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Cisco Intersight Data Sheet

Data Sheet

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Updated:December 4, 2020

Available Languages

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  • PDF
    (583.3 KB)
    View with Adobe Reader on a variety of devices
Updated:December 4, 2020
 

 

Product overview

Cisco Intersight is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) infrastructure lifecycle management platform that delivers simplified configuration, deployment, maintenance, and support. It supports Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS®) and Cisco HyperFlex hyperconverged infrastructure, other Cisco® Intersight-connected devices, and third-party Intersight-connected devices. The level of functionality may vary.

With Intersight, you get all of the benefits of SaaS delivery and full lifecycle management of distributed Intersight-connected servers and third-party storage across data centers, remote sites, branch offices, and edge environments. This empowers you to analyze, update, fix, and automate your environment in ways that were not possible with prior generations’ tools. As a result, your organization can achieve significant TCO savings and deliver applications faster in support of new business initiatives.

The Intersight platform works in conjunction with Cisco UCS Manager, Cisco Integrated Management Controller (IMC), and Cisco HyperFlex Connect. You can simply associate a model-based configuration to provision servers and associated storage and fabric automatically, regardless of form factor. Using profiles, IT staff can consistently align policy, server personality, and workloads. These policies can be created once and used to simplify server deployments, resulting in improved productivity and compliance, and lower risk of failures due to inconsistent configuration. In addition, Cisco provides integrations to third-party operations tools, starting with ServiceNow, to allow customers to use their existing solutions more efficiently.

David De Roock

Cisco Intersight technical features and benefits

Table 1.        Main features and benefits

Feature

Benefits

Unified monitoring and management

  Simplify Cisco UCS, Cisco HyperFlex, Pure Storage, and Cisco Network Insights management from 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 installation

  Cisco UCS servers and storage are treated as infrastructure resources that can be allocated and reallocated among application workloads for more dynamic and efficient use of server capacity.
  Policy-based profiles for deployment, configuration, and the creation of multiple server profiles enable you to consistently deploy and configure servers, eliminating configuration errors.
  Clone profiles to quickly provision Cisco UCS C-Series Rack Servers in standalone mode.
  Create, deploy, and manage Cisco HyperFlex configurations.
  Install vMedia-based operating systems on the managed UCS C-Series servers.
  Ensure consistency and eliminate configuration drift, and maintain standardization across multiple systems.

Orchestration and Workflow Designer

  The Intersight Orchestrator is a framework to create and execute complex workflows in Intersight.
  Orchestrator includes a library of tasks that you can use to compile a workflow. Each task acts as an independent executable entity, and it can perform an operation in Intersight or on any connected device.
  Workflow Designer includes a drag-and-drop UI to help you create new workflows to manage devices.

Inventory information, status, and capacity planning

  Display and report inventory information for Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex systems.
  Use global search to rapidly identify systems based on names, identifiers, tags, and other information.
  Monitor Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex server alerts and health status across data centers and remote locations.
  View Cisco HyperFlex configurations.
  Proactively scale storage utilization on HyperFlex clusters with HyperFlex capacity planning. Along with additional notifications, a critical alarm is raised when storage utilization is predicted to exceed the recommended capacity thresholds.
  Track and manage firmware versions across Intersight-connected systems.
  Track and manage software versions and automated patch updates for all claimed Cisco UCS Director software installations.

Enhanced support and end-customer experience

  Raise service requests and Return Materials Authorizations (RMA) automatically and proactively authorize the RMA.
  Get centralized alerts about failure notifications.
  Automate the generation, forwarding, and analysis of technical support files to the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) to accelerate the troubleshooting process.

REST API

  Provides a RESTful API to manage Cisco Unified Computing System and Cisco HyperFlex systems across multiple data centers
  Supports the OpenAPI Specification (OAS) to provide full programmability and deep integrations systems to efficiently automate IT infrastructure from the data center to edge locations
  The Python and PowerShell SDKs will enable integrations with Ansible, Chef, Puppet, and other DevOps and IT Operations Management (ITOM) tools.
  ServiceNow integration provides inventory and alerts to the IT Service Management platform to show Intersight inventory and configuration details, elevating the ITSM experience.

Proactive notifications and advisories

  Cisco Security Advisories alert users about any endpoint devices impacted by Cisco advisories, providing the latest information on severity, impacted products, and available workarounds.

