Set up Nutanix CE on Ravello Systems

Being a vExpert is a great acknowledgement of community contributions not just around VMware, but virtualization in general. As part of the award and recognition, many companies step up and also recognise the contributions the vExperts make. As part of this, Ravello Systems (recently acquired by Oracle) offers vExperts 1000 CPU hrs a month for Free. This is really great, and allows for the use of cloud resources for labbing and testing.
Ravello Systems is a cloud provider hosting on both Amazon and Google Cloud. The way Ravello is designed is that you create a blueprint of your servers and then fire them up and operate as required. There are some pre-made blueprints with images already loaded and there is also the ability to upload your own ISO/image to use the build of OS you require.
Today I am going to talk through setting up the Nutanix Community Edition blueprint that is readily available on Ravello.   (You can sign up and get your copy of Nutanix CE here for your home lab.) The Nutanix Community Edition is as it is called, the Community Edition. This is a free version of their Acropolis Hypervisor and Prism interface for use on your home lab.
Setting up a pre-set blueprint is simple.

  1. Select the Applications Tab on the right and click on the bright orange “Create Application.” This will then open up a dialog box asking for the Name and Description of your new application. Tick “From Blueprint” and select “Nutanix Community Edition” 1_Create Application 2_Create Application
  2. Once created, you will see the VM sitting on the blueprint of your application. 3_Blueprint
  3. Select the Nutanix VM as this will bring up the resources tabs on the right hand side. This is where you can set your Compute, Storage and Network (including public IPs) – I will take your through these tabs, but it’s best to leave as default for this blueprint.
    The summary tab gives you a brief overview.
  4. Select the General Tab, this is where you can rename the VM and give it a hostname before publishing. You can also set up a security key. 4_Genreal Tab
  5. The third tab is the System Tab, where you can adjust the compute for your VM. I have tried setting up with more memory, however I continue to receive errors on the blueprint – just leave as is.  Make sure you leave the “Allow Nested Virtualization” selected, otherwise you will not be able to run VMs on the Nutanix platform.5_System Tab
  6.  Coming up fourth is the Disks Tab, this is where you can configure your disks. Nutanix uses HDD and SSD, so this are already pre-configure with heaps of room. 6_Disk Tab
  7. The Network Tab allows you to set up networking. 7_Network Tab
  8. The last tab is the Services Tab, this is where you can open ports for your public IP through to your system. The main port for Nutanix is 9440 which is where your will connect through to Prism interface to manage your Nutanix Acropolis HV. There are also the SSH and sftp ports available as well as many others. 8_Services
  9. Once you are happy with any changes you may have made, you can select the “Publish” button at the top of the screen.
  10. You will then receive another box that will ask for where you would like to host your application. The two choices are Amazon and Google Cloud, there are cost benefits between the two providers and also speed benefits depending on where you are (Play around with different providers until you find one that suits – however you will need to recreate the applications). You can also set how long you would like your application to stay on for if you only need it for a certain length of time. Once you are happy  select “Publish”. This will then set up your VM in your blueprint and assign a public IP and DNS entry so you can then access the Prism interface over the internet.10_Publish Application
  11. During the application creation, there will be an hourglass displayed on your VM as it builds. This will then turn to a play button once it is on.
  12. Once the VM is ready to be accessed, you will have both public IPs and DNS hostnames available on the right hand side under the Summary Tab. Select either DNS or IP and paste into your web browser (There are two, so you may need to try the other one).13_Published_App
  13. If everything is up and running then you will be presented with the Prism logon screen. The default log in is admin/admin14_PrismWeb

That’s it. Really simple to set up Nutanix CE on Ravello Systems. Make sure that you have set up a .next account with Nutanix CE as this will be required to continue past the prism log in. As I am in Australia, I do find Ravello slow, but with a little patience it really does help, especially if you do not have a lab at home.
Thank you again for reading, I really appreciate any comments you have about this post or any others.

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