Catchy title eh? Well I have been wanting to test drive Nutanix community edition for a while now. It allows you to set up a Nutanix cluster on almost any hardware. It also runs Nutanix’s new hypervisor Acropolis (KVM based). My desired to set this up has always been limited by my time and the need to clear out some hardware for the test. Nutanix was also kind enough to provide me with their training portal access for free. So I am able to learn about their products using their interactive learning system. It is by far one of the most advanced online teaching situations I have ever experienced. But no teaching tool is the same as playing with the real thing. We have Nutanix at work but I was not present for the original setup and don’t do much of the day-to-day configuration. So I wanted a low-cost play ground.
Enter Ravello systems
Ravello made a huge smash this year at VMworld taking some of the best in show awards, in addition they offered all vExperts a free 1,000 hours per month access. Mix that with the 1,000 free hours I get as a RHCE and I have a lot of cloud space available. For those who have not used Ravello they provide a cloud front end to public cloud providers Amazon and google. Allowing you to set up nested hypervisors including Nutanix Acropolis and ESXi. You do have to bring your own licenses. The interface is simple and clean but very powerful. A perfect example of what cloud provisioning should be. In addition people can share templates via libraries for you to use.
Enter the Nutanix Library
It’s available here. So you login to your ravello account then visit that page and click add to library. Now you can deploy a complete community edition of Nutanix in the cloud with two clicks. It’s really impressive. Here are the steps to deploy:
- Select Library -> Blueprints
- Select Nutanix Community Edition
- Select Create application
- Name your application
- Click on the Nutanix CE icon in the center of the screen
- On the right side information will be presented about the virtual machine (that will run everything included nested virtual machines
- I wanted to make mine accessible via the internet (yes it’s very insecure)
- Click on services
- Under each service select Advanced and Enable SNAT
- After they are all enabled click save at bottom
- Now click the publish button
- Select optimize for performance
- You can select to auto power down after xx hours to avoid costs
- You can see your billing rate per hour for your server (this is per hour of turned on server not deployed)
So you can see I am able to run this virtualized Hypervisor for $1.0131 per hour.
- It will take a few minutes to boot up and generate all required SSL keys for the first time (mine took about 20 minutes before it was totally ready to go)
- Once it’s booted up select application and your application name
- The summary tab will show the status and ports
- Click open on the 9440 and you should be presented with Nutanix login
First time login is admin:admin and will require you change the password. If all goes well you are now able to deploy nest virtual machines on your hypervisor. It does require that you have a free Nutanix account… it even offers to let you sign up live. For bonus points deploy two of them and get them to replicate the virtual machine. The sky is the limit.
I am personally really amazed at how easy it all worked. It took literally hours of configuration and fiddling (which would be a great learning experience) into 20 minutes. Both Nutanix and Ravello should be commended for these awesome services. I wish that other vendors could provide a complex POC in 20 minutes. I think Ravello has a major future in the market. Give it a try it’s worth $20 to play with it. Let me know what crazy things you try. In know in the future weeks replication is in my mind. A quick guide to Nutanix community edition can be found here.
© 2015, Joseph Griffiths. All rights reserved.