Nutanix Software Only

    January 26, 2018
   2 min read

Nutanix has been speaking openly about a ‘Software Only’ offering for a while now however no one has been able to divulge any information on what the offering will be, how it’ll work with support/maintenance or what hardware could be used with the software only solution. That is, until now.

Today we had our NTC briefing where Nutanix was able to fill in some of the blanks for us so we can finally have some of those questions answered.

What does Software Only look like?

The Nutanix Software Only solution will work much the same as any other software only based product (think VMWare vSphere) where all of the smarts is in the software and the hardware, so long as it is on the compatibility list, is completely up to the customer. This differes quite a bit to the current Nutanix bundle/appliance approach as it gives the customer more choice not only over the specific hardware but where the purchase their hardware form as well.

Here’s a bit of a breakdown.

Procurement and Install
  1. Customer purchases the hardware of their choice from their preferred hardware vendor/channel (providing it’s a supported configuration)
  2. Customer purchases Nutanix software licenses via one of the new pre-defined SKU’s (SKU’s are based on License Edition, Support Level, Length of Term)
  3. Nutanix Services or Partner installs the Firmware and Nutanix Software on the customer purchased Hardware

When it comes to support, it’s a sort of ‘Meet in the Channel’ agreement between the hardware vendor and Nutanix. The customer must call the Hardware vendor for hardware related issues and Nutanix support for Nutanix software related issues. Nutanix will however take the first call if there is a bit of grey area around the issue and triage the call. Hardware issue will be handed off to the Hardware vendor via TSAnet.

Supported Hardware

Nutanix maintain the Hardware Compatibility List for the Software Only offering and will update it as needed. The current compatibility list can be found here. Some additional hardware configurations have been announced as well (see below).

Dell Poweredge
Cisco USC
HPE Proliant
Software Editions Supported

Acropolis Pro and Ultimate editions are supported in this offerning. You’ll notice that the starter and xpress editions are not available here. One thing to note though is that the entitlements are transferrable accross qualivied HPE, Cisco and Dell server platforms.

Prism is sold separately in this offering and treated as a separate product altogether. The prism license is transacted as a fixed term license on a per node basis.

Prism Central VM has no IP address

    January 15, 2018
   2 min read

Prism Central v5.5.0.2 was recently released so I grabbed the metadata file and the binary to upgrade my existing Prism Central (which was version 5.5). Following the usual steps I take, I downloaded what I needed and uploaded the binary and the metadata file to the Prism Central VM in order to perform the upgrade. Once the required files were uploaded I clicked the Upgrade button and waited.

It was then that I was told my Prism Central VM didn’t have the required minimum amout of RAM to run the new features.

Prism Central Error

No biggie, I’ll just shut down Prism Central and bump the RAM and I’ll be done. I went ahead and shutdown Prism Central, bumped the RAM in the VM and started it back up agian. Waited for a while and tried to access Prism Central but got no where. Ran a ping to the IP address of the Prism Central VM but again, no dice. Checked in vSphere and could see that the NIC was attached so it wasn’t a VMware thing.

I decided to have a look at the Prism Central VM itself to see if I could find out why I couldn’t ping the IP address. Upon running an ifconfg at the command line I only got the loopback address. My eth0 nic wasn’t listed at all.

Prism Central ifconfig

I tried another command to view the IP configuration ip address and saw that the eth0 interface was DOWN.

Right, so that’ll do it. Now to have a look at the interface configuration.

I jumped into the /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 file to have a look at the config. As soon as the file was open I saw the problem. The ip address, gateway, netmask were all set correctly so it wasn’t a case of losing the IP details. I did notice though that the ONBOOT option was set to no. This basically means that the interface will be down when then VM is started.

I quickly edited the file and changed the ONBOOT option to yes, saved and exited that file, then ran sudo service network restart to restart the network service. As soon as that service restarted my VM was pingable again and the rest of the Prism Central services started up. I checked ip address and ifconfig commands again and the eth0 interface was showing as up and was working correctly.

Once the services started up the Prism Central upgrade continued immediately.

Prism Central Upgrading

I’m not entirely sure why this happened in the first place but I’m glad that it was a simple fix to get Prism Central up and running again so I could perform the upgrade.

