How To Setup A Nutanix Storage Container

Nutanix storage uses Storage Pool and Storage Container.  The Storage Pool is the aggregated disks of all or some of the nodes..  You can create multiple Storage Pools depending on the business needs, but Nutanix recommends 1 Storage Pool.  Within the Storage Pool are Storage Containers.  With these containers there are different data reduction settings that can setup to get the optimal data reduction and performance that is needed.

Creating The Container

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Once the cluster is setup with a Storage Pool created we are ready to create a Storage Container.

  1. Name the Container
  2. Select Storage Pool
  3. Choose which hosts to add.

That is all looks really simple until the advanced button is clicked.  This is where the Geek Knobs be tweaked.

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Advanced Settings

There are quite a few options to choose from, and each setting depends on the different use cases.

  1. Replication Factor –  2 copies of  data in the cluster or 3.  Depending on the use case.
  2. Reserved Capacity – How much guaranteed storage that is needed to be reserved for this container.  All the Containers share storage with the Storage Pool so this is used to guarantee the capacity is always available.
  3. Advertised Capacity – How much storage the connected hosts will see.  This can be use this to control actual usage on the Container side.  To allow
  4. Compression – A setting of 0 will result in inline compression.  This can be set to a higher number for desired performance.
  5. Deduplication – Cache deduplication can be used to optimize performance and use less storage.  Capitcity deduplication will deduplicate all data globally across the cluster.  Deduplication is only post-process, and if enabled after a Container is created then only new writes will be deduplicated.
  6. Erasure Coding – Requires at least 4 nodes.  It is a more efficient than the simple replication factor.  Instead of copies of data it uses parity to be able to rebuild anything.  Enabling this setting will result in some performance impact.

Summary

As you can see there can be a lot of impact in performance depending on the settings that you choose.  As always Architecture matters, and you will have to evaluate the needs that your workload has, and  better understanding on how everything works results in a better performing system.

 

Installing ESXi on Bare Metal (vSphere Setup Part 1)

Installing ESXi is a simple and straight forward process, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind.  The hardware compatibility list is very important.  You should always make sure your hardware is on it if you are using it in an production environment. In a test environment the setup will probably work, but there could always be some issues you may encounter.

We will cover the following items.

  • Check hardware compatibility
  • Download the ESXi image
  • Create bootable image
  • Install
  • Configure

Hardware Compatibility

  1. Check for hardware compatibility here.  If your system is not listed and your using this for test  then have no fear.  You will probably be able to install and run everything without and issues.

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2. Go into the BIOS and make sure the CPU virtualization support is turned on.

Download ESXi

  1. Download ESXi from the VMware website.

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Once you have the ISO you can burn it to a CD or create a bootable USB drive.  If you want to create a bootable USB drive Rufus works really well for that.

Installing ESXi

  1. Choose the ESXi installer or wait for it to default to that.

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2.  You will see two different progress screens.

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3. Press enter then F11.

4. Choose location to install it.

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5. Choose language

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6. Choose password

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7. It will not scan your system for its hardware.

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8. Press F11 to insall.

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9. Wait for the progress bar.

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10. Press enter to reboot.

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Now ESXi is installed.  In my next post I will show how to setup the configuration on a ESXi host.

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