Nutanix AHV basics – How to find VM disk

Nutanix Acropolis hypervisor (aka AHV) is a next generation hypervisor. AHV is Linux KVM based, highly customized hypervisor where all the storage “work” is handled by Nutanix Controller VM (Aka CVM). As of today, Nutanix supports four storage protocols SMB3 (for Microsoft hyper-v), NFS (for VMware ESXi), iSCSI (for Acropolis Block Services) and SMB2.1 (for Acropolis File Services).

When you create VM on Nutanix AHV, you specify container on where VM disks will be placed. Once VM is created, you cannot see, from Prism, where VM’s disks are placed. All you can see is, disk size, container name and BUS. Why would you need to see more? But if you really, really wanna know. For example,  VM has to be exported out of Acropolis cluster,  there is quick way of find out.

NOTE: If you are looking for information how to export VM from Nutanix Acropolis, see my blog post Export VM from Nutanix AHV

Get onto Putty, log in to CVM and get into acli (Acropolis command line)

List all VMs first – vm.list

Run command

As you can see, from the command output you can read much more, not just VM disk location in storage system. IDE0 is a OS disk, IDE1  is a CDROM – see cdrom: True parameter in VM config.

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).


    Hi Artur,

    Can we Download AHV image locally ??

    • Hey, what you mean by locally, on CVM file system, such as /tmp ?


        @locally- on local machine.
        Download images on local machine ,is it possible ??

        • define what is local machine? machine you are executing commands from?



          • Go it, so yes, it is possible but you have to be very careful. As CVM is the most sensitive part of the Nutanix cluster and if you fill up CVM filessytem (which is very easy when you have to download mid size disk. My preference, use external storage to download VM disk image.


            Thanks you,Able to download images to external hard disk…

          • Ernest Rogo

            And how would you go about moving vdisks between containers i.e storage vmotion

          • As of today there is not easy way to move vdisk between containers. You can try to export vdisk into Image Services or export to file and deploy new disk from it.

  • Sarat Chandra Gopi

    Hi Artur ,

    Does nutanix AHV supports the migration of VMs to Azure cloud ? If so what is the procedure to migrate the VMs. Can you please let me know your suggestions.


    • Hi Sarat,
      If you are asking if Nutanix has a tool to migrate to Azure, answer is no. As of today Nutanix supports backup to Azure.
      You will have to use Azure aware migration tools to migrate VM’s from Nutanix Acropolis to Microsoft Azure.

      • Sarat Chandra Gopi

        Artur, we are planning to migrate the Nutanix(on Ahv hypervisor) servers to Azure using Azure site recovery but we couldnt see anything supporting related to that . Can you please share anything relevant information regarding it .

        • Azure Site recovery supports Hyper-V and ESXi only, no support for AHV as of today. You will have to find different way to migrate off Nutanix to Azure (data migration, 3’rd party solution which supports both Azure and Nutanix AHV).

          • Sarat Chandra Gopi

            Sure Artur, ICan you please list out me some of the 3rd party tools that supports the migration from Nutanix to Azure

          • Sarat Chandra Gopi

            Arthur , Does Nutanix supports any migration strategies for moving out resources to cloud or secondary sites ?

          • If the secondary sites runs Nutanix AOS software, yes, Nutanix supports it out of the box (using Nutanix Async Dr or Nutanix Metro Availability). As of today, Nutanix has no toolsfeatures which will help you migrate to cloud. You have to look for alternative, 3’rd party solution to help you with migration. Hint, check product called Sureline Migrator.

          • Sarat Chandra Gopi

            Thank you Artur, will check with this tool and let you know the status

          • Sarat Chandra Gopi

            Artur , can we convert the disks on AHV to VHD ? So that we can create machine using that VHD in azure . Is it possible in Nutanix for conversion ??

      • Sarat Chandra Gopi

        Does Nutanix supports migration to Azure cloud ? can you please help me with this.

      • Sarat Chandra Gopi

        Artur , can you please let me know the process of taking backup to Azure ?