Nutanix Technology Champion

    January 15, 2018
   2 min read

Every year Nutanix opens registrations to their Nutanix Technology Chamption (NTC) program. This program recognizes Nutanix enterprise cloud experts for their ongoing and consistent contributions to the community and industry. Nutanix Technology Champions are Nutanix advocates and technology ambassadors who influence change with practical advice, and bold ideas. It’s comparable to the VMware vExpert and Microsoft MVP programs, to name a few.

There’s a few benefits of being an NTC, some of which are:

  • Benefits to program members include:
  • Early access briefings about Nutanix products and announcements
  • Access to private betas and insight into ongoing product development
  • Participation in exclusive meetings with engineering teams
  • Access to discussions on the Nutanix NTC slack channel with internal teams
  • Support of individuals in pursuit of Nutanix Platform Professional (NPP) Certification
  • Mentorship for those seeking Nutanix Platform Expert (NPX) career development
  • Exclusive guest blogging and speaking opportunities

Having worked with Nutanix for a few years now I decided to give it a shot and put forward my applicaiton to become a Nutanix Technology Champion. I belive in the product and team behind the product so thought that what better way to be as involved as I can with Nutanix than to apply to be a chamption of the product.

The process was pretty simple, fill out a form and link all my social pipes, etc for the Nutanix team to review and make thier decisions. In order to be successful, you have to meet some of the ciriteria listed below:

  • Nutanix and Enterprise Cloud product expertise, including technical knowledge about other products from VMware, Docker, Citrix, Microsoft, Dell, OpenStack, SAP, Puppet, etc.
  • Related industry awards and professional certifications
  • Nutanix and Enterprise Cloud community contributions via blogs, articles, webinars, social media, and the Next Community forums
  • Nutanix and Enterprise Cloud education and support in the field
  • Industry user group and community event leadership

Fortunately, this year I was chosen to be a NTC. For me this represents a pretty big achievement for me in my career and one that I am really proud of. I know that I’ll learn so much as part of this program and am really looking forward to 2018. It’s going to be an amazing year!

Nutanix Technology Champion - 2018

Re-launch of my blog

    December 06, 2017
   6 min read

Earlier on in the year I decided to start a blog. It’s something I had been thinking of doing for a while now and have never really had much content to post about. I finally got out of my head and realized that it’s something I wanted to do because I enjoy it. So off I went.

I got started with a WordPress site and began posting about things I had come across and things I wanted to remember. For the past 6 months WordPress has been great. It’s made blog posting super easy for me as it does what it intends to do, give the write a space to write content easily. Obviously I work in IT, given that this blog is so technology focussed, and becasue of that I have a tendancy to constantly search for something new or a different way to do things. Which has lead me to today and the relaunch of my blog.

I set out to look for a different blogging platform to replace WordPress. I didn’t have any requirements at all seeing as I have very few posts and even less traffic so I started my search. I stumbled across someone who was hosting their blog on github and though this sounded interesting. I started research and quickly fell down the rabbit hole of Jekyll, static sites, and markdown. When I resurfaced I was excited to get stuck in to building my new blog! The journey had begun.

Now, I’m no pogrammer. I don’t write code for a living and I don’t come into contact with it in my day job that much. I do have an interest in it though and am trying to teach myself some syntaxes. I liked the idea of Jekyll and hosting a site on GitHub however the styling left me wanting more. I wanted a nice pretty site after all. I had played around with Bootstrap a little bit so began looking for info about people using Bootstrap with their Jekyll sites when I came across Quick Plug - Bulma is a Bootstrap alternative. It builds on the 12 column layout of Bootstrap but add little nicities like readable classes and more fluid columns with greater options. To me, Bulma looked like a winner! It was then that I realized that the Bulma docs site was built using Jekyll and was indeed hosted on GitHub. Knowing this, I was able to model most of my blog off the setup. I cloned the docs repo and got to work pulling it apart and adding my own content in there.

About a week in to the dismemberment of the docs site I quickly realized that there was a lot more stuff in here than what I needed for my humble blog. So I blew it all away and started from scratch. This time, only looking to the Bulma source for inspiration and, if I got stuck, a little help with some code. The great thing about this setup (and possibly a sticky point) is that the posts can all be written in Markdown. I say a sticky point becaue it now means I have to remember Markdown syntax - Luckily it’ll also process standard HTML.

So, now I had a new framework (Jekyll + Bulma), I needed to start moving my content over. Mainly a copy/paste excercise. Job done.

