Co-Authored by Nick Holden

It’s true that Converged Infrastructure (CI) has been around for a long time, even before public clouds became a default option for hosting applications. With the availability of benefits like consumption pricing, on-demand resources, and the flexibility to scale footprints up and down to align with application demand, many customers have migrated to the public cloud.

However, for many customers, their requirements have led them to run their applications on-premises or in hybrid cloud environments. For some, the economics favor using infrastructure they own instead of effectively renting from public cloud providers. Other customers are working with legacy applications or have huge mission-critical databases that can’t be run in a cost-effective with a move to the cloud. Still, others have security, compliance, data sovereignty, and other concerns that require them to run their applications in their own data centers.

On the other hand, regardless of where an application is hosted, the public cloud has set IT expectations. Customers want the ability to consume on-premises infrastructure in the same way they consume public cloud infrastructure. They demand observability and flexibility for these deployments.

The good news is that our customers can now fulfill many of these expectations by leveraging today’s modern converged infrastructure solution from Cisco and our partners. This solution includes the Cisco+ as-a-service offering built on UCS  and integrated with our strategic storage partners, managed with Intersight integration, and supported by our Channel Partners and Cisco’s Customer Experience organization.

Cisco+ on-premises converged infrastructure with a consumption-based business model

When considering where to run their applications to meet their business objectives – whether in the public cloud, on-premises, or in a hybrid cloud environment – our customers are trying to:

  • Optimize their IT resource and usage
  • Reduce their IT staff workload
  • Reduce over-provisioning of infrastructure
  • Move from CapEx to OpEx business models

In addition, customers want transparency around their infrastructure usage, as they strive to optimize infrastructure costs while obtaining maximum value from their applications.

Cisco+ helps customers meet those objectives. Cisco+ is the Cisco brand for cross-portfolio solutions delivered as-a-service with consumption-based offers.

With Cisco+, there are two pay-per-use, consumption-based model offerings—Pay As You Use (PAYU) and Pay As You Grow (PAYG).

  • PAYU simplifies the delivery model of on-premises compute, network, and storage resources, enabling customers to pay for only the on-premises infrastructure they use.
  • PAYG offers growth capacity within an on-premises infrastructure that helps to ensure high business performance without continuously over-provisioning.

Both consumption-based models offer simple monthly subscription payment options and flexible contract terms.

Cisco Full Stack Observability (FSO)

Meeting the desired business outcomes also requires having in place the tools that provide the FSO required to help ensure applications continually deliver outstanding experiences.

To this end, Cisco+ leverages Cisco Intersight, a cloud operations platform that includes services for the optimal deployment, monitoring, management, and support of physical and virtual infrastructure. One component of this platform is Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer, a multi-cloud application resource management solution that visualizes complex interdependencies across all layers of infrastructure, making recommendations to ensure optimal user experiences at the lowest cost.

The other components that round out Cisco’s FSO capabilities include AppDynamics, ThousandEyes, and Cisco Secure Application. The visibility provided by these FSO tools enables our customers to deliver the digital experiences they need for applications running in public cloud, on-premises, or hybrid cloud environments.

Managed Services

From a simple, high-level perspective, a public cloud delivers converged infrastructure with a set of monitoring and management tools, all managed by the cloud provider. To provide our on-premises infrastructure customers with experiences like those offered through the public cloud, several Cisco Managed Services Provider partners are available to provide their value-added services. Customers can leverage those services to deploy and manage on-premises infrastructure throughout the customer lifecycle.

In fact, many companies have limited in-house resources to optimally design, implement, and manage their cloud strategies. Cisco Managed Services Provider partners fill this gap by understanding customer challenges and requirements as they design, deploy, and manage the underlying infrastructure.

Many Cisco Managed Services Provider partners now also deploy Cisco+, enabling them to offer consumption-based pricing for their on-premises deployed infrastructure. In addition, by leveraging Cisco+, customers can also scale their on-premises footprint up or down, so they have the headroom to meet increases in demand without paying for infrastructure when demand decreases.

Storage Provider partners

Finally, when running on a public cloud, customers are limited to the storage options provided by the cloud provider. When customers deploy the Cisco converged infrastructure, they can elect to deploy storage from Cisco Storage Provider partners–such as NetApp, Pure Storage, Hitachi, and Dell/EMC.

Next gen converged infrastructure

For many, the term “converged infrastructure” means only the convergence of compute, storage, and networking. But today’s converged infrastructure offered by Cisco means so much more. It starts with Cisco’s market-leading compute and networking infrastructure combined with storage from Cisco’s market-leading Storage Provider partners. On top of this, customers gain access to the broad set of tools needed to optimally monitor, manage, and secure the applications and infrastructure. Rounding this out, Cisco Managed Services Provider partners are available to look after the infrastructure so our customers can strategically focus their resources on delivering their desired business outcomes.

Taken all together, modern converged infrastructure delivered by Cisco and our partners provide public cloud experiences for mission-critical applications hosted on our customers’ infrastructure. With continued software innovations and engineering integration, we are seeing explosive customer demand to modernize and grow their CI environments.

Dare I say Converged Infrastructure is cool yet again!


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Peter Kelly


Global Strategic Partners