Nutanix AHV basics – How to find VM disk


Nutanix Acropolis hypervisor (aka AHV) is a next generation hypervisor. AHV is Linux KVM based, highly customized hypervisor where all the storage “work” is handled by Nutanix Controller VM (Aka CVM). As of today, Nutanix supports four storage protocols SMB3 (for Microsoft hyper-v), NFS (for VMware ESXi), iSCSI (for Acropolis Block Services) and SMB2.1 (for Acropolis File Services).

When you create VM on Nutanix AHV, you specify container on where VM disks will be placed. Once VM is created, you cannot see, from Prism, where VM’s disks are placed. All you can see is, disk size, container name and BUS. Why would you need to see more? But if you really, really wanna know. For example,  VM has to be exported out of Acropolis cluster,  there is quick way of find out.

NOTE: If you are looking for information how to export VM from Nutanix Acropolis, see my blog post Export VM from Nutanix AHV

So, how to find Virtual Machine disk location on Nutanix AHV?

Get onto Putty, log in to CVM and get into acli (Acropolis command line)

List all VMs first – vm.list

 - <acropolis> vm.list
VM name                      VM UUID
NTNX-AHV-FS-1                ff36e745-9daf-44ff-a81a-926dc99f07f0
NTNX-AHV-FS-2                98f3fdad-00af-4b79-945c-00e40fc1991b
NTNX-AHV-FS-3                c8cf0f09-86fd-4a9d-b360-52eb0040c7ed
NTX-XD-AM00                  e6e9621c-7672-4e4f-9644-6fad5b22cad5
NTX-XD-AM00-BDM              29d0ba99-7be7-4546-96e8-4ba36ebb11ba
Nutanix-Clone-xd-am01        9d16f7cb-e3f2-464d-af9e-bb917df68de1
WinXpSP3                     1f8bf259-4c76-46f8-b89d-5449891c52aa
SUREedgeStorageEngine144762  139f27ae-4004-4fc6-bf51-a98c4e50442e
SurelineServer               cf8a146b-3b4d-49f3-8bfe-8d0e64331f3b

Run command

acli vm.get <vm> include_vmdisk_paths=1
<acropolis> vm.get WinXpSP3  include_vmdisk_paths=1
WinXpSP3 {
  config {
    annotation: ""
    disk_list {
      addr {
        bus: "ide"
        index: 0
      container_id: 10343366
      container_uuid: "2cfc19fa-10d7-40db-8815-ba10baf86cb5"
      source_vmdisk_uuid: "6419ab58-77ef-4f90-be95-f017a760c12a"
      vmdisk_nfs_path: "/ctr01/.acropolis/vmdisk/c7ce75d0-6c54-4d7b-acbc-d07f429c8a5d"
      vmdisk_size: 21474836480
      vmdisk_uuid: "c7ce75d0-6c54-4d7b-acbc-d07f429c8a5d"
    disk_list {
      addr {
        bus: "ide"
        index: 1
      cdrom: True
      container_id: 8
      container_uuid: "e6c60f08-7111-43d5-a147-e69c2b6513e1"
      source_vmdisk_uuid: "65a9b560-1ce1-4275-9bad-086dbdd5f907"
      vmdisk_nfs_path: "/default-container-32395/.acropolis/vmdisk/8a7b560c-29f9-420b-aaca-90b6dc7795c8"
      vmdisk_size: 74143744
      vmdisk_uuid: "8a7b560c-29f9-420b-aaca-90b6dc7795c8"
    max_hotplug_memory_mb: 262144
    memory_mb: 2048
    name: "WinXpSP3"
    nic_list {
      mac_addr: "52:54:00:f5:85:81"
      network_name: "VLAN88"
      network_uuid: "10793af9-0fcf-4fa7-b1e0-ad3622b2bb18"
    num_cores_per_vcpu: 2
    num_vcpus: 1
  host_name: ""
  host_uuid: "3e15fc7d-8427-4572-9636-2237d828d28c"
  logical_timestamp: 4
  state: "kOn"
  uuid: "1f8bf259-4c76-46f8-b89d-5449891c52aa"

As you can see, from the command output you can read much more, not just VM disk location in storage system. IDE0 is a OS disk, IDE1  is a CDROM – see cdrom: True parameter in VM config.

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Artur Krzywdzinski

Artur is Consulting Architect at Nutanix. He has been using, designing and deploying VMware based solutions since 2005 and Microsoft since 2012. He specialize in designing and implementing private and hybrid cloud solution based on VMware and Microsoft software stacks, datacenter migrations and transformation, disaster avoidance. Artur holds VMware Certified Design Expert certification (VCDX #077).

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Hi Artur,

Can we Download AHV image locally ??

Sarat Chandra Gopi

Hi Artur ,

Does nutanix AHV supports the migration of VMs to Azure cloud ? If so what is the procedure to migrate the VMs. Can you please let me know your suggestions.


Mike Pool

Hi Artur,

May I have a pony?


So here the storage allocating to VM in AHV is via NFS protocol? Please clarify

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

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