Migrate to Nutanix Acropolis platform – Ultimate guide

Migrate to Nutanix Acropolis – Ultimate guide

Nutanix is a leader (second year in a row) of HyperConverged Infrastructure (HCI) market, according to Gartner Magic Quadrant. There is no surprise at all, that more and more people asking about migration method and tools from legacy infrastructure to Nutanix. Nutanix is actively working to make migration to Nutanix Acropolis as easy as it is only possible, I would say – Nutanix’s way 🙂 .

You can find some examples on how Nutanix deal with complexity and makes day to day life easy in below:

Nutanix Acropolis supports several hypervisors (AHV, ESXi, Hyper-V 2012R2, Citirx XenServer 7.1), Linux containers – Acropolis Container Services (ACS), file shares (Acropolis File Services) over SMB 2.0 and 2.1, physical servers connecting to Acropolis Block Services (ABS) over iSCSI. Nutanix Acropolis software is available on Nutanix NX, Dell XC, Lenovo HX, HP, Cisco UCS and soon IBM Power hardware platforms.

As you can see from above list there is plenty of migration use cases. There is no surprise there are lot of questions related to migration methods, tips and trick and Hot-To’s. I will try to cover as many migration use cases as possible. If you have specific use case which is not covered let me know in the comments and I can check what I can do.

Migrate to Nutanix Acropolis

Methodology

Some migration scenario require more effort, like cross-hypervisor migration or cross hypervisor and cross-datacenter. In general, migration projects are great opportunity for:

  • update inventory, both application and OS
  • update application dependencies
  • get rid of unsupported OS, hardware or application
  • OS refresh or upgrade
  • hardware refresh
  • datacenter\COLO relocation

If you plan to migrate workloads without need to pay for paid migration tool licenses. There are several key factors which will drive your decision on the migration approach. Below you can find list of most important questions you should ask during migration workshop:

  1. Is application migration possible
    • if yes, go for it.
  2. What is source hypervisor – answering this question will help you narrow down list of tools
  3. What is target hypervisor – answering this question will help you narrow down list of tools
  4. How many systems (VMs and\or physical servers)?
  5. How big is data volume?
  6. What’s the available link between source systems and target Nutanix clusters and what’s average utilization?
    • answer for this question will help you make decision about tools and methodology.
  7. What is the longest downtime window for application\VM?
  8. Is APP\VM inventory up to date (make sure you get info with VM\APP criticality too)
    • you can see what tools you could potentially use for migration
    • you can decide what migration approach to choose
      • application migration
      • VM migration using migration tools or manual

NOTE: Above list it is not complete list of questions, however getting answer for those would give you an idea about source environment and migration methodology.

My general advice for customers are:

  • whenever possible use application migration approach, remember – application “know” more about data than any other migration tool.
  • for business critical APPS, use either application migration or migration tools
  • for the rest, use migration tools or migrate VMs\applications manually.

Migration Tools

There are several scenarios when you migrate to Nutanix. All with different risks, outage window for workload, different difficulty level. Some of them have tools (paid or free) like:

  • [Free] Nutanix Xtract DB – migrate MS SQL to Nutanix (on AHV or vSphere)
  • [Free] VMware converter  – migrate to VMware ESXi (V2V and P2V)
  • [Paid] SurelineEdge – migrate to Nutanix Acropolis AHV, VMware ESXi, Hyper-V (V2V and P2V)
  • [Free] Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter – as name states – migrate to Microsoft Hyper-V (V2V and P2V)
  • [Paid] 5nine V2V converter – migrate to Microsoft Hyper-V (V2V only)
  • [Paid] Platespin Migrate – migrate to Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware vSphere (V2Vand P2V)
  • [Paid] DoubleTake Move – migrate to Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware vSphere (V2Vand P2V)
  • [Paid] Zerto – migrate from legacy Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware vSphere  to Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware vSphere on Nutanix (V2V)

Migrate to Nutanix Acropolis with AHV

Nutanix AHV is Linux KVM based hypervisor, new generation hypervisor branded and developed by Nutanix. To be able to run workloads on it, you have to have guest OS with support for virtIO drivers. Below is the list of guest OS which can run on Nutanix AHV.

NOTE #1: Below list of guest operating systems is based on my testing, not Nutanix. I was able to install and run all above as guest OS on Nutanix AHV. For full list of supported\certified guest OS systems see Appendix section where you can find links to official Nutanix documentation.
NOTE #2: some of the operating systems are not officially supported on Nutanix AHV.

Linux support The KVM virtio drivers are automatically loaded and installed on the following:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.8 and newer
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 and newer
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and newer
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and newer
  • Some versions of Linux based on the 2.6.27 kernel or newer kernel versions.

Microsoft Windows OS  running on Nutanix AHV

  • Windows 2016 Standard, 2016 Datacenter
  • Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10
  • Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, 2016
  • RHEL 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2
  • CentOS 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2
  • Ubuntu 12.04.5, 14.04.x, 16.04.x, 16.10, Server, Desktop (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • FreeBSD 9.3, 10.0, 10.1,10.2, 10.3, 11.0
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP3 / SP4
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12
  • Oracle Linux 6.x, 7.x
  • Windows 2003
  • Windows XP
  • Windows 2000 Server

OS types with SCSI (recommended), PCI, and IDE bus types

  • Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10
  • Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2
  • RHEL 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2
  • CentOS 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2
  • Ubuntu 14.04.x
  • FreeBSD 9.3, 10.0, 10.1
  • SUSE 11

OS types with PCI (recommended) and IDE bus types

  • RHEL 5.8, 5.10, 5.11, 6.3
  • CentOS 5.10, 5.11, 6.3
  • Ubuntu 12.04
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12

NOTE: ABOVE LIST IS NOT VALIDATED OR PROVIDED BY NUTANIX. IT IS BASED ON MY PRIVATE TESTING

Difficulty ratings for manual migration

  • 0 – very easy
  • 1 – easy
  • 2  – difficult
  • 3 – very difficult

Scenario #1 – cross-hypervisor migration.

