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Announcing Nutanix Insights - Predictive Health & Support Automation Service

By Prashant Batra

In October 2018 I wrote a blog on Nutanix Pulse, the optional telemetry service built into all Nutanix clusters, that enables predictive analytics for your Nutanix Enterprise Cloud. Pulse telemetry enables Nutanix Support to better serve customers by understanding their specific configurations and usage patterns, and providing a more dynamic and context-aware support experience. Similarly, Nutanix Product and Engineering teams leverage this telemetry to learn our customers’ usage and preferences, enabling existing products to be refined and new ones built that are more aligned with customers’ needs.

Today we are announcing Nutanix Insights - a Predictive Health & Support Automation Service, for your Nutanix Enterprise Cloud.

Nutanix Insights is a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that aims to redefine the Support experience for our customers, and significantly improve the health of their clusters, by leveraging the telemetry we receive from clusters where a customer has activated Pulse. With a reduction of manual support processes and less time spent on day-to-day maintenance processes, IT teams can focus on delivering increased value to their business units.

We frequently get requests from our customers asking for a deeper understanding of their private and hybrid cloud infrastructures, and a simpler way to manage the infrastructures across geos or sites. Typical questions include:

  1. Am I running any unsupported (End-of-Life or End-of-Support) software?
  2. Is my software stack up-to-date, secure and compatible across all components including  hardware and software layers?
  3. Are my cluster nodes, licenses and support subscriptions up-to-date? What requires my proactive attention right now?
  4. Is my deployment impacted by any of the published Field Advisories, Security Bulletins, Knowledge Base articles?
  5. Are there any signals that I should be aware of that may indicate a future availability issue?
  6. Are there any storage capacity savings available to me based on optional functionality, and is this the correct choice for my needs based on my workloads?
  7. Should I upgrade to the latest AOS or AHV versions, or could they potentially cause any disruption in my environment? Or, does this improve or resolve something that is critical to my deployment?
  8. Do my infrastructure and applications reflect Nutanix best practices?
  9. How have my infrastructure availability and performance trends changed as my Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has grown?
  10. How does my organization’s infrastructure configurations compare to others in my industry, or are they unique, and is their performance above or below the industry average?

These questions represent the world in which IT infrastructure operators and administrators live, with the need to better understand their infrastructure configurations in order to keep deployments secure, available, and performing at optimum levels.

Imagine a service that’s intimately familiar with your infrastructure deployment. It would have an expert understanding of the entire Nutanix software stack, including supported versions, recommended compatibilities, Field Advisories and Known Issues. Combined with a thorough understanding of Nutanix best practices, it can discover insights into your deployment and provide infrastructure configuration recommendations for specific use cases and workloads.

Infrastructure insights are just the beginning of this journey however. The goal of Nutanix Insights is not to simply discover potential issues, or opportunities to further optimize the infrastructure, but also to enable customers to run their Nutanix deployments consistently and with enhanced health and optimal performance. To achieve this, the service will take these discoveries and provides specific ‘calls-to-action’ for easy remediation to reach the desired state. Organizational IT becomes empowered to quickly and easily ensure a healthy state of their private and hybrid cloud deployments. If a ‘call-to-action’ requires something more involved requiring Nutanix Support SMEs, the service further automates the Support experience by creating the support case, collecting relevant diagnostic information from your cluster(s) and allocating a Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) to work on it.

Image: Nutanix Insights Health Dashboard

Image: Nutanix Insights Health Dashboard

Looking at the service in its entirety, it ‘collects’ data (via Pulse), ‘discovers’ gaps and optimization possibilities on clusters, automating (where possible) or suggesting (where not) the resolution process for bridging these gaps, end to end, and with little manual intervention from the customer (maybe just an approval)!

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Image: Nutanix Insights automated workflow from Discovery to Resolution

Customers can expect an immersive and actionable experience with Nutanix Insights:

  1. Health View is a unified cross-site, cluster and geography ‘health’ focused view into your Nutanix private or hybrid cloud deployment.
  2. Actionable Discoveries enable IT operators to focus their attention on improving the health, availability and performance of their Nutanix deployments with a view of prioritized ‘discoveries’.
  3. Smart Support empowers IT operators to differentiate between discoveries that are best served by themselves, or those best served by Nutanix Support. For the latter, an automated workflow including support case creation, collecting relevant logs and diagnostic data and assigning a Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) streamlines issue assessment and resolution.
  4. Software related Discoveries provides organizations with a simple way to discover software & firmware version lifecycle and compatibility gaps (i.e. End-of-Life software, or incompatible BIOS firmware versions), providing specific resolution recommendations.
    • Compatibility checks across the entire stack, including hardware platforms.
    • Discovers known software issues, based on published Field Advisories, Security Advisories and Knowledge Base articles.
  5. Discover expired and aging hardware assets, software subscriptions and licenses, with a clearly defined set of actions for renewals.
  6. Proactive Monitoring is designed to predict hardware degradation (such as node or disk degradation) and drives proactive hardware replacements, including making cross-cluster recommendations on reducing high resource utilization situations.
  7. Application Insights will, in the future, provide specific Nutanix best practice guidance and concrete recommendations for applications and workloads, ensuring all workloads are tuned for best performance.

The list above is an early preview on what the service is being built for. These Insights provide value in all Nutanix deployments, whether an on-premises deployment of any supported hardware vendor, or Nutanix Xi cloud deployment with Xi Clusters.

Nutanix Insights is a big data service that drives ‘insights’ based on Pulse telemetry, and as such is available only to customers who have both enabled ‘Pulse’ on their clusters and have either ‘Production’ or ‘Mission-Critical’ support. 

Nutanix Insights is initially planned for limited availability via an early access program. Select customers will be invited soon! If this is of interest to your organization, please reach out to your Sales team to express your interest. For further information on Nutanix Insights, please see here.

Gain insights to your Nutanix Enterprise Cloud by turning on Pulse, and enjoy the benefits of predictive health and support automation! (Now sure how to enable Pulse? Head here.)

Forward Looking Statements

This blog includes forward-looking statements concerning our plans and expectations relating to new product features and technology that are under development, including Nutanix Insights, the capabilities of such product features and technology and our plans to release product features and technology in future releases. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts, and instead are based on our current expectations, estimates, opinions and beliefs. The accuracy of such forward-looking statements depends upon future events, and involves risks, uncertainties and other factors beyond our control that may cause these statements to be inaccurate and cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied by such statements, including, among others: the introduction, or acceleration of adoption of, competing solutions, including public cloud infrastructure; a shift in industry or competitive dynamics or customer demand; and other risks detailed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2019, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, on September 24, 2019. Our SEC filings are available on the Investor Relations section of the company’s website at ir.nutanix.com and on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this blog and, except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results or subsequent events or circumstances.

© 2019 Nutanix, Inc.  All rights reserved. Nutanix, the Nutanix logo and the other Nutanix products and features mentioned herein are registered trademarks or trademarks of Nutanix, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other brand names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and may be the trademarks of their respective holder(s).