The Cisco Intersight™ platform provides intelligent cloud-based infrastructure management with embedded analytics for the Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®) and Cisco HyperFlex™ platforms.
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 initiates. 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, hybrid cloud platforms and services to securely deploy and manage infrastructure resources across the 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 features and benefits
Table 1 lists the main features and benefits of Cisco Intersight.
Table 1. Features and benefits
● Simplify Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex management with a single cloud-based 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, and Cisco HyperFlex Connect tunneling allows access to the element managers without 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.
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.
● A RESTful API that supports the OpenAPI standard to provide full programmability and deep integrations.
● 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 and Cisco HyperFlex systems 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 on-site system management console, you can use Cisco’s cloud-based management platform. 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 locations.
Cisco Intersight provides model-based deployment for Cisco UCS and HyperFlex platforms, building on the deployment methodologies of UCS Manager. HyperFlex platforms can be sent to their intended installation location, have basic Internet connectivity established locally, and then 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 or Cisco HyperFlex system 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 future problems and improve system uptime.
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 and ITOM software. It will also include connectors that are part of the existing UCS Director ecosystem of third-party hardware support.
Figure 1. Cisco Intersight includes a user-customizable dashboard.
Cisco Intersight provides a dashboard (Figure 1) 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.
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 IMC software, and Cisco HyperFlex Connect to allow secure access to the manager whether you are inside or outside the corporate network.
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.
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.
Cisco Intersight supports Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex platforms with the software versions listed in Table 2.
Table 2. Supported software
Cisco UCS Manager
Release 3.2(1) and later
Cisco IMC software
Release 3.0(4) and later
2.5.1 and later
Cisco UCS Director
Release 6.6 and later
Cisco Intersight, when combined with Cisco UCS Director 6.6 and later, allows for updates to the southbound connectors as they are released, instead of having to wait for the next UCS Director release. This allows customers to rapidly support new hardware without having to go through a UCS Director upgrade.
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 or Cisco HyperFlex system 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
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, 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.
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 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 (CCO) user ID, and claim their Cisco UCS servers and Cisco HyperFlex devices to start using Cisco Intersight Base edition.
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.
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
Product Family – Cisco Intersight
DC Management SaaS - Essentials
DC Management SaaS – Essentials (Used for monthly overage invoice alone, and not orderable)
For more information
For additional information, visit cisco.com/go/intersight.
Flexible payment solutions to help you achieve your objectives
Cisco Capital makes it easier to get the right technology to achieve your objectives, enable business transformation and help you stay competitive. We can help you reduce the total cost of ownership, conserve capital, and accelerate growth. In more than 100 countries, our flexible payment solutions can help you acquire hardware, software, services and complementary third-party equipment in easy, predictable payments. Learn more.