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Another NutanixCE Blog - let's make it simple

I've been trying for the longest time to get my hands on some Nutanix gear of my own but been struggling with funding. In order to expedite my ability to begin testing I decided I would run NutanixCE on vSphere to get started. I found no shortage of posts on running CE on VMware Workstation and vSphere 5.5, but very little on vSphere 6.5 and above. In my lab i'm running vSphere and vCenter 6.7. I have a homegrown SSD SAN behind it so I have the basics

First thing is to grab the NutanixCE image download. The latest version can be found here:

The next part was the part that I struggled with the most and my assumption is that things changed somewhat recently. Many of the other blog articles covering what needed to be done just said to rename the extension on the download to .VMDK and then upload. What I found is that the file is now compressed (took me a while to notice). Once I downloaded 7ZIP I was able to extract the .img file which is what you need. Then you can rename THAT file to .VMDK. Easiest thing is to rename it to ce-flat.vmdk.

Once you have the CE image renamed as a VMDK you will need a descriptor file to make the file usable after uploading. I'll save you the work of creating one yourself as I found someone who did it for me so I'll post for your ease:

# Disk DescriptorFile







# Extent description

RW 14540800 VMFS "ce-flat.vmdk"

# The Disk Data Base

ddb.adapterType = "lsilogic"

ddb.geometry.cylinders = "905"

ddb.geometry.heads = "255"

ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"

ddb.longContentID = "2e046b033cecaa929776efb0a63adc2a"

ddb.uuid = "60 00 C2 9b 69 2f c9 76-74 c4 07 9e 10 87 3b f9"

ddb.virtualHWVersion = "10"

Name the descriptor file ce.vmdk

Once you have that you have the hardest part done. So now you go to vSphere and create a shell VM. I used the Linux/CentOS 7 template, giving it 20 GB of RAM, no disks (for now), and the E1000 NIC. Also remember to edit the CPUs to give at least 4 virtual CPUs and enable the setting to expose the virtualization options to the CPU. Once the VM is created, then you can browse the datastore and upload the both the ce-flat.vmdk and ce.vmdk into the folder for the VM.

Now go back and edit the VM. Choose to add an existing hard drive and browse into VM folder and you'll see the CE disk you uploaded. After the CE image is there you need to add two additional drives for Nutanix to use. I created one as a 300 GB drive and the other as 600 GB (both thin provisioned to save space).

With everything in place, power on the VM and have fun! Most of the other blogs I found mentioned needing to update the installation parameters and config files. I found that it worked natively as is. I found that I did not need to do any of that. I powered up and ran the installer. You'll need 2 IP addresses for the CVM and the 'host'. Also if you haven't done so yet (and why haven't you) then you'll need to sign up for a .NEXT Community account.

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