Build Large File Services Repositories on Nutanix’s Largest Capacity Nodes, the NX-6035C-G5


By Dwayne Lessner
| min

Nutanix continues on its Enterprise Cloud journey at the .NEXT On-Tour event in Bangkok, Thailand. Today, we are proud to announce that we are planning to support Acropolis File Services (AFS) on our storage only nodes, the NX-6035C-G5. Acropolis File Services provides a simple and scalable solution for hosting user and shared department files across a centralized location with a single namespace. With Acropolis File Services, administrators no longer waste time with manual configuration or need Active Directory and load balancing expertise. If and when released, this will make 6035C-G5 nodes even more versatile, adding to the current capabilities of serving as a backup or replication target and running Acropolis Block Services.

Running AFS on the NX-6035C-G5 storage only nodes can provide another use case for customers starting to migrate to the Enterprise Cloud Platform. For example, an NX-6035C-G5 cluster could be used to serve file share workloads for existing compute servers when an existing NAS appliance is coming off warranty. Down the road a customer could add Nutanix nodes that can run both compute and storage workloads, such as an NX-3060-G5, to the NX-6035C-G5 cluster. This is one of the reasons why both hybrid and all flash storage nodes are supported on the NX-6036C-G5.

With each node running its own Controller VM, all of the scale out goodness from the Distributed Storage Fabric provides consistent performance along with the unique distribution of user files across all of the file server VMs that run file services. Acropolis File Services manages a collection of shares that are distributed across multiple file server VMs. Home shares distribute data by dividing the top-level directories across all of the file server VMs that make up the file server. Acropolis File Services maintains the directory mapping for each responsible file server VM using an internal scale out database called InsightDB.

Large File Services

Figure 9 Distribution of Home File Shares

If a user creates a share called “\FileServer1Users,” which contains top-level directories Bob, Becky, and Kevin, Bob may be on file server VM1, Becky on file server VM2, Kevin on file server VM3, and so on. The file server VMs use a string hashing algorithm based on the directory names to distribute the top-level directories. This helps keep the data close to the flash storage and deliver the best possible use of all the flash in the cluster regardless of hybrid or all flash.

The storage only cluster can also be the DR/Backup target for an existing production AFS solution, other Nutanix clusters, or even provide storage to physical hosts using Acropolis Block Services if you happened to make a large compute purchase before learning about Nutanix. With a planned 80 TB RAW capacity per 2U appliance, plus the benefit of using Dedupe, Erasure Coding and compression, you get a very dense solution for your enterprise’s data. By starting with a 3 node cluster, you actually could start large and grow even larger.

The storage only nodes combined with AFS give customers a great starting solution but also the building blocks to continue on with their own Enterprise Cloud. Density, flexibility and ease of use built upon a foundation of web-scale give you the freedom and control to run your business on your own terms. Please join us on the Nutanix Next Community site and let us know what you think about this exciting announcement.