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Remote IT Infrastructure Management from Anywhere, for Day-0 and Beyond

By Marc Trouard-Riolle

The 2020 pandemic has resulted in a big change to the way that organizations are conducting business. For many, the first priority was to ensure employees had the necessary solutions to enable them to effectively work remotely. 

End-user-computing (EUC) and desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) solutions provide employees with secure access to corporate applications and data. However, they don’t necessarily provide IT professionals with all the necessary access for their jobs. How can they manage IT infrastructures, and carry out the necessary deployment, monitoring and support, and upgrades to infrastructures if they are entirely remote from them? 

As many of us become accustomed to new ways of working, the need for IT administrators to continue deploying, supporting, and upgrading infrastructure, albeit remotely, is more important than ever. Fortunately, a Nutanix founding vision was to make IT infrastructure management so simple, that it essentially becomes invisible. As a result, the core architecture was designed in such a way that it provides the ideal scalable platform for remote management.

Day 0: Infrastructure Deployments

When new infrastructure needs to be deployed, software-based solutions that can run in both a company’s datacenter and in a public cloud environment provide the greatest flexibility. A hybrid or multi-cloud solution of this nature should also provide common management tools that traverse the entire end-to-end solution, whether on-premises or in the public cloud.

Nutanix’s intelligence has always been in software, leveraging off-the-shelf hardware from a variety of hardware vendors, including public-clouds. With many IT teams now working in remote locations away from their datacenters, a hybrid or multi-cloud solution could provide the fastest way to stand-up new infrastructure, particularly if there is no physical access to your IT infrastructure. 

Once generally available, Nutanix Clusters will enable fast, zero-touch IT infrastructure deployments to a public cloud, with a common set of management tools that are also used for on-premises infrastructure.

If physical access to your datacenters is not an issue, creating new infrastructures (or expanding existing ones) on-premises is not only possible, but extremely simple. Once infrastructure nodes have been installed in a rack, connected to power and networking, the Nutanix software stack, consisting of AOS and your choice of hypervisor, can be remotely deployed from anywhere using Foundation Central. This microservice runs within Prism Central and acts as the orchestrator for global node imaging and configuration.

Day 2: Infrastructure Monitoring and Support

Once infrastructure has been deployed, and applications and workloads have been deployed to it, IT administrators need to ensure it is operating correctly and in an optimal configuration. 

Traditional infrastructures were typically designed with an expectation that they were managed and monitored from well-connected sites, such as corporate offices or datacenters, making remote management more difficult. Conversely, a significant benefit to cloud-computing infrastructures is remote monitoring and troubleshooting using tools that are based in the cloud alongside the IT infrastructure resources. 

IT teams working remotely require remote cloud-computing troubleshooting capabilities, but for on-premises infrastructure. Many modern hyperconverged and hybrid-cloud infrastructures offer this capability, enabling IT administrators to provide end-to-end solution support from anywhere.

Nutanix has always taken pride in its support offering, intentionally designing the support business with customer experience in mind. When customers have to call, they reach a tier-3 level support professional with years of Nutanix product and infrastructure experience. This expertise and experience has produced world-class support that has been recognized for six consecutive years with an average 90 Net Promoter Score (NPS) score. This recognition, however, has not stopped us seeking new ways to simplify and streamline customer support, and ultimately achieve customer delight by reducing the number of customer-raised support cases and enabling faster issue remediation.

The Nutanix support portal is the go-to place for centralized customer support of your hybrid and multi-clouds. The support portal taps Pulse to provide IT administrators access to infrastructure health and performance telemetry data sent from on-premises infrastructures; this gives remote IT administrators the same ability to monitor and troubleshoot IT issues as they would have in the datacenter.

This holistic, health-centric view spans the entire infrastructure, regardless of deployment location or infrastructure hardware vendor. It assists with issue diagnosis from software to firmware, infrastructure degradation and more, and includes current announcements and quick links, so all relevant information is at the IT administrator’s fingertips.

Read more about Nutanix industry leading support services here.

Day-N: Keeping Software and Infrastructure Up-to-Date

All software, and typically firmware, requires updating at some point. It is well understood that software patching and upgrades are complex and costly processes for organizations. Adding infrastructure firmware updates to this further compounds the challenge.

IT teams can require a considerable amount of time and money to plan and execute upgrades on traditional infrastructures, and will typically require defined maintenance windows to minimize customer disruption.These upgrades are also carried out from corporate sites with fast, secure connectivity to the datacenter.

The need for organizations to stay current with software upgrades and firmware patches cannot be overstated. Out-of-date infrastructures lack security updates, bug-fixes, and performance enhancements--the absence of these introduces security vulnerabilities, infrastructure instability, and performance issues, all of which pose serious risk to the business. The continuous innovation of modern software-based solutions also includes the introduction of new features and enhancements.  

The Nutanix Lifecycle Manager (LCM) framework was created to overcome these challenges, and will provide IT teams with a simple, automated way to keep on-premises infrastructures fully up-to-date remotely. The inherent architectural design of Nutanix Enterprise Cloud helps eliminate some of the complexities faced by other solutions, and enables LCM to upgrade from software to cluster node firmware, managing all dependencies with ease and without downtime, from anywhere.

The era of simple and predictable remote IT management has arrived.  

See for yourself with a test drive of Nutanix HCI today at nutanix.com/testdrive.

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