Nutanix

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by GooSE, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. GooSE

    GooSE New Member

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    So the powers-that-be at my company have decided that we're going to take a bit of a risk and roll out a Nutanix compute/storage cluster to a fairly large customer. Just curious to see if anyone here has used their kit before and what you think of it.

    I got the usual sales pitch from one of their guys yesterday and if everything works the way they say it does I must say that I'm impressed. The software looks like a commercial implementation of GlusterFS with a few bolt-ons, but the sales guy couldn't tell me whether they actually used Gluster or not.

    Any comments?
     
  2. Daemon

    Daemon Member

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    It's not Gluster based but certainly looks interesting.

    What's the cost like and what's the requirement for the project?
     
  3. CordlezToaster

    CordlezToaster Member

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    Looks promising.
    I'm currently evaluating our storage and im looking at alternatives but i feel this might be out of our budget. We currently have 9 equallogic storage arrays and im desperate to move some of them on.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  4. tullytyro

    tullytyro Member

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  5. OP
    OP
    GooSE

    GooSE New Member

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    I'm not really the numbers guy. A project manager with my company did the maths and it works out to be slightly cheaper than what they were originally going to go with, which was a multiple HP servers and a couple of SANs. The big selling point for us is the reduced complexity, faster stand up time and scalability.

    Awesome, thanks for the links.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  6. Primüs

    Primüs Member

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    11 years of lurking to post this? Haha nice work...

    Edit: I should contribute...

    Correct me if I'm wrong, it is the same basic principal as what GlusterFS could do for you? A single file system clustered across multiple servers which could also be used as your vm frontends?

    Obviously Nutanix is purpose built and would come with some product support unlike GlusterFS, interesting concept and I am currently in a similar predicament of needing more VM space, but no budget to build major storage appliances.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2013
  7. tullytyro

    tullytyro Member

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    Yeah - even I was surprised. Getting old :p

    Looks to me like GlusterFS is a different dog but in essence the same "leg action" - but at the same time Nutanix takes away the "complexity" and is hypervisor agnostic...you just turn it on and configure a few basics like IP addresses and away you go...

    Everything Nutanix does is running within a 'controller' virtual machine and that VM can run on ESXi, KVM (on CentOS) or Hyper-V for example. Imagine an environment where you could mix and match hypervisors on the basis of specific need, but the distributed storage can be seen/accessed across all of them...

    There are some videos around that show how quick it is to deploy on the Nutanix YouTube channel.

    Whichever way you go, the future in storage certainly seems to be moving away from the old style arrays and embracing this distributed model (or true 'convergence') - the advantage of eliminating the latency caused by a fabric (since storage and compute are now together in the same server). Simplicity of deployment (and doing it quickly) and ongoing management ease is the icing on the cake in my view - but I'm biased of course :)
     
  8. Primüs

    Primüs Member

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    Yeah when I said akin to GlusterFS I was more referring to the distributed nature of how the file system presents itself.

    To be honest, at first I thought Nutanix was a software package until I got right into it and noticed its an appliance. Can't find ballpark pricing unfortunately.

    I like the theory though. We are on a very tight budget at the moment trying to deploy a clustered (HA + LB) and I was researching the possibility of GlusterFS alongside oVirt in a 4 node setup. GlusterFS for the disk access on the same machine as VM front-ends. I don't think GlusterFS could work the same as Nutanix though in making sure local running machines are on the local disk.

    Anyways getting off topic from Nutanix, I'd be interested to know ball park pricing of the Nutanix units to see if its worth investigating for my use case if anyone cares to share :).
     
  9. OP
    OP
    GooSE

    GooSE New Member

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    It's not cheap if you're also considering Gluster.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  10. Annihilator69

    Annihilator69 Member

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    Do you have to be huge for this stuff?

    Any use for <$150k deployments i.e. <100 seat companies?
     
  11. DRAGONKZ

    DRAGONKZ Member

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    We had a 3450 series block for a 1-2 month POC.

    Most of us here liked it, but at the end of the day management ruled against it so we had to hand it back and we headed down the traditional separate compute and storage path once again.

    Pricing may have changed, but at the time it was approx. $125K ex GST for a 3450 block, and $72K ex GST for a 6450 block.

    If tullytyro has an issue with prices being listed then let me know and I can remove, but I figure it may be helpful to the other guys here.
     
