A Visual Guide to Entities and Relationships in Nutanix Products

Bryan Crowe
May 7, 2018 · 3 min read

Nutanix has been busy the last several years, building upon its core platform which converges storage and compute infrastructure, to produce other innovations such AFS, Micro Segmentation, AHV, etc. These additional offerings provide useful functionality while simplifying the user experience with the seamless nature of their integration into the overall platform. However, these constant innovations have the side effect of making it a bit challenging to maintain an understanding of the products/features that exist within Nutanix in terms of the constructs used to expose those features and their inter-relationships. I’m not referring to a simple feature list, but rather a more meaningful representation of the entities (e.g VMs) that end users can interact with, along with their capabilities and relationships to other entities, so that someone can get a tangible sense of what can be achieved and how.

The design team at Nutanix saw this as a chance to bring clarity and understanding to folks both internally as well as externally. After all, as designers we often find ourselves contributing to multiple projects at once (often in very unrelated areas), making it critically important that we have a solid, well-rounded understanding of our features/products. Additionally, a big part of being a designer is soliciting and providing feedback. For example, I may not be actively working on AFS, but if I have a solid understanding of it then I can give informed feedback in a design review context.

A snapshot from one of the models

The Nutanix Bible is already an amazing educational resource for all things Nutanix. For someone who really wants to dig into the technical details and architecture it’s all laid out there. It seemed there was a middle ground, however, for people who want to understand more about Nutanix and the relevant features and functionality in a rich, yet easy to consume way, without having to read through too much technical detail.

Thus we created a series of models that capture different Nutanix products and features from a functional perspective. In other words, we focused on capturing the things that are most relevant to users; the objects they will interact with and the actions that they can perform on them.

This helps:

  • New users of Nutanix to get a detailed overview of available features/functionality
  • Solution architects to craft Nutanix solutions for business problems
  • Developers using Nutanix APIs to better understand the relevant entities and relationships
  • New hires at Nutanix gain a visual understanding of what exists

The first version of these models are published here, and coincide with the latest 5.5 release. If you have feedback please reach out to me bryan.crowe@nutanix.com


Nutanix Design

Nutanix Design

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