Nutanix Xi Frame Architecture Explained

Nutanix Xi frame Architecture

Nutanix Xi frame architecture is completely based on cloud based DaaS solution that gives the the flexibility to access your virtual apps and desktop from anywhere and anytime from across the world because Nutanix Xi frame has it’s unique architecture.

Nutanix Xi frame architecture is an infrastructure-agnostic, desktop-as-a-service platform built for cloud deployment. With minimal setup, you can now use Frame to host your apps, desktops, and user data on your own private cloud using Nutanix AHV infrastructure.

Nutanix Xi Frame gives you the ability to run virtual apps and desktops in the major public clouds: AWS, Azure, and GCP. Frame is also able to use on-premises Nutanix AHV infrastructure to run virtual applications and desktops.

Nutanix Xi Frame gives you the ability to choose the right infrastructure for virtual workspace use case.

Nutanix Xi Frame Architecture

Nutanix Xi frame architecture is purely born-in-cloud – very simple, robust, infrastructure agnostic and vendor-locking-free. Xi frame architecture provides seamless integration of Public and private cloud ( On-prem ) that turns in to DaaS solution.

How Nutanix Xi Frame Works

Nutanix Xi frame architecture is divided into three components:

  1. Public Cloud ( Aws, Google Cloud Platform, Azure cloud )
  2. Private cloud ( On-premises Infrastructure on AHV Cluster )
  3. Nutanix Enterprise cloud ( Nutanix Cloud Frame Backplane )

Lets explore the all three components and sub-systems that helps to run the Nutanix Xi frame on public and private cloud / On-prem AHV cluster.

Public / Private Cloud Components

  1. Users
  2. Frame Account
  3. Sandbox
  4. Production Pool
  5. IaaS API Gateway
  6. Prsim Central
  7. Cloud Connector Appliance ( CCA )
  8. Workload CCA
  9. Streaming Gateway Appliance

Lets explore the every sub-system / components of Public and Private cloud components / services below:

  • User – User is the end-user who is using Nutanix Xi frame to connect the virutal workspace.
  • Frame Account – User need valid userid and password to login Nutanix Xi frame to access the virtual workspace – virtual App or virtual desktop. Xi frame admin has privillege to create frame account for their users.
  • Sandbox – Sandbox is a special instance on Frame accounts where the administrator of the account installs applications. The Sandbox serves as your “gold master image.” It is where you set up and configure your applications as well as anything else specific to your environment (e.g., Windows settings).
    • Sandbox is always set to power off automatically if not currently in use when the next hourly usage increment is about to be incurred. This prevents the organization from paying for unused server time.
    • Admin need to install an application in the Sandbox
    • All the changes and configurations set up on the Sandbox image to go live for all end users
    • Once apps are onboarded and the Sandbox is configured as desired, publishing copies the Sandbox image to a pool of production instances, which is what end users connect to in Frame to access their applications. This process of copying the Sandbox is called publishing.
  • Production Pool – Production pool keeps the instances that are used to serve end users. Users connect to production instances when they access their Launhpad and run an application. Administrators of Frame accounts set up parameters that govern the size of the production instance pool, which determines its capacity to support a number of users.
  • IaaS API Gateway – Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) API Gateway providers supply the underlying virtual machines that power Xi Frame accounts. If your Xi Frame account infrastructure is managed by Frame (you did not bring your own cloud account), you will consume IaaS credits when virtual machines (“VMs” or “instances”) are powered on / off. 
  • Prsim Central – Nutanix Prism Central was natively developed to mange Nutanix multiple cluster through single manageable window to centralized the monitoring and perform task without any hassle to manage the Nutanix Acropolis cluster. The Nutanix Prism Central run as a virtual machine VM that is installed after the Nutanix Cluster is up and running. Read more Nutanix Prism Central : Pro Vs Starter Features
  • Cloud Connector Appliance ( CCA ) – Cloud Connector Appliance is required for On-prem Xi frame deployment.
    • Nutanix Frame Cloud Connector Appliance (CCA) is a required component that is responsible for connecting your local Nutanix AHV cluster to the Nutanix Frame service.
    • The Nutanix Frame Cloud Connector must be able to communicate with Nutanix Prism Central and also must be able to communicate with the Nutanix Xi Frame service via the Internet. Read more
  • Workload CCA – Workload CCA VM manage the user connection workload to being in sync with workload manager service hosted on Nutanix Frame cloud backplane.
  • Nutanix Frame Streaming Gateway Appliance (SGA) is a secure reverse proxy that supports the Frame Remoting Protocol (FRP).
    • If the user is on the internet ( in case of work from home or traveling ) and want to access Ntuanix frame hosted virtual app or desktop then Nutanix SGA comes in picture as proxy gateway to to securely grant users access – allow / Denny to virtualized applications and/or desktops as per configured policy by administrator without requiring a VPN solution.
    • Nutanix recommends to customers using Frame on Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV) infrastructure wishing to install and configure the SGA on their AHV cluster.

