Dare2Compare Part 5 : Nutanix can’t claim single screen management w/o extra fees or GUIs

If you’ve not read Parts 1,2,3 and 4, we have already proven several claims by HPE Simplivity regarding Nutanix to be false, as well as explored the misleading way in which HPE SVT promote data efficiency.

The fun continues and in Part 5 we will discuss HPE’s claim that Nutanix does not have a “single screen management” (by which I assume they mean Single Pane of Glass) without extra fees or GUIs.

Unfortunately the URL was not working in the HPE tweet, I responded and made HPE aware of this so I could review specifically what they are claiming, but the link at the time of writing is still not working.

It’s funny HPE SVT mention this because Nutanix is the only HCI product which has a built in, distributed, scalable and multi hypervisor management solution.

The fact Nutanix has its own interface is a huge advantage especially because Nutanix is not dependant on any 3rd parties (e.g.: VMware vCenter) to install/configure and manage our platform. This reduces cost,complexity,risk,operational tasks and the list goes on.

Nutanix “PRISM Element” HTML 5 GUI is built into every Nutanix solution regardless of hypervisor or underlying hardware. The below screenshot shows the built in management capabilities to upgrade the Nutanix Acropolis (AOS) storage layer, the built in, scale out file server, the hypervisor (ESXi, Hyper-V or AHV) as well as upgrade Firmware, our Container support and our built in cluster imaging tool, Foundation.


This means regardless of hypervisor, many of the critical tasks can be performed straight within PRISM and does not require the long in the tooth VMware Update Manager (VUM) which is long overdue for an overhaul. In fact, Nutanix supports four (4) hypervisors using our management tool (PRISM) whereas HPE SVT only has GA support for ESXi.

For customers using Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV), 100% of the management can be performed within PRISM Element and central management of multiple clusters is performed through PRISM Central.

AHV comes with all Nutanix solutions at no extra cost regardless of hardware choice (including HPE Proliant). This means customers enjoy the benefits of the next generation hypervisor, designed and built for HCI and Enterprise Cloud.

Unlike HPE SVT for example, Nutanix does not have a limit of 8 nodes per datacenter or 32 per “federation”, PRISM element can support a cluster of any size (currently no support limits) and PRISM central manages all the clusters.

Nutanix management is not tied to or more importantly dependant on VMware vCenter or any other hypervisor management tool, which adds to the resiliency and simplicity of the Nutanix platform. PRISM automatically scales in both performance and resiliency as a cluster expands to ensure consistent performance for system administrators. This avoids the complexity of designing/installing and maintaining a highly available vCenter solution which also uses additional compute and storage resources.


  1. Nutanix PRISM Element GUI is built in and comes included with every Nutanix deployment
  2. Nutanix PRISM is not limited by the number of nodes it can manage
  3. PRISM Central is used to manage multiple Nutanix clusters centrally if required but is not mandatory.
  4. Nutanix provides at no cost the next generation hypervisor (AHV) which has 100% of all management performed within PRISM GUIs.
  5. AHV eliminates the requirement for Hypervisor licensing (e.g.: VMware vSphere) which actually reduces overall costs, this is unique to Nutanix.
  6. PRISM supports 4 hypervisors (ESXi , Hyper-V, AHV and XenServer) which delivers a consistent management interface for multi-hypervisor environments which are becoming more and more common.

Many of the above points are unique to Nutanix and have been designed and built to be a truly webscale platform, not a ROBO/SMB or <32 node solution. Nutanix can start small and continue to scale to any size, with the PRISM Element management stack automatically scaling to suit as nodes are added.

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What’s .NEXT? – Acropolis! Part 1

By now many of you will probably have heard about Project “Acropolis” which was the code name for development where Nutanix decided to create an Uncompromisingly Simple management platform for an optimized KVM hypervisor.

Along the way with Nutanix extensive skills and experience with products such as vSphere and Hyper-V, we took on the challenge of delivering similar enterprise grade features while doing so in an equally scalable and performant platform as NDFS.

Acropolis therefore had to be built into PRISM. The below screen shot shows the Home screen for PRISM in a Nutanix Acropolis environment, looks pretty much the same as any other Nutanix solution right! Simple!


So let’s talk about how you install Acropolis. Since its a management platform for your Nutanix infrastructure it is critical component, so do I need a management cluster? No!

Acropolis is built into the Nutanix Controller VM (CVM), so it is installed by default when loading the KVM hypervisor (which is actually shipped by default).

Because its built into the CVM, Acropolis (and therefore all the management components) automatically scale with the Nutanix cluster, so there is no need to size the management infrastructure. There is also no need to license or maintain operating systems for management tools, further reducing cost and operational expense.

The following diagram shows a 4 node Nutanix NDFS cluster running Nutanix KVM Hypervisor using Acropolis. One CVM per cluster is elected the Acropolis Master and the rest of the CVMs are Acropolis Slaves.


The Acropolis Master is responsible for the following tasks:

  1. Scheduler for HA
  2. Network Controller
  3. Task Executors
  4. Collector/Publisher of local stats from Hypervisor
  5. VNC Proxy for VM Console connections
  6. IP address management

Each Acropolis Slave is responsible for the following tasks:

  1. Collector/Publisher of local stats from Hypervisor
  2. VNC Proxy for VM Console connections

Acropolis is a truly distributed management platform which has no dependency on external database servers and is fully resilient with in-built self healing capabilities so in the event of node or CVM failures that management continues without interruption.

What does Acropolis do? Well, put simply, the things 95% of customers need including but not limited to:

  • High Availability (Think vSphere HA)
  • Load Balancing / Virtual Machine Migrations (Think DRS & vMotion)
  • Virtual machine templates
  • Cloning (Instant and space efficient like VAAI-NAS)
  • VM operations / snapshots / console access
  • Centralised configuration of nodes (think vSphere Host Profiles & vSphere Distributed Switch)
  • Centralized Managements of virtual networking (think vSphere Distributed Switch)
  • Performance Monitoring of Physical HW, Hypervisor & VMs (think vRealize Operations manager)

Summary: Acropolis combines the best of breed hyperconverged platform with an enterprise grade KVM management solution which dramatically simplifies the design, deployment and ongoing management of datacenter infrastructure.

In the next few parts of this series I will explore the above features and the advantages of the Acropolis solution.

Scaling to 1 Million IOPS and beyond linearly!

The below video shows how you can start (very) small with Nutanix, and scale to 1 Million IOPS and beyond in a linear fashion, in one node, or one block (4 node) increments and enjoy linear scalability.


So next time your looking to buy storage, why not buy what you need today, and not what you might need in 3 or 5 years time, and scale incrementally as required without the need for controller head swaps, or throwing out any equipment.