Nutanix X-Play: Simplifying Automation in Nutanix Environments


Nutanix X-Play, also known as CrossPlay, is a powerful low-code, no-code automation tool seamlessly integrated into Nutanix Prism. Designed for simplicity, it empowers IT administrators to automate routine tasks without the need for extensive coding skills. If you’ve ever used IFTTT (If This, Then That), think of X-Play as a Nutanix-specific version of that concept. X-play is a part off the Intelligent Operations suite and its included in the NCM starter license.

What Is Nutanix X-Play?

At its core, Nutanix X-Play allows you to create custom automation playbooks by defining triggers and associated actions.

Let’s break down the key components:

1. Triggers: These are the events that kick off your automation playbook. X-Play supports various triggers:

  • Alerts: Trigger a playbook when a specific alert is generated (e.g., low storage space, high CPU usage).
  • Event-Based Triggers: Automate actions based on specific events (e.g., VM creation, node addition).
  • Scheduled Triggers: Set up recurring tasks by scheduling playbooks to run at specific times.
  • Manual Triggers: Execute a playbook manually for a VM, host, or cluster.
  • Webhook Triggers: Integrate with external tools by triggering playbooks via HTTP requests.
  • Alerts Matching Criteria: Trigger the playbook on any alert matching specific criteria, for example, all alerts on a specific entity.

2. Actions: Once triggered, X-Play performs a series of actions. These actions can be customized to suit your environment:

  • Resource Management: Add or reduce resources (CPU, memory) to VMs.
  • Categorization: Organize VMs, hosts, or clusters into specific categories.
  • Script Execution: Run SSH or PowerShell commands on VMs.
  • Notifications: Send messages to Slack, Microsoft Teams, or other communication platforms.
  • Integration with Ansible: Trigger Ansible workflows or job templates.
  • Custom Actions: Create your own actions using the REST API.

3. Playbook Library: Nutanix provides a library of pre-built playbooks, covering common use cases. You can also create your own playbooks and share them across Nutanix instances.

Real-World Examples

Here are some practical scenarios where X-Play shines:

  1. Memory Boost: When an alert indicates a VM is running low on memory, X-Play can automatically allocate additional memory to that VM.
  2. Categories: When creating a VM it can trigger on predetermined name convention to automatically add it to a category.
  3. Configuration Management: After creating a new VM, X-Play can add it to your configuration management tool (e.g., Ansible, Puppet).
  4. Manual Tasks: Need to perform a series of tasks on a VM? Create a playbook and execute it manually with a single click.

How to Set Up a Playbook

Setting up an X-Play playbook is straightforward:

1. Define a Trigger: Choose the trigger type (alert, event, manual, etc.) and configure the specifics.

2. Specify Actions: Add the desired actions to the playbook. These can be a combination of resource adjustments, notifications, and custom scripts.

3. Test and Deploy: Validate your playbook and deploy it to automate the defined tasks.


The takeaway is that if you want to stream line your daily operations and reduce manual effort. Whether you’re managing a small cluster or a large-scale infrastructure, X-Play will help you achieve your automation goals.