I had the new blog up and functioning in a few days and throught to myself, what else can I do with this thing. I knew that I wanted to be sure this blog was built on a ‘mobile first’ type of strategy and Bulma helped with that. However, I wanted to add some additional smarts for mobile users. Things like adding shortcuts to homescreens and push notifications. Back on to the reasearch train led me to Progressive Web Apps. I had heard of these before (I’m an avid Google follower), but never thought of doing it. I figured that now was as good a time as ever. So I set out to turn my humble Jekyll based blog into a Progressive Web App.

I came across a few others who had done similar things, so learning from them I was able to get a Service Worker setup, configured, and being deployed at build - dynamically. Since I have a working Service Worker I now have the ability to have my site added to an Android phone’s homescreen and ‘install’ like a traditional app. The other benefit of this Service Worker is that I can now have a completely offline site! Having a Service Worker is the key to a Progressive Web App. Now that I have one, I can say I have successfully converted my static blog to a PWA.

I was really happy with how the blog now performed, functioned and looked. All that was left was to run some tests with Lighthouse to benchmark my site and make sure it was getting decent metrics and then I could push it to live!

Lighthouse runs tests against your site to gather metrics around Progressive Web Apps, Performance, Accessibility and Best Practice. My initial tests were pretty good around the 80 mark across all metrics (score is out of 100). But I noticed a few places where it could be improved - especially the performance side of things. Thankfully Lighthouse gives you some recommendations on how to fix these issues or blockers.

On of the things I could do to speed up my site was lazy load my images. I found a nice little script that I could add to my build script that would minify my images and create low quality versions of them all so I could display the low quality version first and then with lazyload, bring in the full quality images. With a little CSS I was able to make that look awesome with a blur as well. I really love this look and as soon as that was done, Lighthouse was reporting much higher scores.

This sort of leads me to here an now. I have all my content on the new statically servered blog, It’s now a Progressive Web App, and it performs really well. I’m so happy with how this has come about and have learnt so much in the process of getting this blog together.

Now that it’s all done, I can continue to improve on the capabilities of the blog by adding things like comments, push notifications, Archives, etc. I’ll save that for another day though.

So here it is - my newly designed, built and deployed blog.

If you made it this far, Thank you for reading. 😋

Moving Nutanix to a New Data Center

    November 01, 2017
   4 min read

I recently went through the process of moving our Nutanix cluster to a new Data Center. Usually this sort of activity is what people dread given that traditional 3-tier infrastructure is so large and complex, however seeing as that this is a Nutanix cluster I’m talking about, it was a piece of cake!

There is a couple of things I had to be aware of before beginning the move and there was a few things I ran into post move that I wanted to document for myself and for anyone else that might be undertaking the same activity that runs into similar issues

The Shutdown

Prior to moving the Nutanix cluster I obviously had to shut down all the VM’s currently on the cluster so I made sure that was done and also made sure the CVM’s weren’t touched (left on).

I now needed to stop the cluster cleanly before the nodes were shutdown. With the guest VM’s now off I fired up PUTTY and ssh’d into one of my CVM’s. Gracefully stopping the cluster was as easy as cluster stop.

Now the cluster was stopped it was time to shutdown the CVM’s. It’s apparently okay to shutdown the CVM’s normally through your Hypervisor (in our case ESX) by going to Power –> Shutdown Guest. However I preferred to use the cvm_shutdown -P now. I know it’s essentially the same thing, but that’s the way I decided to do it. Because we have 7 Nodes in our cluster I went on to SSH into the remaining CVM’s and shut them down gracefully.

The next step in the Shutdown process was to power down the hosts. I could have done this one of two ways:

  • ESXi
  • IPMI (or iDRAC, or whatever your out of band management is)

Because I was already logged in to each host via vSphere I decided to use vSphere to shut the nodes down.

Now that the hosts were off the shutdown sequence was complete and I could move on to pulling the power and network cables, pulling the nodes out of the rack and moving them to the new DC.

ready to move
Ready for the new home!

The Startup

After racking the cluster in the new DC, cabling done and IPMI accessible it was time to start the hosts. I logged in to each host over IPMI and started them up, Waited for vSphere to be accessible and made sure the CVM’s were started.

