Edge computing has evolved over the years with more and more of the world being digitized, driving applications to be hosted closer to the devices creating and using the data. This shift has IT leaders looking at a more de-centralized approach where infrastructure is close to the data in order to deliver better end-user experiences. Organizations are looking at running applications in Remote Office-Branch Office (ROBO) locations with minimal hardware footprint while, at the same time, demanding a completely secure and cloud-like experience.

Cisco HyperFlex Edge is one such solution where you can start with a small footprint and grow as your business grows taking advantage of Cisco Intersight, a hybrid cloud operations platform, for management and operations. Cisco HyperFlex offers a two-node edge system that takes advantage of the reliable and consistent HyperFlex Data Platform software clustered filesystem. Being a two-node solution, it requires a third component referred to as witness or arbiter that can act as a veto when there is a “split brain” condition. Cisco has developed a next-generation invisible cloud witness architecture for Cisco HyperFlex Edge deployments powered by the Cisco Intersight platform. This innovative new deployment methodology eliminates the need for specific witness virtual machines, ongoing patching and maintenance, and additional infrastructure at a third site.

Introducing HyperFlex Local Containerized Witness 

As the popularity of the Cisco HyperFlex two-node clusters grows, we are seeing a common scenario where customers don’t want to rely on WAN connectivity, especially at remote sites, to reach the witness service within Cisco Intersight. Customers are looking for an option to run the witness service on locally available network devices such as a Nexus/catalyst switch, routers or Access points which are commonly available in almost all remote sites. The new containerized witness is a lightweight, container based witness service that can run on any hardware platform that supports containers. Even without a network device, the witness can truly run on any low-cost device that supports containers.

HyperFlex Innovations 

Whether it’s Cisco HyperFlex invisible cloud witness or local containerized witness, no other HCI vendor has a witness solution for two-node edge clusters that is as flexible and light weight. This innovation is enabling many of our customers to run their applications in remote locations without the worry of loss of connectivity to the internet or loss of access to application data due to node or LAN failure. What’s next?… we are continuing to innovate on how we can make this lightweight witness service used with HyperFlex stretched clusters. Stay tuned!

Read more about all the HyperFlex witness options

and the new local containerized witness.



Manish Agarwal

Director of Product Management, HyperFlex

Data Center