Nutanix: The Big Picture

Nutanix is a leading vendor in the Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) space. This course will provide you with an overview of its architecture, features, and additional capabilities beyond HCI.
Course info
Level
Beginner
Updated
Aug 31, 2018
Duration
2h 11m
Table of contents
Course Overview
Challenges with Traditional Architectures
Exploring Nutanix’s Core Components
Capabilities of the Distributed Storage Fabric
Evaluating the Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV)
Managing a Nutanix Platform
Expanding Beyond HCI
Choosing the Correct Hardware, Licensing, and Support Model
Description
Course info
Level
Beginner
Updated
Aug 31, 2018
Duration
2h 11m
Description

Over the last few years, Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) solutions have gone from being a niche concept to a focus area for many infrastructure vendors. Nutanix is a pioneering vendor in this space, but how does it work, what is different about its architecture, and why should you care? In this course, Nutanix: The Big Picture, you’ll learn the challenges that Nutanix was created to solve before. First, you'll delve into how Nutanix implements its version of HCI. Next, you’ll explore how easy it is to operate and how Nutanix is much more than an HCI platform. Finally, you’ll discover the Nutanix AHV hypervisor and understand what the potential benefits are, as well as some things you need to consider. When you’re finished with this course, you’ll not only understand how Nutanix works and what’s unique about it, you'll also know if it’s the right choice for you or your organization.

About the author
About the author

Peter is a technology enthusiast and has been immersed in IT ever since his days of programming 'Basic' on the Commodore 64. He has 20 years of professional experience supporting or architecting large and complex infrastructure environments for companies including Microsoft and various investment banks.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Course Overview
Hi everyone. My name is Peter Grant, and welcome to my course, Nutanix: The Big Picture. Over the last several years, I've worked with multiple hyperconverged solutions, and I'm currently a systems engineer at Nutanix. Nutanix is one of the pioneers of hyperconverged infrastructure and got the top spot this year in Gartner's first hyperconverged Magic Quadrant. This course will introduce you to the Nutanix platform and its core capabilities. Some of the major topics that we'll cover include the problems Nutanix was designed to solve, the core components and architecture, an overview of the Nutanix AHV hypervisor, as well as some of the other non-HCI features, some of which might surprise you. By the end of this course, you'll know the basics of the Nutanix platform and will have a solid foundation when deciding if Nutanix is a technology that's right for you. Before you start though, you should be familiar with general virtualization concepts. I hope you'll join me on this journey to learn about Nutanix, by watching this Pluralsight course, Nutanix: The Big Picture.

Challenges with Traditional Architectures
Hi everyone. I'm Peter Grant, and I get to present to you the first Pluralsight course on Nutanix, Nutanix: The Big Picture. This is a big-picture course, so we'll be talking at a relatively high level here, but at the end of this course, you'll be able to describe what Nutanix is, the components that make it up, its capabilities and limitations, as well as the typical use cases. We'll start by covering off the problems that Nutanix was created to solve, as this will provide a good context for what you're going to learn in this course. I'll then give an overview about hyperconverged infrastructure, explain the basic concepts, and look at the journey from traditional three-tier architecture to where we are today. Next, you'll learn how Nutanix implements their HCI solution, and we'll start off by looking at the core components followed by an overview of the distributed storage fabric, which is the foundation of the Nutanix platform. I'll then introduce the native Nutanix hypervisor called AHV, which stands for the Acropolis hypervisor. We'll then take a quick look at how you manage the platform, followed by an overview of the additional capabilities. Nutanix can do a lot more than just be a platform for running your virtual machines. And last, but not least, we'll discuss the various hardware, licensing, and purchasing options. Right, let's get started.

Evaluating the Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV)
In this module, you'll learn about the Acropolis Hypervisor known as AHV. We'll start off by describing what AHV is and where it came from, we'll then go over just some of the key features of AHV. Now with any hypervisor, there are a whole bunch of features and capabilities, and you'll be glad to know that I'm not going to cover them all, but what we will cover are some of the key features that people expect from and enterprise hypervisor, as well as some of the ones that make AHV unique. I'll then touch on some of the migration options and finish off with some of the considerations as to whether AHV is right for you, and we'll talk about some reasons why AHV may not be right for you. So, what is AHV? In a nutshell, it's the native hypervisor included with Nutanix. It utilizes the Linux KVM, but it's got the enterprise features added in that you would expect, as well as a simplified management layer. And all the AHV management components are built in to Nutanix and run as a distributed service as part of the CVM. Let's look at a brief history of AHV. In 2009, Nutanix the company was formed with the first product released into the wild in 2011. In 2012, Nutanix announced support for KVM, and in 2015 AHV was released, including all the integrated management components. And by 2018, Nutanix had reported an adoption rate for new nodes of greater than 30%. Now before we jump right in and start talking about features, I'm going to switch to Prism on an AHV cluster and simply go through the process of creating a virtual machine. That way, for those of you that are familiar with other hypervisors, you'll have a better idea about how AHV works.

Choosing the Correct Hardware, Licensing, and Support Model
In this module, we're going to focus on how you purchase Nutanix and the nuances around the various options. First up, we'll look at the two main purchasing models, which are to buy Nutanix as an all-in-one appliance versus buying the software individually and installing it on third-party hardware. We'll then look at who the different appliance vendors are, followed by the various supported third-party vendors. And you'll learn what the considerations are when choosing what option to go for. And lastly, you'll understand how Nutanix is licensed and the different options. Before we get into that, I just wanted to highlight three high-level configuration points. First of all, all Nutanix hardware is configured to order to meet your requirements. There are typically sized with the help from your partner and Nutanix representative. Within the same cluster, you can mix and match different node specifications, so as you grow and find that maybe you need a bit more memory and perhaps a bit less CPU or storage, you can adjust the node specifications to suit. This also includes mixing all-flash and hybrid nodes in the same cluster; however, what isn't supported, at least today, is the ability to mix and match different hardware vendors within the same cluster. And this is really more for support reasons than anything else. Remember, Nutanix isn't just a bunch of individual servers running VMs, it's a distributed system clustered together. So Nutanix wants to make sure that if there's a hardware issue, there's not going to be any finger pointing between different hardware vendors.