Introducing Nutanix AOS 6.6 with new Enhanced data services and simplified networking and security.
Nutanix has announced the availability of the Nutanix AOS 6.6 software release, bringing even greater simplicity and efficiency to Nutanix HCI deployments at organizations everywhere. Nutanix AOS 6.6 builds on the innovations delivered in their last Long Term Support (LTS) release AOS 6.5 by providing efficiency updates around erasure coding and dedupe, delivering important updates around usability and enterprise readiness of infrastructure for business critical apps and a host of networking related features. Available now, Nutanix AOS 6.6 ships with a new version of Prism Central, PC 2022.9, as well as the 8th generation of the Nutanix AHV hypervisor, AHV 20220304.242.
The 8th Generation of AHV
Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure includes built-in virtualization powered by AHV. Built on an open-source foundation and extended with advanced enterprise features, AHV makes VM operations one-click simple for both traditional IT and modern cloud-native applications. Nutanix AOS 6.6 includes the 8th generation of AHV, integrating updated upstream components of the open-source hypervisor core, as well as all-new VM operations capabilities. Upgraded ecosystem components include a new Linux® kernel as well as updated versions of the core hypervisor services. With an automated one-click hypervisor upgrade, Nutanix customers will benefit from enhanced performance and improved total cost of ownership without needing to upgrade licenses or hardware.
This release of AHV also includes several important security updates. First, AHV now supports Windows® 11 software with the introduction of the Virtual Trusted Platform Module (vTPM). vTPM is a virtualized software instance of the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), that carries out secure cryptographic operations to increase security against firmware attacks, and is a requirement for running Windows 11. Nutanix Guest Tools (NGT) has been updated to communicate with the CVM through a secure connection directly with AHV, without needing to establish an IP connection to the CVM.
VM Centric Data Policies
AOS 6.6 enhances storage policy to support replication factor (RF) config which can also be applied at per VM granularity.
Simplified RDMA for Data Replication
AOS has long supported RDMA (Remote Direct Memory Access), and AOS 6.6 makes it even easier to set up and manage. RDMA improves latency by enabling direct data transfer between CVMs without the overhead of the TCP/IP stack, reducing latency and decreasing CPU utilization.
With supported network hardware and a dedicated NIC, administrators can use RDMA for replication traffic between hosts. Before AOS 6.6, administrators had to set up RDMA during the foundation process, and required network switch configuration to use RDMA. AOS 6.6 simplifies RDMA configuration in two significant ways. First, RDMA with ZTR (Zero Touch RoCE) makes it possible to utilize RDMA, without the need for administrators to configure switching infrastructure for priority flow control (PFC) or explicit congestion notification (ECN) or worry about switch compatibility
Nutanix AOS utilizes a multitude of data reduction techniques to minimize the amount of physical storage capacity needed to store application data within a cluster. Nutanix AOS 6.6 brings significant enhancements to two of them: Deduplication and Erasure Coding.
Deduplication increases available storage capacity by detecting duplicate chunks of data and only storing a single copy to physical media. This is particularly effective for data sets that store multiple copies of the same data, or when multiple VMs are separately storing the same underlying data. AOS 6.6 improves efficiency by deduplicating at a sub extent level rather than the entire 1MB extent, increasing the chances of detecting duplicate blocks and reducing the amount of metadata needed to track the deduplicated segments. The result is better space savings for the same dataset without incurring a greater metadata overhead.
Inline Erasure Coding for Nutanix Objects
AOS 6.6 also introduces inline erasure coding for Nutanix Objects, enabling greater density for data that is typically only written once and never updated, such as for backup and archiving. AOS has long supported post-process erasure coding, where data is protected through parity calculations instead of replication.
Erasure coding is similar to traditional RAID conceptually, except the data and parity calculation are distributed across separate server nodes instead of across local storage drives. Recalculating parity when data is updated requires cluster resources, so historically only data that has been detected as “write-cold” would be erasure coded. Because Nutanix Objects data is only written once, it can be erasure coded at ingest, optimizing both storage capacity and compute resources.
As cybersecurity grabs further mindshare of the IT landscape, Prism Central continues to build on turn-key protection, detection, and remediation measures for you to use. Version 2022.9 introduces a holistic platform security dashboard to better manage the security posture of your Nutanix infrastructure. Paired with Security Central for your workloads, and Data Lens for your data, you can now quickly achieve total operational security responsiveness.
Platform Security Dashboard
The multicloud nature of Nutanix requires detailed but instant feedback of critical security insights throughout all your Nutanix clusters. The new Prism Central Platform Security Dashboard creates a single overview for IT administrative staff of Nutanix solutions of the overall security state of the system focused on three key areas:
- Security Hardening:
Understand and highlight Nutanix platform security controls in one simple view with fast access to change these directly in Prism Central.
- CVE Management:
Quickly assess and mitigate risks and exposures of infrastructure CVEs ( Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) using one-click integration with LCM (life-cycle management) for remediation.
- STIG Management:
Monitor and report compliance to STIGs (Security Technical Implementation Guides).