Nutanix has always been designed to be hypervisor agnostic, and being the first and only HCI platform on the market to support VMware ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V and KVM/AHV means we do not want to tie the management interface to any one platform.
In my opinion this is a huge advantage for many reasons including:
Being able to provide a consistent management interface across hypervisors
Not being dependant on 3rd party management components/interfaces
Building our platforms management layer (PRISM) in a fully distributed and highly available manner.
However while Nutanix AHV solution is entirely managed by PRISM, customers who run ESXi are still experiencing pain due to having to use the vSphere Web Client for some tasks.
This is why it was importaint for Nutanix to provide the ability to perform ESXi VM Operations from Prism (as shown below) while providing the ability to centrally manage all Nutanix clusters running ESXi or AHV to minimise the dependancy on the the vSphere Web Client.
At this stage the new ESXi management capabilities of PRISM does not remove the requirement for vCenter so this is still a single point of failure for vSphere customers.
Enhanced functionality to further reduce the dependancy on the vSphere Web Client are also expected in a future release, but for now, many of the day to day VM operations will make life easier for vSphere customers.
Nutanix is all about making the datacenter infrastructure invisible and that means reducing the users dependancy on the infrastructure administrator/s.
Self service file restores is another step towards this is Nutanix new functionality which allows users to perform self service restores of files without the intervention of the Nutanix administrator.
This feature is also designed for departmental or multi-tenant environments as it restricts access to only the appropriate snapshots for the specific virtual machine.
This functionality comes courtesy of the Nutanix Guest Tools (NGT) which will continue to provide increasing functionality over time, but for now, backup/restores are just a little bit easier and one less thing for infrastructure administrators to worry about.
As I have previously discussed, AHV is the next generation hypervisor and brings similar value as traditional hypervisors with much improved management performance/resiliency while being easier to deploy and scale.
However one of the weak points of AHV was when it came to visualisation and configuration of the virtual networking (Open vSwitch) from a node perspective.
I am pleased to say in an upcoming release of AHV the configuration of virtual networking is integrated into PRISM Element.
The below screenshot shows an example of the Nutanix Controller VM (CVM) and User VMs (UVMs) connected to the underlying Bridges/Bonds which connect the virtual machines to the physical networking adapters.
Next we can see a visualisation of grouped applications (groups of VMs) and which virtual networks they are connected to.
Next we can see an end to end visualisation of Virtual machines grouped in this example by User, on the AHV host through to the physical network switches and ports.
Stay tuned for upcoming posts with YouTube videos showing how virtual networking is configured and monitored for different use cases.