Monday, May 21, 2012

Creating Full clones on Nutanix via NFS VAAI

Aim: to create 320 VMs on Nutanix NFS datastore  and  power on 320 VMs .
Guest VM size - Windows 7, 20G HDD on NFS, 2G mem with VmwareTools.
Number of ESX hosts - 4 ESX hosts ( 80 VMs per node)
Storage - Same ESX servers ( no additional hardware, other than Arista switch interconnecting these
ESX servers)  - Compute and Storage convergence.

Script help and source:, Tabrez and Steve Poitras

Vcenter before running the script:( except for the clone in local datastore, there are no VMs other than Nutanix controller VMs)

 On Nutanix: - Create storage pool, container and NFS datastore - from a clean cluster.
 a. Create Storage Pool

b. Create container
c. Create NFS datastore

ESXi  :now sees the datastore

esxcfg-nas -l
NTNX-ctr1 is /ctr1 from mounted available

Script to create the full clone of thick vdisk from 1Win7-Clone on NFS datastore :(1Win7-clone - has vmware tools and power budget disabled in Windows 7 so that it does not go into standby mode)

Connect-VIServer -User administrator -Password ntnx
1. $vm = Get-VM 1Win7-clone |Get-View 

2. $cloneFolder = $vm.parent 
$cloneSpec = new-object Vmware.Vim.VirtualMachineCloneSpec
$cloneSpec.Location = new-object Vmware.Vim.VirtualMachineRelocateSpec
3. $cloneSpec.Location.DiskMoveType = [Vmware.Vim.VirtualMachineRelocateDiskMoveOptions]::moveAllDiskBackingsAndAllowSharing
4. $cloneSpec.Location.Transform = [Vmware.Vim.VirtualMachineRelocateTransformation]::flat

5.$global:testIterations = 320
for($i=1; $i -le $global:testIterations; $i++){
$cloneName = "Windows7-$i"
$vm.CloneVM( $cloneFolder, $cloneName, $cloneSpec ) }

1.  Get-View of our clone master
2.  use same datastore as clone
3. allow sharing -  To create full clone by copying all disks (but not snapshot metadata), from the root to the child-most disk, except for non-child-most disks previously copied to the target
4.flat -causes it to be created as a thick disk
5. from 1 to 320 creates Windows7-$num with clone spec defined.

The following Vcenter snapshot shows that  clone creation  with NFS VAAI in progress and  320 VMs being created


#To Remove VM
Remove-VM Windows7-*

# To Power on
Start-VM Windows7-*

#To start VMs on specific ESX server:

Get VM-Host ip| Get-VM Windows7-*| where {$_.'PowerState' -eq "PoweredOff"}  | Start-VM  -RunAsync -Confirm:$false

Get VM-Host ip| Get-VM Windows7-*| where {$_.'PowerState' -eq "Suspended"}  | Start-VM

#Migrate VM: (DRS should do it when powering on)

$global:testIterations = 80

for($i=1; $i -le $global:testIterations; $i++){

Get-VM -Name Windows7-$i | Move-VM -Destination (Get-VMHost  -RunAsync
  }$global:testIterations = 240

for($i=161; $i -le $global:testIterations; $i++){
Get-VM -Name Windows7-$i | Move-VM -Destination (Get-VMHost  -RunAsync

 $global:testIterations = 320

for($i=241; $i -le $global:testIterations; $i++){
Get-VM -Name Windows7-$i | Move-VM -Destination (Get-VMHost  -RunAsync


# Get IP from VM to see if it is booted (vmware tools need to be installed ) -
Get-VM NTNX* |where {$_.'PowerState' -eq "PoweredOn"}| %{
write-host $_.Guest.IPAddress[0]}

to get count:

$global:count = 0
Get-VM Windows7-* |where {$_.'PowerState' -eq "PoweredOn"}| %{
$ip = $_.Guest.IPAddress[0]
if ($ip -ne " ") { write-host $ip
$global:count +=1

write-host  "Count of IPs is " $global:count

Count of VMs with ip is 320 ( monitor upto 320 is up)


  1. I see that SSDs are used in the mix which should handle the high IO when all VMs are booting. Is there anything else that Nutanix does in particular to calm the boot storm?

    1. Anand, Thanks for the question. Nutanix ILM (information Life cycle management) helps to move the hot data to Fusion IO.