Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with Nutanix Prism Pro.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
Nutanix, as of today, they do not have many of the features that VMware hypervisor provides, such as the memory layer. Nutanix is not known in the virtualization world, it is known only in the file server world. Due to this, many of the software vendors who provide their virtual appliances, do not support Nutanix as a platform. Their partnering has to improve, when the software vendor does not support Nutanix, we have to deploy Windows into the projects. The solution could improve by reducing the alarm sensitivity and have categories that show only the critical elements on the console. Not everything that triggers the alarm. I understand these alerts but if my manager was to look at them he would be concerned not understanding they are minor alerts. Additionally, if they could make templates to allow the provision of the images from the dashboards, instead of doing multiple steps would be a good benefit.
I would appreciate more advanced networking features in the dashboard. There seems to be a lack of GUI functionality for creating/modifying features such as LACP and VXLAN. While these features can be configured, it can only be done via the CLI of your CVM/Cluster and it can be quite a hassle. GUI implementation for these features would really strengthen the product immensely. I would also appreciate a dashboard that allows for more customization. I would love to be able to eliminate information that I don't consider crucial from the dashboard and/or have the ability to focus on more essential things (such as network utilization) for our use.
We would like to be able to provision virtual machines at the computing level, as that would give us an added value against the competition. Being an infrastructure free of licensing and being able to count on the over-provisioning of resources would be helpful.
There is not much to say in this regard. The system is very feature-rich and if it cannot be taken care of in the Prism GUI then it definitely can be in the ACLI. I do, however, wish that the cluster would come preinstalled with the OS, as ours did not, and it took quite a bit of tinkering, trial and error, calls to Nutanix support, and an ample amount of time to figure out how to get everything up and running. I feel as though this can be greatly improved by providing more documentation and instructions if the system does not come preinstalled with any OS.
We have a lot of projects so we cannot always dive deep into the material that Nutanix offers. We would like to but we have other priorities. It was a busy year. We have an external company that does things for us so we can make the process go faster. We know what we need and what we would like to achieve. I'm still on the learning curve. I think Prism Pro is very good and straightforward.
The machine learning can be improved. There are a lot of false positives at times. For example, I'm actually looking at some alerts right now, that some service was restarted multiple times. It is like the same alert, spammed over and over again. But really, it turns out that that event didn't happen.
There are a lot of features that could be added or, at least, made better. There are two kinds of Prism. * Prism Element: Which is what's installed on each cluster and running each cluster individually. * Prism Central: Which you use to connect to all your Prism Elements, meaning all the clusters. Then, it centralizes your view of your infrastructure. We have found a lot of bugs in the interface. Sometimes, when you do an action, it says to you that it's 100% done. However, in the background, the action is still ongoing, and you have no visual update on how long will it take. Just this morning, we took an image from Prism Central. That image was installed on one of the clusters. In Prism Central, you have one feature that enables you to place the image on multiple clusters. You just have to select them, and say, "I want my image of my virtual machine to be on all my clusters." So, when I want to spin a VM on an individual cluster, I will find the image. What is happening is that when you use the feature of image placement on Prism Central, you select the clusters on which you want to push the image, then you validate. Once you validate, it says, "Alright, the image update has been done successfully," but in the background, it's actually placing the image. Therefore, you have absolutely nothing visually that tells you whether it will finish soon or last a lot longer. You're just there, sitting and waiting for an update that you have to visually see on the interface by refreshing the interface. Imagine if you were to copy a file from one directory to another directory, but you have nothing to tell you whether it's ongoing or will take five minutes, ten minutes, or an hour. You just have to wait in the other directory for the file to appear and see that it's copied. This is not down to the functionality. It's down to the design of the user interface. If you want to convert a virtual machine to an image, you have to do it via command line. Why is there not a button on the Nutanix interface that does this?
I've used other products that are similar in nature and they can be very complex, but they have good documentation to back it up. Nutanix is no exception to that. Their documentation is quite extensive but can be challenging to read if you don't know the product firsthand. Still, it is very good at describing the features and functionality that you're looking for. But something to improve upon might be the ease of access to documentation, and helping users understand which information is going to provide the detail they need to complete their job. The integration with Splunk is a little lacking, and this is something that we've worked on with Nutanix quite extensively in the last year or two. It didn't really have a good integration. They built some dashboards, where they were trying to kind of recreate Prism. Prism is its own utility; it works well for what it does. But it doesn't provide us quite the detail that we are looking for or the historical data that we were after. So we had to build our own custom apps for Splunk. Since doing that, we have been working with Nutanix to try and improve, to some extent, what they put out for the public. But in general, we've done some of our own customizing of our own dashboards. So the integration itself has not been great, but the work that we have done on our own towards Splunk has been really good. On the plus side for Nutanix is that the API calls it has that allow you to retrieve information about their product are incredible. The amount of data that you can retrieve is immense. The downside would be how to best utilize that data once you have it. That's where it's lacking, and I know that they're taking strides to improve that. The types of data I'm referring to are CPU statistics, memory usage; when there's an HA event; where machines were located and where they're being moved to. At times, if a node fails or goes down for any reason, or there's a memory failure, it has to live-migrate those machines somewhere else. Being able to identify what those machines are, where they're going, and what impact that has to the infrastructure, is a real help to someone like me. That helps me to know what the impact is going to be to our clients and how quickly we can get the system back up to a stable and fully functional state. If we had a problem with the server, being able to look back in historical data and determine what led up to that event is another use for the data. We have roadmapping graphs that show growth in storage and CPU usage, for predicting when we need to purchase more. There's quite a lot of information there that we use to help with our job. One thing I would really like for them to do is to correlate multiple machines together, multiple VMs, and get a bigger picture of CPU usage or memory usage. That's a real challenge in Prism Pro that we overcome utilizing Splunk. That might be something they could work on, but we found ways of utilizing the data that they provide already through REST or API calls and having access to it through a Splunk interface. I've been wanting them to improve and mature their Prism interface. With our utilization of Splunk, I found that we tie those together pretty well. Having them revamp the entire product to try and make it better would be a real challenge.
