Nutanix AOS 5.0 released

Nutanix AOS 5.0

Nutanix has released AOS 5.0, the biggest release we have had 2 date. There are several big new features in AOS 5.0! One of the biggest things is also that we now support Citrix XenServer TP.

Overview of the Tech Preview Features

XenServer hypervisor
The XenServer hypervisor is supported as a tech preview in Nutanix clusters.

Hot Plugging Memory and CPU on Virtual Machines (AHV)
Support is now available for hot plugging memory and CPUs on VMs running on AHV. You can increase the memory allocation and the number of CPUs on your VMs while the VMs are powered on. You can change the number of vCPUs (sockets) while the VMs are powered on. However, you cannot change the number of cores per socket while the VMs are powered on.

You can change the memory and CPU configuration of your VMs only through the Acropolis CLI (aCLI).

 

This release includes the following new, tech preview, or updated features.

New Features in AOS 5.0

Acropolis File Services

Acropolis File Services (AFS) provides a scalable, highly available virtual file server built into your Nutanix cluster. You can share files among users, workstations, or VMs from this centralized protected location. Network-attached VMs form this virtual file server to help eliminate the requirement for a third-party file server.

Among the features supported in this release:

  • Asynchronous data replication (Async DR) for AFS
  • Clusters running the AHV and ESXi hypervisors
  • Ability to configure a share’s default quota space with Group and User level quota policies.
  • Access based enumeration (ABE)
  • AFS Performance Optimization notifies the user when the file server is under load and needs a change to improve optimization. This feature includes the following actions: scale up, scale out, storage group, and rebalance.

AHV Affinity Policies

You can configure VM-host affinity or VM-VM anti-affinity policies for VMs managed by AHV clusters. This enables administrators to specify scheduling decisions where specified VMs are assigned to or excluded from running on specific hosts. This is helpful for tasks such as managing application licensing constraints, separating network load balanced VMs, or keeping related servers together.

Acropolis Dynamic Scheduling

In AHV clusters, the Acropolis Dynamic Scheduling (ADS) feature proactively monitors your cluster for any compute and/or storage I/O contention or hotspots over a period of time. If a problem is detected, a migration plan is created and executed thereby eliminating hotspots in the cluster.

REST API 2.0

An updated API designed to enable you to easily manage entities in a Nutanix environment.

The complete reference for the v2 Nutanix API, including code samples in multiple languages, and tutorials are available at https://developer.nutanix.com/

Metro Availability Witness

You now have the option of adding a witness to a metro availability configuration. A “witness” is a special VM (installed on an ESXi cluster only; AHV and Hyper-V are not supported) that monitors the metro availability configuration health and automates fail-overs when necessary.

Self-Service Portal (SSP)

Available on AHV clusters only, the Acropolis self-service portal (SSP) enables end-users to access a self-service portal to provision and manage VMs from templates, eliminating administrator requests or activity. If you plan to use the Self-Service Portal Feature in AOS 5.0, each Controller VM requires a minimum of 24 GB memory. See Controller VM Memory Configurations.

Nutanix native self-service portal is integrated into Prism and provides VM owners role-based access to their VMs. The portal enables end-users to deploy applications without IT intervention, enabling organizations to provide developers or lines of business with a self-service experience.

SSP also reports infrastructure usage statistics per project, VM, and project member. The SSP administrator can obtain insights such as which projects, VMs, and users consume the most resources and which projects require fewer resources.

Acropolis Block Services

Acropolis Block Services (ABS) provides highly available and high performance block storage as iSCSI LUNs to clients. New features in this release include:

  • Security. You can implement Challenge-Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) authentication for iSCSI, including Mutual CHAP.
  • Dynamic Load Balancing. AOS dynamically distributes iSCSI sessions depending on cluster CPU usage. This feature is integrated with Acropolis Dynamic Scheduling (ADS) for AHV-managed VMs.
  • IP-based initiator whitelisting. AOS 5.0 introduces an alternative to using whitelisting based on initiator IQNs when configuring volume groups used with ABS. You can configure volume groups with IP-based whitelisting, instead of copying multiple initiator IQNs.
  • Ability to expand LUNs. Online LUN expansion is available through the Prism web console or Acropolis command line.

Run NCC checks from the Prism web console with full alerting

You can run every NCC check or individual checks from the ncc command line. In this release, you can also run all or specific checks from the Prism web console (AOS 5.0 clusters or later).

Additionally, you can click check results and display more details about the results. You can also download or email NCC results.

If you run ncc from the command line, check result scores are also updated in the web console.

Network Visualization

The Prism web console gives you a consolidated, graphical view of the network formed by the VMs and hosts in a Nutanix cluster and first-hop switches. You can use the visualizer to monitor the network and to obtain information that helps you troubleshoot network issues. Available on AHV clusters only.

VM Management by Using Prism Element or Prism Central for ESXi Hypervisors

You can create and manage VMs directly from Prism Element or Prism Central when the hypervisor is ESXi. For this functionality to work, you need to register vCenter Server with the Prism Element or multiple vCenter Servers with the Prism Central.