The Nutanix

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The Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform is a converged infrastructure solution that consolidates the compute (server) tier and the storage tier into a single, integrated appliance. The Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform converges compute and storage into a single system, eliminating the need for traditional storage arrays. The Nutanix 2U appliance contains two to four independent nodes, each optimized for high-performance compute, memory, and storage. Each node runs an industry-standard hypervisor, and a Nutanix controller VM. The controller VM handles all data I/O operations for the local hypervisor

The Nutanix solution is radically simple compared to traditional datacenter infrastructures.

nutanix_architect

The modular building-block design allows your organization to start with small deployments and grow incrementally into very large cluster installations. With one appliance, you can move from a small operation to handling large-scale server virtualization deployments, virtual desktop initiatives, test and development applications, big data (e.g. Splunk, Hadoop) projects, and more.

nutanix_noSANThe Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform integrates high-performance server resources with enterprise-class storage in a cost-effective 2U appliance. It eliminates the need for network-based storage architecture, such as a storage area network (SAN) or network-attached storage (NAS). The scalability and performance that the world’s largest, most efficient datacenters enjoy are now available to all enterprises and government agencies.

The Nutanix Distributed Filesystem (NDFS) is at the core of the Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform. It manages all metadata and data, as well as enables all core features. NDFS is the software-driven architecture that connects storage, compute resources, controller VM, and the hypervisor. It also provides full Information Lifecycle Management (ILM), including localizing data to the optimal node. With Nutanix, you don’t need SAN anymore.

Nutanix_DFS

The solution is a bundled hardware + software appliance which houses 2 (6000 series) or 4 nodes (1000/2000/3000/3050 series) in a 2U footprint. Each node runs a industry standard hypervisor (ESXi, KVM, Hyper-V currently) and the Nutanix Controller VM (CVM). The Nutanix CVM is what runs the Nutanix software and serves all of the I/O operations for the hypervisor and all VMs running on that host. Dependent on the hypervisor’s capabilities, the SCSI controller, which manages the SSD and HDD devices, is directly passed to the CVM leveraging Intel VT-d.

Below is an example of what a typical node logically looks like:

ntnx-bible-architecture-01

Together, a group of Nutanix Nodes forms a distributed platform called the Nutanix Distributed Filesystem (NDFS). NDFS appears to the hypervisor like any centralized storage array, however all of the I/Os are handled locally to provide the highest performance. More detail on how these nodes form a distributed system can be found below.

Below is an example of hows these Nutanix nodes form NDFS:

ntnx-bible-architecture-02

These simplified architectures reduce costs across the board and accelerate the time-to-value for all virtualized applications. And, turnkey solutions enable datacenter build-outs that are dramatically faster than what’s possible with legacy architectures.

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