How Nutanix LCM Life Cycle Management Framework Works ?

Nutanix Life Cycle Manager ( LCM ) greatly work to simplifies infrastructure upgrades and version compliance that compared to a traditional update cycle, the Nutanix LCM upgrade hardware firmware 70 percent faster.

The first goal of Nutanix LCM was to expand server firmware upgrades beyond NX-branded appliances. Nutanix LCM is now capable of providing one-click firmware upgrades for all Nutanix appliances including Dell and Lenovo.

LCM is a unique offering in that it’s the only tool that can upgrade firmware on multiple server platforms.

Nutanix LCM : Firmware Upgrades

Nutanix Life Cycle Management ( LCM ) feature 100% support hardware firmware upgrades that is the most avoided upgrades in every organization’s datacenter. The firmware upgrade process typically involves time-consuming manual research to check whether an upgrade is available, needed, and beneficial before moving forward.

Nutanix LCM simplifies this problem for Nutanix platform to provides LCM with a single process in Prism that identifies and qualifies upgrade paths, then uses a non-disruptive one-click process to complete the upgrade.

Nutanix Life Cycle Management ( LCM ) can perform firmware upgrades on the following server platforms:

  • Nutanix NX appliances
  • Dell XC and XC Core appliances
  • Lenovo HX and HX Core appliances

Read more : How To Open Case With Nutanix, Lenovo, IBM & Dell EMC

How Nutanix LCM Process Works ?

Nutanix Life Cycle Management ( LCM ) based on three component :

  • Inventory
  • Available Upgrades and Dependency
  • Orchestration Engine

Inventory

Nutanix Life Cycle Management ( LCM ) initially builds the inventories by downloading all the upgrade modules from the Nutanix portal or dark site bundle and storing them in the catalog and the Insights Data Fabric (IDF).

  • The IDF is the distributed database the Nutanix platform uses to store configuration data, alert data, and performance data
  • LCM then figures out which modules it needs to send to which endpoints.
  • Every node gets the CVM and host modules. LCM sends the modules to each endpoint using SSH.
  • Once the modules are in place, the inventory process asks each one to run its detect function, which interrogates its related entities and discovers the current versions on all endpoints.
  • Nutanix LCM uses this data to build the inventory summary and stores it in the IDF for future look ups.
  • LCM can now calculate the upgrade versions available by comparing the discovered inventory data to options on the portal or dark site bundle.

Available Upgrades and Dependency

Nutanix Prism web meets the software upgrade and dependency expectation to provides a convenient view of available upgrades for the nodes and cluster.

  • Nutanix LCM determine the recommended version of firmware’s and dependencies on other items in the node as well as the versions for software like AOS and Foundation running on the cluster.
  • Sometimes, before one upgrade can complete, the dependencies must be remediated, which typically occurs during the upgrade process because the orchestration engine understands package order.
  • The recommended version is generally the best choice because it’s based on dependencies and the maturity of the firmware version.

Orchestration Engine

The orchestration engine behind LCM upgrades takes the inputs from the inventory, available versions, and dependencies, and runs the non-disruptive upgrades.

  • When the process starts, it evaluates the cluster to ensure that it’s in a healthy state before it allows an upgrade to begin.
  • The orchestration engine polls all hosts in the cluster; the order of the hosts that the poll returns becomes their upgrade order.
  • The process discovers any VMs that can’t migrate and presents a list of them for the administrator to remediate before the upgrade starts. Clusters running AHV automatically shut down these VMs on a host as it enters maintenance mode.
  • Other hypervisors, such as ESXi, require the administrator to shut down the VMs until the upgrade finishes.
  • Most often, you can’t live-migrate these VMs to another host because of a pass-through hardware device or an affinity rule that only allows the VM to run on a declared host.

Read more : Nutanix CVM Booting issue after Upgrading VMware ESXi Hypervisor

Nutanix Life Cycle Management LCM Flow -1
Nutanix Life Cycle Management LCM Flow -1
  • Once the pinned VMs have been remediated, AOS issues the shutdown token to the first host on the list. Only one host in a cluster can possess the shutdown token at a time; the token allows it to enter maintenance mode and reboot.
  • The host with the shutdown token issues a request to the hypervisor to enter maintenance mode, which evacuates all remaining VMs from the host with the CVM.
  • Once all VMs have evacuated, the CVM receives a maintenance mode command to entered in maintenance mode

Read more : How to Shutdown Nutanix AHV Host and Nutanix CVM

Nutanix Life Cycle Management LCM Flow -2
Nutanix Life Cycle Management LCM Flow -2
  • The firmware upgrade process takes one of two paths to upgrade the firmware based on the capabilities of the underlying server infrastructure.
  • A few server vendors offer server tools installed in the hypervisor layer and allow firmware to be upgraded using these tools to batched together and run in a single serial upgrade process.
  • This batched process applies the upgrades in the order required by the understood dependencies may require an additional reboots.

Nutanix LCM upgrade process reboots the node into Nutanix Phoenix

Phoenix is a Linux-based ISO that allows a node to boot into an environment and provides the tools necessary to upgrade firmware.
  • The Phoenix ISO is presented from another CVM in the cluster and mounts using the IPMI interface on the node being upgraded. Once in Phoenix, the firmware upgrades are batched together and run in a single serial upgrade process, just as with server tools.
  • Once the upgrade process finishes on the node, the node receives a reboot command.
Nutanix Life Cycle Management LCM Flow
Nutanix Life Cycle Management LCM Flow – 3
  • The node boots back into the installed hypervisor and starts the CVM
  • The process requests that the node exit hypervisor maintenance mode.
  • The local CVM processes health checks before exiting maintenance mode and rejoining the cluster from a storage perspective.
  • The LCM inventory updates to reflect the new firmware versions for the node along with upgrade date.
  • The process then selects the second node from the list and repeats the same process, working through each node in the cluster until every node has upgraded. Then the upgrade task shows as completed in the Tasks view in Prism.
Nutanix Life Cycle Management LCM Flow -3
Nutanix Life Cycle Management LCM Flow – 4


Read more : Nutanix LCM Based Firmware Upgrade Operation Failed


Nutanix Life Cycle Management LCM structure explained in video

Nutanix LCM structure explained


Nutanix offers a comprehensive set of upgrade solutions across the stack to manage software and firmware life cycles and ensure that environments provide the highest availability and best performance and are free from known security vulnerabilities.

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