As Josh Druck outlined in his September 14th blog, Veeam has longstanding technical relationships with both Cisco HyperFlex and Nutanix. In this blog, I would like to explore what the recent Cisco and Nutanix global strategic partnership announcement will mean to Veeam customers, or prospective Veeam customers, from a technical perspective.
As you may know, Veeam has worked with Cisco for over ten years with Veeam Data Platform protecting and recovering Cisco HyperFlex workloads. On September 12, 2023 Cisco announced the end-of-sale and end-of-life for the Cisco HyperFlex Data Platform. Cisco’s HyperFlex customers will have one year to purchase more HyperFlex equipment and have many more years to continue operating their HyperFlex clusters. For those customers that wish to continue operating HyperFlex, Veeam Data Platform will continue to support them in those environments.
For Cisco customers wishing to change from HyperFlex to the Nutanix Cloud Platform on Cisco UCS servers, known as Cisco Compute Hyperconverged with Nutanix, Veeam Data Platform can not only provide best-of-breed data protection, but can also help simplify the migration of VMs from HyperFlex to Nutanix. Customers adopting Cisco Compute Hyperconverged with Nutanix will need to choose which hypervisor they will want to run on their Nutanix clusters; VMware vSphere or Nutanix’s own AHV hypervisor.
Whether you choose to continue using vSphere, or want to change to AHV, you can leverage Veeam Data Platform for these two different migration use cases:
- Migration from HyperFlex vSphere to Nutanix vSphere (Figure 1)
- Migration of workloads from vSphere to Nutanix AHV (Figure 4)
Migration From Hyperflex vSphere to Nutanix vSphere
For this use case, Cisco has published an excellent white paper titled “Migrating Workloads from Cisco HyperFlex to Cisco Compute Hyperconverged Solution with Nutanix White Paper”. This white paper details several ways of migrating vSphere VMs from HyperFlex to Cisco Compute Hyperconverged with Nutanix. An entire section of this migration guide is devoted to performing these migrations with Veeam Data Platform’s Replication capabilities.
Veeam Replication provides several advantages over the other methods described in this white paper. These include:
- Jobs to automate the replication/migration process
- Allowing for network re-mapping and re-IPing of VMs
- Planned failover for zero data loss
- Ability to seed replicas from backups
- Ability to test migrated machines before committing to failover, or final migration
Migration of Workloads From vSphere to Nutanix AHV
This use case is more complex as it involves not only the migration, but also the conversion of Virtual Machines from vSphere to Nutanix AHV. With Veeam Data Platform, Veeam customers can leverage either Instant Recovery to Nutanix AHV (Figure 2) or can Restore entire VM to Nutanix AHV (Figure 3) to migrate and convert the VMs from vSphere to Nutanix AHV.
Here are the steps for the Instant Recovery to Nutanix AHV process:
- Install and configure Veeam Nutanix AHV Plug-in on existing Veeam Backup & Replication server
- Add Nutanix AHV cluster to Veeam Backup & Replication Inventory
- Deploy Nutanix AHV backup appliance
- Optionally deploy additional AHV worker (proxy) VM’s
- Ensure the requirements in the Before You Begin section of the Veeam Help Center documentation have been met
- Perform Instant Recovery of Workloads to Nutanix AHV
- In the guest OS, change network settings (e.g. IP address) for the target Nutanix cluster
Through the Veeam Instant Recovery process, customers can specify the following:
- Nutanix cluster to recover to
- Nutanix Storage Container for VM virtual disks
- New VM name, if needed
- Target network for converted VM, or consider leaving VM disconnected for verification
Veeam Instant Recovery for migration of VMs from vSphere to AHV provide the following advantages:
- Full conversion of VMs from vSphere to AHV
- Easy-to-use tools familiar to backup administrators
- Ability to do mass VM conversions
- Minimal data loss by running incremental backup prior to migration
- Testing of migrated VMs before finalizing migration
Customers moving from Cisco HyperFlex to Cisco Compute Hyperconverged with Nutanix have the flexibility to choose to stay with vSphere, or to move to Nutanix AHV. Those same customers that run Veeam Data Platform, or are considering Veeam Data Platform, have the flexibility to leverage Veeam migration capabilities to both the vSphere-to-vSphere, and the vSphere-to-AHV use cases. This clearly demonstrates the power of Veeam Data Platform. This is one of the many reasons why Veeam is the leading data protection provider for both vSphere and Nutanix AHV environments. If you are not a current Veeam customer, and would like to try Veeam Data Platform, please click here for a free trial.