Nutanix Prism Element, Central and Pro Overview Video

  • 25 July 2018
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Hello, this is Marc Malotke, your Nutanix SE. Today, I would like to provide you an overview of Prism Element, Prism Central, and Prism Pro. First, it is important to understand that our Nutanix solution is made up of two distinct pieces, Prism, and Acropolis. Since we will be diving into Prism today, I want to spend a moment talking about Acropolis. Acropolis is our operating system that includes the distributed storage fabric, the application mobility fabric, and let's not forget our Acropolis hypervisor that we like to call AHV.

So what is Prism? Here's my definition. The single pane of glass to manage your data center that provides one-click infrastructure management, one-click operational insights, and one-click planning. This is very important because if you think about the way you go about your day in the data center, you are actually in and out of multiple tools and GUIs to not only manage your data center parts and pieces, but you also need even more tools and GUIs to try to understand the health and wealth of your data center.

And of course, all of these tools and GUIs just never line up correctly when you are trying to troubleshoot problems in your data center. When you become part of the Nutanix family, Nutanix owns the data center stack and has it turned into software so Prism is truly your single pane of glass for your entire data center.

All righty, let's talk about Prism Element. Because we follow web-scale architecture best practices, Nutanix is fully distributed with no single point of failure and provides self-healing on multiple levels. Every single node in our Nutanix cluster runs a controller virtual machine or CVM. This CVM not only runs our Acropolis operating system, Prism Element is also running inside each CVM. Once your Nutanix cluster is up and running, you simply access Prism Element, we just say Prism by opening up your web browser of choice and connecting to the cluster IP address, or the individual CVM IP address.

Since Prism is HTML5, there's no Java or Flash needed. I have customers that actually access Prism from their tablets or mobile devices to manage their data center. As I mentioned, Nutanix is built on web-scale architecture. So if a single CVM fails, Prism Element is still up and running on all of the other nodes CVMs in the cluster.

Now that we talked about Prism Element, let's dive into Prism Central. Think of Prism Central as the manager of managers. Whether you have a single Nutanix cluster in your data center or as an example, let's say you have 10 remote offices each running a Nutanix Cluster, and you also have a Nutanix Cluster at HQ, Prism Central is your single pane of glass that allows you to simply manage all of your Nutanix Cluster no matter where in the world they are located.

I mentioned earlier that Prism Element runs in every CVM on every node and every cluster. Prism Central is an additional virtual machine that is installed in either VMware, Hyper-V, or AHV, or Acropolis Hypervisor. When you become part of the Nutanix family, you have the flexibility to choose your hypervisor, whether you want to run VMware, Hyper-V, XenServer, or AHV, that is up to you. This is why Prism Central is available to run in different hypervisor environments.

Prism Central provides the following features. Single sign-on for all registered clusters, summary dashboards across all clusters, summary dashboards for clusters, VMs, hosts, disk, and storage with drill-down options to view detailed information. Multiple cluster analytics capabilities and multiple cluster alerts summary with drill-down options to view information about possible causes and corrective actions. Last but not least, the ability to configure individual clusters.

Remember, Prism Element runs inside of every CVM on every node within the Nutanix Cluster. Prism Central is an additional virtual machine that you install after the Nutanix Cluster is up and running.

So we have reviewed Prism Element and Prism Central. What is Prism Pro? Prism Pro is a subscription, or a license that enables additional features in Prism Central. The Prism starter license is included with your purchase of Nutanix. All of the features that I reviewed in the Prism Central slide are included with Prism Starter. The table on this slide is what you will find in the Prism datasheet on our Nutanix website.

Let's review the Prism Pro features, so you can decide if Prism Pro is worth your investment when you join the Nutanix family. What I say to prospects when talking about Prism Pro is that Prism Pro removes all risk from future data center planning and purchasing. These following features that Prism Pro provides solidifies my statement.

Search. Prism Pro provides enterprise search capabilities for your data center. A great example is let's say you have a 100 VMs that are spread across your HQ and 10 remote office and you want to find all of the VMs, whether they are virtual servers or desktops that currently are experiencing over 10 milliseconds of latency. You can actually type VM latency greater than 10, and you'll be presented with only those VMs out of hundreds of VMs in your environment that currently have a latency of 10 milliseconds or greater. Then you can simply click on one of those VMs to start troubleshooting.

Customizable dashboards. Let's say you just deployed a new SQL server VM in one of your 10 remote offices. You can create a new customizable dashboard in Prism Central to specifically watch the IOPS latency capacity of not only the new SQL server VM but also the specific Nutanix Cluster metrics from that remote office.

Capacity behavior trends. I say capacity in quotes because this trending, or we like to call it runway just isn't about usable capacity for storage. Prism Central also provides capacity trends for compute, memory, and storage. Remember, Nutanix provides the complete data center stack for storage, networking, compute, and virtualization, so Prism Central has the ability to provide all-encompassing behavior trends for your data center.

Expansion recommendations. Prism Central will see that you are running out of either computer, memory, or storage and provide detailed recommendations about the Nutanix make, model, and configuration that should be added to your current Nutanix Cluster. Additional recommendations include providing you a list of all over provision VMs and much more.

What-if planning. So you have your new Nutanix Cluster up and running and all of a sudden one of your customers, users, or department comes to you and says, "Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention that I need to have a new application deployed a month from now." This application needs 10 VMs each with four CPU, 64 giga memory, and three terabyte of storage. In the olden days prior to your Nutanix purchase, running three-tier architecture, this would cause you great pain and agony.

With Prism Central, you can simply add this new workload into our what-if planning and Prism Central will unequivocally provide you if that application can run in your current Nutanix Cluster, and if not, what Nutanix nodes with specific model number and specs should be added to your current Nutanix Cluster. You can actually print all of this out into a PDF to easily provide to management or the application owner.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of Prism Element, Prism Central, and Prism Pro. Thank you very much and I greatly appreciate your time today.

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