Today Nutanix announced a new product called “Xtract for VM’s”, which is a tool to simplify the migration from other hypervisors (currently ESXi only) to Nutanix AHV.
While several options currently exist for migrating from ESXi to AHV, such as in place cluster conversions, Cross Hypervisor DR (if both source and destination are Nutanix clusters), a more manual svMotion/import, Xtract for VM’s facilitates a prescriptive and controlled approach for moving workloads from ESXi to AHV.
Xtract for VM’s uses a simple “one click” wizard approach to target one or more VM’s for migration. To migrate a VM, a “Migration Plan” is created using a simple wizard and the following criteria are configured:
- Select or more VM’s (batch processing for efficiency)
- Specify guest operating system credentials (to install AHV device drivers)
- Specify network mappings to retain network configuration (correlate the source network in vSphere to destination network in AHV)
- Specify a migration schedule, if required, to seed data in advance
When a VM is configured for migration, a copy of the source ESXi VM is created in AHV, and then any changes to the source VM are synchronized to the destination VM up until the point of cutover. Downtime for the cutover is minimized and only incurred when the source ESXi VM is powered down and the destination AHV VM is powered up. The source VM is left on the ESXi host in an unmodified state so that it can be reverted to if an issue is encountered during testing. Migration can be paused, resumed, or canceled at any time.
Xtract for VM’s is available at no additional charge to all Nutanix customers. However, there are some caveats and requirements for use which can be found on Nutanix’s support site including, but not limited to:
- Source node must be running ESXi 5.5 or higher
- vCenter 5.5 or higher must be present and used for migration
- migration direct from ESXi hosts is not possible
- There are certain disk limitations that aren’t supported, such as:
- Independent disks
- Raw Device Mappings (RDM’s)
- Multi writer (shared) disks
- Guest OS must be supported by AHV
Nutanix has built an increasingly compelling argument for migrating to AHV from other hypervisors, as acquisitions (Calm, automation and orchestration) and product enhancement (such network visualization, micro-segmentation, self service portal, AFS/ABS services, etc.) have made their solution more than “just another hypervisor” and now have an answer to most any use case or requirement.
Customers who were hesitant to adopt a “relatively new” hypervisor a couple years ago, or that had a particular use case (such as micro-segmentation via VMware NSX tying them to vSphere) may now have a viable alternative and I suspect that more customers will, at a minimum, be investigating the possibility of migrating away from their existing hypervisor.
If you’re like me, you like options and flexibility in a solution. Competition is good, and if nothing else, maybe your next VMware renewal will be a little bit cheaper 😉 Easy to use in-box tools such as Xtract for VM’s that simplify the migration process and increase its probability for success make it an easier “sell” aside from the “dollars and cents” argument.