Hardware Compatibility List (HCL)

  Evaluate and mitigate the impact of service issues from running non-validated combinations of firmware, server model, processor, adapters, operating system, and driver versions.
  Use Cisco UCS tools, a host utility vSphere Installation Bundle (VIB), or OS Discovery Tool (an open-source script) to collect OS and driver information to evaluate HCL compliance.

Seamless integration and upgrades

  Upgrade UCS domains, UCS standalone servers, HyperFlex clusters, UCS Director, Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) and Analysis Service Elements (ASE). Installation is supported for HyperFlex Edge and HyperFlex with Fabric Interconnect (FI) clusters.
  Upgrades to Cisco Intersight are delivered automatically without requiring the resources of traditional management tool upgrades and operational disruptions.

Mobile app
(not available for Virtual Appliance or Private Virtual Appliance)

  Access Intersight on Android and iOS devices providing a mobility-optimized connection to the resources managed in your account.
  Stay up to date with the status of your environment and connect with members of your IT organization to address critical issues on the go.
  Open TAC cases.
  Multi-language support.

Tunneled vKVM

  Capability to launch tunneled virtual Keyboard, Video, and Mouse (KVM) sessions for Cisco UCS C-Series standalone servers.

Flexible deployment options

Cisco Intersight is a SaaS management platform with the flexibility of advanced deployment options. You can take advantage of new features as they become available from Cisco without the challenges and complexity of maintaining your management tools. The majority of our users enjoy the benefits of SaaS; however, if you have data locality or security needs for managing systems that may not fully meet a SaaS management model, you can leverage the Cisco Intersight Virtual Appliance software on-premises to connect your servers through Intersight.com.

Alternately, the Cisco Intersight Private Virtual Appliance provides an easy way to deploy a VMware Open Virtual Appliance (OVA), which can be configured, deployed, and run off-premises. The Private Virtual Appliance allows you to still take advantage of much of the SaaS functionality without connectivity back to Intersight.com. Both the Intersight Virtual Appliance and Private Virtual Appliance provide advantages over conventional on-premises management tools.

Simplify application resource management with Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer

Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer (IWO) is an optional service that can be purchased with or without Cisco Intersight. It bridges the gap between applications and infrastructure to assure performance of critical workloads while maximizing efficiency and reducing cost across on-premises and in hybrid cloud environments.

For IT teams challenged with balancing performance, efficiency, and cost in today’s complex, hybrid cloud environments, Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer is a real-time decision engine that visualizes complex interdependencies across the stack. It simplifies and automates application resource management at scale by leveraging telemetry data from over 50 targets across a range of hypervisors, compute platforms, container platforms, public clouds and more with a single tool. It relieves IT teams from the day-to-day management of infrastructure and resource availability, giving them time to drive innovation for the business.

Monitoring and capacity planning

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 instance is configured to automatically connect and transmit to Cisco Intersight certain telemetry information over a secure channel (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.

The HyperFlex performance chart provides details of the cluster performance for HyperFlex clusters and a snapshot of the configurable amount of time, showing Input/output Operations Per Second (IOPS), throughput, and latency data. Using the historical data of used storage capacity along with the predicted storage utilization per HyperFlex cluster, you can proactively scale the storage utilization on the HyperFlex clusters. When the storage utilization is predicted to exceed the recommended capacity limit, an alarm is raised.

Enhanced automation and orchestration

Model-based deployment

Cisco Intersight provides model-based deployment for Cisco UCS and HyperFlex platforms, building on the deployment methodologies of Cisco UCS. A Cisco UCS C-Series rack 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 to enable rapid, standardized configuration and deployment. HyperFlex platforms can be sent to their destination, have basic Internet connectivity established locally, and then be configured and set up remotely through the cloud-based HyperFlex installer.

Cisco Intersight Orchestrator

Intersight Orchestrator is a framework to create and execute complex workflows in Intersight. A central workflow engine sequences the steps in workflows and automates the execution of workflows. A workflow is a collection of tasks that are orchestrated to perform certain operations. An Intersight Orchestrator (IO) task is a building block of the workflow and it can perform a simple operation or a sequence of operations, including create, update, and delete operations on any infrastructure element. Workflows can consist of a couple of tasks, or they can include dozens of tasks and sub-workflows. For example, provisioning a Pure Storage FlashArray or deploying a new Virtual Machine (VM) from a template involves multiple tasks. For more information on Intersight Orchestrator visit our help site.

