Quick Tip : Create Phoenix ISO & Expand Nutanix Cluster Manually from cli

Nutanix prism allows you to expand cluster in 1-click fashion which will allow to discover, image (foundation), configure network and expand cluster (expand storage pool) in two page wizard, but some times due to unknown reason or restrictions you cannot use prism wizard..

  1. Use field guide to Image the node with your choice of hypervisor.
  2. Use phoenix to get CVM Configured on the node..

but recently you don’t get to download phoenix iso from support but instead generate from any existing CVM as below;

allssh  ls  ~/foundation/nos/

to find where you have AOS tar uploaded already, then ssh to that CVM..and run

mkdir /home/nutanix/foundation/tmp

it might possibly exists.. change to foundation binary directory

cd /home/nutanix/foundation/bin

run below command to create phoenix iso..

./foundation --generate_phoenix --nos_package=/home/nutanix/foundation/nos/

replace the currect aos image tar file and version..

WinSCP to CVM and download the Phoenix ISO file to be used for New node configuration.

Once node is ready, use Prism Cluster Expand to configure. if you cannot you can always manually set IP address to hypervisor and CVM using IP v6 or through hypervisor internal network. Once IP addresses are set and connectivity is verified run below command on your Nutanix cluster to discover the new node by your Nutanix cluster.

ncli cluster discover-nodes

Which should show output as below

Cluster Id :
 Controller Vm Address :
 Current Network Interface : eth0
 Foundation Version : foundation-3.5-7ca0fb1f
 Hypervisor : hyperv
 Hypervisor Address :
 Hypervisor Version : Microsoft_Windows_Server_2012_R2_Datacenter
 Ip : fe80::215:5dff:fe09:8c00%eth0
 Ipmi Address :
 Node Position : D
 Node Uuid : 50d9b2f9-d099-4a7f-bc4b-4417d4a4413e
 Nos Version : 5.0.1
 Rackable Unit Model : NX-1065-G4
 Rackable Unit Serial : 16SM6501XXXX
 Sed Node : false
 Svm Ip :

Note the node Uuid and run below command to add the node to cluster.

ncli cluster add-node node-uuid="50d9b2f9-d099-4a7f-bc4b-4417d4a4413e"

Go have coffee and when you are back login to Prism to see the newly added node or new storage size..



Quick Tip : Restore Nutanix Snapshot (Expired) from nCLI

One of the life saving feature of Nutanix platform is native data protection, now every other vendor has it so whats so great about it… I do remember at one of our customer had failed upgrade of application in a critical virtual machine and to get the virtual machine out and running from storage snapshot how much it takes..

The best part of Nutanix data protetion is virtual machine granularity, it does not only give per virtual machine protection,  it also enables to spin-up selective virtual machine as test/dev isolated environment in minutes.

Addition to that Nutanix have hidden feature of data protection to keep few expired snapshots in case you does not noticed you have curruption days over your retention. By default the value is keep 5 snapshots (kb1531) which can be seen from ncli as below;

ncli pd ls-sched name="pd-name"

and can be updated as below if required.

ncli pd set-schedule min-snap-retention-count=3 name="pd-name"

So set it with cuation if you have less then 5 snapshot retention and running low on disk space.

But what if the snapshot has been expired and believe me it has saved me coulpe of time when someone from top c level mess up with data and after strugling for few days to realize your snapshot retention has passed.

so what you do .. connect to Nutanix cluster by ssh..

ncli pd ls

to list all your protection domains configured..

ncli pd ls-snaps name="pd-name"

to list all the snapshots.. which show output similar as below

ID : 96731
 Protection Domain : CRM-PD
 Create Time : 02/11/2017 23:30:00 UTC
 Expiry Time : 02/12/2017 23:30:00 UTC
 Virtual Machine(s) : 1

VM Name : CRM-VM01
 Consistency Group : CRM-VM01
 Application consistent... : false
 Power state on recovery : Powered On

NFS Files : 0
 Located at Remote Site : Local
 Snapshot Size : 15.54 GiB (16,689,091,848 bytes)

ID : 96530
 Protection Domain : CRM-PD
 Create Time : 02/10/2017 23:30:00 UTC
 Expiry Time : Expired
 Virtual Machine(s) : 1

VM Name : CRM-VM01
 Consistency Group : CRM-VM01
 Application consistent... : false
 Power state on recovery : Powered On

NFS Files : 0
 Located at Remote Site : Local
 Snapshot Size : 8.95 GiB (9,609,154,312 bytes)

there you see you have a snspshot you need on the date but Expiry Time is Expired, worry not, my retention was just 1 day an minimium retention was set 2 so Acropolis is going to retain minimium 2 snapshots.. now prism also shows expired snapshots and allows operations on it.. but i still run old NOS..for some unknown reason 😦

ncli pd restore-snapshot name="CRM-PD" snap-id="96530" vm-names="CRM-VM01" '
replace="false" path-prefix="/Restored-CRM-VM01" vm-name-prefix="Restored-"

and voila..! vm restored and resgitered in no time.. just power on and have a coffee..


