With so many organisations looking to increase their ability to react to business change and continually do more with ever reducing resources, automation is the only way to solve the challenge. Nutanix has pioneered the simplification of traditional datacentre infrastructure from compute, to storage and virtualisation but many customers I speak to ask about the network.

The Dynamic Duo

Network automation appears to the be the “last mile” in their journey to a fully automated datacentre and with the SDN market place rather fragmented it’s tough for organisations to pick a solution which completes the loop.

Many organisations are also embracing a DevOps methodology to improve the processes around development and release management of new and existing applications, ultimately driving their innovation goals – with that comes the requirement to provision infrastructure in rapid time.

The public cloud has provided a great benchmark for witnessing what can be achieved through automation. Let’s face it before AWS came along how long did it take to deploy a virtual machine, on a new network within a new datacentre…..a long time. You’d spend a huge amount of time just ensuring that you had compatible kit, let alone the process of deploying hypervisors, their supporting management infrastructure, provisioning and connecting storage environments etc.….with public cloud that is all abstracted away which enables businesses to move faster.

Nutanix aims to solve the rapid deployment challenge and on-going scaling requirements whilst ensuring that “day 2” operations are also streamlined, just like in the public cloud where the infrastructure building blocks are invisible. To aid in this journey Nutanix have partnered with Mellanox to provide the automation and simplification of “day 2” operations for common network tasks to complete the loop.

Mellanox are a leading supplier of end-to-end Ethernet and InfiniBand intelligent interconnect solutions and services for servers, storage, and hyper-converged infrastructure.

Mellanox switches have a REST-based API called NEO which enables tasks such as VLAN provisioning and trunking on the appropriate ports utilised by the Nutanix nodes. This enables consumers of the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform to forget about VLAN provisioning requests, as these are automatically setup and migrated as VM’s move within the Nutanix infrastructure, ultimately ensuring that applications get access to the appropriate networks to communicate. This enables developers and operations teams to concentrate on delivering real business value and get on with developing the next business defining application!

Here are a couple of video’s walking through the integration. In the first example a VM will be migrated from Node A to Node B, as we automate the configuration of the VLAN on the Mellanox switches VLAN’s are only configured as required – in real-time, rather than trunking all existing VLAN’s on all ports.

In the second example we create a new VM within the Nutanix Prism console, just like the previous example the combination of Prism and NEO take care of the VLAN provisioning task ensuring that the consumer of the Enterprise Cloud Platform can get on with doing just that – consuming it, just like in the public cloud.

If you would like to know more about Nutanix and how we deliver and Enterprise Cloud Platform, check out our website; https://www.nutanix.com/what-we-do/

If you would like to find out more about Mellanox and their intelligent interconnect solutions, take a look at their website; http://www.mellanox.com/page/company_overview

Thanks for reading

Stuart