Using a hyperconverged infrastructure with Nutanix on IBM Power Systems
This chapter describes the reasons to implement Nutanix on a platform, such as IBM Power Systems. Although many options are available to deploy the Nutanix solution, the combination of Nutanix running on IVM Power Systems is a flexible and scalable alternative to consider to create a private cloud. The implementation provides many benefits that are described in this chapter.
This chapter includes the following topics:
2.1 Combining IBM Power Systems and Nutanix
IBM Power Systems servers are used for mission-critical applications and emerging cognitive era workloads, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, advanced analytics, high-performance computing, data lakes, and operational data stores. Designed to deliver efficiency whether deployed in a private, public, or hybrid cloud, IBM Power Systems benefit from various open technologies, many deriving from the collaboration with OpenPOWER Foundation members. Customers today can enjoy benchmark setting performance for various data-intensive workloads.
2.1.1 Why IBM?
IBM Hyperconverged Power Systems with Nutanix combines Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform software with IBM Power Systems. The integrated solution targets your most demanding transactional and cognitive analytics workloads with an infrastructure that is easy to manage and simple to scale. IBM Power Servers1 deliver 80% more performance per dollar on average than x86-based2 servers. You can replace your infrastructure to transform your business by putting your most data intensive workloads on these servers.
2.1.2 Why Nutanix?
Clients are adopting hyperconverged infrastructure solutions because these solutions help organizations to simplify operations in the data center and bring capital reductions in most use cases. Hyperconverged infrastructures also increase IT agility and help organizations to adopt a public cloud approach to deploying and provisioning resources.
Rather than building and managing storage, servers, and software components separately, everything is managed by a centralized management tool called Prism. This tool also eliminates the need for specialized IT skills to build and operate cloud-driven infrastructures. For more information about Prism, see Chapter 3, “System configuration, reference architecture, and systems management for Nutanix on IBM Power Systems” on page 11.
2.2 Simplifying your data center
Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform can transform any data center from an expensive and overcomplicated IT infrastructure to an efficient, cost-effective virtualization environment. This environment enables organizations to successfully meet their business goals.
With the combination of IBM Power Systems and Nutanix software, customers get a high-performance, enterprise-class hardware platform and a top-rated on-premises cloud operating system to easily manage the infrastructure.
A trademark of the Nutanix offering is choice in supported processor architectures, hardware generations, operating systems, hypervisors, and public cloud integration. By embracing these various choices, Nutanix helps customers’ minimize technical challenges, although keeping the management experience simple.
With the IBM and Nutanix partnership, customers gain the ability to manage both POWER-based clusters and x86-based clusters from a single point through the Nutanix Management Console Prism Central. That is, one instance of the Nutanix Prism Central Management Console can manage an endless number of POWER-based and x86-based clusters in one single view, with one tool and without complexity. This configuration eases the administration burden on IT infrastructure staff, which simplifies the data center infrastructure.
2.2.1 Focus on applications, not infrastructure
In general, the primary directive for IT is to provide application services that help the organization to fulfill its mission. Therefore, the more that the infrastructure can serve as a seamless on-demand resource that appears invisible, the better for the business. The IBM Hyperconverged Power System with Nutanix provides this capability. For example, the IBM POWER architecture delivers performance and when combined with Nutanix, which enables data scientists to extract insights from the data.
The Power Systems solution provides the following benefits:
More processor threads, larger cache, and lower latency design mean faster throughput on transactions and queries.
Run workloads, such as EDB and MongoDB, with lower total cost of ownership because you get the same work done with half the number of systems, floor space, power, and cooling. For more information about MongoDB running in Nutanix with IBM Power Systems, see Chapter 5, “Nutanix use cases” on page 49.
Applications can run at any scale of total data, size of active data set, or compute that is needed.
Built-in self-healing, backup, and disaster recovery capabilities provide better uptime for applications than traditional infrastructures.
2.2.2 Eliminate bottlenecks
Deployments can expand quickly as users or workloads are added. By using IBM Hyperconverged Power Systems, you start small and scale out without the bottlenecks that occur with traditional architectures.
Administrators can scale existing IBM Hyperconverged clusters or deploy new clusters in minutes with less concern for compute, storage, and network bottlenecks. Each extra node delivers predictable performance and because of its distributed architecture, IBM Hyperconverged Power Systems with Nutanix clusters prevent one workload from starving another, which allows the infrastructure to be shared, if wanted.
Along with POWER performance, the Nutanix cloud operating system takes full advantage of server virtualization without the limitations of other solutions.
2.2.3 Ease of DevOps
IBM Hyperconverged Power Systems with Nutanix bridge the efficiency and performance gaps between enterprise data centers and public clouds. The solution helps to drive faster time-to-market for important IT initiatives. It delivers benefits that were formerly possible with public clouds only. The benefits are used by implementing the following features:
Nutanix continuously monitors data access patterns and places data in the most suitable location.
Designed for the era of unstructured data, Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV) is a hypervisor that accelerates deployment and eases management. It is included at no extra cost with the solution eliminating virtualization licensing costs.
Note: The Acropolis operating system (Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor) delivers software-defined enterprise-class storage, compute, and native virtualization services to run nearly any application. It provides feature-rich data services in a turnkey hyperconverged infrastructure solution that can be deployed ready for use in 60 minutes or less. Its distributed file services eliminate the need for stand-alone SAN or NAS-based storage separate from compute servers, which reduces the complexity of infrastructure management.
A Nutanix enterprise cloud is resilient by design. If a drive or node fails, workloads are automatically restarted and full resiliency is restored quickly without operator intervention, which protects applications from unplanned downtime.
Data protection, disaster recovery, and high availability are integral to the Nutanix environment, which delivers higher application availability with less time and effort.
With Nutanix Prism, systems administrators easily monitor and manage all infrastructure and gain full visibility of storage, CPU, and memory resources across IBM Power Systems and Intel x86-based servers from a single pane. One-click software, hypervisor, and firmware upgrades and one-click problem remediation take the pain out of day-to-day operations.
2.2.4 Increasing security without adding silos
To ensure the security of sensitive data, system administrators find they have no choice but to deploy dedicated infrastructure for each application. However, applications can be deployed securely on an IBM Hyperconverged Power Systems with Nutanix with other workloads, which avoids the need for a separate silo of infrastructure.
Also, Nutanix combines features, such as two-factor authentication and data-at-rest encryption, with a security development lifecycle. Nutanix systems are certified across a broad set of evaluation programs to ensure compliance with the strictest standards.
1 CS821 is based on Power S821LC and CS822 is based on Power S822LC. Actual performance and price-performance of the CS821 and CS822 can vary.
2 80% price-performance advantage is based on the average of IBM internal measurements of Power System S822LC for big data relative to comparable x86 E5-2600v4 (Broadwell) 2-socket offerings across multiple open source databases, including MongoDB, EnterpriseDB, and MariaDB. Comparisons use current pricing as of August 24, 2016. For more information, see http://ibm.com/developerworks/linux/perfcol/index.html.