How To – AHV Acropolis Dynamic Scheduling

With introduction to AOS 5.0 Nutanix had release one of the most competing feature as ADS which makes AHV fully enterprise ready and more competing.

Acropolis Dynamic Scheduling or ADS will proactively monitors AHV cluster for compute and storage I/O and migrate VMs to avoid any hotspots similar to VMware DRS or Hyper-V SC PRO, but as built-in intelligence u don’t have much to worry about configuring it properly.

ADS will be enabled default and to verify run

acli ads.get


can be disabled from acli using

acli ads.update enable=false

and can be re-enabled using

acli ads.update enable=true

so now ADS is enable whats next, set rules configure affinity rules.

Currently AHV supports VM-Host and VM-VM anti-affinity policy only.

VM-Host Affinity

Using VM-Host affinity you can make sure that VM will only be able to run on selected hosts only.

VM-Host affinity cannot be configured if you have HA set for reserved host.

To verify run acli ha.get

acli ha.get
 reservation_type: "kAcropolisHAReserveSegments"

verify reservation_type is not set as kAcropolisHAReserveHosts.

To set reservation_type as Reserve Segments run

 acli ha.update reservation_type=kAcropolisHAReserveSegments

To set VM-Host affinity you can select host list while creating VM or update VM later.


and selecting hosts you want to set affinity to.


so now you have list of host that VM is allowed to run on.


Now if you try to migrate that VM you will be allowed selected hosts only.


ADS will not allow to unset VM-Host affinity while VM is ON but you can do using acli

acli vm.affinity_unset vmname

VM-VM Anti-Affinity

VM-VM anti-affinity allows to make sure VMs will always run on different hosts. Currently it can be set using acli.

In order to define anti-affinity policy you have to create a VM Group and set anti-affinity on that group, so when the VMs are turned ON they are prefered to be on different host, but this policy does not limit ADS from taking action in resource constraints.

Create VM Groups

acli vm_group.create <vm_group_name>


List VM Groups

acli vm_group.list


Add VMs in VM Group

acli vm_group.add_vms webservers vm_list=<vm1_name>,<vm2_name>


List VMs in VM Group

acli vm_group.list_vms <vm_group_name>


Get VM Group Information to see Anti-Affinity Policy

acli vm_group.get webservers


*Noticed no anti-affiity policy defined

Set Anti-Affinity Policy to VM Group

acli vm_group.antiaffinity_set <vm_group_name>


Get VM Group Information to verify Anti-Affinity Policy

acli vm_group.get <vm_group_name>


Now when the VMs will be turned they will be placed on different host.


How To – Nutanix Self Service Portal (3)

In my last post I had gone through creating Catalog by VMs or Disk Images. In this post i will go though end-user prospective in creating VMs and managing VMs.

In browser enter URL of Nutanix Cluster as below


Login with active directory user credentials having access to project. Once you had successfully logged click + Create VM.


Create VM will present you with options to select VM templates or Disks.


Select VM Templates


or Select Disk Images


Next screen will allow enter name for the VM as well as to modify specification. Click save to create VM.

Now you can see the VM on you home screen as below;


Click on VM to manage or select action


Happy Self Servicing.

How To – Nutanix Self Service Portal (1)

How To – Nutanix Self Service Portal (2)


How To – Nutanix Self Service Portal (2)

In my previous post i had gone through how to enable Self Service Portal, create Project and designate project users.

In this port i will go through how to create catalog and image which can be used by users to create virtual machines within project.

Catalog : Catalog list the VMs, disks and ISO to be used by users to create VMs. You can add a pre-installed VM to catalog, also any disk or ISO files. The VMs in catalog appear to users as Template and Disk or ISO files as Disk Images.

To add virtual machine to catalog follow the steps as below;

  1. Login as Prism Administrator and create VM with appropriate name.
  2. Install OS, required Applications and shutdown the VM.
  3. Login as Cloud Administrator
  4. Select the appropriate VM

add-catalog-vms5. Go to Actions from top menu and select + Add To Catalog


6. Enter Name for the VM and click Save.

To add virtual machine to Image follow the steps as below;

During Initial SSP configuration as well as later any image created in Image Configuration by Prism Administrator automatically imported.

