Today Cisco announced innovations across our cloud and computing portfolio that build on our mission to simplify hybrid cloud operations for IT organizations and help them accelerate digital innovation for the business. Our objective from the onset has been to provide customers the flexibility and choice to bring everyone along – wherever they are on their hybrid cloud journey.

One of our guiding principles is to avoid all-or-none “solutions” and create lock-in to a single product or platform. Instead, it is our aspiration to provide customers open platforms and system architectures that evolve through continuous innovation from Cisco and through our massive technology partner ecosystem. We call this giving our customers “your cloud your way” that is built and powered by industry-leading software and hardware products including Cisco Intersight, Cisco HyperFlex, and Cisco UCS X-Series Modular System.

We are delivering innovation updates across all three products that address several customer challenges. One, the hyper-distributed nature of hybrid clouds is spawning islands of infrastructure and operations, which reduces visibility while increasing costs and complexity. Two, the wide diversity of applications is driving infrastructure diversity requiring specialized systems, which also increases operational complexity. Three, the fragmentation of technologies is impeding time-to-value by forcing IT organizations to expend valuable time and resources on platform integrations.

We are responding with ways to simplify operations in the face of this rapid application development and infrastructure sprawl through platform integrations and advancements to manageability, performance, and reliability. You can refer to the press release for specific product and feature details but here is an at-a-glance description on what we’re delivering.

Cisco Intersight connects on-prem and public cloud VMs and containers

Customers have asked us for end-to-end visibility and operational control across their hybrid cloud assets – from their data centers, colo, edge, branch and into multiple public clouds. Through new multicloud and multicluster integration capabilities in Intersight, we are delivering a single pane of glass to observe and manage Kubernetes clusters in AWS Azure, Google Cloud Platform alongside their on-prem container clusters. We are delivering similar visibility and control for virtual machines wherein IT admins can manage their VMs on-prem as well as AWS EC2 VMs directly from Intersight. This enables engineering organizations to build, test and run applications in the public cloud while giving IT administrators’ a common portal to observe, manage, configure, automate, and govern across their data center and public cloud environments.

 Lowering the barrier to entry for hyperconvergence with HyperFlex

The whole idea behind hyperconverged infrastructure is to make life simpler for customers by bringing together a wide array of disparate components into a pre-engineered easy-to-use system. But what we’re seeing in the industry now is a deluge of complex configuration options across CPU, storage, memory options, networking, software…all of the components. During the ongoing supply chain challenges, we were paying close attention to the most common configurations our customers are landing on – so we could engineer a product with a much narrower option set and yet still meet those needs. By doing this we were able to drastically reduce the number of combinations that went into the new Hyperflex Express product, optimizing available supply and lowering cost. We’re passing on these savings to our customers and partners by reducing the entry point for HyperFlex by up to 50%. So, perhaps an upside to the supply disruption we’re experiencing in the industry!

We are also providing more solution flexibility through AMD-based HyperFlex models that leverage the 14 performance benchmarks that Cisco and AMD have established to support the most demanding and processing-intensive workloads.

Advancing hardware performance and operations with UCS X-Series

We are continuing to innovate and enhance UCS X-Series with new accelerated computing capabilities and flexible high-performance fabric updates. With UCS X-Series, we rethought everything. We created a modular design that could be shaped to address both traditional workloads but also modern workloads, such as graphics intensive VDI, AI/ML, big data, hyperconverged, Software Defined Storage (SDS) and other workloads that so far have only been delivered on rack-optimized servers. The new GPU node with our UCS X-Fabric technology and high-density compute node with GPUs will enable customers to get the benefits of rack servers in a highly efficient modular system. And unlike rack servers that need to be replaced every few years, UCS X-Series is designed for the next decade and that is the reason why we call it X (Roman numeral for 10!). We are also boosting network performance in our 5th-generation Unified Fabric to an industry-leading total switching capacity of 14.84 terabits/sec of aggregate unified fabric bandwidth, giving customers ample performance to power their most data-intensive applications. At the port and server level, we are delivering support for up to 200 gigabits/sec to each compute node. By delivering these capabilities in a common form factor, we are simplifying computing operations and enabling customers to support both traditional and modern workloads from the same computing platform.

What’s next?

Customers can expect us to maintain our current course with regular innovation updates that will help them achieve a consistent hybrid cloud operating model across their on-premises, edge, and public cloud environments. I have heard from countless customers that minimizing complexity while maximizing value are their primary goals in their hybrid cloud journey.

However, my observation is that other vendors have been offering customers two seemingly effective paths to hybrid cloud: 1) “We’ll help you lift and shift your on-prem operating model to the public cloud, or 2) “We’ll bring the public cloud platform into your data center.” At Cisco we believe there is a third, more elegant option, where we help customers operate in an optimal, cloud-native way across all environments while bringing consistency and observability across the entire estate. This path not only lowers costs and risks, it also keeps customers from getting boxed in if their needs and strategy change. This is what we meant by “your cloud your way.”


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Cisco: Simplifying Hybrid Cloud



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DD Dasgupta

Vice President

Product Management