The big news in March for cloud was the AWS S3 outage that brought down some large pieces of the Internet with it. While the world didn’t end, it definetly caused issues and illustrated the need for a cloud strategy that accounts for vendor failure. But managing multiple clouds, accounts, and capabilities–that sounds too complex, doesn’t it?

Traditionally, you had only a couple of choices on how to manage hybrid cloud or multi-cloud service delivery, usually causing you to use multiple sets of orchestration and management tools that are technology or cloud specific. The better approach,though, is to choose a cloud management platform like Cisco CloudCenter to manage your hybrid estate. If you choose a “One Platform” approach, you get more value by using your CMP to manage as many workload types and technologies as possible.

That brings us to the Cisco CloudCenter 4.8 release, which will release at the end of April.

This release showcases some great work, building upon previous release themes. Before this release, admins had the ability to view existing VMs via the inventory report, but weren’t able to do anything with them. Additionally, we had a list of “Day 2” operations, but no way to extend that list in a meaningful way.

4.8 presents the second of our three-phase plan around brownfield and operations by offering new features that broaden the scope of workloads that can be managed by CloudCenter, and extend what users can do via self-service. These changes deliver on the promise of “Any Cloud, One Platform”, and offer an elegant solution for reigning in shadow IT while improving both user self-service capabilities and central IT control. New features include:

  • Brownfield Import VMs Import and manage previously deployed workloads along with new CloudCenter deployed workloads, in both data center and cloud.
  • VM or Application View Flip between VM view and application view, for those that prefer to manage workloads at the VM level.
  • Action Library Define and execute self-service post deployment management actions further enable self-service within guardrails and that reduce the need for IT help tickets.
  • New Cloud Type – Alibaba Cloud support, across all regions.
  • Native Language Support – Chinese, Japanese, and French.
  • Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA) – Offer to fit with the “fee for service” service providers.
  • Cisco Ecosystem Benefits – The combination of VM import and action library offers improved interaction with Cisco Tetration, UCS Director, and AppDynamics.

Watch the CloudCenter 4.8 video to learn more.

Below find details of these new features:

  • Brownfield Import VMs – Users can now import and manage previously deployed workloads alongside new CloudCenter deployments. When admins connect CloudCenter to a cloud or datacenter, they can discover and import pre-existing virtual machines and assign those discovered VMs to the appropriate owner, enabling further action and cost reporting.

This feature increases the ROI on your decision to use a one platform approach to hybrid IT management. It allows both IT and users to work together to clean up after shadow IT. Application owners can still access and manage their workloads but can now also use a wide range self-service post deployment actions that previously needed separate tools, direct cloud access, or IT ticket requests.

  • VM or application view – Users can toggle between application list or VM view, and now manage at the VM level through CloudCenter. Admins are able to see all imported VMs including unassigned or already assigned to a specific user. Users will get simplified management of managed applications and VMs all from a single interface. This feature offers fine-grained view of virtual infrastructure for users that prefer to manage at the VM level.
  • Action Library CloudCenter’s full lifecycle management includes definable post deployment operations via an extensible library of actions. Users can apply these actions to either imported VMs or previously deployed applications, without logging an IT ticket, and without having to learn yet another tool. Actions are contextually aware so that they only display to the end user if they are appropriate for that cloud and state, simplifying IT management and making application owners more efficient without having to know cloud specific tools and API calls.

Users can scale up by adding or removing CPU, memory, and disk volumes. Or they can perform other tasks like back-up a database or install an agent. Or even vMotion or “lift and shift” via linked tools—all without the hassle of an IT help request. And users don’t need deep knowledge of cloud specific APIs or multiple environment specific management tools.

Admins easily define or modify actions in a central library. Post deployment actions can include common management tasks that leverage scripts, commands, environment specific API calls, or even API calls to other tools. Role based access control and context-driven policy rules guide who can use various types of actions in different deployment environments.  So, Admins can provide automation guardrails by controlling access and context on who, how, when, and where actions can be used.

  • New Cloud Type – CloudCenter has added support for Alibaba Cloud. Now users can deploy applications to 13 regions including China, Japan, Singapore, Australia, as well as Germany and three in the United States. Alibaba cloud is making inroads as a low-cost development environment. Cloud price wars are far from over. Which gives you more reason to maintain portability and leave your cloud options open.
  • Native Language support – CloudCenter has expanded local language support with language packs for Chinese, Japanese, and French. Language is automatically selected based on the user’s browser language. And language is applied to all features and walk thrus.
  • Service Provider License Agreement CloudCenter now has a service provider licensing option that is a better fit for “fee for service” environments. This option is limited to Cisco qualified service providers.
  • Cisco Ecosystem Benefits CloudCenter can now easily extend the value of other Cisco solutions. The combination of Brownfield import and action library delivers additional value to other IT operations tools. CloudCenter can now import VMs and deploy Tetration sensors and AppDynamics agents in both data center and cloud environments. Users can easily initiate Cisco UCS Director workflows to execute common infrastructure management tasks.

Watch the CloudCenter overview video.  To request a demo, contact your sales team.


Zack Kielich