Click on Images from Left menu and click + Create Image


Define name, description and select type of disk and location from URL or file and click Save to create Image.

Once the file is uploaded it will be listed, the file can also uploaded by Image Configuration through Prism Console by Prism Administrator.


Click Settings and then Image Configuration;


Enter Name, Annotation, disk type, location from URL or file and click save.


All the available Images will be listed as above.

To add to Catalog select the Image and go to Actions.


The Image will be added to Catalog to be used by users to create VMs

In next post I will be going through creating VMs with end-user prospective.

How To – Nutanix Self Service Portal (1)

How To – Nutanix Self Service Portal (3)


How To – Nutanix Self Service Portal (1)

With AOS 5.0 Nutanix had release Self Service Portal (SSP), SSP enables enterprises to move towards private cloud even may be public cloud without any third-party integration.

SSP enables end users (developers, testing engineers) to consume IT infrastructure in self service manner without administrators intervention.

In this post I will walk through the process of configuration of SSP and go through the interface end-user will be using to manage its Virtual Machines.

In order to configure SSP confirm the below prerequisites;

  1. AOS 5.0 and above with AHV only
  2. Active Directory Details (Currently SSP uses Active Directory for authentication and RBAC, ldap only)
  3. Create a user or group to be designated as cloud administrator.
  4. Create user or group to be designated as end-user or project (tenant) administrator.
  5. Networks are created (make sure all networks had name defined)

To Enable Self Service Portal;

Click on drop-down next to Home


click Self Service

This opens new browser tab as


This is the same URL end users will be accessing to login to SSP.

Login using admin and Nutanix defualt password.

On next screen you will be allowed to select Active Directory connection if you already have in Prism or you can add as below;ssp02

NOTE: The Self-Service Portal does not support LDAPS in this release.

Next you will be able to designate Active Directory user or group as Cloud Administrator


That’s it your Self Service portal is ready to use. Now you can login with cloud administrator AD credentials to SSP



Once you logged in you can see all the VMs created through Prism and have full management access on them. NOTE: Cloud Administrator has full access on all the VMs within Prism and Project except Networks. Cloud Administrator will not be able to create or manage Networks, that only can be done by Prism Administrators .

Once logged-in you will be able to see all the VMs present on the cluster.


Next you can create a Project (Tenant), make sure network is already configured to be used by project.

Select Project from left list, and Click +Create Project


In Next Screen enter details like Name, AD Users who can create and or manage the VMs base on roles, select network to be used by project. Optionally you can also define quota of vcpus, ram and storage for the project.

Next the designated project user can login and start creating VMs either using Images or Catalog.

In next post I will be going through creating Images and Catalog to be used for SSP.

How To – Nutanix Self Service Portal (2)

How To – Nutanix Self Service Portal (3)

Nutanix, Uncategorized

Its Christmas … AOS 5.0 here

Today Nutanix had finally release there next version of most anticipated release AOS 5.0.

Here i am trying to list few features AOS 5.0 brings..

New Features

  1. Acropolis File Services
    1. Support for AHV and ESXi
    2. Support for Aync DR
    3. Group and User level quota
    4. Access based enumeration
  2. Acropolis Dynamic Scheduling
  3. AHV Affinity Policies
    1. VM-host affinity
    2. VM-VM anti-affinity policies
  4. REST API 2.0
  5. Metro Availability Witness
  6. Acropolis Block Services
    1. Support for CHAP
    2. Dynamic Load Balancing
    3. IP-based initiator whitelisting
    4. Ability to expand LUNs
  7. Self-Service Portal (SSP)
  8. Run NCC checks from the Prism
  9. Network Visualization
  10. ESXi VM Management by Using Prism

Updated Features

  1. Authentication Changes When Using Active Directory Without Role Permissions Assigned
  2. Licensing Workflow Improvements
  3. Deprecation of TLS 1.1, TLS 1.0, SSLv3
  4. Compression Enhancements (Now uses LZ4 and LZ4HC)
  5. Event Notifications
  6. Automatic Inclusion of Related Entities in a Protection Domain
  7. Ability to Increase the Size of a Virtual Disk or Volume Group
  8. Single-Node Replication Target Clusters
  9. Flash Mode Support for Virtual Machines and Volume Groups
  10. Cluster Latency Visualization
  11. Erasure Coding Changes
  12. Nutanix Guest Tools (NGT) Silent Installer for Windows
  13. One-hour RPO for Storage Heavy Platforms
  14. In-guest User Interface for Self-Service Restore
  15. Simplified SATA-DOM Replacement

Tech Preview Features

  1. XenServer hypervisor
  2. Hot Plugging Memory and CPU on Virtual Machines (AHV)

Reference AOS 5.0 release notes here.