Let me ask you a question.  How do you handle the day to day management of your data center when you aren’t on site? If most of your IT staff is working from home, how are you managing new system installations? What if you have a critical set of services to implement, but can’t get into the office?

Limited access to office spaces present new challenges for IT personnel responsible for standing up a new system, managing updates, and other daily tasks associated with system management. There is no need to hold off on new installations, especially since the rapid pace of business continues to demand that IT to expand services with new, often cloud-based solutions which have their own level of complexity.

One solution growing rapidly is the Cisco Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack Hub. This solution enables customers to run Microsoft Azure Services on a pre-validated system located on premise in the customer’s datacenter. Organizations can use the same Azure Services located in Azure to exercise data that for legal or ethical reasons cannot leave their data center.  Other customers choose to utilize Azure development tools and data stores to shorten application development cycles to match the pace of business.  This Infrastructure can also be set up to process data completely cut off from Azure to meet specific use cases often found in the Public Sector or in remote locations. This short video and website provide additional background.

Originally, Microsoft Azure Stack Hub was conceived by Microsoft as an installation that required on-site installation, configuring software, testing network connections, and completing all steps to turn the system over to the customer.  When designing the infrastructure, Cisco engineers asked, “Why does the installation team have to be physically at the customer’s location?” With Cisco’s solution for Azure Stack Hub, being onsite is not required. Once the system components are racked and stacked, connection to data center border switches is enabled, the system installation can be managed remotely through Cisco services via remote access. Cisco can perform a complete Azure Stack Hub installation with or without access to the data center. No other system provider offers this capability.  Cisco’s design, automation tools, and ability to think “outside the box” provides an opportunity to implement hybrid cloud regardless of your physical location.

Cisco Azure Stack Hub customers can easily add servers to an Azure Stack Hub scale unit on their own without the need to invest in any professional or support services.  Once the server is ordered and arrives at the customer’s location, they simply cut open the shipping box and place the server in the system rack.  Connect a couple of cables and power up the server.  In about 45 minutes Cisco UCS Manager has auto discovered the new server and copied over system management files and brought the system into the cluster.  Next, the cloud administrator goes to the Azure Stack Hub administration screen and enters a server address.  Azure Stack Hub will copy over the infrastructure files and begin to rebalance the system.  Just over two hours from cutting open the box, the server is ready to process work.  Customers can purchase additional nodes when pricing is to their advantage and install as business needs dictate.  See our blog and video for more details.  Auto discovery and related systems management capabilities manifested in UCS Manager are now resident in Cisco Intersight.

Cisco Azure Stack Hub is sold in more countries than any other vendor.  We offer an ability to move support calls between Microsoft and Cisco to ensure customers are never caught in the middle.  Finally, our design not only ensures correct installations the first time but allows you to move forward with your hybrid cloud solutions, from anywhere and at any time. Keep your IT moving with Cisco.


Siva Sivakumar

Senior Director

Computing System Platforms Group