Nutanix Files an overview

Nutanix Files is a part of Nutanix’s storage and Data services products that aims to consolidate and control unstructured data.

Files is a software-defined files services solution based on scale-out architecture, deeply integrated with Nutanix HCI architecture and prism management. The main use case for Files is to provide the end-user or applications a scale-out distributed file share repository with different share protocols like server message block SMBv2, SMBv3, and network file system NFSv3 and NFSv4 protocol.

Nutanix Files Architecture

Unlike traditional standalone NAS solutions, Files is based on software with distributed system DNA that is deployed as a cluster of 3 VMs scalable up by adding more CPU and RAM or out to 16 VMs. Files can be deployed on an existing Nutanix cluster or standalone (dedicated) cluster, running on ESXi or AHV hypervisor. Hence it inherits high availability, data resiliency, and data efficiency techniques like compression, deduplication, and erasure coding. Another advantage of Files over traditional NAS solutions that is Files has built-in intelligent data management, file analytics, reporting, and disaster recovery features which will discuss one by one.


FSVM networking

Nutanix Files Server Instances Run as VMs with two network interfaces:

Storage interface; FSVM connects to CVM using iSCSI to access vDisks in volume groups.

Client interface; Client from supported OS connects to FSVM to access SMB shares and NFS exports. also, FSVM uses this network to connect to DNS and AD

Important note: client cannot be on the same network as the FSVM storage network or the CVM subnet when networks are segmented. This is not an issue on a flat network design.

Files Networking
Files Networking

Exports and Shares

In addition to support of two types of SMB shares and NFS exports. Nutanix Files supports multi protocol access i.e same shared and if changes happen by nfs user smb suer will see the same changes

  • Distributed (commonly used for User profiles).
  • Standard (commonly used for departmental shares)

To manage SMB share permissions and for top-level directory (TLD) management, Nutanix recommends using the Microsoft Management Console Snap-In for Nutanix Files (MMC).

In next posts will go through advanced features, third party integration, and deployment of POC.

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