After setting up my first Acropolis-based Nutanix appliance by leveraging the Nutanix Community Edition canvas on Ravello Systems’ repo, I was quite excited and wrote a blog post about it. But I was compelled to try and do a bit more, especially see how Acropolis integrates hypervisor management functions. As you may know Acropolis is built on top of the KVM hypervisor. Having never used KVM, I thought it would be nice to try, so here we go!
Due to the limited resources (16 Gb RAM, 4 vCPU), I went with a tiny footprint VM (1 vCPU, 1 Gb RAM, 10 Gb disk). The VM started properly as you can see in this screenshot:
I thought that it would be nice to see beyond this, so I downloaded a 80 Mb image of Tiny Core Linux (out of random) to try booting from an ISO. Here are the steps to mount an ISO. First you need to Edit the VM properties, then click on the “Update” button in front of the cdrom settings. This brings you to this view:
You need to click on “Clone from Image service” and “Add Image”:
I then filled as above, setting “Tiny Core Linux” as the image name (could’ve been Snoopy the Dog or whatever else). I like the option to get the image directly from an URL!
After that, an upload screen kicked and I got presented with this window:
At this point I could either upload one or more images, or just close and move on to the selection.
Having selected “Tiny Core Linux”, I clicked on Update to select the image. You can see below that the cdrom settings are now altered:
After a Save and VM reboot, here’s the boot menu:
And later in time, the OS booting:
- I’m a total KVM newbie. Nutanix CE is the first time I get sort of “in touch” with this hypervisor. Considering we’re leveraging the Community Edition, the feature set seems straightforward. I’d like to get my hands on a fully-fledged Acropolis/KVM deployment with sufficient resources to see how it compares with Nutanix on vSphere. The level of abstraction provided by Acropolis doesn’t disturbs me at all in this case. I’d like to see how it interfaces with ESXi/vCenter to see the delta. I suppose we’re just at the beginning, though. I can see definite advantages when managing multiple clusters with different underlying hypervisors, by abstracting common functions Acropolis enables administrators to perform similar tasks across different hypervisors without having to maintain three separate knowledge sets (whether it’s a plus or a minus, I’ll let you judge).
- From a performance stanpoint, the above should be done only for educational purposes (in case you doubted!). The Nutanix CE environment is already limited in resources thus running a VM within it will likely be extremely slow. In my case the guest OS took ages to boot and ended up overkilling the environment.
- On an ending note, I’m looking forward to see the future of Nutanix CE on the Ravello Systems platform. More nodes? More resources? I wouldn’t mind paying to run a slightly larger Nutanix CE lab! I need to dive into the settings and see what the platform offers.
Thanks again to Ravello Systems for their great “LaaS” (Lab-as-a-Service) offering 🙂