Cisco ACI + Nutanix + New vCenter – Its Complicated or Is it ?

Before I start, its been a while since my last post, mainly because I have been really busy with work and family. Now hopefully I will make it habit to post something useful once every few weeks.

Disclaimer: This is not the **official** recommendation from Nutanix on Cisco ACI. This is just something that I worked on for a client of ours and thought would be useful for anyone who might end up deploying Nutanix + Cisco ACI + new vCenter on Nutanix NDFS :)..

Problem Statement: Cisco ACI requires OOB access to vCenter to deploy the Cisco ACI networks as Portgroups in vCenter. Build vCenter on NDFS. NDFS needs 10 Gb fabric (ideally) from each node. All the uplinks in the leaf switch are controlled by Cisco ACI. But ACI needs vCenter to push out Management and VM Network VLANs. 

Some of you might see this and go uh oh, but let me assure you, this also becomes a problem in non Nutanix environments as well; especially anyone using IP based storage and only have 2 x 10Gb adapters.

There are 2 ways in which we can take care of this.

Option 1: Deploy a vCenter in a management only cluster, which doesn’t depend on the Cisco ACI for Networking. (Needs seperate physical infrastructure for networking and for management cluster)

Option 2: Add another dual 10Gb Nic to each of the nodes. (becomes a lot more expensive when you think of tens of nodes x 4 10Gb adapters).

Both the above options are quite costly, be it from a networking physical infrastructure point of view or a management only cluster point of view.

So how do we go about solving this?


Fighting the FUD # 1

First post fighting the FUD for Nutanix. I saw an image on Twitter recently where there was FUD about disk failure and data loss when using Nutanix. At Nutanix, we have a lot of different hardware models and also for people who don’t keep up to technology, we OEM with Dell and Lenovo as well, who have specific models of thier own.

Even with the different hardware models, our software handles various levels of failure with ease. The data consistency and resiliency of the software is not dependent on the hardware it runs. Be it a disk failure or node failure or block failure. There is varying level of redundancy that handle all of the above.



Converting Hyper-V UEFI VM to BIOS VM on Acropolis HV

My first post since joining Nutanix. Its been pretty hectic in my new role and I am loving it. There is so much to learn and there are so many awesome things coming up; its hard to keep abreast of everything.

One of the best reasons to choose Nutanix is CHOICE. Choice of running the Hypervisor you want not the one that you are forced to live with. For many people today the hypervisor of choice is still VMware ESXi and rightly so. But Microsoft hasn’t been quiet with Hyper-V. Hyper-V is almost at feature parity with ESXi now but is still considered second best. At Nutanix, we have our own hypervisor called Acropolis Hypervisor (What a great name), its based on KVM but has been through the hands of our very capable Product Development team, who have ironed out all the issues.  We also strive to enable our customers to change hypervisors when they want to; be it from AHV to ESXi or Hyper-V to AHV. This blog post focuses on how to convert a Hyper-V UEFI VM such as Windows 2008 R2 or higher to traditional BIOS VM on AHV.


NU world of possibilities

IT is changing pace so fast these days and anyone who doesn’t move with the changes that it brings, gets left behind. We moved from the mainframe era to the virtualisation era and now into the cloud era. One thing that hasn’t changed from the mainframe era to the current one is the pace of new technology adoption. Be it All Flash Arrays, Hybrid Arrays or Hyper-Converged Infrastructure.  (more…)

VCDX: Assumptions and Pre-requisites. How do they differ

Simon Long (@SimonLong_) wrote a post here detailing the problem with assuming certain things. I see where he is coming from and I agree with his point. However, I also think there needs to be further clarification as to how to deal with assumptions. Most of the times I see assumptions being put in to ensure that the client provides certain basic infrastructure services, such as AD, DNS, NTP etc. These should ideally be called Pre-Requisites, since they are critical for any VMware or non VMware Production environment to operate effectively. Don’t call them assumptions. Assumptions are used when you have little or no control over certain aspects of a project or with an application you are dealing with.  (more…)

VCDX Success – The devil is in the detail

Its time again for some hopefuls to go through to defending their design.First of all, Congrats. Give yourself a pat of the back and a vH5 (virtual High 5). You’ve just reached base camp. The hike gets harder from here. From here on its all about how well you’re prepare to weather the storm. It can be a great day with sunshine and chirping birds or all hell might break loose. Its all dependent on you.

Being there a year or so ago myself, I feel the need to address how one should prepare for VCDX defence. There are plenty of blogs which tell you what to do and what not to do. Plenty of videos on youtube / vBrownbag etc. This list is something that I had with me originally. Its not a lot but it something that got me started.


How to lose a cloud by doing 10 things wrong..

There was this awesome session abstract that was submitted for this years VMworld by Will Huber (@huberw, VCDX #81) and Tim Gleed (@timgleed, my manager 🙂 ) titled “How to lose a cloud in 10 days”. I would’ve loved to hear from these 2 guys what they thought were critical mistakes for a cloud environment.  But unfortunately it wasn’t the case, the session was not selected for VMworld. So here is my take on that session:


Automation is a good thing ..generally speaking. 

Disclaimer: Though its based on a real customer, this posts intends no disrespect to any employees or anyone else working for that customer (if you know who you are). If anyone is offended by this I apologise but not for expressing my opinion !! 

Automation is a good thing but there are certain scenarios where Automation to the Nth degree isnt always the answer. Its not about any competitor or partner. This is about a customer who wanted to automate the shutdown and deletion of idle development VMs. Not I want to click a button to ensure that someone oversees this during the initial phase. They want it completely automated.Yep you heard right. Automation is generally used to well automate menial tasks that you do day in day out to not only help you save time, but also to ensure that there is no manual error in the process. But when I was told this I immediately thought of

Automation Fail
Automation Fail


Why a cloud POC should never be “productionised”

Its been a while since my last post. Truth be told, I have been busy with work mostly during the last few weeks. But my little one has been having some medical issues owing to which I havent been able to socialise as much or spend time on blogging even though I have a backlog of articles in my drafts 🙂

Now lets look at this. We all know of companies who start with a POC for a product or a technology and then as mysteriously as it can be, it will turn into production at the snap of a finger. It is never OK for a POC to turn into production. As long as there is an architect who is worth thier salt, they wont let it happen. Now lets look at reasons why a cloud POC or specifically a Hybrid Cloud POC should never be ‘productionised’. (more…)

VCDX-CMA or VCDX-DCV. What are the cool kids doing these days ?

I have been seriously thinking and prepping for #VCDX-Cloud. It couldn’t have been more different to think about CMA than when I was starting with prep for VCDX-DCV.

Having said that, came across an interesting discussion on Twitter yesterday where a few guys I know and a few I know on Twitter (you all know who you are) were discussing which VCDX stream should one be focusing on right now. (more…)


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