Nutanix basics – Nutanix Foundation – Part 1

What is Nutanix Foundation 1.2.1 ?

Nutanix foundation in version 1.2.1 is CentOS based virtual appliance which helps with:

  • automatic provision hypervisor on nutanix block
  • automatic Nutanix OS (NOS) cluster installation and configuration
  • automatic IPMI configuration
  • automatic CVM configuration
  • automatic bare metal discovery and Nutanix OS extension

Nutanix Foundation was developed internally by Nutanix development team and it is available (at this point in time) for Nutnaix partners and Nutanix engineers.

Nutanix Foundation maximums:

The only maximum I;m aware of is you can provision max of 20 Nutanix nodes.

Deploy Nutanix Foundation VM

Nutanix Foundation is available in OVF format and can be download from Nutanix portal as tar.gz package. One can deploy it on:

  • VMware workstation – make sure network card is set to bridged mode
  • VMware ESXi
  • VMware player – make sure network card is set to bridged mode
  • Oracle VM

Deployment is to simple, it does not vary from standard OVF deployments, I will not write down how to do it.

Configure Nutanix Foundation VM

After first boot there are few actions which you should perform:

  1. configure Nutanix Foundation IP address – if you don’t have DHCP or prefer fixed IP address
  2. extend disk – iif you’d planned to upload different versions on Phoenix and hypervisor ISOs into Nutanix Foundation appliance

Configure IP on Nutanix foundation

After initial boot log in into VM via local console with default username: Nutanix and password: nutanix/4u . From desktop double-click on the script set_foundation_IP_address and follow up on text wizard to complete IP configuration for Nutanix Foundation.

Nutanix Foundation Desktop

Nutanix Foundation Desktop

Re-size disk on Nutanix Foundation

Default disk size for Nutanix Foundation is 24GB, which is not enough if you would like to put all Phoenix ISOs and few hypervisor ISO. In addition to ISO space requirements, you have to take under consideration space needed during Nutanix block provisioning.  During provisioning process, Nutanix Foundation creates copy of the hypervisor ISO for each node. So, if you plan to provision 20 nodes at time (max number of nodes supported by Nutanix Foundation) with:


  • ESXi hypervisor (ESXi 5.5 U1 has 328 MB), 20 x 328 (MB) = 6560 MB extra free space on Nutanix Foundation VM
  • Hyper-V (ISO has 2102 MB), 20*20102 (MB) = 42040 MB (42GB) extra free space on Nutanix Foundation VM

Below you can see temporary ISOs for 3 nodes ESXi 5.5 U1 cluster

You can extend disk in two ways, either extend root partition or add second disk to Nutanix Foundation VM and create new mount point for /home directory. I went for option number one and extended root partition up to 50GB. It has to be done offline. Nutanix Foundation disk extension:

  • Power VM down
  • Extend disk in virtual hardware
  • boot up VM from ISO such as gparted live
  • extend root partition
  • restart VM
Nutanix Foundation - root partition extend by gparted live

Nutanix Foundation – root partition extend by gparted live

Disk full

after disk extension

Upload Phoenix and hypervisor ISOs on Nutanix Foundation 

If you don’t have ISO yes, download them from Nutanix Portal either directly on Nutanix Foundation appliance or to your desktop and copy it over to appliance. [box type=”info”] NOTE: At the moment Nutanix portal is available only for Nutanix partners and engineers. But it will change in near feature and ISO, Foundation will be available for customers and non-customers too.[/box]

Nutanix Foundation - phoenix ISOs

Nutanix Foundation – phoenix ISOs

Upload Phoenix ISOs on:

[box type=”warning”] Caution: Phoenix release 1.2 is the earliest supported release; do not use a Phoenix ISO image from an earlier release.[/box] Upload hypervisor (VMware or Hyper-V) ISO on:

KVM ISO is  included in the Phoenix ISO, so a separate KVM ISO is not required on Nutanix Foundation. Supported hypervisor versions by Nutanix foundation: VMware:

  • ESXi 5.0 U2 – VMware-VMvisor- Installer-5.0.0.update02-914586.x86_64.iso
  • ESXi 5.0 U3 – VMware-VMvisor- Installer-5.0.0.update03-1311175.x86_64.iso
  • ESXi 5.1 U1 – VMware-VMvisor- Installer-5.1.0.update01-1065491.x86_64.iso
  • ESXi 5.1 U2 – VMware-VMvisor- Installer-5.1.0.update02-1483097.x86_64.iso
  • ESXi 5.5 – VMware-VMvisor- Installer-5.5.0-1331820.x86_64.iso

NOTE: VMware ESXi 5.5 U1 ISO is not supported by Nutanix Foundation Microsoft:

  • Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 (stnd alone) – en_windows_server_2012_r2_vl_x64_dvd_3319595.iso
  • Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 (stnd alone) – SW_DVD9_Windows_Svr_Std_and_DataCtr_2012_R2_64Bit_English_-3_MLF_X19-53588.ISO
  • Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 (free) – SW_DVD9_Windows_Svr_Std_and_DataCtr_2012_R2_64Bit_English_-3_MLF_X19-53588.ISO
Nutanix Foundation with Hypervisor ISO uploaded

Nutanix Foundation with Hypervisor ISO uploaded

Artur Krzywdzinski

Artur is Consulting Architect at Nutanix. He has been using, designing and deploying VMware based solutions since 2005 and Microsoft since 2012. He specialize in designing and implementing private and hybrid cloud solution based on VMware and Microsoft software stacks, datacenter migrations and transformation, disaster avoidance. Artur holds VMware Certified Design Expert certification (VCDX #077).

  • João Castro

    Hello Artur,
    Do you know if i need be a nutanix partner for download can be available ???

    • Hi Joao,

      Yep, you have to be either partner or Nutanix employee to get hands on Foundation. But we are planning to release Foundation as GA some time next year.