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Updated:May 1, 2019
Document ID:1505993023480105

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Download Options

  • PDF
    (471.3 KB)
    View with Adobe Reader on a variety of devices
Updated:May 1, 2019
Document ID:1505993023480105
 

 

The Cisco Intersight platform provides intelligent cloud-powered infrastructure management for the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS®) and Cisco HyperFlex platforms.

Product Overview

Cisco Intersight is Cisco’s systems management platform that delivers intuitive computing through cloud-powered intelligence. This platform offers a more intelligent level of management that enables IT organizations to analyze, simplify, and automate their environments in ways that were not possible with prior generations of tools. This capability empowers organizations to achieve significant savings in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and to deliver applications faster, so they can support new business initiatives. The advantages of the model-based management of the Cisco UCS platform plus Cisco Intersight are extended to Cisco UCS servers and Cisco HyperFlex and Cisco HyperFlex Edge systems. Cisco HyperFlex Edge is optimized for remote sites, branch offices, and edge environments.

The Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex platforms use model-based management to provision servers and the associated storage and fabric automatically, regardless of form factor. Cisco Intersight works in conjunction with Cisco UCS Manager and the Cisco® Integrated Management Controller (IMC). By simply associating a model-based configuration with a resource through server profiles, your IT staff can consistently align policy, server personality, and workloads. These policies can be created once and used by IT staff with minimal effort to deploy servers. The result is improved productivity and compliance and lower risk of failures due to inconsistent configuration.

Cisco Intersight will be integrated with data center and hybrid-cloud platforms and services to securely deploy and manage infrastructure resources across data center and edge environments. In addition, Cisco will provide future integrations to third-party operations tools to allow customers to use their existing solutions more effectively.

Cisco Intersight offers flexible deployment either as Software as a Service (SaaS) on Intersight.com or running on your premises with the Cisco Intersight virtual appliance. The virtual appliance provides users with the benefits of Cisco Intersight while allowing more flexibility for those with additional data locality and security requirements.

Cisco Intersight Features and Benefits

Table 1 lists the main features and benefits of Cisco Intersight.

Table 1.             Features and Benefits

Feature

Benefits

Unified management

  Simplify Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex management with a single management platform.
  Increase scale across data centers and remote locations without additional complexity.
  Use a single dashboard to monitor Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex systems.
  Cisco UCS Manager, Cisco IMC software, Cisco HyperFlex Connect, and Cisco UCS Director tunneling allow access to element managers that do not have local network access.

Configuration, provisioning, and server profiles

  Treat Cisco UCS servers and storage as infrastructure resources that can be allocated and reallocated among application workloads for more dynamic and efficient use of server capacity.
  Create multiple server profiles with just a few clicks or through the available API, automating the provisioning process.
  Clone profiles to quickly provision Cisco UCS C-Series servers in standalone mode.
  Create, deploy, and manage your Cisco HyperFlex configurations.
  Will help ensure consistency and eliminate configuration drift, maintaining standardization across many systems.

Inventory information and status

  Display and report inventory information for Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex systems.
  Use global search to rapidly identify systems based on names, identifiers, and other information.
  Use tagging to associate custom attributes with systems.
  Monitor Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex server alerts and health status across data centers and remote locations.
  View your Cisco HyperFlex configurations.
  Track and manage firmware versions across all connected Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex systems.
  Track and manage software versions and automated patch updates for all claimed Cisco UCS Director software installations.

Enhanced support experience

  Get automated alerts about failure notifications.
  Automate the generation and forwarding of technical support files to the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) to accelerate the troubleshooting process.

Open API

  A RESTful API that supports the OpenAPI Specification (OAS) to provide full programmability and deep integrations systems.
  The Python and PowerShell SDKs will enable integrations with Ansible, Chef, Puppet, and other DevOps and IT Operations Management (ITOM) tools.

Seamless integration and upgrades

  Upgrades are available for Cisco UCS, Cisco HyperFlex systems, and Cisco UCS Director software running supported firmware and software versions.
  Upgrades to Cisco Intersight are delivered automatically without requiring the resources of traditional management tool upgrades and disruption to your operations.

Management as a Service

Cisco Intersight builds on the Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex platforms to provide an intuitive infrastructure with cloud-powered intelligence. Instead of managing from your own onsite system management console, you can use Cisco’s cloud-based management platform at Intersight.com or through the Cisco Intersight virtual appliance. This capability allows you to focus on managing your systems rather than your management tools. It also allows you to take advantage of new features as they become available from Cisco. In addition, Cisco Intersight allows you to manage systems both in your data center and at remote edge and branch office locations.

