Nutanix Insights Pulse Feature ?

Nutanix Pulse is the native great feature designed to check the pulse of Nutanix HCI Acropolis cluster(s) to an Insights service run by Nutanix. When Pulse feature is enabled in a Nutanix HCI Acropolis cluster, Pulse sends Nutanix cluster health diagnostic system information that can be leveraged by Nutanix to proactively assess and create a new technical support case automatically and Nutanix SRE support engineer will contact you soon to resolve the issue as per needs.

Nutanix Pulse service sends all traffic for Pulse-diagnostic-report is out-bound. No connection is ever made in-bound to your clusters. Read more Nutanix Pulse network port requirement on firewall.

The magic isn’t in sending all this diagnostic system data to Nutanix – that’s the first baby step! The magic happens when the data is ingested and turned into actionable insights at insights.nutanix.com. This is where Nutanix runs a Big Data pipeline, designed to ingest, process, transform, correlate and analyze all the config, metrics, alerts, tasks, logs, and other events, and generates Insights. These Insights help deliver better products and world class Nutanix Support.

How Nutanix Use Pulse Data ?

Some key ways that Nutanix leverages this Pulse data:

  • Nutanix Support teams can use this data to deliver pro-active, context-aware support for Nutanix solutions.
  • Insights / Alerts from the data can be served to Customer IT admins within the Nutanix customer portal, with actionable guidance for self-resolution
  • For Fatal Critical Alerts, support teams can proactively create a case, and kick-start the resolution process, even before the Customer IT teams have discovered the actual issue.
  • Nutanix can also use the data to analyze product / feature usage and effectiveness. Insights gained will then feed into our Product and Feature Roadmap planning, to ensure that the product development does not happen in isolation and is based on real feature usage from our real world deployments.

When Pulse is enabled, a Nutanix cluster automatically and unobtrusively collects the needed diagnostic information with no effect on system performance. Pulse sends basic system-level information that is utilized to monitor the health and status of a Nutanix cluster. This information includes the following.

  • System alerts
  • System Tasks
  • System Logs
  • System Configuration
  • Performance Metrics
  • Current Nutanix software version
  • Nutanix processes and Controller VM information
  • Hypervisor details such as type and version

All the above information is specific to the Customer’s Nutanix system and is not identified to any customer workloads and applications. Furthermore, necessary steps are taken to ensure that Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is not collected by default including the anonymization of all PII strings before being sent to Nutanix Insights platform.

Nutanix Pulse Benefits

Nutanix Customer(s) get benefits to enabling Pulse on your Nutanix platform will provide a better support experience for you, as well as great insights that can help you better manage your Nutanix Enterprise Cloud. Some key benefits expected are:

  • Every time you interact with Nutanix support India, the Support teams will have the data available to provide a clear insight into your Nutanix deployment from an infrastructure standpoint. This clear assessment of your infra lets Nutanix Support teams dive straight into the issue at hand and make immediate and accurate recommendations to help resolve the issue.
  • For critical / fatal alerts, the Nutanix support teams may proactively create a case on your behalf, and reach out to you with details on the issue, and steps for resolution. As an example, if a disk has gone bad, this alert is visible to Nutanix Support teams. Even before you may have discovered this issue (due to the highly fault tolerant architecture of the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud platform), it is possible that the Support teams may have initiated a replacement process and sent you details.
  • Insights on things that need your attention will be serviced to you on the Nutanix Customer portal, with clear recommendations on how to help address the issues. These allow you to self-resolve certain non-fatal events, without the need to open a support case or reach out to contact anyone. Nutanix admins are empowered IT heroes.
  • You can expect Nutanix to deliver new products, new features, quality and performance improvements with great agility and relevance, based on a good understanding of how you are using the Nutanix platform. As an example, a number of features around our Data Reduction capabilities were inspired by analysis of data from Nutanix Pulse.

We note that this is Nutanix’s approach to a true democratization of Customer Councils – most product vendors host customer councils with their largest accounts, to get feedback on product, which feeds strongly into Product Roadmaps.

In turn, this drives product development which heavily gravitates to the top tier of customers, and comes at the cost of the much larger base below. With a true data backed holistic view from all clusters across all customers, Nutanix can now do away with biases and build products that fit the needs of all customers.

Overall you can expect Faster Case resolution times, less redundant information exchange for any case, and a more delightful customer experience.

How to enable Nutanix Pulse?

To enabling Pulse on Nutanix HCI Acropolis cluster is easy. While every node in every cluster needs to send diagnostic data to Nutanix Insights service, we allow all this data to be proxied via Nutanix Prism PE / PC – Prism Central . This makes the deployment fairly simple and requires your Security team to only allow one outbound connection from PC.

Enable Nutanix Pulse, do the following:
1. On Prism PE / PC (Prism Central), enable Pulse by finding Settings (Gear icon) -> Pulse

Nutanix Pulse Feature Enabling
Nutanix Pulse Feature Enabling

Just in case you don’t have PC deployed today, or a certain cluster is not under PC management, you can find the same Pulse setting on PE (Prism Element) as well. Though we highly encourage doing this via PC, for a simpler deployment.

2. This brings up a pop-up which details some info on Pulse and presents you with a checkbox to enable Pulse. Simply check this ‘Enable’ checkbox and Save the setting

It is further recommended that you also enable the second checkbox – ‘Include additional support information’. By default all strings representing entity names and addresses are anonymized at collection time. While this is a good practice, it does make it slightly harder for Nutanix Support teams to pinpoint what VM, what IP, what Disk is having an issue, since the entity name is now garbled! Enabling this checkbox, allows Entity names to flow to Nutanix, making the support experience for you better.

3. Once successfully enabled, you can see the Connectivity Status in the ‘Pulse Connection Status’ box

NOTE: Both PE and PC support Network Proxies, and can be configured to route all Pulse data via such an outbound Proxy.

NOTE: It is also recommended that you set up Alert emails, for pro-active support and case creation, by following the instructions in Configuring Alert Emails in Prism Web Console Guide.

Nutanix Pulse is very automated feature that is very useful for Nutanix customers.

Thanks to being with HyperHCI Tech Blog.

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