Acropolis Base Software is supported on 4 hypervisors, Acropolis Hypervisor aka Nutanix AHV, VMware vSphere 5.0 or newer, Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 and recently Citrix XenServer 7.0. Cross hypervisor migrations are most complicated and have always outage for migrated VM. However there are several ways to minimize outage window and mitigate risk. Check relevant sections for more details.

NOTE: on date 17’th Oct 2016 support for Citrix XenServer 7.0 is only Technical Preview, not for production. Check Nutanix compatibility matrix for more details.

Use Case #1 – migrate to Nutanix Acropolis AHV from VMware ESXi

Migrations from VMware vSphere ESXi to Nutanix AHV is one of the easiest and less complicated use cases. Below you can find links to my earlier blog posts (video included) on how to migrate from VMware ESXi (on legacy infrastructure) to Nutanix with Acropolis Hypervisor. To migrate from VMware ESXi to Nutanix AHV you can use either Sureline or move workloads manually.

My advice: use application migration whenever possible, in case application migration is not possible – use Nutanix xTractVM tool..
Rating: 1 – manual migration is easy for officially supported systems on AHV.
NOTE: Migration from VMware ESXi to Nutanix AHV has always outage. Downtime window depending on migration method and type of application.

Use Case #2 – migrate to Nutanix Acropolis AHV from Citrix XenServer.

Migration from Citrix XenServer is not the easiest migration, that’s for sure. However it is possible and doable.

My advise: for migration from Citrix XenServer to Nutanix AHV is use application migration or migration tool (Sureline) or both. If you can, avoid manual migration as it is very ppaintfull process.
Rating: 3 If you can, avoid manual migration as it is very ppaintfull process.

NOTE: Migration from Citrix XenServer to Nutanix AHV has always outage. Downtime window depending on migration method and type of application.

Use Case #3 – migrate to Nutanix Acropolis AHV from Microsoft Hyper-V 2012R2

hyper-v would have rate 2. Migration from Hyper-V is fairly easy. My advice
Rating: 2

Use Case #4 – migrate to Nutanix Acropolis AHV  from Red Hat EV

Work in Progress

Use Case #5 – migrate to Nutanix Acropolis AHV from Linux Xen.

Work in Progress

Use Case #6 – migrate SQL Server Failover cluster from VMware vSphere into Nutanix AHV.

My advice: use application migration whenever possible, in case application migration is not possible – use Nutanix xTractVM tool.
Rating: 0 – Nutanix xTract tool is the best and most efficient way to move your workload to Nutanix AHV.
NOTE: Migration from VMware ESXi to Nutanix AHV has always outage. Downtime window depending on migration method and type of application.

Scenario #2 –  VM migration  from legacy infrastructure with VMware vSphere to Nutanix with VMware vSphere.

Work in Progress

Scenario #3 – VM migration from legacy infra with Microsoft Hyper-V 2012R2 to Hyper-V 2012R2 on Nutanix

Work in Progress

Scenario #4 – P2V – physical to virtual migration to Nutanix AHV

Work in Progress

Migrate to Nutanix from Microsoft Azure

Work in Progress

Migrate to Nutanix from Amazon AWS

Migration from AWS or any other cloud is not easy task. There are factors you have to consider before migrating off cloud such as:

  • Licensing – you can migrate data off but not whole VM
  • Bandwidth between on-prem facility and cloud
  • Downtime window
  • Data volume and growth

Answering for above questions will help you decide what methodology and tools you can use for migration project. There are few tools available on the market which can help you with migration to Nutanix Acropolis, one of the is Sureline (see below video), which is paid tool. If you have MSSQL migration project, Nutanix Xtract DB will be perfect solution for you.

Methodology:

  • Application migration – always choose application migration to migrate data if possible
    NOTE: Xtract DB is application migration
  • Sureline Migrator – migration from Xen is very painful, if you can use 3’rd party migration tools it will make migration project much easier and less painful for business
  • Manual migration – AWS has an option to export VM to file which you can download and import into destination system.

Scenario #1 – VM migration to Nutanix Acropolis AHV from Amazon AWS

Scenario #2 – Microsoft SQL migration to Nutanix Acropolis

Nutanix Xtract DB migration tool is your best  to migrate your database from legacy platform or Cloud to Nutanix Acropolis. Toll is available for every Nutanix customer and partner. Read more here about tool:

Migrating Microsoft SQL from Amazon AWS to Nutanix Acropolis.

Migrate to Nutanix from Solaris Sparc

Cross platform migration are one of the most difficult and risky migration operations. However, as more  hardware and software vendors pulling off their support for non-x86 processor (Oracle, HP-UX, SAP) those type of migration become more and more popular.

Scenario #1 – Oracle DB 12c migration from Solaris Sparc to Nutanix Acropolis

Migrate to Nutanix Xi from Amazon AWS

Work in Progress

Migrate to Nutanix Xi from Microsoft Azure

Work in Progress

Migrate to Nutanix Acropolis File Services

Work in Progress

Migrate to Nutanix Acropolis Block Services

Work in Progress

Migrate to Nutanix Acropolis Container Services

Work in Progress

Appendix- Migrate to Nutanix Acropolis

Change log:
  • 28’th Aug 2017 – initial version
  • 30’th Nov 2017 – added – Migrate Oracle DB from Sparc to Nutanix