Cisco Intersight Platform Solution Overview

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Updated:June 25, 2021

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Updated:June 25, 2021


It’s an always-on, hyper-distributed world—and your apps, data, users, infrastructure, and your IT teams need to stay connected to deliver a modern digital experience.

This is the face of your company and your brand, internally and externally. For your IT operations and compute infrastructure teams, this is not easy. They need to move faster than ever to catch up with development, DevOps teams and line-of-business requirements. They face rapid growth in new types of applications scattered across a multicloud world—a multidomain environment that now expands beyond your data center and branch offices to the edge, and to the multiple pubic clouds you use.

You are asked to configure and maintain new and heterogeneous types of multicloud infrastructure and workloads, using services that require new expertise and platform-specific tools, while finding that perfect balance between cost and performance. At the same time, you need to take into account your existing investments, as well as new innovation initiatives.

This new world sets a new bar for scale and speed of IT operations. One where spending time on repetitive manual tasks and constantly monitoring myriad silos, with arrays of tools designed for those silos, won’t succeed anymore. One where all your environment and teams need to work as one to deliver true value in uncertain times.

Falling behind can mean risking a poor user experience, higher costs due to over provisioning, or inefficient use of your time, blocking innovation instead of driving it.

But there is a new way of doing things.

A new world demands change

     Simplify and unify operations with secure cloud-delivered management

     Transform with AIOps to continuously assure application performance, reduce cost, and mitigate risk

     Accelerate service delivery and enable developers with an open framework

Rethink cloud operations

For your IT operations and infrastructure teams to evolve, they need a new, flexible toolset that doesn’t add to the complexity but reduces it. One that spans all of your infrastructure, workloads, and applications, wherever they are, and brings them closer to your teams to accelerate workflows without compromises. One that adapts to business requirements and real-time change, balancing risk, cost, and control. One that extends your cloud operating model across all your assets, consistently, everywhere.

This why we created Cisco Intersight, the world’s simplest hybrid cloud platform, and delivered it as Software as a Service (SaaS).

Rethink cloud operations

Cloud operations platform for hybrid IT

Cisco Intersight provides an essential hybrid cloud control point for organizations. With Intersight, you can get more value by simplifying operations across on-premises data centers, edge sites, and public clouds, continuously optimizing and accelerating service delivery.

A unified, secure SaaS platform comprising modular services that bridge applications with infrastructure, Intersight provides correlated visibility and management across bare-metal servers, hypervisors, Kubernetes, and serverless and application components, helping you transform with AIOps to reach the scale and velocity your stakeholders demand.

Intersight helps your teams securely collaborate and work smarter and faster together, within and across domains, by automating lifecycle workflows and enabling consistency and governance with extensible, open capabilities that natively integrate with third-party platforms and tools.

With Intersight, your teams can intelligently visualize, optimize, and orchestrate all your applications and infrastructure anywhere they are.

Intersight Services

Cisco Intersight is a modular platform of integrated SaaS offerings that address your unique requirements and use cases.

     Intersight Infrastructure Service: Leverage intelligent lifecycle management for Cisco® data center products such as Cisco UCS®, Cisco HyperFlex, Cisco converged infrastructure solutions, and third-party endpoints, powered by proactive support and enterprise-class security. Automate server, fabric, and storage provisioning as well as device discovery, inventory, configuration, diagnostics, monitoring, fault detection, auditing, and statistics collection. Apply unified policies and integrate with third-party system management tools.

     Intersight Virtualization Service: Streamline the operation and management of virtual machines through a common inventory and extensible workflow framework spanning private and public cloud.

     Intersight Kubernetes Service: Simplify Kubernetes with automated lifecycle management across your multicloud environment, reducing time to market and supporting consistency and compliance for application developers. Deploy 100 percent upstream Kubernetes on top of VMware ESXi hypervisors, Cisco Intersight Workload Engine hypervisor and Intersight Workload Engine bare metal servers.

     Intersight Workload Engine: Unify operations and manage VMs, containers and serverless with an all-in-one, next-gen integrated architecture for modern, cloud native workloads, built from the ground up for HyperFlex including hypervisor, clustering and storage support. Simple and consistent management with one tool for upgrades, capacity expansion, repair and security.

