Many hyperconverged buyers have infrastructure responsibility in their data center. And if you are an infrastructure manager, Cisco HyperFlex make your job easier by combining hardware and software into a pre-integrated solution that scales out network, storage, and compute resources in the data center.

But what should you think about when extending hyperconverged to hybrid cloud?

Cisco CloudCenter adds hybrid cloud management orchestration that works across by HyperFlex and public cloud IaaS providers. But going hybrid with cloud is a new experience for many infrastructure managers, with new issues to consider.

Three questions to ask

If your IT organization is already going hybrid or just starting to think about adding public cloud workload deployment options, or if your IT consumers are already going to the cloud because it is easier than working through legacy IT service delivery systems — then ask yourself (and your broader IT organization) these three questions:

1. Is consumption variable and unpredictable?

Call it bursting. Call it hybrid capacity optimization. Call it flexibility to meet changing business needs. Whatever you call it, the issue here is that if you are responsible for keeping an eye on capacity, you may not know capacity requirements before a new business project is launched. Or demands for on-premises capacity may vary seasonally, or during specific stages in a development project.

That variable service consumption may be initiated by IT staff. For instance, IT may occasionally deploy a temporary marketing campaign platform that runs for weeks. Or, may deploy a student computerized test taking platform that runs for days, with staggered demand throughout the semester. But during end of semester finals, all the computerized tests are scheduled at the same time.

On the flip side, that variable service consumption may be initiated by people outside of IT. Maybe users such as Dev or quality assurance engineers may need to stand up and tear down short-lived workloads multiple times before production. Researchers may also deploy and access data sets with large compute and storage resource requirements for short periods of time.

Many workloads deployed on hyperconverged infrastructure are predictable and stable. But if you have variable and unpredictable IT service demand scenarios, adding Cisco CloudCenter to a HyperFlex foundation will help you automate deployment and balance workloads both on-premises and in the public cloud. And that actually improves return on Cisco infrastructure investments by maximizing capacity utilization.

2. Does IT want to bring cloud experience back on-premises?

Call it private cloud. Call it virtualization plus automation. Call it an easy button  backed by deployment automation and orchestration. Regardless of how you put it, “the cloud” is seen as a painless and streamlined option, and has trained IT consumers to get what they want, when they want it. Once people have undergone the “swipe credit card and deploy resources” experience, the traditional IT “submit help desk ticket and wait” service consumption process is viewed as unnecessary friction. In many cases, ease of use is pulling users to the cloud. Not cost advantage. Not pay per use billing. And not performance.

With CloudCenter added to HyperFlex, you can bring that easy cloud experience back to your data center. CloudCenter provides a single management and orchestration layer that automates deployment in the cloud and back on-premises. Users get a single interface, and can choose to deploy a VM or a fully configured application stack on HyperFlex just as easily as in the cloud. Plus, they can do this without IT having to manage big private cloud deployment project, and without turning their organization inside out.

If you have legacy processes, think of CloudCenter as a self-service portal that only offers users the ability to make a “pre-approved change.” Users can deploy right now, and IT can apply basic policies as well as cost and usage controls in order to stay in the loop.

3. Do I want to optimize capacity by harnessing the power of automation?

Call it resource optimization on-premises. Call it lowering the monthly cloud bill.

The good news is — there is no issue here. It is all opportunity. You can use automation driving both software defined data center technology and cloud APIs to be a better steward of your resources and funding. If everything is software defined – either via vSphere and HyperFlex connect on-premises or via cloud APIs – you can harness the power of automation to reduce consumption that doesn’t add business value. Adding CloudCenter to HyperFlex allows you to harness the power of automation to reduce unnecessary consumption and optimize resource utilization on-premises or cut your bill in the cloud.

See this webcast to learn more about these CloudCenter features that can help cut your cloud bill.

Getting started

So if you have variable workloads, want to offer the cloud experience everywhere, or want to harness automation to optimize resources, where do you begin?

All CloudCenter features are available with the HyperFlex bundle. There is no tiered functionality or limited feature set. Everything is available as soon as you add CloudCenter to HyperFlex.

In my next blog, I’ll go through a “walk then run” approach in more detail. But for now, start with allowing users to self-service deploy VM or application in a HyperFlex environment, with basic usage and policy guardrails to guide the automation. Or begin by automating scale out, with end-of-life policies that delete workloads after a set period of time. Both of these will get you started with immediate benefit.

Additional Resources

At a Glance: HyperFlex with CloudCenter

Webcast: 4 key success factors learned from customers with HyperFlex with CloudCenter initiatives.

Request a demo: Cisco is a big company. If you take time to request a demo, we will take the time to find right team in your global region to help you directly. Or, you can always ask your HyperFlex seller (Cisco Account Manager or DataCenter Sales Specialist) about HyperFlex with CloudCenter.





Kurt Milne

Marketing Manager, US

CloudCenter Marketing