Prism Element is a distributed resource management platform which allows users to manage and monitor objects and services across their Nutanix environment.

These capabilities are broken down into two key categories:

  • Interfaces

    HTML5 UI, REST API, CLI, PowerShell CMDlets, etc.

  • Management

    Policy definition and compliance, service design and status, analytics and monitoring

Figure 1 highlights an image illustrating the conceptual nature of Prism Element as part of the Nutanix platform:

Figure 1 : High-level Prism Element Architecture

Prism Element is broken down into two main components:

  • Prism Central (PC)

    • Multi-cluster manager responsible for managing multiple AHV Clusters to provide a single, centralized management interface. Prism Central is an optional software appliance (VM) which can be deployed in addition to the AHV Cluster (can run on it).

    • 1-to-many cluster manager

  • Prism Element (PE)

    • Localized cluster manager responsible for local cluster management and operations. Every AHV Cluster has Prism Element built-in.

  • 1-to-1 cluster manager

Figure 2 shows an image illustrating the conceptual relationship between Prism Central and Prism Element :

Figure 2 : The Prism Element Architecture

A Prism Element service runs on every CVM with an elected Prism Element Leader which is responsible for handling HTTP requests. Similar to other components which have a Master, if the Prism Element Leader fails, a new one will be elected. When a CVM which is not the Prism Element Leader gets a HTTP request it will permanently redirect the request to the current Prism Element Leader using HTTP response status code 301.

Figure 3 shows a conceptual view of the Prism Element services and how HTTP request(s) are handled:

Figure 3 : Prism Element Services - Request Handling

If the Prism Element is suddenly rendered inaccessible, then dependent applications will be denied access to the clustered resources, which in turn will result in serious degradations in application performance. Likewise, if the storage pools and containers managed by the Prism Element are not sized right, then VMs mapped to these storage resources will experience severe performance deficiencies. To avoid this, the availability and responsiveness of the Prism Element and the resource usage of the cluster(s) managed by Prism Element should be continuously tracked and administrators proactively alerted to the abnormalities. For this purpose, eG Enterprise provides a specialized monitoring model for the Nutanix Prism Element.