Automation was a major theme at VMWorld 2014 in Barcelona this month and it was clear that IT professionals are discovering that they can’t keep pace with business using manual provisioning and de-provisioning processes. The problem is that with the physical boundaries of time and space, there simply isn’t enough staff to meet the need. As a result, there is a renewed interest in automation at all levels of the organization, to utilize automation allowing IT to scale beyond their current capabilities.

There are a lot of solutions on the market today aimed at this problem, but you have to be careful. Many of them are point solutions, have limited coverage or functional scope.

Cisco has been talking about automation for years and their approach is to deliver heterogeneous management – because your data center is heterogeneous. These tools allows your subject matter experts to transfer their knowledge into automated workflows allowing your business to respond to market changes faster than ever before. Meaningful automation that spans your enterprise with unified management allows you to manage your data center as an interrelated whole.

Infrastructure Automation

Let’s start with infrastructure. Cisco UCS Director unifies and streamlines provisioning and management of data center infrastructures reducing service delivery to minutes.    It simplifies data center complexity by provisioning Cisco and multi-vendor hardware solutions in a consistent manner.  If UCS Director is new to you, learn more here

Here is just a sampling of the functionality available in UCS Director’s latest release:

  • Virtual network containers that span physical and virtual infrastructures based on Cisco ACI or Nexus 1000V fabrics.  This capability frees up IT staff from tedious and error-prone provisioning and de-provisioning of infrastructure supporting applications.
  • Multi-site application infrastructure deployment with support for VMware SRM, EMC VPLEX Local and Metro as well as Recovery Point.  With this capability, IT administrators can utilize Cisco UCS Director’s centralized management to provision single and multi-site applications quickly and efficiently. .

Hadoop Cluster Automation

 As Big Data continues to grow 27% year-over-year in financial, health, telco and retail organizations, Cisco UCS Director Express for Big Data allows users to deploy and manage Hadoop more easily:

  • Automated, scalable, consistent Hadoop deployment on UCS Big Data clusters
  • Centralized visibility across Hadoop and physical infrastructures
  • Faster time-to-value for Big Data business outcomes 

Learn more about Cisco’s Big Data solution.

Cloud Service Delivery

Moving up the solution stack we come to cloud service delivery.   Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) delivers enhanced multi-cloud capabilities that span private and public environments, as well as dedicated and open source cloud platforms.   The latest version of Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud delivers enhanced cloud management that includes:

  •  Multi-application configuration management and provisioning across multiple cloud management platforms with out-of-box integration with Puppet and Chef
  • Enhanced network services and out-of-box templates for network automation
  • Enhanced OpenStack integration for Havana, Icehouse and Neutron releases
  • Support for Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine and Hyper-V through UCS Director

Now is the time to take a fresh look at Cisco’s automation tools and see for yourself how your business can do more with existing staffing levels when meaningful IT automation is applied. 


Joann Starke

No Longer with Cisco