Cisco Intersight Assist

The unique Intersight Assist feature enables you to claim storage devices and other endpoints, so they can become Intersight-managed. Cisco Intersight Assist is typically a VM running on-premises. You can install Intersight Assist using the bootstrap OVA that is available on Cisco.com. Currently, you can add Pure Storage devices and VMware vCenter to Intersight after claiming them using Cisco Intersight Assist. Cisco will add support for additional third-party storage and other devices in the future.

There are different layers of control, such as Baseboard Management Control (BMC), which provides a deep-level view and the advanced support capabilities. A managed device can only be added to one Intersight Assist component within an Intersight account. For more information on virtualization objects in Cisco Intersight visit our help site. To learn how to install Cisco Intersight Assist watch this video.

Cisco HyperFlex and SD-WAN cluster deployment

Cisco Intersight provides an installation wizard to install, configure, and deploy Cisco HyperFlex Edge and HyperFlex with fabric interconnect clusters. The wizard constructs a pre-configuration definition of your cluster, called a HyperFlex Cluster Profile. This definition is a logical representation of the HyperFlex nodes in your HyperFlex cluster. HyperFlex Cluster Profiles are built on policies which define the sets of rules and operating characteristics such as the node identity, interfaces, and network connectivity. After gathering the node configuration settings to build a HyperFlex Cluster Profile, the installation wizard validates and deploys the HyperFlex Cluster Profile. More information is available on our help site.

REST API

Cisco Intersight includes an API based on the OpenAPI 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, 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. We currently support a ServiceNow plugin to view Intersight inventory and configuration detail in the ServiceNow interface. The ecosystem will be expanded to eventually support a wide range of Cisco and third-party DevOps software.

Cisco Intersight dashboard

Figure 1.            

Cisco Intersight dashboard

Customizable dashboard and mobile app

Cisco Intersight provides a dashboard (Figure 1) that spans Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex systems, and third-party Intersight-connected systems. The dashboard is user-customizable, allowing you to focus on the information and tasks that are relevant to your needs. You can create, customize, rename, and manage multiple dashboard views by adding, removing, or rearranging widgets on the dashboard. Intersight supports the display of up to 30 widgets per dashboard. This global dashboard includes features such as:

      Global inventory. Get information about inventory across 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 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 Keyboard, Video, Mouse (KVM) 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.

The Cisco Intersight mobile app provides visibility on the go with its intuitive view of Intersight-connected systems. You can conveniently keep an eye on your data center—anywhere, anytime. The mobile app is an Apple and Android application to monitor inventory, tasks, and alerts. You can also take actions, such as turning on LED locators and opening Cisco support cases.

Proactive 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 Technical Assistance Center (TAC) to provide insights and more proactive support. When combined with Cisco Smart Call Home, TAC cases can be automatically opened for certain faults. No matter how a TAC case is opened, if the system is connected to Cisco Intersight, the log files are automatically read from the system, attached to the TAC case, and automatically analyzed for known issues. For certain types of hardware failures, Return-Materials-Authorization (RMA) cases are automatically opened. The Cisco Intersight and TAC integration 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.

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

Pure Storage FlashArray

Purity version 4.8 (API version 1.7) and later

VMware vCenter

6.0, 6.5, 6.7 and later

See the product documentation for a more detailed list of supported versions and caveats.

Virtual appliance system requirements

The Cisco Intersight Virtual Appliance and Private Virtual Appliance OVAs can be deployed on VMware ESXi 6.0 and higher. Table 3 describes the minimum system requirements. For additional information see the Getting Started Guide.

Table 3.        Minimum system requirements

Item

Requirement

Supported hypervisors

VMware ESXi 6.0 and higher

Storage

500 GB

RAM

32 GB

vCPUs

16

See product documentation for more details and sizing guidelines.

Licensing

Cisco Intersight is licensed on a subscription basis with multiple license editions to choose from. Capabilities increase with the different license types. 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 subscription to the Cisco Intersight Base tier at no additional cost when the customer accesses the Cisco Intersight portal and claims their devices. In addition, customers can purchase Cisco Intersight Essentials, Cisco Intersight Advantage, or Cisco Intersight Premier tiers using the Cisco ordering tool (Table 4).

Table 4.        Cisco Intersight tier

License tier

Description

Base

The Cisco Intersight Base offering is available at no cost to customers with platforms enabled to support Intersight.

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 systems health monitoring, TAC support, a basic inventory of managed systems, a customizable dashboard, tagging and search, and the ability to launch native endpoint management interfaces, including Cisco UCS Manager and others.

