We’re excited to add to our Intersight innovation by introducing storage and virtualization automation with our storage partner, Pure Storage.  Our overriding goal here on the Intersight team is to incrementally reduce the complexity and manual effort required to deploy, upgrade, and maintain infrastructure and simplify operations.


Guest Blogger:   Chris Atkinson – Technical Marketing Engineer for Cisco Intersight


Automation, Automation, Automation

When I started my career in the late 90’s as a Server Engineer I automated processes I didn’t like repeating, which happened to be any manual process I had to do more than a few times!  We were on-boarding hundreds of servers a week and I automated BIOS settings, local RAID controller settings, firmware deployments and OS Installations.  For me, automation was not just a nice to have but, at this scale, absolutely required.  In 2009 I was introduced to Cisco UCS, a game changer from thinking about individual servers to thinking of them as a system.  This really started the infrastructure-as-code movement.  It’s how automation for compute was meant to be done.

As I shifted from a Cisco customer to a Cisco employee, my focus was on taking my real-world automation background and showcasing the capabilities for our customers.  Enter UCS Director where we not only exposed and used the capabilities of UCS but also drove automation natively for other components: storage, networking, virtualization, etc.  This led to a flood of integrations and a significant milestone in the ability to automate across data-center silos.

Intersight Automation

Now, enter Intersight, a first of its kind cloud-based infrastructure management platform as a service.  Intersight brings a new era not only in how you can manage infrastructure, but how we at Cisco deliver new features.  Cisco Intersight is delivered as a service with embedded analytics for Cisco and 3rd party IT infrastructure. It offers an intelligent level of management that enables you to analyze, simplify, and automate your environment in more advanced ways than the prior generations of tools.

You’re coping with a relentless rate of change both within and outside the data center and we realize that broad, pervasive automation of infrastructure and operations tasks is a critical deliverable. To aid in that journey of automation, the Intersight team is excited to announce the general availability of ‘Intersight for Pure Storage Flash Array Automation’. With this functionality, Intersight now enables infrastructure administrators to automate storage and storage-related virtualization tasks through workflows using the Intersight Workflow Designer.

Many Firsts

This brings many firsts to Intersight:

  • Intersight southbound integration for ecosystem partners, with Pure Storage as a first generally available offering.
  • Early-stage Storage ecosystem SDK to accelerate integration with more storage vendors – stay tuned for more in the coming months.
  • Intersight Workflow Designer is now available in Tech Preview mode. Workflow Designer with Task Library supports workflow creation, workflow execution and workflow status monitoring and will help in your journey to Intersight-based Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
  • Intersight Assist, an on-premise software instance, required for third party vendor integration. Intersight Assist is used to on-board Pure Storage and vCenter as the initial set of vendor support, with more vendor support to follow in the future.

We’re offing these new capabilities as part of both the Intersight Advantage and Intersight Premier tier licenses. For specific capabilities that are part of the individual tiers please refer to the Intersight Licensing page here.

A Video is Worth A Thousand Words

Check out my Intersight Assist video, where I’ll walk you through the major elements of Assist such as:

  • Device Claim – adding endpoint devices such as Pure Storage and VMware vCenter devices
  • On-Prem Personas – how Intersight assist is delivered as a persona from the on-prem appliance, sharing the same OVA or virtual appliance.
  • Intersight.com – Once installed, you can drive all other aspects through Intersight.com allowing you to easily add your 3rd party devices/software right from Intersight

Storage Collaboration

Cisco and Pure Storage have been collaborating on innovative solutions for well over 6 years and you can expect that to continue as we enhance Intersight and all the ways we make infrastructure management a little easier and less complex.  My friend over at Pure Storage, Craig Waters, wrote a blog on these innovations too.

Lastly, be sure to visit the Intersight home page for all the latest news and resources.