It’s been a while since I’ve gotten any fresh content on this blog, hopefully I’ll get some content ideas to keep a regular cadence of updates going.

While I was updating the cabling on the garage lab, I realized it had been a while since I had done anything on my CE lab from a version perspective, in fact the last update I had done was March of 2019.  So I figured now was as good a time as any to go ahead and upgrade the CE cluster.

Much like the luck I usually have, I went to upgrade CE thru Prism, and the upgrade seemed to fail with a USB that was corrupted – seems like my USB luck continues on having really crappy USB drives.  So, I went over to Best Buy, bought a few $9.99 64GB PNY USB Drives, came home and started the process to get the image file over to USB, since the CE .iso installer still hasn’t made it’s return.

All was going well, until the hosts booted up.  Now my hosts are a bit long in the tooth, but they are still decent enough with 24 cores and 48gb ram.  This PNY USB drive was HORRIBLY slow, so much so that I couldn’t stand it.  Never again will I buy PNY drives.

So, I thought about what other options do I have.  The drive configuration on these CE nodes was as follows:

  • 1x 256GB Samsung EVO SSD
  • 1x 500GB Samsung EVO SSD
  • 1x 1TB Samsung EVO SSD
  • 1x 1TB Western Digital HDD

So, I figured, why not try to use the 256GB SSD as the boot drive, instead of a USB drive. My Supermicro hosts are old enough that a Satadom might be hard to come by for it, and I honestly had more than enough space on each node, that the 256GB drive wouldn’t hurt too bad.

So, I pulled the drives out of the drive caddy’s, pulled out my trusty Inatek USB Drive Caddy, and proceeded to drop the CE .img file onto the 256GB SSD, using the gdd commands I prefer over the dd command.

Imaging done, and once I correctly set the BIOS on the Supermicro hosts to use the 256GB drive in Port 0, I booted  up each of the hosts and much to my happiness, I was able to get the install to go thru, CVM deployed and cluster created.  And the speed of install was as you’d expect much better!

So in hindsight, with my dislike for USB boot, I wish I had thought of using the internal drive with the .img file.  I did this when the CE .iso installed allowed you to select a boot drive, but for some reason always tried to get the usb drive to work.

So, now I’m happy to say I’m not using the USB drives anymore, have a sturdy SSD drive for my CE boot drive without having to give up much space at all.

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Updated 5.22.19

Coming back from the Nutanix .Next conference two weeks ago, the biggest announcement that really got me excited as the ability for Nutanix Frame to run in AHV environments.   AHV comes as an additional environment to AWS where Frame started, Azure and Google Cloud, currently in early release.

I’ll be going thru a multi-part series around Frame and configurations use cases. So stay tuned!

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If you haven’t taken a close look at the hypervisor from Nutanix, AHV, well you might be missing out on something very valuable – that you already have access to as a Nutanix customer. AHV addresses the majority of the use cases people require with virtualization, and it does so very well with a simple deployment, simple management and POWERFUL features when Prism Central is added (and still powerful when it’s not).

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Continuing our journey with testing out Nutanix AHV functionality for one of our partners, one of things we wanted to get deployed was Prism Central.    Prism Central is very similar to VMware’s vCenter, defining Prism Central as  “software provides centralized infrastrcuture management, one-click simplicity and intelligence for everyday operations.”

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As I wrote about in the last post that started our journey with Nutanix and Mellanox, we will be testing AHV DR replication for one of our partners while evaluating the use of the Mellanox SX switch platform for a lower cost 10/40Gbe switch.

The NX-1050 Block was pre-configured at another location, so all network subnets will be recreated in this lab. The NX-3050 block is net new, and that will be configured onsite.

This post will serve as the initial setup of the lab testing environment and topology.

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