Note: The Base offering is available only for the SaaS version on Intersight.com; it is not available for the Cisco Intersight Virtual Appliance or the Cisco Intersight Private Virtual Appliance.

Essentials

The Cisco Intersight Essentials offering includes all of the Base functionality.

Intersight Essentials includes centralized setup and configuration capabilities through a policy engine, firmware management, compliance tool integration, access to the mobile app, and other features.

It also includes a ServiceNow plugin to view Intersight inventory and configuration details in the ServiceNow interface, elevating the IT Service Management (ITSM) experience.

This license tier also includes configuration management through a unified policy engine. Customers can determine compliance with the Cisco UCS Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) and initiate firmware updates.

Cisco Intersight Essentials also includes subscription entitlement for Cisco IMC Supervisor and Cisco UCS Central software products at no additional cost. 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, the Cisco Intersight Virtual Appliance, and the Cisco Intersight Private Virtual Appliance. See ordering information in the next section.

Advantage

The Cisco Intersight Advantage tier provides all of the functionality of the Base and Essentials tiers.

It includes storage widgets, storage inventory, storage capacity, and storage utilization, starting with support for Pure Storage and cross-domain inventory correlation across physical compute, physical storage, and virtual environments (VMWare ESXi). It also includes OS installation for supported Cisco UCS platforms and the automated solution deployment of Cisco HyperFlex with SD-WAN.

It further includes the Cisco Security Advisory service where customers can receive important security alerts and field notices about impacted endpoint devices.

Note: This is available for both the SaaS version on Intersight.com, the Cisco Intersight Virtual Appliance, and the Cisco Intersight Private Virtual Appliance. See ordering information in the next section.

Premier

In addition to the capabilities provided in the Advantage tier, Cisco Intersight Premier offers Private Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) orchestration across Cisco UCS, Cisco HyperFlex, and third-party systems, including virtual machines (VMWare vCenter) and physical storage (Pure Storage).

Additionally, Cisco Intersight Premier bundles full subscription entitlement for Cisco UCS Director at no additional cost. Refer to Cisco UCS Director data sheet for more details.

Note: This is available for both the SaaS version on Intersight.com, the Cisco Intersight virtual appliance, and the Cisco Intersight Private Virtual Appliance. See ordering information in the next section.

Ordering information

The Cisco Intersight Base tier is automatically included with every Cisco UCS server purchase at no extra cost, including Cisco UCS servers purchased in the past. The Base tier 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 the Cisco Intersight Base tier. The Base tier is not available on the Cisco Intersight Virtual Appliance or the Cisco Intersight Private Virtual Appliance.

Cisco Intersight paid tiers 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. Separate license options are detailed in Table 5 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 5.        Ordering information

Part number

Description

DC-MGT-SAAS

Product family – Cisco Intersight

DC-MGT-SAAS-EST-C

Cisco Intersight SaaS – Essentials

DC-MGT-SAAS-AD-C

Cisco Intersight SaaS - Advantage

DC-MGT-SAAS-PR-C

Cisco Intersight SaaS – Premier

DC-MGT-ONPREM-EST

Cisco Intersight Connected Virtual Appliance – Essentials

DC-MGT-VAPP-AD

Cisco Intersight Connected Virtual Appliance – Advantage

DC-MGT-VAPP-PR

Cisco Intersight Connected Virtual Appliance – Premier

DC-MGT-PVAPP-EST

Cisco Intersight Private Virtual Appliance - Essentials

DC-MGT-PVAPP-AD

Cisco Intersight Private Virtual Appliance – Advantage

DC-MGT-PVAPP-PR

Cisco Intersight Private Virtual Appliance - Premier

Cisco environmental sustainability

Information about Cisco’s environmental sustainability policies and initiatives for our products, solutions, operations, and extended operations or supply chain is provided in the “Environment Sustainability” section of Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report.

Reference links to information about key environmental sustainability topics (mentioned in the “Environment Sustainability” section of the CSR Report) are provided in Table 6.

Table 6.        Environmental sustainability

Sustainability topic

Reference

Information on product material content laws and regulations

Materials

Information on electronic waste laws and regulations, including products, batteries, and packaging

WEEE compliance

Cisco makes the packaging data available for informational purposes only. It may not reflect the most current legal developments, and Cisco does not represent, warrant, or guarantee that it is complete, accurate, or up to date. This information is subject to change without notice.

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For more information

For additional information, visit Cisco Intersight at: cisco.com/go/intersight.

 

 

 

 

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