Nutanix Acropolis Base Software 4.5 (NOS release)…be still my heart!

Today Nutanix announced the release of “Acropolis Base Software” 4.5…the software formerly known as NOS.  I happened to be in the Nutanix Portal this morning and didn’t even notice the release in the “Downloads” section due to the name change…thankfully @tbuckholz was nice enough to alert me to this wonderful news.

smiley-with-heart-shaped-eyes

I read through the Release Notes and was pretty excited with what I found – a bunch of new features that solve some challenges and enhance the environment I’m responsible for caring and feeding on a daily basis.  Some of these features I knew were coming, others were a surprise.  There’s a ton of good stuff in this release so I encourage you to check them out for yourself.

A short list of some of the things particularly interesting to me in no particular order…

  1. Cloud Connect for Azure – prior to this release, Nutanix Cloud Connect supported AWS…it’s good to have options.  I was actually having a conversation with a coworker yesterday about the possibility of sending certain data at our DR site up to cloud storage for longer / more resilient retention.

    The cloud connect feature for Azure enables you to back up and restore copies of virtual machines and files to and from an on-premise cluster and a Nutanix Controller VM located on the Microsoft Azure cloud. Once configured through the Prism web console, the remote site cluster is managed and monitored through the Data Protection dashboard like any other remote site you have created and configured. This feature is currently supported for ESXi hypervisor environments only. [FEAT-684]

  2. Erasure Coding – lots of good info out there on this feature that was announced this summer so I won’t go into too much detail.  Long story short it can allow you to get further effective capacity out of your Nutanix cluster.  A lower $ : GB ratio is always welcome. @andreleibovici has a good blog post describing this feature at his myvirtualcloud.net site.

    Erasure CodingComplementary to deduplication and compression, erasure coding increases the effective or usable cluster storage capacity. [FEAT-1096]

  3. MPIO Access to iSCSI Disks – another thing I was fighting Microsoft support and a couple other misinformed people about just last week.  One word:  Exchange.  Hopefully this will finally put to rest any pushback by Microsoft or others about “NFS” being “unsupported”.  I spent a bunch of time last week researching the whole “NFS thing” and it was a very interesting discussion.  @josh_odgers spent a lot of time “fighting the FUD” if you will and detailing why Microsoft should support Exchange with “NFS” backed storage.  A few of my favorite links THIS, THIS (my favorite), and THIS WHOLE SERIES.

    Acropolis base software 4.5 feature to help enforce access control to volume groups and expose volume group disks as dual namespace disks.

  4. File Level Restore (Tech Preview) – this was one of the “surprises” and also one of my favorites.  We are leveraging Nutanix Protection Domains for local and remote snapshots for VM level recovery and Veeam for longer term retention / file based recovery.  However, the storage appliance that houses our backup data can be rather slow for large restores so the ability to recover SOME or ALL of a VM using the Nutanix snapshots I already have in place is a big deal for me.

    The file level restore feature allows a virtual machine user to restore a file within a virtual machine from the Nutanix protected snapshot with minimal Nutanix administrator intervention. [FEAT-680]

  5. Support for Minor Release Upgrades for ESXi hosts – this is nice for those random times that you need to do a minor revision upgrade to ESXi because “when ____ hardware is combined with ______ version of software ______, ______ happens”.  We’ve all been there.  Nutanix still qualifies certain releases for one click upgrade, but there is now support for upgrades using the Controller “VM cluster” command.

    Acropolis base software 4.5 enables you to patch upgrade ESXi hosts with minor release versions of ESXi host software through the Controller VM cluster command. Nutanix qualifies specific VMware updates and provides a related JSON metadata upgrade file for one-click upgrade, but now customers can patch hosts by using the offline bundle and md5sum checksum available from VMware, and using the Controller VM cluster command. [ENG-31506]

It’s always nice to get “new stuff” with a super simple software upgrade.  Thanks for taking the time to read and I encourage you to check out some of the other features that might be of interest to your environment.

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