Nutanix-Community-Edition

If you’re following Nutanix related tweets you will have noticed the first User Conference is being held in Miami this week. The .NEXT Conference is a sell out so if you’ve not been able to attend keep an eye on this area for more information.

Following the official announcement today and launch of the (Beta version of) Community Edition of the Nutanix software it’s now time to get your hands on it. Sign up here http://ntnx.info/cesignup but before you hit the download button there’s just a few things to understand:

  • You’ll need to have the machine where the software is running internet connected to verify your NEXT Community credentials
  • Unlike the paid for version of the software you can have a single server. Of course, if you have a single server running this you won’t have data distribution and in turn redundancy. But this is enabled so you can install and learn.
  • Permitted configurations are 1, 3 or 4 servers with 4 being the maximum.
  • The hypervisor is KVM and is managed through the management portal, called Prism, a HTML5 webpage. There is no planned support for Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere. The management portal is identical to the paid for version.
  • Read the EULA, there are some points of note in there you must agree to.
  • All support is conducted through the Forum with your peers and you’re encouraged to assist others as well as sharing your experiences.

 

Hardware requirements

So, the next question is… Have I got what it takes to install Nutanix CE on my equipment? To date, we’ve been distributing this internally to our testers:

  • CPU : Intel CPU, 4 core minimum with VT-x support
  • RAM : 16GB minimum
  • Storage : 1 x SSD per server minimum, minimum 200GB
  • Storage : 1 x HDD per server minimum, minimum 500GB
  • Network : Intel NICs
  • USB Key, minimum 8GB.
Example servers

If you should happen to have any old / de-commissioned equipment in a store room and it looks like the list below you’ll be well on your way to getting started.

  • Cisco 1U, C-Series rack server UCS C220M3, Single E5-2403v2 (4-core), 24GB RAM, 1x240GB SSD, 1x500GB HDD
  • Dell 1U R220, Single E3-1220v3 (4-core), 32GB RAM, 1x200GB SSD, 1x1TB HDD
  • HP 1U DL320e, Single E3-1220v3 (4-core), 32GB RAM, 1x240GB SSD, 1x500GB HDD

 

My build

As I don’t have a store room and spare servers at home I pulled together this shopping list and built up my own single server.

  • 1 x ASUS H81-Gamer S1150 ATX Mobo (this has a genuine Intel 1GbE NIC onboard) [60299]
  • 1 x ASUS – Z97-PRO GAMER Z97 ATX Motherboard [57086]
  • 1 x Intel Core i5 4590 S1150 (4 Core CPU) with cooler included [56490]
  • 1 x Samsung 250GB 850 EVO MZ-75E250BW/EU [61674]
  • 2 x 2TB SEAGATE ST2000DM001 SATA3 [42857]
  • 2 x 16GB (2x8GB) Corsair RAM (CMY16GX3M2A2400C11R) [53120]
  • 1 x CiT Shadow Black ATX Case 500W [41725]

I ordered this from a company in the UK (where I’m based), I’ve added the product codes in [ ] should anyone want to look into the details further from Scan Computers.

I had a Toshiba DataTraveller Workspace 32GB USB3 drive which I used. It’s far quicker for the installation and subsequent boot times – as you’d expect.

[Updated 12th August 2015]  I discovered the original motherboard I ordered only supported 32GB in single-sided DIMMs. The RAM I ordered was dual sided so when I wanted to expand to 32GB I needed to change the motherboard. Hence the update above.

Writing the image to a USB key using Apple’s OS X

Documented here as I had to run a few additional steps on preparing my USB key before the imaging process would complete. When I used the ‘dd’ command the message, “Resource busy” was returned, as below.

ResourceBusy

To release the lock these are the steps I followed:

  • Launch Disk Utility
  • Click on the partition just below the USB drive (screenshot example here using another drive to illustrate)

Unmount-screenshot

  • Click Unmount
  • Switch back to the Terminal window and the ‘dd’ command will now work.

 

Not sure which device is the USB drive?

To understand which device the USB drive is, issue this command:

  • diskutil list

Diskutil-list

As can be seen above the USB drive in my Macbook is ‘disk1’.

 

That’s it. Now get downloading!

 

 

 

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