I think one of the points to improve is having the platform with multiple languages, for example, Spanish, seriously, one point to consider is a valid point for me, my native language is Spanish, being in Venezuela. The documentation would also be good to have in Spanish, the use of Nutanix in English is very intuitive and easy to understand, when one enters the prism the board is easy to understand but if it were in Spanish, it would help to better understand it for those who handle the English very simply.
Considere que es una plataforma interesante y muy amigable que permite una mayor eficiencia de gestión, permite un mejor escenario de monitoreo. Sin embargo, sabemos que la tecnología avanza día a día, una buena estrategia sería crear una aplicación gratuita, el usuario puede estar aún más interesado en la plataforma, puede controlar el monitoreo a través de teléfonos y enviar manuales o folletos de información por correo para ir a mano junto con la plataforma y sus actualizaciones, además de las actualizaciones realizadas por el monitor en cualquier lugar donde estemos encriptados.
I would like to see a P2V feature like Move or Xtract. The interface for migrating from one VM infrastructure to another is one of the best but going from a physical machine to a Nutanix VM is a bit too challenging. Especially if you are migrating a busy SQL server to Nutanix. No matter how you convert this you will lose transactions done during the actual migration. This can also be a bit challenging when trying to upload the disk images after converting the disks P2V. Uploading is primarily done via a browser. Most browsers cannot upload files in the TB area. There are ways but nothing straight forward. This really needs to be addressed in the future.
From an AHV point of view, I look for the feature of setting a limit for the memory allocation for individual VMs. This will help in providing higher memory to VMs for users who always ask or more and more memory but end us not using it causing other needy to be deprived of it. It will be better if they can extend this to non-AHV hypervisors and also non-Nutanix clusters so that people who need this feature but can not goto HCI currently can make use of this product. Also, I believe they should take a relook into their licensing model to adopt to the current situation.
In our company, Nutanix Hypervisor (AOS) is not fully operational for some things just because of what products & services offered to our end customers we tested but we found that it is as of now not supported. We are only allowed to use VMware, but I use AOS. I think the Prism Center needs to include more functions. I know that they're including the Nutanix Era, which is the database management and disaster recovery tool. I think that Era should include everything on a single tool where you can manage everything you need inside your organization. It could maybe have better documentation. Nutanix does have really good documentation, but it could have more details in the future.
I can't think of any improvements at this time, but the support is top-notch. We have had our fair share of issues while upgrading early on, but the process now is working flawlessly. Between the initial POC to rolling it into production, everything has been smooth, and we have also added ABS & AFS to our infrastructure as well.
Perhaps the only point I see as an improvement would be the support of multiple languages in the environment. One of the few things within which I see an improvement point could be the inclusion of multilanguage in the environment. Although it is extremely intuitive and everything is seen in a totally clear way, for some people who do not use English as the main language, it would be interesting to achieve a translation. I am not saying that it is in hundreds of languages or alphabets, but if for example Spanish could be used. This would bring advantages to the Spanish-speaking world that is not used to English.
I still remember it was a struggle when we configured the initial network setup, that part was a little bit confusing about how exactly it works, we have two different Nutanix technicians who were on-site to help on the configuration. But both of them could not get right the first time, and we had to reset and start over again on both systems. Even after that, I was still a little bit confused about the virtual network and how each item was configured to work. I would think why do not have a single virtual IP and webpage to guide on that, or sort of wizard to guide through it.
The Life Cycle Manager tracks software and firmware versions of all entities in the cluster, integrated both on Prism Element and Prism Central. LCM consists of a framework and a set of modules for inventory and update. LCM supports software updates for all platforms that use Nutanix software. LCM supports firmware updates for specific platforms. From Prism Element, you can use LCM to update AHV, NCC, Foundation, BIOS, BMC, DATA Drives, HBA Controllers, SATADOMs, and M.2 Drives (G6 and later). From Prism Central, you can update Calm, Epsilon, Karbon, and Objects. When you run a firmware upgrade on multiple nodes, the LCM updates one node at a time to prevent any downtime in your cluster. Before the upgrade starts, all the VMs on that node are migrated to another host and the node enters maintenance mode. Always make sure that your cluster can tolerate a node failure by having the data resiliency status as “OK” in Prism Element. LCM could be our second favorite feature right up there with One-Click Upgrades if it worked as smoothly but We have had a few issues with LCM but those appear to have been related to OEM hardware vendor not in sync with Nutanix software, not sure how this could be improved in the future.
Pricing could be worked on a bit. I feel that when I talk to people about it who have looked into Nutanix, they say, "Well, it's pretty expensive compared to the other thing I was looking at." I tell them it's worth it. I would also recommend getting the word out. I still talk to a lot of people about the solution in the industry. They are not aware of it, and say, "What is that?"
For now, my biggest problem in our corporation is the Nutanix hypervisor (AOS) is not fully operational for some things. We are only allowed to use VMware, but I use AOS. I think the Prism Center needs to include more functions. I know that they're including Nutanix Era, which is the database management and disaster recovery tools. I think that Era should include everything on a single tool where you can manage everything you need inside your organization. It could maybe have better documentation. Nutanix does have really good documentation, but it could have more details in the future.
What do you like most about Nutanix Prism Pro?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the community!