Model-Based Deployment

Cisco Intersight provides model-based deployment for Cisco UCS and HyperFlex platforms, building on the deployment methodologies of Cisco UCS. HyperFlex platforms can be sent to their destination location, have basic internet connectivity established locally, and then be set up remotely through the cloud-based HyperFlex installer. A Cisco UCS C-Series server can be set up quickly and easily by replicating an existing server profile for rapid configuration. The model-based deployment works for a single system in a remote location or hundreds of systems in a data center and enables rapid, standardized configuration and deployment.

Telemetry Data Collection

To support the complex environments created by modern applications and the dramatically increasing number of endpoints, enterprises require analytics integrated tightly with their operations management tools. To enable these analytics capabilities, every Cisco UCS server, Cisco HyperFlex system, or Cisco UCS Director software is configured to automatically connect and transmit to Cisco Intersight certain telemetry information (including server serial numbers and IP addresses, the types of software installed on an endpoint, and feature use data). This telemetry information will be used to power the Cisco Intersight recommendation engine. The Cisco Intersight recommendation engine will use the telemetry information to proactively review customer metadata to identify potential issues in customers’ environments to prevent problems and improve system uptime in the future.

Open API

Cisco Intersight includes an API that supports the OpenAPI Specification (formerly known as the Swagger Specification), a powerful definition format to describe RESTful APIs. Support for the OpenAPI specification provides users with access to an interoperable REST API with tools that automate the generation of the Intersight API documentation (intersight.com/apidocs), API schemas, and SDKs. The Intersight API includes fully functional Python and PowerShell SDKs.

The API is an integral part of the broader open connector framework Cisco has established to enable the Intersight ecosystem to evolve. The ecosystem will eventually support a wide range of Cisco and third-party DevOps software. Cisco Intersight includes a user-customizable dashboard, as seen in the figure below.

datasheet-c78-739433_0.jpg

Customizable Dashboard

Cisco Intersight provides a dashboard (see figure) that spans Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex systems. The dashboard is user-customizable, allowing users to focus on the information and tasks that are relevant to them. This global dashboard includes features such as the following:

     Global inventory: Get information about inventory across the supported systems whether they are in the data center or at remote locations.

     Fault monitoring: Manage faults and set up alerting for all managed systems.

     Firmware status: Monitor and manage firmware versions.

User-Interface Launch

Cisco Intersight allows you to monitor Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex systems from a single management tool. However, if you need to look more deeply into a specific platform, Cisco Intersight provides:

     Cross-launch capabilities for virtual KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) sessions.

     Tunneling capabilities for Cisco UCS Manager, Cisco UCS Director, Cisco IMC software, and Cisco HyperFlex Connect to allow secure access to the manager whether you are inside or outside the corporate network.

Simplified Support

The telemetry data and incidents collected from the Cisco Intersight installed base are transmitted using secure communication mechanisms, and this information is available for use by the Cisco TAC to provide insights and more proactive support. When combined with Smart Call Home, TAC cases can be automatically opened for certain faults, TAC agents can initiate log collection, and relevant actions can be taken with minimal customer input. Even if Smart Call Home is not used, this still speeds case resolution, limits the impact on IT personnel, and ultimately increases system uptime.

Cisco Intersight also enables users to provide more direct feedback to our products. In addition, the tight integration with the TAC extends the solution scope by enhancing continuous delivery to further speed up fixes and future development.

Platform Compliance

Cisco Intersight evaluates your hardware and firmware compatibility to help ensure that your system is compliant with the Cisco Hardware Compatibility List. This process identifies unsupported configurations and alerts you to any potential problems that may arise from unknowingly running unsupported configurations.

Flexible Deployment Options

Choose the ease of SaaS delivery of the Cisco Intersight Management platform on Intersight.com. No need to provision resources; simply connect your devices to the management portal, then claim them in the management portal.

If you have additional data locality or security needs not satisfied by Intersight.com, you can deploy the Cisco Intersight virtual appliance software on your premises and take advantage of the Essentials features. The Cisco Intersight virtual appliance requires a connection between the virtual appliance instance and the Cisco Intersight services to ensure proper operation, feature delivery, updates, and license validation.

Supported Software

Cisco Intersight supports Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex platforms with the software versions listed in Table 2.

Table 2.             Supported Software

Platform

Versions supported

 

Cisco UCS Manager

Release 3.2(1) and later

 

Cisco IMC Software

Release 3.0(4) and later

 

Cisco HyperFlex

Release 2.5.1 and later

 

Cisco UCS Director

Release 6.6 and later

 

Please see product documentation for a more detailed list of supported versions and caveats.

