I love servers. But today, server management and operations are at least equally (if not more) important than hardware itself – as much as it pains me to say that as an old school hardware guy. When evaluating servers for your next project, at the edge, in the data center, or someplace in between, you should also evaluate how they are managed and what else that management platform has to offer. Yes, a management platform, not a management tool.
A little history
In 2009, UCS abstracted server management from the server itself embedding it in the network (Fabric Interconnects). All management was done in the forms of polices, profiles, and templates which allowed for error free automation (including a documented public API), reducing the time customers spent on routine tasks and letting them focus on value added IT. This changed the paradigm. We learned from the past, applied that to what the future held, and in 2017, Cisco announced Project Starship (Cisco Intersight) evolving the paradigm again. We pulled the system management out of the data center and into the cloud. The goal was for system administrators to no longer manage the management tools. A secure and consistent platform to manage and optimize on-prem, hybrid, and public cloud infrastructure with a single operational model.
It is a cloud the operations platform that brings all the benefits of SaaS delivery and full lifecycle management to all UCS and HyperFlex systems including X-Series. Intersight is the conductor for the Cisco compute systems management and automation orchestra.
The intersection of UCS X-Series and Cisco Intersight
Intersight Infrastructure Service (IIS) is the infrastructure management service for monitoring, provisioning, troubleshooting, and proactive maintenance of X-Series modular computing. It uses a Redfish-based standard model including an extensible API that ties it into other Intersight services and your own management tools. Intersight Infrastructure Service’s top features beyond provisioning and maintenance are:
- Advisories – proactively delivered field notices and security advisories for your connected systems
- Integration with Cisco TAC & Proactive RMA
- Support / warranty contract status
- Compliance with Hardware Compatibility List (HCL)
What else can Intersight do?
Intersight is a platform that delivers much more punch than an ordinary server management tool. Its functionality includes:
- Intersight Workload Optimizer – maps any application to infrastructure, including bare metal workloads, VMs, containers, and public cloud PaaS architectures allowing for real-time diagnosis and remediation of application fault, efficiency, and performance.
- Intersight Cloud Orchestrator – an easy-to-use, low-code orchestrator that allows users to provision and orchestrate infrastructure and workloads across private and public cloud without coding skills.
- Intersight Workload Engine – an all-in-one, hyperconverged, enterprise-grade, highly available platform with an integrated hypervisor and host-clustering software. It runs VMs, containers, and bare metal Kubernetes workloads simultaneously on the same infrastructure.
- Intersight Service for HashiCorp Terraform – allows DevOps teams to simplify the adoption of IaC automation on premises with HashiCorp Terraform Cloud Business.
- Intersight Kubernetes Service – is a simple management service for creating Kubernetes clusters across edge, datacenters, or public clouds.
- Integration with Cisco Service Mesh Manager – enables broad observability and convenient management of modern container-based applications with a policies and security .
In summary, Intersight isn’t just for systems management but is being engineered to transform IT operations by delivering an operating model for hybrid cloud that is simple, intuitive, and can significantly reduce time to innovation.
Demo of Intersight & X-Series
If you have a little time, here is a demo from the Hybrid Cloud Demo Day Virtual Event. If not, bookmark the blog or video and come back to it.
Come back next week as we discuss applications on modular computing infrastructure, aka X-Series. Can’t wait until then, check out the links in the blog for more information on UCS X-Series.
- At-a-Glance – Cisco UCS X-Series Modular System
- Solution Overview – Meet the UN/BOX
- Web page – Cisco UCS X-Series Modular System
- Web page – Cisco Intersight Services
- Web page – Cisco Intersight cloud operations platform
- At-a-Glance – Cisco Intersight
- Customer Case Studies – Cisco Intersight
- Data sheet – Cisco Intersight
- Series Blog #1 – UCS X-Series Unbox the future today
- Series Blog #2 – The power of innovation – Cisco UCS X9508 Chassis
- Series Blog #3 – The power of possibilities – Cisco UCS X210c M6 Compute Node
- Series Blog #4 – UCS X-Series Intelligent Fabric Modules deliver simplicity and performance
- Series Blog #5 – X marks the spot – Cisco UCS X-Fabric Technology