Workloads virtual or physical immediately benefit from the new nodes and the associated faster storage and/or processing power. Having been at Nutanix for 7+ years now, we’ve been promoting the fact that running Virtual Machines on a server with a local storage controller (which we call a Controller VM or CVM) and local flash storage delivers better performance, lower latency and better scalability. So we’ve just myth busted the (apparent) myth buster, sorry Lee. It’s simple, Nutanix always writes one replica locally and only the second is sent over the network to another node based on performance and cluster capacity utilisation. Nutanix does not “need” a local copy and can/does access remote replicas. The same X-Ray test was repeated while iPerf blasted the network with traffic to simulate Client-Server & Server-Server communication. In 2013 I wrote “Storage DRS and Nutanix – To use, or not to use, that is the question?” which explains that initial placement of VMs no longer requires advanced (and licensed) features like vSphere Storage DRS as Nutanix delivers more advanced functionality natively. This allows a cluster to live forever as new nodes are added and end of life nodes are removed. X-Ray generates one or more VMs per node, performs a random or sequential write for a period of time (default 600 seconds) then reads back the data. This isn’t a bug with X-Ray or a reporting issues, this is exactly how Data locality works! Nutanix avoids all these downsides. You may be thinking that in HCI solutions the networking is typically shared with Client-Server, Server-Server & network traffic. For those of you not familiar with X-Ray, it’s a tool developed by Nutanix with the ability to run templated scenarios to test the functionality, reliability, scalability and performance of Virtualised environments. Availability Domains (aka node/block/rack awareness) is a key struct for distributed systems to abide by for determining component and data placement. This software means compute is being brought to the storage, according to the company. The tweet below from 2018 highlights this value and the thread goes on to highlight that having to vMotion VMs for an upgrade to occur would have unnecessary performance impact to VMs and overhead on the cluster while also extending the duration of the maintenance task. Scale out both HCI and Storage Only nodes, Compute Only is also available although rarely “required” in the real world. You may have heard about “AppsON” which according to DellEMC: With PowerStore X models the array can run applications in other VMsalongside the PowerStoreOS VM, and Dell calls this AppsON – applications on the array. “The industries most comprehensive upgrade program”? Many readers have rightly concluded that HCI is not a commodity and the underlying architecture has a huge impact on the value of a hyper-converged product. And yes, I agree it’s interesting DellEMC have now pivoted to using a Controller VM (CVM) having tried unsuccessfully to discredit this architectural approach while championing the fictitious “In-kernel” advantages of VxRAIL/vSAN. We'll send you an e-mail with instructions to reset your password. Today, some 4 years later, DellEMC are promoting a similar story. A picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s four! For more information about Nutanix scalability, resiliency and performance checkout the following series: I look forward to somebody at DellEMC educating me on what unique values the PowerStore array provides as even if I take the marketing material at face value, I’m not seeing anything unique and in all cases as I’ve highlighted in this article, Nutanix has long delivered what I believe to be more comprehensive solutions/capabilities. So PowerStore’s Autonomous initial volume placement at best brings DellEMC closer to what Nutanix has delivered from day 1. Automated Storage Reclaim on Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV). This process is repeated until VMs have performed the Write/Read cycle on all nodes in the cluster. Once this scenario is GA I’ll do an in depth post on how to use it and what to look for, but for now, let’s discuss what the scenario does and then take a look at some real performance numbers. The below tweet shows an example of data being balanced both in real time (in the write I/O path) and as background task for existing data to utilise all nodes within the cluster following an expansion. What’s .NEXT? So the worst case scenario for Read I/O on a vSphere Cluster running on Nutanix, is actually the Best case scenario for a traditional storage array, because in a traditional array all data is accessed over some form of storage network and generally via a small number of controllers. Consistency is key and Data Locality is designed to ensure the most flexibility while delivering the best possible performance with the lowest possible overheads. https://www.dellemc.com/en-us/collaterals/unauth/briefs-handouts/products/storage/h18202-powerstore-solution-brief-sql.pdf, write I/O integrity throughout the process, Nutanix | Scalability, Resiliency & Performance | Index, Nutanix AOS vs VMware vSAN / DellEMC VxRAIL INDEX, Usable Capacity Comparison – Nutanix ADSF vs VMware vSAN, Deduplication & Compression Comparison – Nutanix ADSF vs vSAN, Erasure Coding Comparison – Nutanix ADSF vs vSAN, Scaling Storage Capacity – Nutanix & vSAN, Drive failure Comparison – Nutanix ADSF vs VMware vSAN, Heterogeneous Cluster Support – Nutanix vs VMware vSAN, Write I/O Path Comparison – Nutanix vs VMware vSAN, Read I/O Path Comparison – Nutanix vs VMware vSAN, Node Failure Comparison – Nutanix vs VMware vSAN/VxRAIL, Storage Upgrade Comparison – Nutanix vs VMware vSAN/VxRAIL, Usable Capacity Comparison PART 2 – Nutanix vs VMware vSAN/VxRAIL, Network Usage Comparison – Nutanix vs VMware vSAN/DellEMC VxRAIL, Memory Usage Comparison – Nutanix vs VMware vSAN/DellEMC VxRAIL, Comparing the Impact of Network traffic on Big data ingest performance – Nutanix AOS vs VMware vSAN / DellEMC VxRAIL, Nutanix | Scalability, Resiliency & Performance, Nutanix – Erasure Coding (EC-X) Deep Dive. Data Locality is the ability to keep compute and storage close together. This concept was coined “Data Locality” and back in 2013 I wrote “Data Locality & Why is important for vSphere DRS clusters” which details the key concepts and includes a phrase I’ve used many times over the years. After all, in the real world it’s not just about storage IOPS/throughput and we don’t want (or need) the added cost/complexity of having dedicated NICs/networking for storage. Nutanix also allowed VMs to move and the storage “didn’t have to change”, writes were written locally with the VM and subsequent reads served locally even immediately following migrations which highlights the really efficient architecture of Nutanix AOS. Nutanix refers to a “block” as the chassis which contains either one, two, or four server “nodes” and a "rack" as a physical unit containing one or more "block". Fork-lift upgrades have been a major problem for storage administrator over the years, typically with dual controller storage arrays. My checkbox is bigger than your checkbox! Nutanix AOS has no capacity “limits” per see although in the real world regardless of technology, failure domains need to be considered. I’d say Nutanix is offering data locality where it matters, as proven by the fact IOPS/Throughout remain consistent even with a heavily utilised network. Storage DRS and Nutanix – To use, or not to use, that is the question? As Data locality is frequently the topic of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) from our competition, I thought why not write this blog and provide some performance examples and make it easy to see the advantage. In short, Nutanix AOS leverages it’s distributed storage fabric to write data locally where the … Nutanix allows nodes of any type to be added and removed non-disruptively. The Nutanix Write path does not change when VMs migrate, Nutanix AOS vs VMware vSAN / DellEMC VxRAIL INDEX, Nutanix | Scalability, Resiliency & Performance. If a VM moves to another host, it’s data remains where it is and new writes are written locally allowing reads of new (hot) data to also be local despite some data (likely cold data) being remote. The fact data is always written locally with the VM means subsequent read I/O can be served without traversing the network. The following shows an overview of the single Nutanix fabric supporting a wide range of workloads including Block/File storage, Enterprise Applications both virtualized and physical (via Nutanix Volumes, iSCSI) along with Virtual Desktop and Big Data. This eliminated the complexity of having multiple datastore and the capacity management and performance nightmares suffered by VM/Storage administrators during new VM placement.
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