In any architecture everything starts with requirements. Gathering requirements and mapping those with particular technology is one of the main task of Architect. In this post I’m going to talk about what all things you need to map with Nutanix nodes and its other features. Below is very extensive visio diagram about various Appliance (and Nodes) available in Nutanix offering. On left on hand side there is business requirement. It could be SMB, Intensive workload, Business or Mission critical. You might be aware there is similar offering from Dell and most recently from Lenovo. For this post i’m sticking to offering made by Nutanix. Before I dive into how I have built this swim lanes I would like to provide you references which I have used.
Online Plus course: http://www.nutanix.com/services/education/#schedule. There is discount going on for this course (PromoCode:APRIL16)
Sizing Guide: http://designbrewz.com/
Nutanix Specification Sheet: http://go.nutanix.com/rs/nutanix/images/Nutanix_Spec_Sheet.pdf
I have kept blue color as base color in this sheet. If you see any different color, it suggest there is some other box of same color. Same color denotes they have same properties e.g. CPU/Network/Memory. e.g. NX-8150 has 12, 20 cores processors which are also offered in NX-8035-G4
You should start from left hand side. There is Business use case mentioned. let’s take NX9000, most simplest example to understand the flow of this diagram.
Mission critical application, Consistent low latency
In technical words it is All flash model. It is referred as NX9000 series. NX9060-G offers two processors options (12, 24 cores) varying from 128 to 512 GB RAM, 6 SSD and 2 X 1 Gbps and 1 x 1 Gbps network cards. Till Network Cards column, it is all you get in a single Node. Nutanix requires minimum three nodes and recommends minimum 4 nodes for RF2 and N+1. RF=Redundancy Factor.
So if you wish to know NX9000 series can give how much Cores, Memory, Storage, now you have this information handy. NX9000 Appliance (NX9060-G4) series comes with 4 nodes. For 4-Nodes, you can either get 48 cores or 96 cores with 512 GB minimum to 2048 Maximum. Usable storage space calculated from Sizing Guide  based on RF-2. So you have right information whether can host your workload on single block or you would need more blocks.
I have also mentioned network and power consumption. Now this is really needed for datacenter guys to know how much power is going to be needed and how many ports needs to be patched. I also wish to include Rack space required per block. But in most case it is 2U, however there are some exceptions which I’m about to discuss below
Business Critical Application (Exch, SQL, SAP, Oracle)
Let’s take little complicated example. NX8000. Well most complicated is NX3000 series on which i have to yet to work on. That being said NX3000 is most popular model. When I say complicated it is not about model, it is about various offering they have and difficult it becomes to choose without having specific data. To make decision you need data. This is main idea of this blog post. You’ve data now to make a sound decision. Let’s talk about it.
As seen above, NX8000 has 3 models and each model at minimum offer 3 processor types. It is worth to mention NX8150 and NX8150-G4 are single node appliance, So in this case you need 4 appliances as per Nutanix recommendation for RF=2 and N+1. Since each appliance is 2U, 8U rack space is needed and you would need somewhere between 650-700 x 4 =2600 to 2800 W per Block. Please note I have quoted max power from Nutanix specification sheet . Now let’s narrow down, if you choose NX8150, it has more networking offering. So you need more cables and more ports at switch side. Please note I have not included the add-on Network cards available. Now if you read from left side and come to decision to choose between NX8150 or NX8150-G4 you have several data points. First being cores you need, G4 offers anywhere between 16-36 cores options and power consumed is 650W. If your goal is consolidate more and optimize maximum power to performance ratio you can right away select G4. However on other hand your application is expected to be highly network intensive, then NX8150 could be your best bet. As you could see NX8150 has more network ports option available out of the box. If you have to choose between 8150 or 8150-G4, decision factors would be Maximum RAM, Maximum usable Storage and Network ports needed. And to repeat both are 2U single node appliance.
Now let’s discuss 3rd option i.e. NX8035-G4, it is two nodes per appliance and power is just 950 Watt. So for 4 nodes your power is 1800 watt. Let’s see how closer you get to 36 cores. Max 28 cores option is available, . So you can choose NX8035-G4, go with 28 cores option great price to performance ratio. Are you loosing anything? yes , if your storage requirement is between 13 to 43 TB you are good, Anything above you will have to fall back to NX8150 model. This is just my way of looking and extracting value out of the VISIO I’ve created. Hope it helps you guys. In case you have noticed, we are talking in TB’s no longer in GB. I have attached two Page PDF. you can look any row in “Total Usable Storage per Block” it is TB. Don’t afford to miss 8035 offers 4 different processors.
ProTip: If you work for service provider you will instantly understand the value of this. In service provider world, knowing these details enables us to provide most of the value to the customer in efficient and optimum way.