Once all 7 VCM’s were started I could move on to starting the cluster. Thankfully, again, this is a Nutanix cluster so starting the cluster was as simple as cluster start. Once all of the CVM services were started I now had a functioning cluster. Just to be sure I kicked off a NCC on the cluster to verify all was okay. I opened up a PUTTy terminal to a CVM and ran ncc health_checks run_all.

With my cluster now back in an operational state it was time to start my vCenter controller (and External PSC) and make sure the cluster was communicating with vCenter correctly. Once vCenter and the Nutanix CVM’s were talking I began starting my guest VM’s.

The Minor Issue

At the beginning of this article I mentioned that I ran into a minor issue post cluster move. I say minor because my cluster was functioning correctly however I didn’t want the issue to go unnoticed. The issue was that the Curator Service hadn’t run in the past 24 hours (cluster was offline for 24 hours while the networking guys fixed an issue with cross connects…) so it was generating some critical alerts. I won’t go into that issue and what I did to fix it here as I wanted this to be a post about the cluster move. So if you’re interested in how I fixed that Curator alert, check this post.

The End

Usually, I dread moving Data Centers. This time, it was so simple and so fast I honestly wouldn’t mind doing it again. Nutanix made the whole process super streamlined and had there not been Networking issues between the Data Centers, I would have had the cluster moved and back online within 6 hours. As with anything a little bit of pre-planning goes a long way. Because I knew the process to shutdown and startup the Nutanix cluster cleanly prior to undertaking the work I was prepared and was able to do this move in a very short amount of time (network permitting…). If you are undertaking a Data Center move and have a Nutanix cluster that you need to move, familiarize yourself with the process. It’ll save you time as well as ensure you understand what needs to be done.

At the end of it all, Nutanix made my life easier.

Curator Scan Status Failing in Prism

    November 01, 2017
   3 min read

I recently moved our Nutanix Cluster to a new Data Center. After I completed the move and brought the Nutanix cluster back online Prism was generating a Critical alert basically telling me that the Curator Scan hadn’t run in the last 24 hours. Here’s the exact alert:

Curator Service Error

I wasn’t too concerned with this alert because I knew the reason this alert was triggered was because my cluster was off while we moved it. I assumed that in time, Curator would run a partial scan (or full scan) again and the alert would go away. However because I wanted to make sure everything was okay (and to get that reassuring green heart ), I did a little digging into the issue.

Before doing anything I logged this as an issue with Nutanix Support. So while I waited for support to get back to me I figured I’d do some investigating.

I figured that in order to get this alert resolved immediately I’d need to start a Curator Scan manually. So began my search on how to do that. In my search I stumbled across a post from a few years back on the Nutanix Community Forums where someone was asking exactly what I needed to know, could a manual Curator Scan be initiated from CLI. From reading through the post I found that I needed to open a browser to http://{Curator-Master-CVM-IP}:2010/master/control. That was all well and good but I had no idea which CVM was the Curator Master.

So I did a little more digging and found that if I open an SSH session to a CVM and enter links http:0:2010 it’ll bring up an ELinks page which tells me what CVM is the Curator Master. Perfect!

eLinks Page

I now had the first piece of the puzzle, the Curator Master CVM. So now I try to open a web page to http://{Curator-Master-CVM-IP}:2010/master/control and… doesn’t work. I remembered reading a while ago that you could access the Stagate page of a CVM on port 2009 but in order to do that you had to either stop the service or modify iptables on the CVM to allow the connection rather than reject it. So I thought I’d give it a shot.

I SSH’d to my Curator Master CVM and tried: sudo su - iptables -A WORLDLIST -p tcp -m tcp --dport 2010 -j ACCEPT Where 2010 is the Curator port that I needed to open.

That accepted fine and when I tried to access the Curator URL again I was greeted with the below webpage.

Curator Control Page

I was finally getting somewhere. Next, I went ahead and kicked off a partial scan. Once I clicked on the link to ‘Start Partial Scan’ it went to a blank page. I assumed that worked?

I decided to try accessing the root URL of Curator (without the /master/control) and was greeted with a page similar to the ELinks page from above but this time in my browser where I could see the status of the scan I had kicked off!

Curator Active Jobs

I waited a while (849 seconds to be exact) and refreshed that page again and noticed that my scan had complete!

Curator Jobs Succeeded

Now that the Curator scan was complete I checked Prism again, and the alert was gone. I updated the support ticket and Paul from Nutanix Support gave me a call to do one more health check across my cluster anyway.

