Nutanix presents Community Edition to the world
Nutanix community edition (CE) is not the best or worst kept secret. A community edition of their storage platform is something that’s been loosely talked about for some time now and most recently as a few months ago Nutanix leadership mentioned it in some public interviews. Nutanix has been looking for a way to allow people in the tech community an easier way for them to get some hands on experience with their platform.
As a Nutanix Technology Champion (NTC) I was invited to participate in early trials of community edition with others NTC’s. We were provided with briefings on the CE product and provided access to install and participate in a private forum to provide feedback on the product and testing.
The community edition will become available to the community during the .Next user conference in early June. You can sign up here to get notified when CE is ready to go.
What is Community Edition
Simply put Nutanix community edition allows you to build a small hyperconverged cluster in your home lab. The product has a automated install. Although its not the same deployment method as the production product its still better than doing the work by hand. To try and provide flexibility in the hardware that people could use with CE they would not be able to use the same deployment that is used for their production HCI appliances.
With Nutanix CE you will be able to build a hyperconverged lab that consists of one to four nodes. This will allow people to build a single node Nutanix install for those that do not have a lot of hardware to play with the product. And those that have large labs can build a three or four node cluster for a larger install. This type of install could provide some serious power to people’s home labs.
The Nutanix CE install is only on bare metal today. It uses KVM as the hypervisor and deploys the controller VM (CVM) on top of it as normal. Home laber’s can then deploy VMs on the KVM cluster. After install you end up with a fully functional Nutanix cluster. It can dedupe, compress and perform awesome. There are some big plans such as the same one click upgrades like the production product.
The following is a list of minimal and recommended hardware specs, these are requirements today. I would expect these to loosen up and expand as the CE product matures.
- Memory 16GB min – 32GB or more recommended
- Intel CPU, VT-x , 4 core min
- Intel based NIC
- Cold tier storage 500GB min 1 per server (Max 18TB, 3x 6TB HDD)
- Flash 200GB minimum min 1 per server
- Max number of SSD/HDD drives per node is 4
- Boot to USB drive or SATA DOM
What I wish it was
I think that community edition is a great idea and hope that it’s a big success. But as a avid home lab person, I am not crazy about the idea of having to dedicate physical hardware for this. I know that I will get better performance and an experience more like the real product. But as a community product I think people just want to get their hands on it to play with it. This could be easier accomplished by offering it as a virtual appliance that I can run on my existing lab. No need to dedicate hosts and wipe disks. I can accept that a virtual appliance won’t give me the full experience and performance, but it will allow for more people to play with the community edition. I hope to see this as an option as CE matures.
I would like to say thanks to the Nutanix CE team for the experience and releasing a cool product to the community.
About Brian Suhr
Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design