There is increased interest in using bare metal computing as an option to run containerized applications. Though, connecting to each server to configure the storage, network and boot order, mounting and booting from your installation OS, or alternatively setting up complex provisioning networks and hosts for automation across multiple sites can be challenging and time consuming for IT organizations.

Cisco and Red Hat minimize this time-consuming work through infrastructure management software as-a-service based on Cisco Intersight with Red Hat OpenShift. Many cloud providers are highly successful because of their cloud operating model. By using Cisco Intersight, together with Red Hat OpenShift Assisted Installer, you can bring that cloud operating model to your own datacenter!

The Red Hat’s Hybrid Cloud Console lets you create on-premises clusters through the Red Hat OpenShift Assisted Installer, which is fully automated and curated for you. This means you can get started with Red Hat OpenShift on-premises, just as easily as in the cloud. How awesome is that?

Red Hat OpenShift Assisted Installer

Red Hat OpenShift Assisted Installer in the Hybrid Cloud Console offers an automated, user-friendly solution to installing Red Hat OpenShift clusters in the cloud and on premises. This innovative way of deploying Red Hat OpenShift clusters allows you to spin up OpenShift clusters like tulips in spring!

Red Hat OpenShift Assisted Installer defaults as many inputs as possible to Red Hat’s best practices to help ensure that each cluster is validated and protected. A few generic questions and you’re provided with a custom ISO that contains the details of your cluster and pull credentials for Red Hat.

When you boot the servers, or VMs, these hosts will ‘call home’ to the Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console and show up in your “Clusters” tab.

open shift assisted installer
Figure 1: Assisted Installer waiting for Hosts

Red Hat OpenShift Assisted Installer does pre-validations based on telemetry gathered and analyzed overmany installations, significantly increasing the success rate of your OpenShift installations.

Not only does this offer a faster and more reliable way to install Red Hat OpenShift clusters, it also requires a smaller footprint so you don’t need to have a PXE boot network or provisioning host. You might wonder, how much more can we improve this installation experience?

Here comes the power of Cisco Intersight

Without Cisco Intersight you need to connect to each server individually to mount the ISO, configure the server and watch the KVM console.

Intersight comes with security-focused features that allow you to access all your servers and VMs – safely – from one location!

Intersight server profiles templates and the compute, network and storage policies within allow you to configure multiple servers simultaneously, with one click. Modifying the template will automatically update all the server profiles which are derived from this template.

The server profiles store the unique identifiers for that server, decoupling the configuration from the hardware, allowing for easy hardware replacements.

This enables you to save valuable time and ensure all your servers have consistent configuration and firmware levels, increasing the reliability of your server farm.

Intersight server profile templates
Figure 2: Intersight server profile templates and policies

To streamline the ISO boot process, we are enhancing Cisco Integrated Management Controller (CIMC) so it can boot directly from the signed URL provided by Red Hat. This removes the need to download the ISO and mount it manually on the Virtual Media.

In addition, we automated the entire installation using Intersight’s orchestration capabilities. Doing SaaS-to-SaaS API calls, Cisco Intersight can create the Red Hat OpenShift cluster on the Hybrid Cloud Console. This provides a custom ISO that is used to boot servers and continues the Red Hat OpenShift installation, all in one workflow. This creates a zero-touch provisioning workflow for your bare metal servers, without a provisioning network!

Intersight deployment workflow
Figure 3: Intersight’s bare metal deployment workflow example

Are you excited to bring the power of the cloud operating model to your own infrastructure?
Get started now with Red Hat OpenShift and Intersight!



Cisco and Red Hat collaborate to accelerate deployment and simplify management for bare metal containerized workload operations for hybrid clouds

Hybrid Cloud Console and Red Hat OpenShift Assisted Installer



Boris Aelen

Technical Marketing Engineer

Cisco Cloud and Compute