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Nutanix releases fifth version of Acropolis

Bigs up its vSphere replacement creds

Unlike what's happening with the famed Athenian ruin, Nutanix is building up its Acropolis product, and has made v5.0 available with more than 45 new features.

These cover its Acropolis data plane, the Prism management plane, and its built-in hypervisor, AHV. The additions make AHV, Nutanix claims, a candidate target for consolidating all virtual workloads.

The company says its intent is to offer Amazon public cloud-like attributes with its on-premises kit, which is described as an Enterprise Cloud Platform. One part of this is having the ability to turn application infrastructure service components on and off without having to directly interact with the underlying physical infrastructure.

The fifth generation of AOS offers:

  • Acropolis data plane
    • Acropolis File Services (AFS), a natively built file storage service that obviates need for standalone NAS products, is generally available and will work on ESXi and AHV hypervisors.
    • Acropolis Block Services (ABS) enhanced with support for dynamic load balancing and flash pinning for better performance, improved security through CHAP for safer client-server conversations, and online resizing for higher availability.
    • Oracle becomes certified workload for ABS.
    • Metro Availability synchronous replication has Metro Availability Witness as a light-weight service running anywhere to enable non-disruptive, automatic site-to-site failover by monitoring the status of both sites.
    • Compression algorithm significantly improved in the 5.0 for better compression. Automatically used in all-flash systems.
    • Single-node replication target so small deployment can replicate backup and snapshot data to larger one.
  • AHV (Nutanix native hypervisor) enhancements
    • Affinity rules so virtual machines can be pinned to a specific host or a set of hosts.
    • Anti-affinity rules so specific VMs are never on the same host together.
    • Acropolis Dynamic Scheduling (ADS) so hypervisor can detect CPU, memory and storage controller hotspots and move deployed VMs to a less burdened host.
    • Tech preview of CPU/Memory Hot Add so admin staff can add vCPU and memory to a running VM with no service impact (except better resulting service of course!)
  • Prism management plane
    • Prism Self-Service: end-users can log into Prism with their own AD credentials and deploy and monitor applications whenever they want, based on admin-set policies.
    • Network Visualisation: administrators get insight into how virtual machines are connected to the host, NICs, the top of rack switches, and VLANs and the health of these connections.
    • ESXi management: common VM operations like create, update, delete, clone etc. in vCenter can be done within Prism, so vCenter only needed for less common maintenance and configuration tasks.
    • Just-in-time Capacity Forecasting is added to Prism Pro.
    • Prism Pro search enhancements with support for Boolean expressions, saved searches, auto correct, synonyms based search and more.

The company believes its AHV hypervisor is ready for all production workloads and customers can standardise on it. Micro-segmentation and network orchestration will be made ready in a future release.

There is an extensive and two-part Nutanix blog that goes into more detail about AOS v5.

The AOS 5.0 software is available for download by supported customers through Nutanix's support portal and will shortly be available through the one-click upgrade process. ®

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