For those of you familiar with VMware vSphere’s Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC) feature, you might be wondering how non-uniform CPU generations are handled in an Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV) environment.
Well, as with most things Nutanix, the answer is simple.
NOS 4.5 automatically detects and configures the lowest common CPU generation as the baseline on a per cluster basis.
The following diagram shows how it works:
As we can see, we have a four node Acropolis cluster with 3 different CPU generations. Acropolis detects Sandy Bridge as the lowest common denominator and ensures VMs on all nodes are only exposed the Sandy Bridge CPU capabilities.
This ensures Live migration capabilities are maintained across the cluster.
Note: As with vSphere’s EVC, VMs still benefit from higher clock rates and performance from newer generation CPUs, they just don’t have all CPU capabilities exposed, so don’t be fooled into thinking your newer/faster CPUs are wasted in a mixed environment.