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In a previous blog post, I talked about Plexxi’s network awareness of applications and infrastructure. I talked about how this awareness can make many network operations dynamic and transparent to the IT administrator. I also discussed how awareness can enhance infrastructure agility by making it easier to recognize and quickly respond to events.

Awareness, by definition, is about understanding one’s environment, its dynamics, its variables, and its current and potential future state. I think it’s safe to say that awareness, knowing what’s going on around you, is critical to successfully achieving your mission in most endeavors.

My son is a baseball pitcher in the minor leagues, and I’ll tell you, situational awareness for him is critical. I couldn’t imagine him pitching a game without being aware of the other team’s hitters, their batting habits, and of course any base runners on the field. And that’s the just tip of the iceberg. My son and every player on his team need to be aware of all that’s going on at any moment during the game: the score, the inning, the strike count, how many outs in the inning, who’s on which bases, etc. For every player on the field, awareness is crucial, because when the pitch is thrown, there will be an event that needs to be addressed in a split second, whether it’s a strike, ball, foul, or ground ball. Situational awareness is vital to being able to not only anticipate potential events, but more importantly know in advance how to react quickly to them in the correct way.

Plexxi HCN is what we call “Nutanix aware.”  This means that Plexxi HCN is not just a collection of pipes for transporting data, but rather an intelligent network that is aware of the Nutanix infrastructure, and therefore able to recognize and respond to specific Nutanix events, like the movement of a VM or addition of a new Nutanix node.  Plexxi awareness also includes understanding the criticality of certain Nutanix workloads, like CVM workload traffic, and in turn identifying and isolating that traffic to guarantee CVM performance is not impacted by other workloads on the network. Awareness is also shared between Plexxi HCN and Nutanix, where Plexxi network status can be displayed inside the native Nutanix Prism user interface.

If you haven’t caught on by now, awareness is a fundamental value proposition of Plexxi’s HCN for Nutanix:

Awareness =  ability to efficiently automate = simplified operations = lower operational costs.

When it comes to modernizing the datacenter and building the enterprise cloud, we all want that right? Our ultimate goal is to remove infrastructure complexity and lower costs, right? Plexxi’s mindset is the same as Nutanix’s mindset: make the infrastructure invisible. Plexxi HCN was designed with this mantra in mind, and through its Nutanix awareness, automation, and simplicity, enables the VMware or Nutanix administrator to manage the entire environment, including the Plexxi network. Who else can do this?

We achieve Nutanix awareness through integration with Nutanix at the application programming interface (API) level. Because Plexxi HCN is under software control, Plexxi’s workflow logic and pre-built Nutanix Connection packs can automatically discover information about the HCI cluster, associated VMs, and individual cluster nodes (i.e. awareness), and then automatically provision the required network resources and network configuration specifics. Plexxi’s awareness of the underlying Nutanix infrastructure is the key to automation and simplicity, reduced complexity and reduced cost.

Like baseball, or any initiative that requires strong situational awareness, your network will perform more effectively if it knows what to do when a particular event takes place in the infrastructure. At the crack of the bat, the Plexxi network can react appropriately, because it is aware of the infrastructure’s current state, and it knows what to do in various event scenarios. This is the very definition of an intelligent network, and we at Plexxi can deliver this capability to you today.

Come and check us out. On June 28-30, our team will be at the Nutanix .NEXT event in Washington, D.C. demonstrating our Nutanix aware networking as a Gold Sponsor for the event. In addition, one of our founders, Mat Mathews (great guy), will be a featured speaker, and he will discuss and demonstrate our deep integration with Nutanix. If you are interested in learning more about Plexxi HCN, please stop by booth G9 at the show and talk to us. We can show you what we mean by Nutanix-awareness, and we can demonstrate why our Plexxi HCN is simply a better network for Nutanix and HCI.

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