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X-Ray Vision as Nutanix Goes Open Source

Nutanix is now proudly announcing that X-Ray’s test scenario code will be made open-source under the MIT license.

Nutanix launched X-Ray in 2017 with a simple premise: to enable organizations to understand, with a high degree of certainty, how various hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) platforms would perform for their mix of applications and use cases under real-world conditions. This ability to test workloads in this manner distinguishes X-Ray from the myriad of pure play performance benchmarking tools already available.

The idea of examining HCI platforms from this different perspective, where real-world test scenarios are run to see the impact on application performance was discussed in the recent blog “Chaos Monkey for the Enterprise Cloud”.

X-Ray has been steadily enhanced since launch, adding to its list of supported HCI platforms and hypervisors while also increasing the number and variety of test scenarios, resulting in a very comprehensive HCI testing app.

Why is Nutanix open-sourcing X-Ray?

There are two main reasons:

First, one question that frequently comes up is — as a vendor-created app, why should anyone trust X-Ray’s results more than any other product? It’s a fair question. Our initial response last year (2017) was to provide the ability to run any user-defined custom test scenarios. If the default set of tests are not to your liking, or don’t cater to specific test requirements, simply edit the existing ones, or create new ones. Test scenarios can be exported, customised, shared and imported as needed.

This year, we decided to take it a step further. By open-sourcing the X-Ray source code, organizations can see for themselves exactly what it is designed to do. More importantly, test cases will run on the leading HCI platforms ‘as-is’ with no tweaking or performance tuning.

Second, we hope that other organizations and individual developers will be encouraged to further enhance X-Ray for additional HCI platforms, hypervisors and test scenarios. Open-sourcing also opens up the potential for external code developers to produce additional enhancements.

What does open-sourcing X-Ray really mean?

Starting with the next release of X-Ray, to be announced shortly, X-Ray’s Curie source code will be made available on GitLab under the MIT license.

The Nutanix X-Ray core component Curie interprets and executes scenarios against virtualized infrastructures, interfacing with the infrastructure under test to deploy VMs, manage workloads, and introduce other events such as snapshots, migrations, and failures.

Anyone will be able to download and view this source code as well as submit code merge requests for consideration in future releases.

Where will it be open sourced?

When posted externally, all repositories will be at https://gitlab.com/nutanix with appropriate project names and documentation links.

Submitting code merge requests

GitLab has good documentation that covers creating a merge request which should be followed by anyone wanting to submit code. Code merge requests that follow the current standards and direction of the project will have the greatest potential of being accepted.

What does it mean moving forward?

Nutanix remains firmly committed to developing and enhancing X-Ray. We have an aggressive roadmap planned and will continue to provide features and support for the branches of code released by Nutanix.

Open-source customers and vendors can view the code, and can choose to help further develop it with their own specific needs in mind.

Learn more about Nutanix X-Ray at www.nutanix.com/xray and engage with the community at https://next.nutanix.com/nutanix-x-ray-18.

Nutanix wants all organizations to be successful with their HCI deployments, and X-Ray aims to help just that!

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