Cisco recently introduced Cisco Intersight, a revolutionary cloud-based systems management platform. Intersight was designed to deliver significant benefits while being easy to use and simple for Cisco UCS and HyperFlex customers to transition.

Non-Disruptive Transformation

Great innovations need to be revolutionary without being too disruptive. They should deliver compelling new benefits to users without being difficult to begin using. This was our goal, as we developed the architecture for Project Starship, our internal code name for the new Cisco Intersight cloud-based infrastructure management platform. We wanted to provide a transformative experience for our customers with no hassles, as they adopt software as a service (SaaS) to manage their infrastructure.

Cisco UCS and HyperFlex are designed as programmable infrastructure with a unified API. As a result, no hardware is required to allow Cisco UCS or HyperFlex systems to be supported by Intersight. We are simply moving the management plane to the cloud with Cisco Intersight. We’ve also added analytics and machine learning to provide actionable intelligence to daily operations.

All that is required to transition to Cisco Intersight is the latest releases of UCS Manager, Integrated Management Controller (IMC) or HyperFlex software plus a new innovation we call a device connector. The device connector is a lightweight and autonomous piece of software enabling secure communication between the system and the Intersight portal. It is bundled with the firmware as an embedded product feature.

Ensuring Secure Cloud-Based Management

When we started designing Cisco Intersight, we knew that security would be of paramount importance. IT organizations need to feel confident that Cisco would deliver systems management from the cloud that offers iron-clad security. Sebastien Rosset, the lead architect for Project Starship (the development code name for Intersight), provides more details of the security designed into Cisco Intersight in this Tech Field Day presentation recorded earlier this month.

Starting the Transformation for Free

Cisco Intersight will initially be available in two editions: Base and Essentials. We wanted to encourage customers to begin using Intersight, so the Base edition of the product is available at no charge. The Base edition was released in a Tech Preview last month. If you’d like to participate in the Tech Preview, read this blog to learn more.

The Essentials edition is a licensed version that will be available in Q4CY17 with list prices starting as low as $12.49/server per month. The table below provides a comparison of the current functionality in the two editions.

Peaceful Coexistence and Transitions

We have designed Cisco Intersight to be a transformational management platform, and we’ve streamlined the path to adoption. Our base of over 60,000 Cisco UCS and HyerFlex customers can continue using the existing portfolio of UCS management tools. We will continue to support these tools, while gradually shifting our development efforts to Intersight over time. Cisco Intersight will coexist with these tools seamlessly, so customers can transition to Intersight in a way and at a pace that makes sense to them.

Over the past eight years we have developed a broad ecosystem of infrastructure and operations management tools partners. The Cisco Intersight architecture is extensible with an OData Restful API. We intend to work with our technology partners to develop integrations with Intersight. This will allow existing converged infrastructure solutions to be supported by Intersight. The integrations with operations management tools will preserve investments in software and processes while enabling greater levels of automation and DevOps.

Join the Revolution

If you’d like to learn more about how you can transition to Cisco Intersight, here are some options:

  • Watch a recent TechWiseTV episode where we explain Cisco Intersight in more detail.
  • If you’re a Cisco UCS or HyperFlex customer, this blog will explain how you can join the Tech Preview and take Cisco Intersight for a test drive.
  • You can read more by going to www.cisco.com/go/intersight


Ken Spear

Sr. Marketing Manager, Automation

UCS Solution Marketing