Cisco Intersight: AI-Driven Proactive Maintenance
Intersight is cloud-based systems management built on a platform that supports artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). This allows Cisco Intersight to deliver a wide range of enhanced customer support benefits, especially around systems maintenance and support.
Guest Blogger: Jeff Foster, Intersight Product Manager
Expanding the Benefits of AI Ops
The goal of Cisco Intersight is to increase the customer benefits we can deliver using a software as a service (SaaS) platform supplemented by AI and ML. Industry analysts refer to this type of operations tool as AI Ops. Intersight was recently recognized by analyst firm, EMA, as one of the Top 3 AI for IT operations products, because of Cisco’s leadership in this emerging technology.
We have defined four catories of benefits delivered by the AI Ops functionality of Intersight:
- Simplified user experience
- Proactive maintenance and support
- Predictive operational analytics
- Self-optimization of resources
This blog is part of a series in which we are describing how Intersight delivers on each of these benefits. In a previous blog we explained how Cisco Intersight’s open framework enables a significantly simplified user experience that even allows you to use Alexa as a means of interacting with Intersight. You can learn how by watching the Intersight-Alexa video.
Intersight Recommendation Engine
As we were developing the requirements for Cisco Intersight, customers told us they want tools that simplify the process of maintaining and supporting systems in the data center and distributed locations. Rather than using manual processes, they want the tool to address issues more proactively to help them work smarter. That’s why we are developing the Intersight recommendation engine functionality. The recommendation engine is novel, so we created this video to provide an overview.
The recommendation engine synthesizes information from a variety of sources to provide proactive maintenance and support. These sources include:
- Machine learning and analytics
- Digitized best practices
- Integration with Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC)
This information is presented to the user as actionable intelligence to help them proactively manage daily operations. The ML and analytics include insights gained from the entire base of connected systems. (This is currently hundreds of thousands of devices worldwide and growing daily.) This knowledge base allows us to diagnose and proactively address issues faster and more effectively.
System Compliance and Validation
One of the more tedious maintenance activities customers asked us to address is firmware updates and compliance validations. The updates are necessary to minimize the risk of security vulnerabilities and ensure configuration support. When administrators receive new firmware, they have to manually check a vendor compatibility list. Then they have to apply the firmware through another manual process.
Intersight streamlines this effort, because it monitors and catalogs available firmware. Compliance information is processed through the Intersight recommendation engine. It evaluates your hardware and firmware compatibility to help ensure that your system is compliant with the Cisco Hardware Compatibility List (HCL). This is an example of a digitized best practice. The recommendation engine identifies unsupported configurations and alerts you to any potential problems that may arise from unknowingly running unsupported configurations.
More to Come
Intersight helps to keep your Cisco UCS and Hyperflex hyperconverged infrastructure running smoothly and consistently. The next blog in this series will explain how connected TAC provides proactive support and helps streamline the problem resolution process.
For more information:
- Watch the Four Must Haves