Virtual Appliance System Requirements

The Cisco Intersight virtual appliance OVA can be deployed on VMware ESXi 6.0 and higher. The following table describes the minimum system requirements:

Item

Requirement

 

Supported hypervisors

VMware ESXi 6.0 and higher

 

Storage

500 GB

 

RAM

32 GB

 

vCPUs

12

 

Please see product documentation for more details and sizing guidelines.

Licensing

Cisco Intersight uses a subscription-based license with multiple editions. Customers can purchase a subscription duration of one, three, or five years and choose the Cisco UCS server volume tier they need for the selected subscription duration.

Each Cisco UCS server, Cisco HyperFlex system, or Cisco UCS Director software automatically includes a Cisco Intersight Base edition at no additional cost when the customer accesses the Cisco Intersight portal and claims the device. In addition, customers can purchase the Cisco Intersight Essentials edition using the Cisco ordering tool (Table 3).

Table 3.          Cisco Intersight Editions

Edition

Description

Base

The Cisco Intersight Base offering is available at no cost to customers with platforms enabled to support Cisco Intersight. Enabled platforms are those Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex systems with a Cisco Intersight device connector, including eligible Cisco UCS Manager, Cisco IMC, Cisco UCS Director, and Cisco HyperFlex software.

Cisco Intersight Base provides access to a portal that delivers centralized monitoring and basic inventory of managed systems, organizational capabilities including tagging and search, and the capability to launch native endpoint management interfaces including Cisco UCS Manager.

Note: This is available only for the SaaS version on Intersight.com; it is not available for the Cisco Intersight virtual appliance.

Essentials

The Cisco Intersight Essentials offering builds on the functions provided in the Base edition. It includes centralized setup and configuration capabilities through a policy engine, firmware management, compliance tool integration, and other features.

Cisco Intersight Essentials enables customers to centralize configuration management through a unified policy engine, determine compliance with the Cisco UCS Hardware Compatibility List (HCL), and initiate firmware updates. The Essentials edition provides a single interface for monitoring, management, and operations, with the capability to launch the virtual keyboard, video, and mouse (vKVM) console directly from Cisco Intersight.

Cisco Intersight Essentials also includes subscription entitlement for Cisco IMC Supervisor and Cisco UCS Central software products at no additional cost. Please refer to Cisco IMC Supervisor Data Sheet and Cisco UCS Central Data Sheet for more details.

Note: This is available for both the SaaS version on Intersight.com and the Cisco Intersight virtual appliance. See below for ordering information.

Advantage

In addition to the functions provided in the Base and Essentials editions, the Cisco Intersight Advantage offer includes subscription entitlement for Cisco UCS Director at no additional cost. Please refer to Cisco UCS Director Data Sheet for more details.

Note: This is available for both the SaaS version on Intersight.com and the Cisco Intersight virtual appliance. See below for ordering information.

Ordering Information

Cisco Intersight Base edition is automatically included with every Cisco UCS server purchase, including Cisco UCS servers purchased in the past. The Base edition does not have any orderable part number. Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex customers can simply go to https://www.intersight.com. Users log in using their Cisco Connection Online (Cisco.com) user ID and claim their Cisco UCS servers and Cisco HyperFlex devices to start using Cisco Intersight Base edition. The Base edition is not available on the Cisco Intersight virtual appliance.

Cisco Intersight Essentials edition can be ordered in one-year, three-year, and five-year subscription periods. In addition, volume discounts are available for customers ordering more than 1000 server subscriptions at the same time. There are separate license options for Essentials, detailed below, for the SaaS version on Intersight.com and the virtual appliance.

Cisco Smart Accounts and Smart Licensing are mandatory for Cisco Intersight. In addition, a Cisco Connection Online (CCO) user account is mandatory to use the Cisco Intersight user interface.

Table 4.          Ordering Information

Part number

Description

DC-MGT-SAAS

Product Family – Cisco Intersight

DC-MGT-SAAS-EST-C

Cisco Intersight SaaS – Essentials

DC-MGT-SAAS-ADV-C

Cisco Intersight SaaS – Advantage

DC-MGT-ONPREM-EST

Cisco Intersight Virtual Appliance – Essentials

DC-MGT-ONPREM-ADV

Cisco Intersight Virtual Appliance – Advantage

For More Information

For additional information, visit cisco.com/go/intersight.

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