Where we’re going, we don’t need roads – Doc Brown- BTTF PART I

If you’re a back to the future fan, you’ll know the famous words of Doc Brown as a segue to prepare Marty and Jenifer for their journey when transporting into the year 2015 from their present 1985.

Now let’s fast forward to August 2015 where Dell; our strategic OEM partner, along with Nutanix are taking our customers and their datacentres on a similar journey, though the future is now!

Where we’re going, we don’t need complexity, just simplicity, scalability and mobility – Nutanix.

The above journey has already started – Thanks to the recent XC Platform update by Dell encompassing hardware updates and support for Nutanix’s next-generation converged storage, compute and virtualization product, Acropolis – We’re calling it XC 2.01 and it’s shipping now!


Firstly, Let’s talk about the Hardware Updates; 

Amongst the addition of updated Processors, memory and HDD options for the current portfolio, We’re also pleased to announce the newest member of the Appliance Portfolio – The XC730-12C

The XC730-12C is a Lite Compute (Does not run any user VM’s) / Cold tier node whose sole purpose is to serve cold tier storage to an existing Nutanix Cluster. This is perfect for customers whom have outgrown the storage requirements of their existing cluster and do not need any additional compute – Just pure cold tier storage!

Whilst the XC730-12C can be, configured to order with a maximum storage capacity of 32TB, the real devil is in the details! – It is running Nutanix’s KVM based hypervisor – Acropolis and can be added to an existing Nutanix Cluster of which contains VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V based hosts, thus elevating the costs of a hypervisor licence.


Let’s Talk about Acropolis!

Acropolis is Nutanix’s next generation turnkey infrastructure platform and the foundation for delivering invisible infrastructure, virtualization and cloud. Acropolis converges compute, storage and virtualization, and enables IT teams to focus solely on applications and innovation rather than “keeping the lights on”.

Today, the challenge in the enterprise datacenter spans from complexity with legacy 3-Tier architectures, inability to scale, coupled with the exorbitant costs of Capex and Opex.

Similarly, virtualization products share a similar cascading effect whereby they require expertise to deploy\manage, governed by expensive ELA’s, which translate to shelf-ware but more importantly chain applications to hypervisors. Their management planes are complex and don’t scale. The list goes on!

Acropolis combined with Prism overcomes these challenges by building on our existing, industry-leading hyperconverged solution, to decouple applications from hypervisors, reduce operational complexity, costs but more importantly a platform that is scalable, simple and elastic.

Acropolis is fundamentally comprised of 3 major key ingredients

  • Distributed Storage Fabric (Formerly NDFS):
    Delivers an enterprise grade, software-defined, data-storage fabric, which provides a rich set of services that are entirely VM-centric, including snapshots, high availability, disaster recovery, deduplication and more – This negates the need for a traditional SAN or NAS Solution and overcomes the complexity, scalability and costs associated with these traditional devices.
  • Application Mobility Fabric (AMF): 
    Decouples applications from the underlying infrastructure by creating a mobility fabric, which in return delivers advanced VM placement, conversion and migration across hypervisors as well as High availability to achieve the nirvana of seamless mobility between on and off premise clouds – Finally bridging the gap between predictability and elasticity.
  • Acropolis Hypervisor:
    While the Distributed Storage Fabric fully supports traditional hypervisors such as VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V, Acropolis also includes a native hypervisor based on the proven Linux KVM hypervisor. With enhanced security, self-healing capabilities based on SaltStack and enterprise-grade VM management, Acropolis Hypervisor delivers a better overall user experience at a lower TCO and will be the first hypervisor to integrate into the App Mobility Fabric


Application Mobility


With an advanced application mobility feature, native virtualization and enterprise grade Distributed Storage Fabric. These innovations greatly simplify the datacenter, reduce costs and enhance IT service delivery.

Though with any solution, complexity can only be minimized if its paired with a management framework, rich in user experience simplicity, scalability and innovative features.


Say Hello to Prism!

Prism is the Distributed Management Plane, which is powered by “one-click” functionality to address the operational burden associated with management infrastructure, common tasks, maintenance activities as well as trending and capacity analysis.

Backed by a rich api, Prism is a simple, elegant way of managing the Platform with minimal expertise and is integrated into the Controller Virtual Machine, present on every Dell XC Appliance, negating the requirement to deploy unnecessary management components.  

But don’t take my word for it – Experience it yourself by test driving the Nutanix Community Edition in your home lab (http://www.nutanix.com/products/community-edition/) or by contacting your Dell Account Representative.


The power to do more: Dell:

Acropolis is now shipping on all Dell 13 Generation Servers as is the ability for customers to individually configure their appliances based on their unique business and technical requirements – Backed by their enterprise service and support.

 Time to value can be experienced by minimized deployment effort as all hypervisor and Nutanix software are installed from factory, so upon receipt of  your XC, simply rack, stack, plug in your Ethernet\Power and welcome to the Datacenters of the future!