Cisco Intersight – Implementing Our Open IaaS Ecosystem
New orchestration functionality and a connector supporting a third party system demonstrate the potential of the open ecosystem Cisco is developing with our partners.
Guest Blogger: Anand Louis, Senior Product Manager
Open, Cloud-Based Infrastructure as a Service
Cisco Intersight is more than a cloud-based systems management platform. Our vision includes implementing an open infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform hosted in the cloud and empowered by analytics and machine learning. As we explained in an earlier blog, a key to making this possible is the extensibility of the Cisco Intersight architecture through a RESTful API. Another component is adding orchestration and automation functionality to the Intersight platform. This allows us to deliver true management as-a-service for a broad range of Cisco and third party infrastructure.
We introduced the Intersight RESTful OpenAPI in March, and we are currently working with our technology partners to develop connectors for their infrastructure products. The image below provides an overview of the Intersight Open Connector Framework. It highlights the functionality Cisco is developing, including orchestration and connectors for Cisco UCS servers and HyperFlex hyperconverged infrastructure. We are also working with our partners to use the Intersight southbound API to develop the connectors to third party infrastructure.
Orchestration and Automation
Cisco Intersight is a cloud-based management platform that simplifies operations by centralizing policy control, automating management, and integrating IT workflows. Our engineering team is developing IaaS orchestration and automation functionality for Intersight. This new functionality will include infrastructure consumption services consisting of workflows similar to the workflows already available in UCS Director.
Here’s an example of the orchestration functionality employed to deliver storage as a service. After a service is selected from a catalog, users can define their intent for the attributes of the service. Those attributes are implemented using automation building blocks, as illustrated in this image. The associated tasks are assembled using the Intersight Workflow Designer.
Demonstrating the Initial Potential
Earlier this month at Cisco Live we provided a sneak peak of this new capability. We demonstrated an initial Proof of Concept (PoC) with our technology partner, Pure Storage. The PoC integration demonstrates how Intersight’s management capabilities can be extended through the open API. The example in the image above is from the Pure Storage workflow. We worked with Pure to develop a connector to allow converged infrastructure to be supported by Intersight. Pure Storage posted a blog with more details regarding the PoC.
The screen shot below is an example of the orchestration functionality in Intersight we used to support the integration with Pure Storage.
The Journey Continues
We are just beginning to realize the potential of Intersight. The open connector framework plus orchestration and automation will enable us to eventually offer open IaaS from the cloud. Users will have one place to manage and automate third party converged infrastructure solutions and other third party systems, as well as Cisco UCS and HyperFlex. This implementation process will take time, but we are pursuing the step-by-step strategy we described in a prior blog.
Our development team is using continuous integration / continuous delivery (CI/CD) processes and Intersight is a software as a service (SaaS) tool, so we are making frequent updates. Cisco is excited to be working with our partners to develop this open platform to deliver new levels of automation and simplicity to our customers.
Stay tuned. There’s much more to come.
Learn more about the Intersight API on the Communities page