After setting up my first Nutanix block for a customer, I was excited to view the dashboard that Controller VMs provided. This particular Nutanix block shipped with NOS 3.1.3. While I found the real-time information presented to be useful, it was quite limited. I held off on upgrading because I was more focused with migrating the existing environment to Nutanix. Then the client’s busy season hit full force, so I postponed the upgrade.
The Upgrade Process
In the beginning of July, Nutanix announced NOS 4.0.1 was available for download and installation. I had been eager to upgrade the client’s Nutanix block and things were finally starting to slow down enough for the client that I could schedule the upgrade.
[To create] an account in the Support Portal, your e-mail domain must match the organization the serial number is registered to.
Nutanix offers some of the best documentation I have ever used, so I was expecting a very pain-free upgrade process. The upgrade guide did not disappoint, and within a half hour all nodes were updated to NOS 4.0.1 via the rolling upgrade process. While I am not a fan of performing all upgrade steps from a command line, the documentation was clear enough to make it not feel like a chore.
The only hiccup came when attempting to generate a license file for the cluster. The documentation provided steps that directed the administrator to use the Nutanix Support Portal. As a partner, I only have an account with the Nutanix Partner Portal and attempts to create an account with the Support Portal failed. I created an incident and Nutanix support was quick to get back to me. Apparently, when creating an account in the Support Portal, your e-mail domain must match the organization that the block’s serial number is registered to.
Unfortunately, not having an e-mail address with the client’s e-mail domain meant not being able to generate a license file. Fortunately, an operations member of my team did have an e-mail address with the client. We were finally able to create a support account and generate the license file. Nutanix support informed me license generation would be coming to the Partner Portal soon.
After the Upgrade
As recommended by Steven Poitras (@StevenPoitras), I upgraded the Controller VMs to 32 GB of memory and enabled Shadow Clones. The next day, I noticed a 2-3 second improvement in logon times in the Citrix XenDesktop 7.x environment. Everything felt noticeably faster, particularly during the MCS image update process. If you are currently using MCS to manage your application/desktop deployment and have Nutanix, following Steven’s recommendations will make managing the image update process a much less time consuming.
Coming from Nutanix 3.1.3, Prism Central is a huge upgrade for detail-oriented administrators like me. The landing page presents the administrator with a view of the overall health of the cluster. Other section include real-time dashboards, tables and sometimes diagrams that can be manipulated to identify potential bottlenecks in performance. Read all about it here.