Manage System Switching

Administrators have the option to provide their users with access to multiple instance types. System switching allows users to change their instance type based on their app requirements. For example, users might normally work on text-based applications like Word and Excel, but occasionally need access to 3D design apps like Autodesk Maya. Text-based applications will do well with an Air 4GB instance type, however, if users need access to a GPU to run a graphically-intensive app, they can switch to a Pro 16GB system with 4 CPU cores and an NVIDIA GRID GPU. Some high-end use cases like rendering and simulation would perform best with a Pro 64GB system which consists of 16 CPU cores and 4 NVIDIA GRID GPUs.

Sandbox System Switching

Administrators can switch the system type of their Sandbox easily.

  1. Navigate to the “Systems” page from the Dashboard.

  2. Click on the ellipsis icon above the Sandbox and select “Change instance type.”

    ../_images/sandboxswitch1.png
  3. A new window will appear prompting you to select a different instace type. Select your desired instance type.

    ../_images/sandboxswitch2.png
  4. Click “Save.”

  5. A notification will appear above your Sandbox while the system is in the process of switching. The Sandbox will reboot automatically to switch to the new system type if it is already powered on, which typically takes 1-3 minutes.

Your Sandbox system type has been switched successfully. You can switch between system types whenever you desire. Be sure to switch back to a less powerful instance type when you are done to minimize infrastructure costs. The current system is listed next to “VM Type” in the Sandbox module.

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Modify Instance Pools

Account administrators can configure which instance types are available to their users from the “Launchpads” page in their Dashboard.

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All available instance types will be listed on this page with corresponding toggles. Disable any instance types you wish to hide from the users associated with this Launchpad. When you are done making your selections, click “Save” in the upper right corner.

Instance Pool Capacity

Before your users can take advantage of system switching, you will need to configure capacity for the enabled instance pools. Click on the “Capacity” page listed on the left side of your Dashboard.

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As you can see, there is a capacity configuration tab for each instance type. Set the active capacity and default capacity for each instance type. More detailed information about scaling and capacity is availble in the “Capacity Management” portion of Nutanix Frame documentation.

Frame System Types

Frame System Type AWS EC2 Instance Type Azure VM Size
Air 4GB t2.medium Standard_D1_v2
Air 8GB t2.large Standard_D2_v2
Pro 16GB g2.2xlarge n/a
Pro 32GB g3s.xlarge n/a
Pro 56GB n/a Standard_NV6
Pro 64GB g2.8xlarge n/a
Pro 122GB g3.4xlarge n/a
Pro 224GB g3.8xlarge Standard_NV24
Pro 488GB g3.16xlarge n/a

Note

System availability can vary by datacenter/region.

CPU Credits

Air 4GB and Air 8GB instances running on AWS use a technology that allows them to burst CPU performance beyond the baseline performance of the instance when needed. However, the higher performance levels are only intended for occasional needs. AWS utilizes a CPU credit system to regulate how often and how much an instance can burst to higher performance levels. If the instance continually requires a high percentage of CPU power the “CPU credits” for the instance can eventually be depleted. As such, the Air 4GB and Air 8GB instance types are not intended for continuous high CPU usage. Once credits are depleted, the CPU is throttled down on that instance and it will not be able to burst anymore. When this happens the following notice will appear in the session:

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If you run into a situation where you are out of CPU credits, you can end your session (“Close session”) and then start a new session. However, if you encounter this frequently you will need to either lower your CPU load (e.g. run at a lower resolution) or move to a more powerful instance type (e.g. move from an Air 4GB to an Air 8GB instance).

In situations where you know you will be utilizing the CPU very heavily for extended periods of time, you may also want to consider using the Pro 16GB instance type which does not use a CPU credit system and therefore is never throttled.