Nutanix X-Ray Introduction


I recently had a great product update via the Nutanix NTC group and I wanted to do the following post to introduce Nutanix service X-Ray.  X-Ray fits into Nutanix vision of a low touch experience for the end user, whether thats from the sizing through to deployment and even expansion with a new service known as Xi.

What is X-Ray?

X-Ray really focuses on benchmarking, something of which is available today in the Enterprise but can involve a variety of tools and with it a variety of difficulty to run those tools.  Some are fairly simple but others require knowledge around the product to get it configured correctly.  Separate tools may be need to benchmark database and for VDI, which can make the process of getting realistic benchmark results difficult.

X-Ray has been introduced to not only deliver just another benchmarking tool but to measure characteristics on a Nutanix platform with resiliency and multi tenancy in mind but also to make the tool easy to use where the user doesnt need to be an expert to configure it and get accurate results.

X-Ray builds out scenarios which is a set of the follow characteristics.

  • Workloads – Primary workloads and Interference Workloads
  • Workflows – Cloning, bootstorms, snapshots and rolling updates
  • Failures – Power Outage

For instance, workflows above can be run against a primary workload (something like the key production DB or application) then the results are measured how the workflows affect the primary workload.  Scenarios can be ready made ones provided by Nutanix, easy to run and require little knowledge or they can be custom ones via the GUI of REST API.  Host failures can be simulated as part of the test to give a true view of how a failure would affect the platform.

How to use X-Ray

X-Ray ships as a VM image that is available for AHV clusters and ESXi clusters, imported as a OVH and installed.  First thing to configure is a Target that is the cluster where the benchmark test will be run, depending if its AVH or ESXi will determine if you point it to Prism of vCenter.  IPMI details can also be added to be able to simulate a host failure.   Select the required Cluster, Container and Network required along with any additional nodes.

Once the Target has been configured tests can be run.  Pre-baked tests include tests such as a snapshot impact, rolling upgrade, VDI simulation and more.  Tests can exported to a YAML file and customised using .fio file if required.  The following example shows the Snapshot Impact test and whats involved.  Notice the time here, different test have different duration settings to give the most accurate results.

Select a test and Add to Queue

Once the tests have completes, the results can be analysed along with the impact to the platform during the test.  The results can be exported in a report.

X-Ray can also be run on other platforms not just Nutanix, it can be run on any ESXi cluster which makes this a pretty cool and powerful tool not just for Nutanix customers.  Get downloading and try X-Ray out for yourself.

For more information download the whitepaper https://www.nutanix.com/xray/

 

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