Last week I unveiled the new Nutanix Plugin for XenDesktop (here). The plugin enables XenDesktop administrators to configure Service Level Agreements via the commonly used XenDesktop Studio graphical user interface. These user configurable SLAs are then translated into set a set of unique properties and values that are individually assigned to VMs and vDisks.
The fact that Nutanix is enabling XenDesktop administrators to take control over desktop availability and performance without major infrastructure requirements and complex workflows is a key differentiator. However, the implications for Service Providers offering DaaS solutions are even more game changer.
DaaS providers need to be able quickly scale their solutions and clouds, on-demand, and without service interruptions, independent of the technology being used to provision and broker virtual desktops. Nutanix already does that via a scale-out architecture and non-disruptive upgrades.
The Nutanix Plugin for XenDesktop has a nice user interface and enable administrators to interface the SLA; but Nutanix is not limited to this plugin when it comes to assigning policies and properties. Nutanix engineering made sure that all features and functions available in the platform and external modules are exposed via APIs, enabling programmatic access to an extensive list of datacenter services.
In the DaaS use-case service providers are able to automate the SLA process applying properties via their own workflows and methods. These SLAs and properties can be exposed to tenant customers, enabling customers to decide the SLA for each individual or group of cloud desktops. Each desktop can have a different SLA or a set of properties assigned.
- Backup (availability)
- Snapshots (availability)
- Replication (availability)
- QoS (performance)
- De-Duplication (capacity)
- Compression (capacity)
- Containers (tenancy)
When it comes to servicing DaaS it’s critical to be able to automatically define and assign SLAs that can be charged back to customers and tenants. Using Nutanix API’s service providers are able to query a single or multiple Nutanix clusters to find properties each desktops have been assigned and generate a report can be fed into the charge back process.
A critical piece in the Nutanix architecture is the ability to assign unique properties to VMs and individual vDisks. This is important because Nutanix effectively enables any type of application (eq. Desktop Broker or Run Book tool) to apply and change individual properties without having the knowledge about how the infrastructure and services are configured. However, when it comes to simplicity it’s also possible to utilize Nutanix protection domains to assign all properties at the same time to specific group of desktops.
DaaS providers are also able to automate the creation of multiple Nutanix clusters, physical disk containers and logical datastore containers; effectively getting around the Microsoft licensing issues when running Windows Desktop GuestOS across a large number of tenants.
Ultimately, Nutanix wants any application to be able to define it’s own SLA requirements and automatically assign the required properties and values via Nutanix API. It’s all about building a strong ecosystem of partners and applications that can natively leverage the benefits of Nutanix platform.
This article was first published by Andre Leibovici (@andreleibovici) at myvirtualcloud.net.