Over the next 4 to 5 minutes we're going to show you how Nutanix Calm can simplify your deployments.
What is Nutanix Calm?
Nutanix Calm is an application automation and lifecycle management tool for Nutanix and public
clouds like Amazon Web Services. It has two major benefits:
Calm orchestrates the provisioning, scaling and management of applications across multiple environments, making the entire IT infrastructure more agile and application centric.
Calm empowers your team with self-service, dramatically streamlining daily operations and eliminating the wait for specialized resources.
With Calm, you can finally focus on what matters - the application
Let’s take a second to review the steps involved in this lab. There are 4 ‘missions’ - each
mission takes place within the Nutanix Calm user interface.
In mission one, we connect Nutanix Calm and your Amazon Web Services (AWS) account.
The process is seamless and takes seconds to do.
From the Nutanix Calm dashboard, go to the Settings page to configure cloud connections to your AWS account.
Add a Provider.
Within the configuration panel, enter a Name for the connection, the AWS Access Key ID and Secret Access Key. This information must be configured in your AWS console first, typically via IAM (Identity & Access Management).
Then, with just a few clicks, specify AWS Regions that it can be deployed to.
Then click Save and Verify. This carries out an account verification request.
Now you’re connected and ready to configure a project.
In mission two, we configure a project and its environment settings - letting you control things like who can deploy applications and where they can be deployed to.
Start by going to the Project page and creating a project.
Enter a project Name and give it a project Description.
Then click the +user button and select users/groups, define their roles and grant them access to deploy applications via this project. In a production environment, this would require your chosen authentication method to be configured first (e.g. Microsoft AD, OpenLDAP).
Next, specify the Resources this project can use. For this lab, we’re going to allow deployments to Cloud only.
Then select the AWS setting created earlier.
Click Save. This inherits the AWS credentials added during setting creation.
Now let's specify the setting used for an application deployment. To start, scroll up and click Environment.
Then input credentials.
Credentials will be used to login to virtual machines (VMs) that are part of an application.
These credentials can also be used when blueprints are published to the marketplace as complete applications. This improves security and saves the end user from having to enter them manually.
Input a Name and Username, set the secret type to SSH Private key and enter an SSH Private Key. The SSH Private Key is typically provided by AWS during IAM configuration.
Under VM configuration, select AWS.
Enter an Instance name and under Instance type select t2.micro - the smallest VM size allowed by AWS. In a production environment, the instance size would be chosen based on your application requirements.
Now select the AWS Region. Because you’ve done this before, additional values are auto-populated—making selection quick and easy.
Under Credential, select the one we created earlier. This inherits the username and SSH private key entered during previous steps.
AWS connections, credentials and environment settings are now complete. You’re ready to create an application blueprint.
In mission 3, we demonstrate the power of the Calm application blueprint tool. With a few simple drag-and-drop choices, you can deploy complex application dependencies without the need to write any complex code.
To start, go to the Blueprints page, then click on the Create Blueprint button and select Multi VM/Pod Blueprint.
Enter a blueprint Name and Description and match it to your Project. This inherits the project settings created earlier. For example, AWS-specific cloud settings.
Click Proceed and move on to the application design.
Now you are in the application design area.
In the design menu, click on the on the + button beside Service to add a VM placeholder.
In the panel on the right, give the VM a Service Name and a VM Name.
Then select AWS as your Cloud and Account ID. This inherits the permissions for where this application can be deployed.
To load the environment settings we determined in the last mission, click Clone from environment.
Then click Credentials and add a new credential. Blueprint-specific credentials are used when launching apps directly from the blueprint screen vs Environment credentials that can be used in the marketplace.
Similar to project creation, enter a Name, Username, set the Secret Type to SSH Private Key & enter the key.
Click Done and Save and that’s it - blueprint & credentials are now saved.
You can use a single blueprint to create all servers, hosts and services required for a data centre to be spun up on demand.
Now you’re ready to launch an application!
In mission 4, we launch an application. Once it’s up and running, we show you how Calm can monitor, scale, patch and update.
Start by clicking the Launch button. A new panel will open. Enter the Name of the Application.
By clicking Create, this takes the blueprint specification and prepares the launch’s deployment.
To monitor the launch and ensure things are working, click on the Audit tab.
In real time, the application launches step by step, ensuring prerequisites are met before continuing to subsequent steps.
And just like that, it’s done.
From here, you can check out the Services tab for an application VM overview.
Think of Services as your VMs. The Services tab can be used to dig a little deeper into how your application is constructed. Review a specific VM's configuration, a few VM clones or the networking information specific to a VM.
You can click on the Manage tab to see post-deployment operations.
Post deployment can include built-in actions as shown here, or custom user actions created to run and manage environment-specific requirements.
For example, the application could be scaled up during high-demand, have updates applied at the click of a button or be completely deleted when a project is finished.
Click on the Overview tab to see high-level application details.
You’ve successfully created, launched and monitored an application using Nutanix Calm and AWS.
Please get in touch and let us know what you thought of the lab. We'd love to hear from you.Get in touch now
To move through the lab, click the blue circles and follow along in the Activity Notes located within the panel on the right.