     Intersight Cloud Orchestrator: Automate infrastructure and workload delivery across on-prem and public clouds with an easy-to-use, low-code workflow designer. Create and execute complex workflows and benefit from a curated library of tasks to standardize orchestration across domains.

     Intersight Workload Optimizer: Revolutionize how you manage application resources across any environment with real-time, full-stack visibility to help ensure performance and better cost control with a single tool. Monitor physical servers, hypervisors, Kubernetes clusters, and serverless and application components anywhere they are, understanding all the connections, to stay ahead of issues and avoid lengthy troubleshooting when problems arise. Integrate with Cisco AppDynamics® software to combine real-time awareness of business outcomes and user experience with infrastructure automation.

     Intersight Service for HashiCorp Terraform: Simplify and secure your IaC strategy across hybrid cloud. Securely and seamlessly integrate your on-prem Intersight-managed environment with Terraform Cloud Business Tier and deliver a consistent IaC experience across both on-prem and public clouds to accelerate application innovation while reducing risk.

The Cisco Intersight architecture is extensible and fully accessible to automation with an open, RESTful API, allowing you to integrate with Ansible, Chef, Puppet, and other DevOps and IT Operations Management (ITOM) tools, using the Python and PowerShell Software Development Kits (SDKs). ServiceNow integration provides inventory and alerts to your IT Service Management (ITSM) platform to show Intersight inventory and configuration details, elevating the ITSM experience.

In addition, Intersight Secure Connect provides a framework to scale and extend the universe of Intersight cloud-managed devices. It provides enterprise-class, secure connectivity to Cisco UCS, Cisco HyperFlex, Cisco converged infrastructure, and an expanding set of third-party hardware and software platforms.

Intersight Services

“Cisco’s Intersight management from the cloud is adding a lot to our toolset—not only the ability to securely monitor and manage our data center from anywhere but with the new Intersight Workload Optimizer service it expands this visibility to applications, both on prem and in the public cloud. This ensures that not only our hardware is performing perfectly but also our applications.”

Wouter Hindriks

Technical Team Leader

Missing Piece BV

Power your cloud operating model anywhere

Power your cloud operating model anywhere

Cisco Intersight enables you to control your Cisco data center components (Cisco UCS, Cisco HyperFlex, and Cisco converged infrastructure solutions) across your on-premises environment and edge locations via a global inventory of devices, with centralized policy management so you can deploy and manage your infrastructure with consistency wherever it resides.

Besides managing your Cisco hardware, Cisco Intersight allows you to deploy and manage virtual machines and Kubernetes clusters with integrations with AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. Automate lifecycle management, visualize and optimize your application resources, control costs, and orchestrate workflows across your entire environment. Integrate with configuration tools and IaC toolchains and accelerate delivery of services, bridging the gap between IT and development teams.

Simplify with a unified, cloud-delivered platform

Cisco Intersight enables your IT operations teams to collaborate with a unified operations platform, delivered as SaaS, across all your environments. It helps you simplify the lifecycle management of your Cisco data center components such as Cisco UCS, Cisco HyperFlex, and Cisco converged infrastructure solutions, as well as multicloud upstream Kubernetes and any workload and application, wherever they are—in your data center, in a colocation facility, at the edge, or in a public cloud. Cisco Intersight gives you all the capabilities to quickly deploy and configure a complete infrastructure stack with a few clicks, in minutes.

Shift the burden of building, maintaining, and securing your management environment to Cisco and benefit from continuous innovation and new functionality delivered seamlessly via SaaS. With enterprise-class security hardening built for the enterprise and granular Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) across all layers from infrastructure to applications, it can help you extend your environment without risking control or compromising on governance.

In addition, Cisco Intersight offers an always-on connection to the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC), constantly monitoring your environment to help identify configuration issues before they become problems. It watches for anomalous infrastructure events, capturing log information and providing centralized alerts about failure notifications or policy violations. It can automatically generate and forward Cisco TAC support cases when required and even raise service requests and Return Material Authorizations (RMAs) automatically.

Continuously optimize your hybrid cloud environment

Maintaining the health of an environment that spans across data center, edge, and public clouds is not an easy task: multiple layers of heterogeneous infrastructure, distributed workloads, and applications across different platforms, dynamically changing, require constant monitoring, and decisions about cost, performance, and compliance are made at the speed of the cloud. This is a challenge beyond human scale, and it requires the power of data and analytics to solve.