Again, I know I didn’t have to do this manually but for my own learning I decided to give it a go.

XenApp and Server 2016 – Black Screen at Login

    August 17, 2017
   2 min read

I’m currently building a new Citrix environment at my place of work and thought that seeing as we are going for a fresh start I may as well use the latest versions of Citrix and Windows. So I started building a new Citrix VDA for shared desktop use on Windows Server 2016 with Citrix XenDesktop 7.13.

I came across an issue almost immediately where at login, there was a black screen presented to the user between when logon processing finished and the users desktop was presented. This black screen would vary in length lasting sometimes up to 20 seconds before the desktop was displayed. I had tried a number of supposed fixes from around the internet (such as setting DisableStatus to 1) but nothing seemed to work for me. That was until I stumbled across an increasingly popular thread on Citrix communities eluding to an issue with Server 2016 and the latest version of Citrix (at this point it was 7.13). A lot of people were describing the exact same issue as me. A Citrix employee had commended saying that they were aware of this issue and that they are working with Microsoft on the issue and would be resolved as a 2-part fix with XenDesktop 7.15 (which will be the next LTSR) and an MS patch for Server 2016.

Two days ago, XenDesktop 7.15 was released and yesterday the 2nd part of the fix was delivered by Microsoft as a 1GB, August 16 patch.

Now that we have everything we need, On to applying the fix.

According to a Citrix employee the steps needed to implement the fixes are:

  • Upgrade VDA to 7.15 (best to do the Delivery Controller at the same time but not a necessity)
  • Apply the following registry key as described here: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\citrix\Citrix Virtual Desktop Agent] “DisableLogonUISuppression”=dword:00000000

  • Apply the MS patch “2017-08 Cumulative Update for Windows Server 2016 (KB4034661)”  — Takes a long time.
  • Reboot the VDA

Once the VDA has registered with the DDC, login and there should be no more black screen!

Hopefully this helps others who are in a similar situation. This issue was tough to nail down and was holding up progressing to the new environment.

Skype Room System and Surface Hub Accounts in a Hybrid Setup

    August 14, 2017 (Updated: )
   5 min read
    skype microsoft

At my workplace, we recently purchased a couple of Surface Hubs and a Crestron RL2 Skype Room System to play with and integrate into the business. One issue I came across that took a while to figure out was how to correctly set up a hybrid account for these devices to use. After fiddling with the accounts and trying various setups I finally managed to get the configuration correct so thought I should document that process for my own benefit more than anything but also in case someone else is struggling to get accounts configured for these types of devices.

This post will cover creating new Room Mailboxes both on premise and in O365 (Hybrid) as well as setting up Skype for Business accounts on prem (Lync 2013 Server) and on prem Active Directory accounts. Of course if you are 100% online then this could still be adapted to suit your needs.

Using an existing Room Mailbox (on-Premise)

Set Calendaring Options for existing Room Mailbox

First of all we need to set the calendaring options for your existing Room Mailbox.

  1. Open an Exchange Management Shell from a machine with the Exchange Management Tools installed.The first command below is just to ensure auto-accept is turned on plus disabling a few properties as well as adding an auto response. This is typically already configured for existing Room account but this just makes sure.Replace with the UPN of the account you want to update.

    Set-CalendarProcessing -Identity -AutomateProcessing AutoAccept -AddOrganizerToSubject $false -RemovePrivateProperty $false -DeleteComments $false -DeleteSubject $false –AddAdditionalResponse $true –AdditionalResponse "Your meeting is now scheduled and if it was enabled as a Skype Meeting will provide a seamless click-to-join experience from the conference room"

  1. Optional – We can also set a Tooltip so that when users book this room as a regular room (IE. not as a Skype Meeting) it will remind them that this particular room is Skype Meeting Enabled.

    Set-Mailbox -Identity -MailTip "This room is equipped to support Skype for Business Meetings"

Enable Lync (or Skype for Business) account for the Room Mailbox

Now that the Room Mailbox is setup to auto-process calendar invites we need to Lync (or Skype) enable the account. We aren’t going to enable the account as a user though, we will enablet his account as a CsMeetingRoom which will enable Skype Meeting functionality.

  1. Switch over to your Lync Management Shell. Again, replace with the UPN of the Room Mailbox you specified earlier

    Enable-CsMeetingRoom -Identity -RegistrarPool -SipAddressType EmailAddress

    Note: The RegistrarPool is the Lync server you want to home your user account on.

