Quick demo’s: Acropolis hypervisor acli cloning ops

Hi all,

While prepping a few demo’s of RDS / XenApp on the Acropolis hypervisor I decided to shoot a few quick iPhone video’s of how easy and fast the provisioning mechanism in the Acropolis hypervisor really is, and how equally simple the command line options are should you decide to script instead of using the Prism GUI.

In these movies I do four tasks using acli.

  1. Clone 30 VM’s
  2. Power up 30 VM’s simultaneously
  3. Reboot 30 VM’s simultaneously
  4. Delete 30 VM’s while they are running. Yes, while they actually run.

This demo was performed on a NX-1450, in which each of the 4 nodes has a dual 6 core Ivy Bridge cpu per node, 128 GB memory per node, a single 400 GB SSD, and 4 1TB spinners. Version of Acropolis used was

1. Begun, the Clone wars have…

The first task is to make 30 clones of my master VM called “10us test DO NOT DELETE”. Yes, the DO NOT DELETE is a much needed evil on a demo platform shared with fellow Nutants ūüėČ

The master VM is a Windows 2012R2 install, with 4 cpu’s, 4 GB’s of RAM and a 200 GB thin provisioned disk.

To clone vm’s using acli you can use the following syntax:

vm.clone¬†vmname[startingnumber..endnumber] clone_from_vm=”mastervmname”¬†

Pretty straightforward eh? In demo example I used:

vm.clone 10usRDS[00..29] clone_from_vm=”10us DO NOT DELETE”

Now the speed with which this is performed is pretty mind boggling. Cloning 30 VM’s take takes just 5 seconds. Look for yourself in the first of the video’s:

That was nice and quick!

2. Chewie, punch it!

The second task task is to start these babies. For this you can use the command

vm.on vmname

acli allows for wildcards in the vm names, so I used

vm.on 10usRDS*

to start them all at once.

When you issue the command, Acropolis will load balance the VM’s over the (4 node) cluster. In the video you can see the node hostnames appear, and a little later the ip addresses. The ip addresses are assigned through DHCP obviously, but this is also done through Acropolis itself. No external DHCP server was used. All 30 VM’s are booted up and ready to use in under a minute.

Here is how that looked:

3. You never heard of Acropolis? It’s the hypervisor that made the Kessel run in 20 seconds..

For the next demo I opened all the consoles and issued the reboot command:

vm.reboot vmname

Once again, wildcards allowed and vm.reboot does a graceful reboot of the VM, so I used:

vm.reboot 10usRDS*

In the video you can see the VM’s running, and the speed of the reboot command. All VM’s are back up and running within 20 seconds.

4. You’re all clear, kid! Now let’s blow this thing and go home!

Time to clean up the mess we made. Deleting VM’s is just as easy as creating them from the acli.

vm.delete vmname

Again, wildcards supported AND running VM’s can also be deleted!

Here we go:

vm.delete 10usRDS*

Don’t worry , you will be asked for additional confirmation, but gone is gone so be careful. As with the cloning, the deletion is lightning fast, as is the freeing up of the resources that were in use by the VM’s. Cleaning out your environment was never easier!

Here’s the last video of the deletion:


Hope you enjoyed this little blog about manipulating VM’s in the Acropolis hypervisor. For more command line options please take a look at the fantastic Nutanix Bible¬†by Steven Poitras which now has a chapter on the Acropolis hypervisor as well, and if you are a partner or customer you can find the official documentation on the Nutanix portal.

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