Now talk about the main Nutanix Xi Frame cloud backplane that’s actually makes the virtual – desktop as a service.

Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Components

All the virtual workspace related critical services are hosted on Nutanix enterprise cloud that worka as Infrastructure as a Service ( IaaS ) – that handles the entire Nutanix Frame cloud Backplane.

Nutanix Frame cloud backplane suit is the one-man-army that works silently behind the scenes to deliver the virtual Desktop-as-a-Service ( DaaS).

Nutanix Frame cloud Backplane components / services are:

  • Launchpad / Dashboard
  • Broker
  • Workload Manager
  • Cloud Connector Service
  • IaaS Orchestration
  • Identity Management Gateway

Now lets explain each Nutanix Frame cloud backplane services.

  • Launchpad / Dashboard – Launchpad / Dashboard refers to the end-user Xi Frame web console interface where users go to launch and manipulate applications. End users can be given access to multiple Launchpads depending on the needs of their organization.
    • For instance, once Launchpad may contain applications for word editing while another Launchpad houses only billing-specific apps.
    • Administrators can configure multiple Launchpad interfaces to show what application sets specific end users see and what features are exposed to them.
    • If enabled, end users can switch between Launchpads by clicking on the rectangular Launchpad list icon at the top of their screen.
  • Broker – Broker is the cloud service hosted on Nutanix frame backplane – delivered as a service, handles the necessary access provisioning, security, and management functions in a virtual desktop or application environment.
    • It ensure that users are connected with the appropriate virtual desktops and virtual Apps running on the cloud / private / on-premises infrastructure.
    • Broker directly interact with VMs to – power on/off, create/delete, and reboot the workload VMs that run end-user applications.
    • broker is also responsible for secure role-based access control and gateway services to deliver secure access to virtual applications and desktops via a launchpad, web interface, or APIs. With VDI, the broker and its supporting services runs in your datacenter (or co-location) and is entirely your responsibility.
    • Nutanix team ensure that the broker and any associated services are up to date.
  • Workload Manager – Workload manager helps to monitor, manage and distribute the virtual apps and virtual desktop workload.
  • Cloud Connector Service – Cloud Connector service helps to integrate the your running private cloud / On-prem AHV cluster to Nutanix frame backplane to get the benefit of Nutanix Xi frame.
    • cloud Connector service connects to Prism central via cloud connector appliance.
  • IaaS Orchestration – IaaS orchestration is the end-to-end automation of the deployment of services in a cloud-based environment. Cloud orchestration tools take full advantage of the capabilities of IaaS service providers to achieve a fully automated streamline deployment process model.
  • Identity Management Gateway – Identity Management Gateway helps organization to consolidate the distributed end user application infrastructure and bring endpoint management to the datacenter improving the overall network security and reducing the IT operational costs.

Nutanix Frame cloud backplane role is very crucial in DaaS, So, it is very important – Nutanix Frame cloud backplane services always runs without any issue to serves the virtual workspace to their customers anytime – anywhere.


Nutanix Xi Frame architecture is a based on secure cloud platform – Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider-agnostic. Organizations can run on Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) or their on-premises Nutanix AHV cluster that lets enterprises and independent software vendors (ISVs) deliver applications, desktops, and software-defined workspaces to users, organizations can automatically provision and deprovision capacity worldwide and across IaaS providers to adjust to fluctuations in end-user demand.

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