Getting Started

Frame may be a very robust and intricate platform, but being an end user is easy! The Getting Started Guide will outline important details for end users such as minimum system requirements, supported browser versions, and a glossary of common Frame terms to help you get comfortable with the jargon. We’ll also show you how to access your Frame account.

Use the links below to jump to different sections of this guide, if needed.

Glossary of Frame Terms for End Users

Launchpad

Launchpad refers to the end-user-facing part of the Frame interface where users can go to launch and manipulate applications. End users can be given access to multiple Launchpads depending on the needs of their organization. For instance, one Launchpad may contain applications for word editing while another Launchpad houses only billing-specific apps. Administrators can configure multiple Launchpad interfaces to show what application sets specific end users see and what features are exposed to them. If enabled, end users can switch between Launchpads by clicking on the rectangular Launchpad list icon at the top of their screen. Launchpads are accessible via URL and may look something like this:

https://console.nutanix.com/customer-name/organization-name/account-name1/launchpad/desktop
Session

A Frame session refers to the connection between a user’s browser and an instance/virtual machine. A session is created the moment the connection is requested by the user and ends as soon as the connection is closed. Once a session is closed, the VM is prepared and made available for others to use.

Instance

This is a commonly used industry term for a virtual machine which includes a complete operating system as well as installed applications. Typically, multiple instances run simultaneously on a single physical server but are independent in every other way. An instance can come in a variety of types, with specifications that are like those for PCs and servers. For example, Frame instances are typically distinguished by the number of CPUs, amount of RAM, and the number of GPUs. The instance may also be referred to as the “VM” (virtual machine), the “system,” or the “workstation.” Frame supports many different instance types. Frame has named these instance types (e.g., “Air 4GB”, “Air 8 GB”, “Pro 16GB”) to help differentiate them based on their specifications. Each Frame instance type name maps to an infrastructure provider-specific name.

Pool

Your administrator configures a pool of available instances for their group of end users based on the expected workload and activity. In an organization, for example, the billing department may start sessions from a pool of Air 4GB instance types while the graphic design department pulls from a pool of Pro 16GB instance types. The administrator can set the amount of available instances in the pool, including how many of those instances are buffered or “warmed up” and how many of each type are available to their end users at a given time.

Authenticate

Authenticating is how you prove your identity to access your Frame account. Your account administrator will decide how you authenticate to the platform. You may simply authenticate directly through the Frame platform with a user name and password or you may use a third-party SAML2 authentication method such as Okta.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage refers to services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and Microsoft OneDrive which save your files on their public clouds as a service. Frame can connect to these cloud storage services to allow end users to save their work.

Disconnect and Close Sessions

When an end user exits a session, there are two options:

  • Disconnect from the session but keep it active, in which case the user can return to the session.

  • Close Session to completely end the session.

This distinction is important, so please read on:

  • “Disconnect” is like disconnecting your monitor cable from a running PC. In this case, if the system is set up with an “idle timeout” setting, the session will continue running and the user can connect back within the set time to resume their session.

  • “Close Session” is equal to what you do at the end of a day with a PC: you save all of your work and then power off the system. In Frame’s case, closing a production session will end the session completely. For most situations, your instance will be returned to the pool of production instances – making it available for someone else to use. For persistent desktop users, your persistent desktop can now be powered off safely.

End User System Requirements

The Frame Platform has been developed to deliver an application’s graphical user interface through any HTML5/WebGL compatible browser. This includes support for the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge on various desktops and mobile devices. Internet Explorer 11 is not supported as it is not capable of handling the Frame Remoting Protocol. Performance varies by browser, with Chrome and Firefox delivering the best overall experience. We test on the latest version of each browser and recommend our customers use the latest version as well. If you cannot update to the latest version, we recommend using the most stable release option available. The following table shows the current stable desktop release versions for each browser:

Browser

Stable Release Version

Chrome (Mac/PC)

87

Edge (PC)

87

Firefox (Mac/PC)

82

Safari (Mac)

14

Network Requirements

The following requirements must be met in order for the end user to access a Frame session:

  1. Support for HTTPS (TLS) connections on port 443 to the Frame Platform

  2. Support for HTTPS (TLS) and Secure WebSockets through all firewalls to the Frame-managed workload VM

Since the virtualized application window or desktop is streamed to the end user’s browser over the network, a user needs to have sufficient network bandwidth between their browser and the Frame-managed workload VM running the virtualized applications and/or desktop.

