Cisco Intersight brings a revolution in systems management, delivered as an easy evolution for UCS and HyperFlex customers.
Today, I’m very pleased to announce Cisco Intersight: an innovative, cloud-based management platform for Cisco UCS and HyperFlex, and the beginning of a new chapter in the evolution of systems management.
New Tools for a New Age
When Cisco introduced UCS in 2009, the world wasn’t clamoring for another commodity server – there were plenty already. What IT organizations were clamoring for was an easier way to power applications and serve the business. What I heard from customers then, and now, is that the complexity in the data center isn’t about the components, it’s about the connections and how everything is managed. Taking on the hard work of truly simplifying computing has been the north star of the evolution of UCS and the key to our success in the market. Yet, a lot has changed in the industry in the 8 years since the start of this journey. Things have only becoming more complex for our customers:
- Applications and data are more distributed.
- IoT and mobility demand computing beyond traditional data centers.
- Developers are the new customers.
- Things are simply moving much, much faster.
The scale, complexity and velocity of modern IT operations is simply outstripping human capability to manage it all. Computing has entered a new age. But, the tools that vendors provide to manage infrastructure haven’t kept up – even considering the advancements we’ve made with UCS. As an industry, we still ask customers to build and maintain stacks of software, hardware and appliances to manage their estate. We still ask customers to manage and optimize the environment in day-to-day operations – to constantly be at the controls making adjustments and scanning ahead to stay out of trouble. UCS has made life a lot easier for our customers, but we can do better. We can harness the power of the cloud to manage infrastructure. We can start using machine learning and analytics to take the pressure off of IT. It’s time to do these things and Cisco Intersight is where we begin.
One Small Step….
Today, we’re taking a tremendous leap forward in the evolution of systems management architecture. But crucially, we have an approach that our customers can adopt one small step at a time. Great innovation needs to be both revolutionary and easy to adopt. This was our goal as we engineered the Cisco Intersight management platform, which compliments, and is fully integrated with UCS management software. Ultimately, all of the functionality of our existing tools – including UCS Director – will be provided via Intersight. But, the pace of adoption and the transition to Cisco Intersight will be driven by our customers individually.
Software Makes Change Easier
Cisco UCS was designed from the beginning as programmable infrastructure. The system is entirely managed and controlled by software. The singular elegance of UCS arises from the way management functionality has been removed from the individual elements (servers, networking, storage) and centralized in the fabric. With Cisco Intersight, we now take this centralized management and policy control engine and move it to the cloud. In so doing, we’re opening up an entirely new range of possibilities.
The Transformative Benefits of Cloud-Based Management
By moving management software to the cloud, we relieve our customers of the burden of maintaining systems management software and hardware. It’s important to note that this approach can take the form of a public (Cisco managed) cloud service and also a private (customer-hosted) cloud model. We recognize many customers are restricted by business or other factors from connecting infrastructure to a vendor service – and that some, simply won’t want to. Our existing tools will continue to serve them. As we make this transition, we will ultimately deliver Cisco Intersight in a form that can be run privately by customers and by our solution provider partners.
“Cisco’s introduction of cloud based management technologies for data-centre provide new delivery models and insights. We believe that these services will allow Dimension Data to further accelerate our clients’ digital transformation. This programmable software service, integrated into the Dimension Data’s services platform, will add additional services faster for our large Cisco client base globally.”
— Steve Joubert, Group Executive, Data Centre, Dimension Data
Regardless of the consumption model, a management cloud delivers a tremendous range of capabilities and benefits that include:
- Rapid delivery of new functionality and continuous improvement without the complexity of software upgrades across multiple utilities or products.
- Seamless extensibility: customers will no longer need to consider how to securely extend the reach of their systems management environment to remote locations because a cloud platform can make that secure connection for them.
- Consistency of deployment and continuous inspection of configurations to ensure compliance and policy enforcement.
- Tight integration with Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) and the ability to scan for known issues to provide more proactive support and faster problem resolution.
We intend to leverage the data we collect from the devices connected to Cisco Intersight to develop actionable intelligence for users. This will be achieved through analytics and machine learning applied to the machine data (not customer or business data) generated by thousands of customer environments. As we develop the ability of Cisco Intersight to learn from, adapt to and combine machine data with policy-driven automation, it has the potential to truly transform operations.
- Join us next week for a special edition of TechwiseTV where we’ll explore Cisco Intersight in more detail. You’ll find us streaming on the Cisco.com home page on September 26th at 10am Pacific Time.
- If you’re a Cisco UCS or HyperFlex customer, join the tech preview. Learn how you can connect your systems and take Cisco Intersight for a spin.
- Read our technology partners blogs about Cisco Intersight: IBM, Pure Storage
- Cisco Intersight will be generally available in Q4 of this year.
Watch This Space! Our team will follow up this blog with additional posts detailing functionality and exploring the architecture… today is just the beginning!
Thanks, Satinder Sethi