Continuing our journey with testing out Nutanix AHV functionality for one of our partners, one of things we wanted to get deployed was Prism Central.    Prism Central is very similar to VMware’s vCenter, defining Prism Central as  “software provides centralized infrastrcuture management, one-click simplicity and intelligence for everyday operations.”

The deployment and configuration of Prism Central differs slightly between ESXi/Hyper-V and AHV, but post deployment the configuration is similar.  Deploying Prism Central when using ESXi is pretty simple – just download the .ova file and deploy onto the host, while for Hyper-V and AHV you need to create a VM and clone the disks for the VM.   Regardless of which platform you’re deploying Prism Central onto, it’s a very simple process to get up and running.

Preparing for Prism Central Deployment

Getting the latest bits for Prism Central is done from the Downloads section on the Nutanix site.  For the purposes of this post, we’ll be deplying Prism Central using version 4.7.1, the latest available.   For AHV, 3 images need to be downloaded (where ESXi and Hyper-V provide a single .zip or .ova file.
AHV Prism Central Downloads
Once downloaded, the 3 files need to be uploaded to Prism via the Image Configuration option.  You will want to do this for each of the files – make sure the Image Type is Disk and not ISO.
Make sure you validate that the 3 images are correctly uploaded to the Image repository.

Creating Prism Central VM

Once all 3 files are uploaded, you’ll need to create a new VM with 4 vCPUs and 12GB RAM.  This is done just like creating any other VM in Prism, however instead of creating a blank hard drive and installing an OS onto it, we will be cloning each Drive from the files we downloaded.
Start with the Boot Drive, then repeat for the Home and Data Drives.  To correctly clone the drives, make sure to choose the CLONE FROM IMAGE SERVICE Operation, as shown below.  The size field will automatically be configured.
Repeat for the Home and Data disks.  When finished, you should have 4 total disks mapped to this VM, 1 CDROM and 3 DISKS.
Finally, add a NIC to the VM on the desired VLAN.  It does not need to be on any specific VLAN, we just need to have IP reachability from the CVMs.

Configuring Prism Central VM

At this point in time, the configuration of Prism Central is the exact same whether you’ve deployed on Hyper-V, ESXi or AHV.  Once the Prism Central VM is powered on, we need to go thu a few final steps before we can register our Nutanix clusters with Prism Central.
  • Set Static IP Address for VM
  • Create Prism Cluster for Prism Central
Login to the Prism Central VM (credentials are your normal CVM credentials), we need to modify the ethernet config file ifcfg-eth0 to set our static ip address.  Run the following command to edit the file:
 sudo vi /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0
By default, the Prism Central VM comes configured with DHCP, as shown in the config file below.
Setting a static ip address requires us to change the BOOTPROTO value to “none”, and add in 3 additional values:  NETMASK, IPADDR and GATEWAY.  When finished, the file should look similar to the below image.
After rebooting the VM, we need to create a Prism cluster.  Prism Central runs as another CVM, with additional roles and features from the normal CVM.  To prepare Prism Central for a new cluster, a single commands should be ran.
   cluster --cluster_function_list="multicluster" -s create
*Replace the IP Address with the specific Prism IP Address
In the Nutanix documentation for Prism Central, there is a note about removing any entries in the /etc/hosts file.  I found that I didn’t need to do this, but YMMV.

Registering Nutanix Clusters with Prism Central

Now that Prism Central is accessible on the network, you connect to it just like you would Prism, using https://<ip-address>:9440.  Logging in for the first time, use admin\admin, and a new password will be required.
Registering Nutanix clusters to Prism is done on each individual cluster, instead of within Prism Central.   From within each unique Prism instance, use the Prism Central Registration link, and click Save.  This will register the cluster to Prism Central, and after a few minutes will be visible within Prism Central.

Validating Registration with Prism Central

Once each Nutanix cluster has been registred with Prism Central, we can validate from within Prism Central that the clusters are reporting in.
As you can see, setting up Prism Central is very simple and straight forward.  Getting your multiple Nutanix clusters into Prism Central is also just as easy.
One item of note:  Prism Central is included with every Nutanix cluster (Prism Starter license) and gives you multi-site management.  Prism Central also includes more advanced features, such as analytics and deeper analysis of performance, which requires a Prism Pro or Ultimate license.
Thanks for reading!



Deploying and Configuring Prism Central On AHV
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