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VM Migrations and Database Transformations for Simple Enterprise Cloud Adoption

At Nutanix .NEXT 2017, Nutanix announced new virtual machine (VM) migration and database (DB) transformational capabilities, designed to help customers more easily assess, and more simply migrate or transform datacenter workloads into the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud.

Whenever existing workloads require rehosting or replatforming, robust migration capabilities are needed to streamline and automate the process, minimizing time taken, IT effort and application downtime.

As organizations plan infrastructure deployments, how to best migrate existing workloads can often be overlooked, and work-effort and time underestimated. The goal of any IT change is ensuring minimal business disruption. Nutanix Xtract delivers on that goal, providing a simple method for businesses to migrate existing VMs and databases from VMware ESXi clusters, to Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS.

One-Click Migration Simplicity with Xtract for VMs

Xtract for VMs, which will be available for download in the future, has been designed for all workload types, providing an efficient method to onboard a large number of VMs very simply and quickly. Its architecture is designed with performance and efficiency in mind, and starts with a deployed virtual appliance. IT admins follow a 3-step process in the Xtract administrator console to configure and run migrations.

Step 1: Creating a Plan

Starting with a migration plan, Xtract connects to VMware vCenter allowing for the selection of one or more source VMs to be migrated. These are easily chosen from across any number of ESXi clusters in that vCenter instance using search and filtering based on VM attributes (i.e. datastore, vCPU, network etc…). Additionally a target Nutanix AHV cluster must be selected as the destination for the migrated VMs. Within a few clicks, one of which is to confirm VMs’ networking mappings, data replication is ready to start.

Xtract also performs many pre-migration checks on the source VMs, such as whether a source VM has VMTools installed, required to shutdown the source VM during the cutover step. All this helps to ensure a successful migration outcome.

Step 2: The Migration

Replication of VM data is at the vdisk-level, via VMware VADP and not through in-guest agents. This non-disruptive approach is completely agentless and enables VMs to be replicated regardless of whether they are powered-on, or powered-off. VMs are left synchronising automatically in the background until ready for the cutover.

Step 3: Cutover

While configuration and migration management simplicity are important, a key step is cutover, handling how, and when, the source VM is shutdown and the target VM is brought up live on Nutanix.

Xtract handles cutovers with minimal downtime and disruption to the business.

When cutting over, one final data synchronization is carried out when the VM is in a quiesced state, ensuring complete and consistent data replication. The time taken to cutover is typically quick, potentially as short as only a couple of minutes, with the bulk of time taken up by shutting down the old source VM and the new VM starting up! All required AHV IO drivers are automatically injected into the target VM, so this too has been automated to streamline the overall process.

Database Transformation with Xtract for Databases (DBs)

Where Xtract for VMs takes a “lift and shift” approach to migration, Xtract for DBs, available now, operates at an application-level to handle the migration, and importantly, transformation of Microsoft SQL Server databases.

Microsoft SQL Server is frequently installed by businesses for mission-critical use cases, and as such organizations want the capability to migrate them to new infrastructure platforms to benefit from improvements in technology and performance, and to do it with minimal downtime and risk.

From the initial discovery and scans of SQL Server environments, performance and configuration information is used in-conjunction with Nutanix best practises to create a design template. Xtract uses this template to create a new SQL Server deployment on Nutanix, migrating only the data within the databases into the newly created VM. The application of Nutanix best practices ensures the database instance is right-sized during the process.

Source SQL Server environments can be anything from bare metal servers to virtualized infrastructure, or even public cloud. The target infrastructure can be either AHV or VMware ESXi hypervisors running on Nutanix Enterprise Cloud.

For a more indepth look into Xtract for DBs, and how it can truly transform SQL Server databases, read the following technical blog.

Key Nutanix Xtract Benefits

  • Streamlined VM migrations with one-click simplicity
  • Agentless infrastructure discovery and migrations
  • Flexible VM network mappings
  • Control over the cutover process with near-zero downtime
  • Cost efficient – included with all Nutanix software editions
  • SQL migrations from any source platform (hardware, virtual or cloud)

Xtract for DBs is generally available for download now, and found on the Nutanix portal site. A demo of Xtract for VMs can be found here. For additional Xtract information, please visit the Nutanix Xtract website page at nutanix.com/xtract.

Forward-Looking Statements

This blog includes forward-looking statements, including but not limited to statements concerning our plans and expectations relating to product features and technology that are under development or in process and capabilities of such product features and technology and our plans to introduce product features in future releases. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts, and instead are based on our current expectations, estimates, opinions and beliefs. The accuracy of such forward-looking statements depends upon future events, and involves risks, uncertainties and other factors beyond our control that may cause these statements to be inaccurate and cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied by such statements, including, among others: failure to develop, or unexpected difficulties or delays in developing, new product features or technology on a timely or cost-effective basis; delays in or lack of customer or market acceptance of our new product features or technology; the introduction, or acceleration of adoption of, competing solutions, including public cloud infrastructure; a shift in industry or competitive dynamics or customer demand; and other risks detailed in our Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended April 30, 2017, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this presentation and, except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results or subsequent events or circumstances.

© 2017 Nutanix, Inc. All rights reserved. Nutanix, the Enterprise Cloud Platform and the Nutanix logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Nutanix, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other brand and product names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and may be the trademarks of their respective holder(s).