Autonomous Networking For Real


Self-Driving Data Center

by Phil Clegg (Nutanix) and Elad Wind (Mellanox)

Nutanix is designed from the ground up to simplify datacenter deployment and management.

Business applications are deployed in enterprise clouds in minutes. This simple to use and intuitive interface allows users to easily create, modify and delete virtual workloads in a cloud- like fashion. The Nutanix PRISM interface is a HTML5 page and / or set of APIs that are already secured and locked down to a production-ready standard.

NEO – You don’t have to be a network guru to build infrastructure

In keeping with this trend, Mellanox partnered with Nutanix to provide network APIs that allow the Mellanox NEO Management and Monitoring Tool to fully understand the virtual networking and run autonomous processes for network configurations.

4 hours a day reduced to just a few minutes a week

Consider the example of a New Zealand-based service provider who wanted a secured platform to deliver network function virtualization. Here, the firewall VMs are spun up via a portal that creates a VM, provides its configuration and assigns it to a customer’s VLAN.

The NEO plugin listens to Nutanix events and reacts so that VLANs are provisioned and terminated transparently.

Prior to this automation, VLAN’s were manually configured via an e-mail request triggered by the orchestration engine. These VLAN requests had a three day SLA and often took in excess of six days to provision and resolve any issues.

Simply by moving to Mellanox switches, and enabling the Mellanox NEO plugin, has changed this process; VLANs are automatically created, recorded and deployed at both the virtual and physical layer, removing risk of misconfiguration, and removing the hours employees worked to do this at the top of rack infrastructure.

Because everything is logged, it is easy to track the compliance needs of VLAN creation as well as the movement of VLAN settings as VM’s move around the Nutanix cluster.

This is estimated to reduce the effort of provisioning VLAN’s from 4 hours per day to less than 1 hour per week and removing over 90 percent of the rework associated with manual VLAN creation.

NEO and Prism Dashboard

PRISM is a HTML5 interface with no flash or JAVA plugins that is used to administer a Nutanix cluster. This intuitive interface allows users to analyze and alert as well as create, modify and delete all facets of virtualization including virtual machines, CPU, RAM, storage, networking, snapshots, replication and self-service portals.

The networking portion of Nutanix is not only virtual switch and VM-based, but also integrates into switch hardware like Mellanox and can provide hardware based networking stats within the PRISM interface
Similarly, add another window for NEO for insights on what’s running inside the fabric, simplify application development and accelerate application delivery

About Nutanix One-Click Infrastructure

Hypervisor and VM management provide a consumer-grade experience. Nutanix Prism gives administrators an easy way to manage virtual environments running on Acropolis. It simplifies and streamlines common workflows for hypervisor and virtual machine (VM) management; from VM creation and migration to virtual network setup and hypervisor upgrades. Rather than replicating the full set of features found in other virtualization solutions, virtualization management in Prism has been designed for an uncluttered, consumer-grade experience.

About Mellanox Ethernet Switches

Mellanox’s Spectrum switch technology offer data centers unparalleled performance that let providers and customers focus only on their applications – Mellanox networks scale easily, offer consistently lowest latency, run at full wire speed at all packet sizes with zero packet loss and have up to 15X better microburst resiliency

Supporting Resources:

About Elad Wind

Elad Wind is currently Director of Solution Engineer promoting the adoption of Mellanox interconnect solutions by hyperscalers. Since 2010, Elad has served in various technical and sales roles at Mellanox including Product Sales and Project Management. Elad was also a founding member of the Mellanox Singapore the APAC head office. Elad holds an MBA from Tel-Aviv University and ESSEC Business School Paris, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technion, Israel.

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