In this article we are going to explore the steps on how to install Nutanix Community Edition on VMware. In particular in this step we are configuring the Nutanix Operating System (NOS). This is a follow up article and also part of the series on how to deploy Nutanix CE nested into a VMware environment we can use in our home lab.
The overall installation procedure is pretty quick and text based. In my case it took about 20 mins from back to back.
It is important to make sure the prerequisites are in place before commencing the install phase. Reason being is the installer script includes calls to check the performances and available hardware resources. If they don’t meet the minimum specs the the installer will abort. From this perspective it is possible to “tweak” the minimum specs but is not recommended as it will degrade the overall performances. I’m planning to to dedicate a separate article on this topic as I would like to test multiple Clusters using Nutanix Prism.
It is worth mentioning the default Nutanix CE image is shipping with the Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV). Of course it is also possible to run VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V as standard hypervisors across the Nutanix nodes. In a dedicated article we’ll explore the steps on how to add support for these two hypervisors along with a comparison list.
How to install Nutanix Community Edition
As per configuration steps in the previous article we are now ready to install Nutanix CE. The installer will quickly offer the option to boot from the standard image or the “rescue” one. For some reason the standard image bring a recurring warning message with “dracut”. I have tried on both VMware Workstation and vSphere with the same result. Booting from the “rescue” image works just fine. I will investigate at a later time about the warning messages.
This is also the time where we can edit the install parameter editing some script files. Will cover this in more detail on a separate article.
As soon as the “init image” is loaded at the login we just issue the “install” command to proceed.
We are now in the main wizard to install Nutanix Community Edition. First let’s choose the appropriate keyboard layout.
If correctly detected the installer will now show the available drives for Performance and Capacity. Namely sdb and sdc since they are connected to SCSI(0:1) and SCSI(0:2). If they not appear here let’s do a step back and confirm the settings.
The install wizard script will now detect the performance of the hardware.
At this point we are presented with the detail to provide the network configuration and the End User License Agreement.
I would recommend to use static IP addresses. The first set is for the Host. The second set is for the Nutanix Controller VM (CVM). Since this cluster has one Node, one CVM only is required. When adding multiple Nodes we can then add multiple CVMs. CVM is responsible for carrying all major operations to and from the Storage layer presented by Distributed Storage Fabric (DSF). So for example features like compression and deduplication are operated by Controller VMs.
One very important note to mention at this point is that it is essential for the Host and the CVM to be exactly in the same domain broadcast. Also we can instruct the wizard to automatically create a single-cluster. Which of course is our initial intention. Nutanix CE supports 1,3,4 Nodes clusters. By selecting this option a new field for the DNS configuration is available.
Let’s make sure the DNS server we specify here is able to resolve public servers names. Failing this we won’t be able to register the Nutanix CE install against the Next Community website.
For some reason when running this installation on VMware vSphere the DNS name is not maintained in the cluster configuration halting the registration process. We can easily fix this using the command line. We’ll review this and other commands in a separate article.
When running the installation on VMware Workstation the DNS Server configuration is just fine.
Let’s accept and scroll down the entire EULA and hit on start.
The wizard is now ready to install Nutanix packages part of the Nutanix OS (NOS).
during the execution we can also see the Names the installer is automatically assigning to the various resources and the IP addresses we have chosen for this particular install. The wizard will also create a self-signed certificate we’ll accept when connecting using SSH on both Host and CVM.
As soon as the initram image is updated with current hardware specs the wizard is starting the CVM. This operation also includes initiating the cluster which includes a number of services. This operation generally takes 15 minutes and of course depends on the available hardware resources. When completed let’s hit on Enter to proceed.
We are now presented with the screen to login to the Host. By default
- Username: root
- Password: nutanix/4u
Very interestingly this login page also shows the Nutanix CVM IP Address.
If required from here we can also login to the CVM using SSH. So the command would be something like “SSH nutanix@CVMIPAddress”. CVM default credentials are:
- Username: nutanix
- Password: nutanix/4u
This concludes the steps on how to install Nutanix Community Edition.
I would recommend to run a quick test before proceeding with the next steps about the first registration and configuration. From another host on the same network let’s try a network ping command to both the Nutanix Host and CVM. Should they fail let’s review the network configuration. In particular when installing on VMware vSphere we might want to create a new Port Group in full Promiscuous mode as per screenshot below. This will allow the network ping to work on both the Host and CVM. This step of course does not apply when running on VMware Workstation.
And ultimately let’s make sure the Nutanix CE Virtual Machine is mapping to the intended Port Group!
At this point we ready to proceed with the next steps about the Nutanix CE registration and first time configuration. We’ll cover this and more in the next articles.