UCS Director – A Strategic IaaS Evolution
Cisco is committed to enhancing UCS Director, our private cloud platform for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and a key component of our converged infrastructure solutions. The product roadmap is designed to complement Cisco’s long-term infrastructure management strategy that includes Cisco Intersight, the UCS management portfolio, and HyperFlex Connect.
Guest Blogger: Anand Louis, Sr. Product Manager for UCS Director
UCS Director – Heterogeneous Management
UCS Director is an open platform that provides infrastructure management, automation and orchestration across Cisco and a variety of third party systems and software. By starting the product name with the word “UCS”, it can be misleading. UCS Director is a heterogeneous IaaS management platform. It features multi-vendor task libraries with over 2,500 out of the box workflow tasks for end-to-end converged stack automation. UCS Director supports bare metal and virtualized environments.
Systems and Hypervisors Supported by UCS Director
This robust platform is foundational to the converged infrastructure solutions Cisco has developed with our storage partners. The converged infrastructure solutions include: VCE VxBlock, NetApp FlexPod, IBM VersaStack, and Pure SmartStack
UCS Director is also a significant component of the Infrastructure Automation offer in the Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite. It is integrated with the UCS Central, IMC Supervisor, and UCS Performance Manager products to streamline provisioning and ongoing operational management.
Our Latest Improvements
Earlier this year, we released version 6.5 of UCS Director. This release completely transformed the user interface from Flex to HTML5, and it includes many other features to improve ease of use. The workflow framework was improved to run a workflow on multiple schedules and resource access can be synchronized across workflows to guarantee mutual exclusion through Semaphore lock. You can also find improved operations for workflow schedule management.
We’ve also added some significant new features for developers. There’s a new integration with Git that allows you to integrate UCS Director with public (for example GitHub) and private (enterprise) repositories for the purpose of pulling custom tasks (i.e. Java scripting code) from a centralized repository. We’ve also added a native Java editor for custom tasks to minimize errors at runtime due to syntax issues.
RoadMap to the Future
Cisco plans to introduce new versions of UCS Director next year. Here’s a few critical areas of focus we will include (but not restricted to) in the releases:
- Accelerate feature delivery with UCS Director southbound connector modularity
- Platform support and integration enhancements for ACI, HyperFlex, and UCS
- Simplifying deployment and user experience for environments at scale
UCS Director is Alive and Evolving
When something new comes along, it tends to get most of the attention in the market. In September we introduced Cisco Intersight, our new cloud-based systems management platform. It delivers Management as a Service (MaaS). Intersight is an important strategic product with some great capabilities, but it is just getting started. As you can see in the planned enhancements/features above, we will add a UCS Director connector to Intersight. This new connector will allow Intersight to collect telemetry information.
Over time most of the functionality we offer in UCS Director will eventually migrate into Intersight. This will enable us to combine IaaS with MaaS and analytics, so users can more effectively support multi-cloud, data center, and edge computing environments. However, it should be noted that the transition process will take a couple of years to implement.
Making the Transition Easier
Cisco is still investing in UCS Director. It remains a critical component of our converged infrastructure and Enterprise Cloud Suite solutions. We will offer a complimentary product strategy with UCS Director and Intersight that allows customers to preserve the investments they’ve made in infrastructure, operational processes, workflows, and licensing. (This investment protection applies to UCS Director and the rest of the UCS management portfolio.) Our goal is it to make it easy for our customers to transition from UCS Director to Cisco Intersight when and how it makes sense for their organization.
For additional information go to the UCS Director web page.