The following table provides high-level guidance on average bandwidth consumption per Frame session based on the applications to be used, VM instance type (CPU only or GPU-backed), display resolution, and frame rate.

Average Bandwidth (Mbps)

Applications

VM instance type

Display resolution

Frame rate

1

Office productivity applications

CPU-only

up to 1920 x 1080

up to 20 fps

5

CAD applications

GPU

up to 1920 x 1080

up to 60 fps

10

Video editing/animation/sustained playback

GPU

up to 1920 x 1080

up to 60 fps

20

Video editing/animation/sustained playback

GPU

up to 3840 x 2160

up to 60 fps

Accessing your Account

It’s finally time to sign in to your Frame account. Depending on how your administrator has configured your account, there are two methods you can use to set up and access your account.

Authenticated Sign In

Many organizations choose to leverage a third-party identity provider (IdP) to control their users’ access to various tools and platforms. There is no need to set up your account credentials since your organization can simply provide Frame access to you through the third-party IdP. Frame integrates with most SAML2 identity providers, which means you may access your Frame account in a variety of ways. Accessing Frame through your IdP is simple, we will outline the different methods below.

Sign In

If your administrator has configured the Frame account to authenticate users through your organization’s SAML2 provider, they will typically provide you with a login URL which should look something like this:

https://console.nutanix.com/customer-name/organization-name/

If you are not already authenticated with your IdP, your sign on screen may look something like this:

../_images/eu_saml1.png

Notice the “Sign in with Okta” button with the yellow lock symbol

In this example, Okta is the identity provider. Your administrator may use another provider such as Microsoft Azure AD, Microsoft ADFS, Google Suite, or others. Click on the “Sign in with ____” button to authenticate to the platform. You will be redirected to your identity provider’s login page where you’ll be prompted to enter your IdP credentials. Once you log in, you will automatically be taken to the Frame platform.

URL Authentication

Your administrator may have optimized your Frame login URL to authenticate through your IdP. If so, the URL they provide you may look something like this:

https://console.nutanix.com/?idp=idp_name

Launch Frame from IdP

Identity providers often supply end users with a landing page where they can select from their available applications and launch them, pre-authenticated. As an end user, you may see Xi Frame as an option. Using Okta as an example, you may be able to select your Frame “chiclet” from the Okta “My Apps” page:

../_images/eu_chiclet.png

In this case, starting Frame is as simple as clicking on the button. Many IdPs provide a similar interface to their end users.

Basic Sign In

If your admin has opted to use the built-in Frame platform sign in feature, you will set your own credentials to access your account. The first thing you will need to do is check your email to see if you have received your invitation.

../_images/eu_invite1.png

You’ve been invited!

Open the email and click the blue button to proceed.

../_images/eu_invite2.png

Fill in your user details and click “Set Password.”

../_images/eu_invite3.png

Once you’ve set your user name and password, click “Proceed to Login.” You’ll be asked to log in with your new credentials.

From this point forward, you can log in to your Frame platform account by going to https://frame.nutanix.com/ and clicking “Sign in with email/password.”

../_images/eu_basiclogin.png

Forgot your Password?

If you find that you have forgotten your password, simply click on the “Forgot your password?” link below the sign in button and follow the prompts. You will receive an email with reset instructions. If you authenticate using a third-party SAML2 or OAuth2 provider, please contact your administrator to reset your password.

All set! You can move on to the next End User guide if you’re ready!