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Introducing Cisco HyperFlex Systems

March 1, 2016 - 24 Comments

Today I am pleased to introduce a new Cisco product family, and the next generation of hyperconverged infrastructure: Cisco HyperFlex Systems. Cisco HyperFlex represents true hyperconvergence, combining innovative software defined storage and data services software with Cisco UCS, the proven system that unifies servers and networking like no other.

With Cisco HyperFlex, we’re delivering the capabilities customers tell us they’ve been waiting for in a hyperconverged solution. By extending our strategy of software defined, policy driven infrastructure to hyperconvergence, Cisco will accelerate mainstream adoption of this valuable technology and provide customers a future-ready platform for evolving applications

When you look back on the last 10 years, it’s easy to make the case that Cisco has enabled much of the data center infrastructure convergence we’ve seen so far– with Nexus, UCS and ACI. During the industry transition to virtualization and cloud, Cisco saw the need to converge the network with computing. We then partnered with strategic storage vendors to deliver Cisco Integrated Infrastructure. Customers responded and now Cisco Unified Computing continues to redefine data center capabilities for over 50,000 customers across the globe.

Video view of Cisco HyperFlex

Hyperconvergence: The story so far

Today our industry is in transition once more, to more distributed applications, microservices architectures, and shifting IT models. Hyperconverged infrastructure was introduced to leverage the economic benefits of software-defined storage (software that federates storage across clusters of x86 servers) and deliver a simplified solution for mainstream workloads. First movers in this space focused on getting to market quickly and delivering simplicity. To do that they had to made some tradeoffs that have limited the potential of hyperconverged infrastructure:

  • Easy, building block scaling often came at the expense of inefficient, lock-step ratios of compute and storage
  • SDS stacks built on conventional, write-in-place file systems, show limitations in performance and data optimization
  • Rather than integrating with existing tools, new silos of management and policies were introduced
  • Finally, and perhaps most important in the context of distributed, clustered systems: networking was never fully integrated with compute in these products


Understanding the full-credit answer

As I’ve spoken with customers and partners around the world they’ve told me they want:

  1. Operational simplicity AND integration with existing tools and processes. No additional islands of infrastructure or management.
  2. Easy scaling AND the flexibility to tailor compute and storage ratios in an efficient way
  3. A platform that can support more of their applications today AND has the capability to support tomorrow’s microservices application architectures and containers.

We approached hyperconvergence from this lens, and developed an agile, efficient and flexible system to meet these requirements.


Cisco HyperFlex Systems

Through our strategic relationship with Springpath, we’ve integrated innovative storage and data services software with Cisco UCS to create an architecture with substantial differentiation:

  1. Independent scaling of compute and storage capacity allows right resources to be added incrementally in the right ratios.
  2. Dynamic data distribution provides high availability, superior performance and better efficiency.
  3. Continuous data optimization, delivered via always-on inline deduplication and inline compression that is layered on a log structured file system, minimizes storage needs by up to 80% without compromising on performance.
  4. Integrated Management and Data Services allow HyperFlex systems to deliver native data services like granular Snapshots and Clones and to be seamlessly added to the robust UCS management ecosystem to simplify management.

Please join us for a webcast on Thursday, March 10th to hear more about the re-imagined data center.

You can also learn more at or follow the conversation on Twitter with #CiscoHX.



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  1. This product gon change many things in the way we implement datacenter ! Just like UCS 7 years bak

  2. It’s all about the software…NOS and Acropolis were built from the ground up to define the Hyoerconverged space. If your file system was built before virtualization your behind. Our one pane of glass Prism interface is reason enough to buy Nutanix. Our Net Promoter Score of 94 proves people keep coming back for more.

    • No question that it’s all about the software, Reefe. If I’m not mistaken ext4 is the basis for NDFS/NOS. In that sense it’s not really built from the ground up, but the evolution of a pre-existing write-in-place file system. We think the type of log structured filesystem we have in HyperFlex conveys a lot of benefits in terms of in-line dedupe and compression and better endurance for flash.

  3. Unreadable gibberish. It’s another converged thing that converges more stuff than previous convergence projects. All you need to do is throw out all your other stuff and replace with this and hey presto and guess what you can install in 1 hour. HPE claims 15 minutes. Simplicity claims 5 minutes. Can anyone do it in 1?

  4. Imitation is the sincerest form of acknowledging Nutanix is superior.

  5. With all in one, hyper flex the muscle..Why integrate so many different component when hyper flex is plug and play…good product innovation and forward looking technology to shape the market..

  6. wow HyperFlex! Hmm one more innovation from Cisco product more complete lets play the market with Cisco HyperFlex. Rock ‘n roll!

  7. Good call #LeeCalcote. 🙂 #Cisco moving the ball forward!

  8. Now, now, boys. Let’s play nice.

    • Can I run use Hyperflex as a storage provider for my NSX Manager running on top of VSAN on Supermicro servers using ACI on Catalyst 6500?

  9. in the first release is with VMware, when come with the springpath hypervisor?, cool solution.

  10. Years behind Nutanix – choice of hypervisors, app mobility, scalability, security, many configurations to choose from, runs on Lenovo, HP or Supermicro..just to name a few of the many differences…

    • It will certainly be interesting to see how things play out. Nutanix has a running start on the industry, but some of the fundamental differences in the architectures – namely the filesystems – will ultimately define the potential for the offers in the space. As customers do more bakeoffs we expect HyperFlex will continue to come out looking very strong.

      Many customers have told us they’ve been waiting on a solution that integrates well with all the other forms of infrastructure, because there are workloads that simply aren’t a good fit for hyperconvergence. With UCS as a common operating platform for HyperFlex as well as workloads like big data, SAP etc., we think the complete architecture approach delivers better value vs. narrower solutions.

  11. Satinder, have you heard of this thing called VSAN 6.2 from VMware?

  12. How does this effect the relationship with SimpliVity?

  13. The hyperlink to additional info is broken. Should be: