The hottest new direction of nutanix's hyperfusion

2022-09-19
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Nutanix's new direction of hyperfusion architecture

as the pioneer and leader of hyperfusion system, nutanix is gradually transforming the original hyperfusion system with storage as the core into a comprehensive software defined data center platform

over the past five years, we have witnessed the product type of "hyperfusion infrastructure", which has rapidly grown from a new product to one of the mainstream enterprise IT products, Also under the impact of cloud services, a few IT infrastructure products can continue to maintain high growth

in the face of the hyper fusion market, which is gradually moving towards the peak, but the competition is becoming increasingly fierce. Nutanix, the pioneer in the field of hyper fusion, is trying to expand the connotation of the hyper fusion system. Through several recent system revisions, it is trying to give the hyper fusion system more diversified capabilities. Recently, it has become a complete data driven electromechanical platform that makes the two lead screws rotate synchronously through chain transmission

the paradigm shift of hyperfusion system seeks a new way out from the fierce competition

in recent years, hyperfusion system is gradually moving towards its heyday, but at the same time, there are also shadows

on the one hand, although the overall sales of the super fusion system continued to grow at a high level, its application concept and technology development stagnated, only rotating in the original framework, so that the products of various manufacturers became increasingly similar

on the other hand, the high growth of the super integrated market has also attracted more and more manufacturers' investment. Except for new manufacturers, almost all first-line large manufacturers now have super integrated product lines, with no less than 20 or 30 suppliers, which also makes the competition in this product field more and more intense

under the joint action of these two factors, the development of the super fusion system has a tendency to deteriorate. More and more manufacturers and products are invested, but the functions and characteristics of products are more and more similar. Finally, there may be a vicious circle of cost competition

in the face of such a situation, nutanix, as the pioneer and leader of the super fusion system, is trying to find a new way for the super fusion application by giving new functions and connotations to the super fusion system, and the impact of the reform of universal insurance rates on the industry and stock prices is generally neutral

reviewing the revision of nutanix's AOS hyperfusion software platform in the past two years, we can find that nutanix is transforming the hyperfusion system originally centered on storage into a comprehensive software defined data center

traditional hyperfusion with storage as the core

compared with the traditional IT infrastructure composed of individual servers, road devices and storage devices, the innovation of hyperfusion is to provide IT infrastructure services through the cluster architecture with nodes that combine computing and storage resources, so as to achieve the same elastic configuration as the cloud environment and the expansion capability of Web scale level in the enterprise IT environment

at the product level, hyperconverged infrastructure is actually a combination of these concepts, "software defined storage", "distributed storage cluster" and "server virtualization platform". The standard product type is an infrastructure package chassis that integrates computing and storage. In essence, it is a standard x86 server, which completely depends on storage cluster and hypervisor virtualization platform software, To use and manage the computing and storage resources of server nodes, and through stacking more standardized node chassis to form a cluster, to obtain the necessary high availability and scalability

among the three key components of the hyperfusion system, the cluster storage system, hypervisor platform and x86 server are the most critical. The hypervisor platform used by the super fusion system is nothing more than the direct use of VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and KVM and other mainstream platforms; In terms of X86 servers, suppliers with their own server product lines, such as Lenovo, Dell, Yunda, etc., directly use their own servers, and the rest use white label servers provided by third-party manufacturers, with little difference between them. Therefore, the real core technology of the super fusion system, which is also the key to distinguish different products, is the storage cluster software platform

however, after several years of development, the functions of the storage cluster platform of each super fusion product are becoming similar. The original functions and architectural advantages of the storage platforms of leading manufacturers such as nutanix and VMware have gradually disappeared

recently, although some manufacturers have tried to provide hyperfusion products that are different from the standard type, such as NetApp HCI's computing and storage node separation architecture, or HPE simplivity's hardware acceleration architecture, they still turn around on storage

nutanix has different ideas about the new generation of hyperfusion towards the center of complete software definition. When other manufacturers are catching up with nutanix's original hyperfusion architecture and improving the functions of storage cluster platform, nutanix is ready to develop towards a new form of hyperfusion products

in the face of the situation that the storage clustering function of the hyperfusion system has become mature and difficult to develop significantly, nutanix changed the hyperfusion system to cover a wider application level. In addition to the original IT infrastructure resource management function, it combined cloud management and software defined path function, so that hyperfusion has a new meaning

nutanix first added the user-side self-service automatic resource management function to its AOS software platform at the beginning of 2017, combined with the cross hypervisor management ability of the exclusive prism management platform, bringing the functions of the cloud management platform into the super fusion system

then, in the revision at the beginning of 2018, the preliminary software defined path (SDN) function was introduced for the AOS software platform, so that its hyperfusion system crosses the field of foot path management

neither cloud management nor SDN is a new function, and related products have long existed, However, nutanix's innovation lies in "we finally confirm that the copolymer of carbon dioxide and propylene oxide is the most promising carbon dioxide copolymer for industrialization. It integrates these functions into its super fusion platform, making the super fusion system a complete software defined data center platform spanning infrastructure resource management such as computing and storage, cloud management, and even road management.

[combination of storage/management platform and hypervisor] Nutanix hyper fusion platform software basic architecture

[nutanix software platform architecture] is divided into prism, which plays the role of management platform, and acropolis OS (AOS), which plays the role of storage platform. It can not only provide storage clustering services, but also penetrate the hypervisor layer to provide VM management and protection functions. (image source/nutanix) x

in nutanix's hyperfusion system software platform architecture, it can be divided into Acropolis OS (AOS) and prsim. AOS is the data storage platform (or data plane), which is responsible for providing data storage management and application program management, while prism is the management platform (or control plane), which is responsible for providing user operation interface, policy, analysis and other services

among them, AOS is divided into three parts:

(1) decentralized storage architecture: Based on nutanix's decentralized file system (NDFs), it provides clustered storage services with high availability, scale out scalability, and a series of advanced functions such as i/o acceleration and data protection

among them, the high availability architecture supports three replica image replication across nodes, and two architectures such as error coding; The expansion capacity can support the cluster configuration of minimum 3 nodes, and the maximum cluster size is unlimited. If the availability requirements are reduced, the configuration of 1 or 2 nodes is also provided; Advanced data service functions include i/o accelerated hierarchical storage, snapshot, clone and remote replication of data protection applications, and compression and deduplication to help reduce storage space

(2) application mobility architecture: through the hypervisor layer, it provides dynamic migration and conversion services of VM, virtual storage device or container between hypervisor, cloud environment or nutanix nodes, so as to support applications such as load regulation and disaster recovery

(3) hypervisor: it supports two mainstream hypervisor platforms, vSphere and Hyper-V, and also includes nutanix's AHV, which is self-developed based on CentOS KVM

prism can also be divided into these two parts:

(1) user operation interface: provide the operation interface for user interaction, including the graphic management interface based on HTML 5, as well as rest API, CLI command line interface, PowerShell command interface, etc

(2) management services: provide functions such as status monitoring, policy setting and analysis

through the combination of AOS and prism, the following four oriented management functions can be provided:

provide system management of nutanix NX series hyper fusion server hardware

provides the management of nutanix cluster environment, including hypervisor resource configuration, automatic cluster node expansion and other functions

provide resource monitoring and management that penetrates the hypervisor platform and goes deep into the VM level

based on the NDFs file system, it provides a series of data services and data protection functions corresponding to the VM level, including cross node mirroring, snapshots and clones at the local end, as well as remote backup at the remote site

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