a great interview with Vijay Tewari & Sunil Potti at .NEXT…….It great to see all the hard work that my company, team and I have come together at this great conference…..Truly humbling experience…..

What is Invisible Infrastructure?

Many of the transformative technologies in our lives are things that we don’t even think about. They just work, remove constraints and limitations and eliminate the need for guesswork and prediction. We are not even aware of them.
As technology becomes increasingly central to how a business operates, the way it stays competitive and relevant to its customers, IT infrastructure needs to become invisible as well. Applications and services need infrastructure, but you don’t want to spend all your time dealing with infrastructure issues. It is the plumbing that makes your applications run. You want it to work in a flawless way without much effort. This is what the Nutanix solution does for you. Sit back and enjoy the show…

Until next time, Rob…

NPP Training series – I/O Path Overview

To continue NPP training series, here is my next topic:  I/O Path Overview
If you missed other parts of my series, check out links below:
Part 1 – NPP Training series – Nutanix Terminology
Part 2 – NPP Training series – Nutanix Terminology
Cluster Architecture with Hyper-V

Data Structure on Nutanix with Hyper-V

To give credit, most of the content was taken from Steve Poitras’s “Nutanix Bible” blog as his content is the most accurate and then I put a Hyper-V lean-to it.

IO Path Overview

The Nutanix IO path is composed of the following high-level components:
NDFS_IO_basev5 IO Path

OpLog

  • Key Role: Persistent write buffer
  • Description: The Oplog is similar to a filesystem journal and is built to handle bursty writes, coalesce them and then sequentially drain the data to the extent store.  Upon a write the OpLog is synchronously replicated to another n number of CVM’s OpLog before the write is acknowledged for data availability purposes.  All CVM OpLogs partake in the replication and are dynamically chosen based upon load.  The OpLog is stored on the SSD tier on the CVM to provide extremely fast write I/O performance, especially for random I/O workloads.  For sequential workloads the OpLog is bypassed and the writes go directly to the extent store.  If data is currently sitting in the OpLog and has not been drained, all read requests will be directly fulfilled from the OpLog until they have been drain where they would then be served by the extent store/content cache.  For containers where fingerprinting (aka Dedupe) has been enabled, all write I/Os will be fingerprinted using a hashing scheme allowing them to be deduped based upon fingerprint in the content cache.

Extent Store

  • Key Role: Persistent data storage
  • Description: The Extent Store is the persistent bulk storage of NDFS and spans SSD and HDD and is extensible to facilitate additional devices/tiers.  Data entering the extent store is either being A) drained from the OpLog or B) is sequential in nature and has bypassed the OpLog directly.  Nutanix ILM will determine tier placement dynamically based upon I/O patterns and will move data between tiers.

Content Cache

  • Key Role: Dynamic read cache
  • Description: The Content Cache (aka “Elastic Dedupe Engine”) is a deduped read cache which spans both the CVM’s memory and SSD.  Upon a read request of data not in the cache (or based upon a particular fingerprint) the data will be placed in to the single-touch pool of the content cache which completely sits in memory where it will use LRU until it is ejected from the cache.  Any subsequent read request will “move” (no data is actually moved, just cache metadata) the data into the memory portion of the multi-touch pool which consists of both memory and SSD.  From here there are two LRU cycles, one for the in-memory piece upon which eviction will move the data to the SSD section of the multi-touch pool where a new LRU counter is assigned.  Any read request for data in the multi-touch pool will cause the data to go to the peak of the multi-touch pool where it will be given a new LRU counter.  Fingerprinting is configured at the container level and can be configured via the UI.  By default fingerprinting is disabled.
  • Below we show a high-level overview of the Content Cache:

CC_Pools IO Path

Extent Cache

  • Key Role: In-memory read cache
  • Description: The Extent Cache is an in-memory read cache that is completely in the CVM’s memory.  This will store non-fingerprinted extents for containers where fingerprinting and dedupe disabled.

Drive Breakdown

In this section I’ll cover how the various storage devices (SSD / HDD) are broken down, partitioned and utilized by the Nutanix platform. NOTE: All of the capacities used are in Base2 Gibibyte (GiB) instead of the Base10 Gigabyte (GB).  Formatting of the drives with a filesystem and associated overheads has also been taken into account.

SSD Devices

SSD devices store a few key items which are explained in greater detail above:

  • Nutanix Home (CVM core)
  • Cassandra (metadata storage) – MORE
  • OpLog (persistent write buffer)
  • Extent Store (persistent storage)

Below we show an example of the storage breakdown for a Nutanix node’s SSD(s):
NDFS_SSD_breakdown3 IO PathNOTE: The sizing for OpLog is done dynamically as of release 4.0.1 which will allow the extent store portion to grow dynamically.  The values used are assuming a completely utilized OpLog.  Graphics and proportions aren’t drawn to scale.  When evaluating the Remaining GiB capacities do so from the top down.  For example the Remaining GiB to be used for the OpLog calculation would be after Nutanix Home and Cassandra have been subtracted from the formatted SSD capacity. Most models ship with 1 or 2 SSDs, however the same construct applies for models shipping with more SSD devices. For example, if we apply this to an example 3060 or 6060 node which has 2 x 400GB SSDs this would give us 100GiB of OpLog, 40GiB of Content Cache and ~440GiB of Extent Store SSD capacity per node.  Storage for Cassandra is a minimum reservation and may be larger depending on the quantity of data.
NDFS_SSD_3060_2 IO Path
For a 3061 node which has 2 x 800GB SSDs this would give us 100GiB of OpLog, 40GiB of Content Cache and ~1.1TiB of Extent Store SSD capacity per node.
NDFS_SSD_3061v2 IO Path

HDD Devices

Since HDD devices are primarily used for bulk storage, their breakdown is much simpler:

  • Curator Reservation (Curator storage) – MORE
  • Extent Store (persistent storage)

NDFS_HDD_breakdown IO Path
For example, if we apply this to an example 3060 node which has 4 x 1TB HDDs this would give us 80GiB reserved for Curator and ~3.4TiB of Extent Store HDD capacity per node.
NDFS_HDD_3060 IO PathFor a 6060 node which has 4 x 4TB HDDs this would give us 80GiB reserved for Curator and ~14TiB of Extent Store HDD capacity per node.
NDFS_HDD_6060 IO PathNOTE: the above values are accurate as of 4.0.1 and may vary by release.
Next up, Drive Breakdown on Nutanix

Until next time, Rob….