Enable Active Directory Account and Set Password

By default, a Meeting Room mailbox has an AD account but it is disabled. So we need to reset the password, ensure it never expires and enable the account. This can all be done from ADUC.

Create a new Room Mailbox – Exchange Online with AD and Lync on prem

Create the Exchange online Meeting Room account

  1. Connect to Exchange Online to provision a new Room Mailbox. Ensure you have the MSOL connector installed and open Powershell as an Admin.

  2. The below commands will connect you to O365 via Powershell to be able to execute the remainder of the Mailbox setup. Execute one per line.
     Import-Module MsOnline
     Connect-MsolService -credential $credential
     $exchSession = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri -Credential $credential -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
     Import-PSSession $exchSession -DisableNameChecking -AllowClobber
  3. Once you are connected to O365 run the below command to create a new Room Mailbox.


    New-Mailbox –Room -Name "Skype Meeting Room" -RoomMailboxPassword (ConvertTo-SecureString –String "P@ssw0rd1" -AsPlainText -Force) -EnableRoomMailboxAccount $true

  4. Now that the room mailbox is created we can apply the same calendar processing rules as before.

    Set-CalendarProcessing -Identity -AutomateProcessing AutoAccept -AddOrganizerToSubject $false -RemovePrivateProperty $false -DeleteComments $false -DeleteSubject $false –AddAdditionalResponse $true –AdditionalResponse "Your meeting is now scheduled and if it was enabled as a Skype Meeting will provide a seamless click-to-join experience from the conference room"

  5. Log into the Office 365 Portal. Click on Active Users and find the new account you just created above.

  6. Change the accounts Email Address/UPN to be (by default this account will have been created with a address)

  7. Assign a licence to this account for both Exchange and Skype for Business

Create the Remote Mailbox in Exchange on prem

  1. Open your Exchange MMC and click on Recipient Configuration –> Mail Contact

  2. From the right hand side select “New Remote Mailbox”

  3. Select Room Mailbox and click Next

  4. Specify the on premise OU as:

  5. Fill in the Name (ignoring the Firstname, Initials, Lastname fields)

  6. Enter the UPN as the same as what you created in the O365 Room Mailbox – In this example it would be, and click Next.

  7. Do not add an archive mailbox – just click Next.

  8. Review the details and click ‘New’ to create the Remote Mailbox

  9. Open the new account in AD Users and Computers and verify that the UPN and the primary E-mail values match the address in O365 that was created above.

  10. Force or wait for a directory sync to run

  11. Verify that the account in the Office 365 Portal shows as “Synced” versus “Cloud” – You can also try to edit the account on the 365 portal and if you get an error stating it’s a locally synced account then it’s all okay.

Enable Skype Room account on the on prem Lync (or Skype) Server

In my current environment we are running in Hybrid so it’s easier to Lync enable the mailbox on-prem and move the account to Skype for Business online at a later stage.

  1. Logon to your Lync (or Skype) server and access the Lync Management Shell

  2. Execute the below command replacing the Identity with the Meeting Room UPN you created above. The Registrar Pool is the Lync front-end server that you want your users to be homed on.

Enable-CsMeetingRoom -Identity -RegistrarPool -SipAddressType EmailAddress

Enable Active Directory Account and Set Password

By default, a Meeting Room mailbox has an AD account but it is disabled. So we need to reset the password, ensure it never expires and enable the account. This can all be done from ADUC.

Moving a Nutanix Block

    August 01, 2017
   1 min read

We recently went through an exercise to move our Nutanix blocks to a new Data center. I wanted to document this process for myself as it is very different to shutting down your regular pizza box server and moving the kit. There is a little more to think about and do prior to moving the kit when you are working with Nutanix.

Here is the process I followed which worked well for me.