  12. tullytyro

    tullytyro Member

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    Prices are always negotiable according to the sales guys. :)

    Consider this though. Take the price of a complete SAN, incl fabric switches, inc blades and blade chassis, inc rack space and power, time and cost to deliver all that fully installed and ready for VMs in a $ value (not to mention the administration of all that) ...... pretty sure Nutanix can beat that price, and do it in a lot less time and less headaches - and probably within a few rack units of space. A lot of Nutanix customers actually install it themselves just following the setup guide PDF. See an example here: https://twitter.com/Shanetech/status/387707504601612288

    Then take into account what happens when that old SAN fills up - and you either stress out the controllers or need to rip it out and replace it and then all that drama. Compare that to simply adding another node of Nutanix with no downtime in doing so to expand your cluster (mix and match hardware too if you like to take advantage of (for example) storage-heavy nodes). Now you don't have to plan 1-5 yrs ahead for storage. Start small and grow only when you need to.

    Every time you add a Nutanix node, you are getting another storage controller essentially. Have 30 nodes - that's 30 storage controllers. Performance remains as good as it ever was since data locality is maintained within the cluster (the hot data for the VM is stored on the same node as the VM itself, even if the VM moves the data will follow).

    That 2U Nutanix 3450 in the picture is 4 nodes (4 esxi servers) with 20TB of raw storage (flash and sata) included (you would see about 8.8TB usable after replication and formatting in vCenter). Automatic tiering of data and all you as the admin will see is a NFS datastore ready to spin up your VMs (or migrate to of course).

    Again, this is just one model - there are others available at different price points.

    Anyway that's enough of the sales pitch :p

    Sure - Check out the 1050 series - it is our 'smallest' and would easily meet those requirements. http://www.nutanix.com/the-nutanix-solution/tech-specs/

    There's always a next time ! Glad the tech guys liked it anyway. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  13. Annihilator69

    Annihilator69 Member

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    I'm assuming you buy these things per block?

    How does redundancy work?
    Can workloads move from node to node or block to block in case of a failure? Do you replace just the node or the whole block?

    I'm tyring to think if I have just one block and something dies what then?

    I know things like HP can have parts out within 4 hours, What's Nutanix like for that kind of thing?
    Just saw your youtube vids, looks pretty interesting. Will need to know more before going further.
    Do you loan demo kits to resellers?
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  14. OP
    OP
    GooSE

    GooSE New Member

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    Well the block is the chassis so you need at least one. I believe the minimum number of nodes in a cluster is 3, so at the minimum you buy one block containing 3 nodes. From there you can purchase per node, buying another block when required.

    vMotion and Nutanix's "storage hypervisor" mean uninterrupted compute and storage in the event of a node failure.

    Platinum support means next day as far as I know.
     
  15. tullytyro

    tullytyro Member

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    Check the support page guys which outlines the available options (eg gold, platinum etc) : http://www.nutanix.com/support/

    Failure scenarios are explained by Josh here (7 min video) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T56KBaB3OUk

    I can provide more info later today - but take a look at the reddit link I provided earlier for lots of links/blogs about the platform.
     
  16. ebar

    ebar Member

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    I thought these things had 4 controllers in them, not 3?

    Also, Nutanix being a startup I suspect they are still building up a support organization and thus I suspect 4 hours is "out of scope" at the moment.

    I m wondering how much USEABLE vs raw storage is obtainable? Is this thing raided at all? If so what type of Raid?

    Also, DR is all well and good but what about backups?

    Cheers,
    Eric
     
  17. bondy_112

    bondy_112 Member

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    3 is the minimum. They seem utilise their own software "RAID" that shares similarities to GFS to distribute data across nodes to protect against individual node or disk failures.

    Backup could be handled by whatever existing or available method you're using for your hypervisor of choice. e.g. VMware VADP which is supported by all major backup vendors (Veeam, VMware VDP/VDPA, NetWorker, Backup Exec, etc etc etc.)
     
  18. ebar

    ebar Member

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    Ok, thanks for clearing the minimum controller question. Typically there is some sort of "cost/investment" related to what type of RAID is used, wether its at software or hardware layer, peformance/IOPS etc.

    Thats why I am keen on knowing the useable space. It sounds like you take ie 20TB and divide it by number of controlers? So if you have 20TB and 4 controllers you end up with 5TB useable?
     
  19. bondy_112

    bondy_112 Member

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    We should let tullytyro answer that.

    But if I had to guess there is no way that calculation (total raw divided by number of nodes) would be cost effective or sane. It would be something like a parity RAID where you incur a parity hit that is relative to the number of nodes you have; i.e. 3 nodes maybe you incur a 33% overhead for storage, 4 nodes 25% etc. -- I would expect it to be similar to this.
     
  20. mitsimonsta

    mitsimonsta Member

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    I spoke to Mark from Nutanix at vForum last year, and I did evaluate the platform however it was bigger than our needs at the time.

    These boxes are ideal for moving from desktop to VDI, and once you get to two blocks with 6 nodes it starts becoming a really useful thing. The issue is that for our needs and clients it really was not a workable solution. Commodity DL380 Gen8's loaded up with with SSD-cached 15K drives is more than enough for our workloads right now.
     

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