December 15, 2020|Design, ROBO
Here are the things that I am going to cover in this design series. As each blog is written, I will update the links below to the other pages. The idea here is to create a live design book that can be referenced and updated for different types of use cases. This first one is ROBO.
- Use cases
- Node types
- Tactical Data Centers
- Single and dual node
- Re-use existing hardware
- Re-use existing storage
- Competitive outlook
- External factors, (radiation, heat, water, etc.)
- Designing for each use case
In the Nutanix world, there are several main node types:
1) Hyperconverged (HC)
These are your standard nodes that provide a combination of storage and compute. In this node classification, you also have a sub-classification:
- Light Compute. – This is usually lower end processors and was historically used for older Storage-Only nodes, like the NX-6035C G5. You don’t see these anymore.
- Single CPU – This is used in very small environments that need to keep costs, power, and core licensing down. An example of this is the NX-1175S-G7, or the NX-1120S. The “S” designation on the model indicates a single CPU.
- Entry level- Lower end dual CPU, but only a single SSD and limited memory scalability. These reduce core and SSD costs to a near minimum. An SSD failure will be seen as a CVM failure because there is no redundancy. An example is the NX-1065-G7.
- Multi-node blocks- These cram as many nodes as possible into a small form factor. You get 4-nodes in 2U with something like the NX-3065-G7, or 2 nodes in 2U with the NX-8035-G7.
- Slim profile blocks – These 1U servers have the same node density as the 8035 nodes, but you have physical block separation. An example of this is the NX-3170-G7
- GPU nodes – These nodes have physical space and slots for GPU cards. An example of this is the NX-3155-G7
2) Storage Nodes (SN)
Any node can be configured as a storage node. The main difference will be that of memory and CPU resources which will be reduced because only the CVM has to run on the node.
There are more node types for other workloads, and a full list of current node types from Nutanix and OEM vendors, can be viewed here. https://www.nutanix.com/products/hardware-platforms/specsheet
I am only focusing on the node types that are most often seen in ROBO environments. Therefore Storage Heavy, Compute Heavy, and Compute Only will not be discussed.
I’ve given examples for each node type for ROBO in NX hardware. The same, or equivalent can also be obtained from other hardware vendors. See the dynamic spec sheet above to find the OEM nodes that best fit your use case.
Some key node models that should be looked at from the OEMs are:
HPE DX 8000
This ruggedized 5U 4-node block is fairly small and can be affixed to a vehicle or other tactical or edge environment.
HPE ProLiant DX8000 5U Front Cabling Chassis View
1. 1U Blank
2. ProLiant DX910 1U Server Blade
3. Chassis Manager
4. HPE ProLiant DX8000 1500W (AC/DC) Power Supplies
KLAS Voyager 2 TDC
These nodes are ruggedized, small, come with their own switching and can be fit in an airline carry-on compartment. If they were to be installed in a rack, it would be 5U and short depth.
Lenovo HX 1021
This node is 1U half width, so you can put 2 nodes in 1RU. A very small form factor indeed. This is great for maximizing space with a limited number of nodes.
Not an OEM node, but a recent addition to the Nutanix NX line-up, and worth mentioning. This tiny node is 1U, less than 1′ deep and only uses about 120W. That’s the same power draw as running a bright incandescent light bulb.