Cisco Intersight can take care of the complex task of continuously optimizing your environment. From security patches and operating system upgrades, to licensing for databases on your virtual machines, to workload monitoring, sizing, and placement for cost optimization and performance across on-premises and your public clouds, Cisco Intersight can help. Now you can transform and scale with an AIOps-powered operations platform.

With Cisco Intersight Infrastructure Service, hardware and firmware are monitored to help ensure that your systems are always compliant with the Cisco Hardware Compatibility List (HCL)—any unsupported configurations cause automatic alerts. At the same time, Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer analyzes and correlates telemetry across your full stack, from your physical servers to virtualized resources and application components, wherever they are, to visualize application and infrastructure dependencies. Leveraging an AI-powered recommendation engine, it continuously assures application performance by automating scaling and placement actions, provisioning of resources to meet demand, or correcting misconfigurations to avoid disruptions and unnecessary costs. The service gets smarter over time as historical data feeds real-time recommendations and its advanced scenario modeling tool. With complete visibility into on-premises and public cloud application requirements, resource utilization, and availability, as well as costs, Cisco Intersight can improve your overall situational awareness, reduce risk and cost, and free your teams to focus on more important things.

Supercharge solution delivery and DevOps

Faster deployment and change management is at the core of what your teams strive for. Whether it is adding resources to your virtualized data center, setting up a new off-the-shelf application for your users, standing up a Kubernetes cluster at the edge, or providing multicloud resources for your developers to deploy code, Cisco Intersight can help you move faster and safer.

Using Cisco Intersight Infrastructure Service, Intersight Service for HashiCorp Terraform, Workload Engine, Virtualization Service, Cloud Orchestrator, and Kubernetes Service, your teams can configure infrastructure and deploy applications with a few clicks, across on-premises, edge, and your public clouds. With end-to-end automation, you can drive governance and consistency for self-service capabilities and reduce time to market. From physical and virtual server configurations for your Cisco data center to delivering upstream, multicloud Kubernetes clusters and canary environments for cloud native applications, Cisco Intersight provides an integrated toolbox on a common dashboard and API to change your response time to innovation.

All of the above is delivered with an open, cloud-agnostic approach driven by native public cloud integrations and support for an ecosystem of third-party tooling, so your internal customers can continue using the platforms and software of their choice without disruption.

Bridge user experience to infrastructure with Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer and AppDynamics integration

Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer

Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer combined with the AppDynamics Customer Journey Map correlates business, application performance, and infrastructure metrics to provide full-stack visibility and common data for a single source of truth shared across IT teams. It aggregates user journeys metrics with infrastructure components for end-to-end, policy-driven automation and continuous optimization. Now your application and infrastructure teams can work with a closed-loop operating model, from your applications business logic down to the physical server to cost-effectively provide a good user experience.

Take efficiency and performance to the limit with bare metal Kubernetes

Take efficiency and performance to the limit with bare metal Kubernetes

With Intersight Kubernetes Service and Intersight Workload Engine, you can deploy and manage bare metal Kubernetes on HyperFlex, enabling significant savings and maximum efficiency without the need for virtualization. In addition, with the Intersight Workload Engine leveraging container-native virtualization capabilities, you can run and manage virtual machines, virtual machine-based containers, and bare metal containers on the same platform using common tooling.

Intersight Kubernetes Service also supports VMware ESXi and Intersight Workload Engine hypervisors, as well as AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service, Azure Kubernetes Service, and Google Cloud Google Kubernetes Engine.

Cisco is a Forrester Wave Leader

In a Forrester Wave report that analyzed vendor products, strategies, roadmaps, and market presence, Cisco is cited as a leader in solutions that go beyond basic automation. Our comprehensive management and strong analytics solutions were noted as key technologies that allow Cisco platforms to tap into knowledge about systems and applications so that automation processes can make better decisions.

Forrester explains the importance of combining infrastructure management, governance, and compliance features—and the success of Cisco’s approach that results in a highly scalable offering that works across on-premise deployments and the cloud.

Testimony to our success is Forrester’s conclusion that our solution “offers rich infrastructure automation capabilities” and that Cisco is “stronger than most competitors at model creation and editing and application awareness.”

Cisco is a Forrester Wave Leader

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