  1. Shut down any guest VM’s on the Nodes
  2. Stop the cluster (process described here)
  3. Shut down all nodes in the cluster (in our case these were VMWare hypervisors)
  4. Power off the blocks (IPMI or power switch)
  5. Once the blocks are powered down you can safely unplug all cables and unrack/rack your blocks.
  6. When you’ve got all the blocks racked and cabled power them on. The CVM’s will start automatically.
  7. Once all CVMs are online again, SSH into one of them and run: cluster start

Wait for all services to report that they have started:


     Zeus UP [3704, 3727, 3728, 3729, 3807, 3821] 
     Scavenger UP [4937, 4960, 4961, 4990] 
     SSLTerminator UP [5034, 5056, 5057, 5139] 
     Hyperint UP [5059, 5082, 5083, 5086, 5099, 5108] 
     Medusa UP [5534, 5559, 5560, 5563, 5752] 
     DynamicRingChanger UP [5852, 5874, 5875, 5954] 
     Pithos UP [5877, 5899, 5900, 5962] 
     Stargate UP [5902, 5927, 5928, 6103, 6108] 
     Cerebro UP [5930, 5952, 5953, 6106]
     Chronos UP [5960, 6004, 6006, 6075] 
     Curator UP [5987, 6017, 6018, 6261] 
     Prism UP [6020, 6042, 6043, 6111, 6818] 
     CIM UP [6045, 6067, 6068, 6101] 
     AlertManager UP [6070, 6099, 6100, 6296] 
     Arithmos UP [6107, 6175, 6176, 6344] 
     SysStatCollector UP [6196, 6259, 6260, 6497] 
     Tunnel UP [6263, 6312, 6313] 
     ClusterHealth UP [6317, 6342, 6343, 6446, 6468, 6469, 6604, 6605, 6606, 6607] 
     Janus UP [6365, 6444, 6445, 6584] 
     NutanixGuestTools UP [6377, 6403, 6404]

Now that the Cluster is running you can go ahead and start your Guest VMs.

Restarting a CVM

    July 25, 2017
   1 min read

In the world of Nutanix, Controller VMs (CVMs) are king. They are key to the whole solution. So when the comes in which you need to restart a node or a CVM you should probably take a little care and don’t properly. You don’t want to have it all go all banana on you and then leave you with a broken CVM.

Its probably best to point out here that before you do ANYTHING, call Support. They are there for a reason and are very good at their job.

However, if you want to do this yourself, read on.

Before you reboot the CVM you need to stop it gracefully. Stopping the CVM gracefully allows for all services to stop and, in the event this CVM is the leader, have the cluster elect a new leader. This will ensure you have no issues with your cluster when you reboot the CVM.

So, go ahead and SSH (or open a console) to your CVM. Login and get to the ncli.

Now all you need to do is: cvm_shutdown -P now

That’s it.

The cvm_shutdown -P now command will gracefully stop all services on the CVM allowing you to reboot the CVM (or the node if you need) cleanly.

Once your CVM is back up you can initiate NCC to run some checks across your cluster to ensure everything is okay.

Again, if it’s all too much, or you want to play it on the safe side, call Support. 🙂

Stopping a Nutanix Cluster

    July 20, 2017
   ~1 min read

Shutdown all guest VMs Logon to a Controller VM via SSH stop the cluster with cluster stop wait for the CVM to report something similar to the below CVM: Up, ZeusLeader

 Zeus UP [3167, 3180, 3181, 3182, 3191, 3201]
 Scavenger UP [3334, 3351, 3352, 3353]
 ConnectionSplicer DOWN []
 Hyperint DOWN []
 Medusa DOWN []
 DynamicRingChanger DOWN []
 Pithos DOWN []
 Stargate DOWN []
 Cerebro DOWN []
 Chronos DOWN []
 Curator DOWN []
 Prism DOWN []
 AlertManager DOWN []
 StatsAggregator DOWN []
 SysStatCollector DOWN [][]

Why I started this blog

    June 14, 2017
   1 min read


Just wanted to preface this with a general statement - I am not employed by Nutanix now, nor have I ever been. I realze that most of the posts in this blog will be about the Nutanix platform however this is only because I work with the Nutanix platform on a day to day basis as it is my current core role. There is no sponsored posts or anyhting going on here.

I have thought about starting a blog for a long time now but never got around to doing it. After working in IT for a while I realized it’d be handy to have a place to store my findings & experiences which I can refer back to or reflect on at a later date. Therein lies the purpose of this blog – a place to store my experiences and allow others to read my experiences and potentially help those who may have come across similar things in their careers.

In this blog I intend to post about things like, Virtualization, Citrix, Nutanix and anything else I come across in my career working s a Systems Administrator that I think might be helpful to store for later use or things that I think might be helpful for others out there on the line.

I hope that someone out there finds what I write about useful in some way or another.