One of the common questions people ask us about the management UI for a massively scalable, converged cluster is how we manage a very large and complex product that could potentially have hundreds or thousands of entities? The Nutanix UI team has taken on this challenge with an easy to use and well-designed UI web console that lets users manage entities and view information about those entities in a very organized manner.
We’ll be discussing two UI elements in this blog: Alerts and Statistics.
Our design philosophy is UI alert by exception. We don’t display a “normal” status label because in reality, we don’t expect the admin to look at the UI and check if every entity is healthy. We only show an alert if needed. The alert system is easy to see and catches your attention right away. We make sure that alerts are not too plentiful, cluttering the screen. We try to keep them organized. Here’s a glimpse of our alert system:
Alerts appear on top. When users click the alert icon, a drop down appears. We included action buttons for users so they can click to indicate that a notification has been addressed.
Our object-oriented UI also shows the alerts on the icon and in the context tray menu. The example above shows that the disk is bad.
We also show alerts on the datagrid right away with specific details.
Statistical graphs are an important part of a system for troubleshooting and diagnostics problem solving. We made different charts for various metrics we thought would be important for troubleshooting:
1. Usage Chart
We’ve made a Google Finance-like charting system that allows you to slide through the history of the storage usage of hosts, disks, containers and storage pools. Users can select different time frames to look, zooming in and out of the graph for the level of granularity that is needed for either diagnosing the problem or just tracking the storage usage history.
2. ILM Chart (Information Lifecycle Management)
Our ILM charts split into IOPS and the different drives (SSD and HDD) in the system.
3. Provisioned Capacity and Usage Beaker Chart
This one shows the provisioned capacity of the system as well as actual usage.
Hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into the new alerts and stats functionality coming in our next UI release, and we look forward to sharing more ways we’re trying to empower the virtualization admin!