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Intersight Solution Brief

Solution Overview

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Updated:July 30, 2020

Available Languages

Download Options

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    (380.7 KB)
    View with Adobe Reader on a variety of devices
Updated:July 30, 2020


Managing the demands of IT efficiency

IT organizations are required to deliver applications and services faster while still ensuring the end-user experience. Operations teams need to be more efficient in order to reduce costs. Additionally, they need to support existing infrastructure and applications while managing next-generation workloads that require computing at the edge, branch offices, data centers, and in public and private cloud environments.

This requirement to implement distributed applications supported by distributed computing is creating a growing gap between what these environments require and the expertise, processes, and tools to support them. Additionally, IT organizations are adopting DevOps practices to be more responsive to the business. They are also implementing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) management and automation platforms enhanced by Artificial Intelligence (AIOps) to increase efficiency and continuously evolve.

Key benefits of Cisco Intersight

      Convenience of a SaaS management platform

      Proactive support and notifications to stay ahead of issues

      Increase productivity and efficiency, including an intuitive UI and mobile app

      Continuously evolves through AI and ML-driven insights and recommendations

Pervasive simplicity

Cisco Intersight is easy to implement and scale. The simple UI and mobile app allow you to manage infrastructure. We offer flexible deployment either as SaaS on Intersight.com or running on your premises with the Cisco Intersight Virtual Appliance or the Cisco Intersight Private Virtual Appliance.

Infrastructure lifecycle management and support done simply and intelligently

Cisco Intersight is a SaaS management platform that empowers you to deploy, maintain, and get support for your infrastructure from anywhere users are Internet-connected. Intersight supports Cisco UCS®, HyperFlex and third-party endpoints with a holistic approach to infrastructure lifecycle management of distributed systems from the core to the edge (Figure 1). Intersight consists of a robust set of capabilities that simplify and automate systems management and support.

Experience the Power of Intersight

Figure 1.            

Experience the Power of Intersight


The first step in the Intersight management lifecycle is to claim your devices and configure your systems. You can use profiles to specify a server’s identity, configuration, and connectivity, including the number and type of I/O devices. Once profiles are set, you can use the Server Profile wizard to provision servers and create policies to ensure smooth deployment across an entire set of hardware.

Intersight evaluates the compatibility of your Cisco UCS® and HyperFlex configurations to determine if the hardware and software have been tested and validated by Cisco. Next the Intersight recommendation engine displays the compliance status with the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) and identifies any validation issues. UCS Tools is a host utility vSphere Installation Bundle (VIB) that collects information about the operating system and drivers, and routes it to Intersight to help evaluate compliance with HCL.

If you engage in DevOps practices, you can configure and manage your infrastructure as code through the API — you are not merely configuring an abstraction layer. Cisco DevNet provides Ansible playbooks, Microsoft PowerShell scripts, or Python code to automate the deployment of settings and software for both physical and virtual layers right down to the servers, fabric, and clusters it runs on. Using the API, you can simplify infrastructure lifecycle operations and increase the speed of continuous application delivery.


Because we built our servers to be fully programmable, you can bring up infrastructure from the moment it is powered on. This is especially important because you can deploy systems from anywhere you are connected to the Internet, and you don’t need specialized technicians to configure your infrastructure. You can place your systems in logical groupings that might identify a location, a function, or a cluster to make them easier to manage. With your inventory consolidated in Cisco Intersight, you never lose track or control of infrastructure.

The Cisco HyperFlex SD-WAN solution integrates edge computing, hyperconverged infrastructure, automation, and SD-WAN technologies. Cisco SD-WAN vEdge Routers are routing components of the architecture that deliver the essential WAN, security, and multicloud capabilities of the Cisco SD-WAN solution. Cisco HyperFlex Edge brings the simplicity of hyperconvergence to Remote and Branch Office (ROBO) and edge environments. Powered by Cisco Intersight, the solution provides fully automated, zero-touch provisioning of the compute, storage, LAN, and WAN networking for “lights out” branch deployment at massive scale. It dramatically simplifies the management of WAN networking using software-defined WAN and enables new types of connectivity models beyond traditional VPNs.

Monitor, secure, and maintain

The Cisco Intersight dashboard provides a global perspective of your infrastructure and its status, helping you proactively recognize situations that might otherwise develop into real problems. You don’t just see the components; you view the logical configuration and details. Cisco Intersight enables you to claim VMware vCenter devices using Cisco Intersight Assist, so you can monitor them and run workflows on the virtualization objects. Cisco Intersight also provides the capability to launch tunneled virtual Keyboard, Video, and Mouse (KVM) sessions for Cisco UCS C-Series standalone servers.

Intersight provides advisories and notifications about any of your endpoint devices which may be impacted by supported security advisories or field notices. Cisco Security Advisories enable you to ensure compliance and stay on top of important hardware and software information. The Cisco Security Advisory feature identifies, monitors, and updates the status of advisories to provide the latest information on the severity of the advisory, impacted products, and any available workarounds. If there are no known workarounds, you can open a support case with the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) directly from Intersight for quick assistance in resolution. A select list of the security advisories is shown in Intersight under the resources section on our help center. Cisco Intersight field notices are alerts such as recalls on certain components or new code releases to speed up user activities.

The HyperFlex Performance chart displays the read-and-write performance of the storage clusters. Cisco Intersight enables you to predict the storage utilization for HyperFlex clusters. Using historical data and predicted storage utilization per HyperFlex cluster, you can proactively scale storage.

With Cisco Intersight, you are able to make changes rapidly across a large number of distributed devices. You can install operating systems using vMedia on the managed servers. Firmware upgrades in Cisco Intersight are performed using a non-interactive Cisco Host Upgrade Utility (HUU). In addition, Cisco Intersight provides support contract status to help ensure that you have the coverage you need, when you need it.

Conceptual overview of Cisco Intersight and supporting Cisco Services

Figure 2.            

Conceptual overview of Cisco Intersight and supporting Cisco Services

Proactive support

Cisco Intersight helps prevent problems by delivering new levels of proactive systems support. The information is synthesized and presented to you in an easily consumable, actionable format through the recommendation engine. By combining these insights and recommendations, you can significantly increase efficiency, reduce costs, and accelerate time to resolution. Monitoring alerts you to problems, and log files are optionally shared with the Cisco® Technical Assistance Center (TAC), so that Cisco can respond to situations that may arise and provide recommended solutions. Expertise and information flow seamlessly between Cisco Intersight and IT teams, providing global management and support of your Cisco infrastructure, on your schedule.

Cisco Intersight also includes the ability to raise a Service Request (SR) and a Return Material Authorization (RMA) automatically. It authorizes the RMA proactively, thus reducing the time from failure to replacement significantly.

Pervasive simplicity

Cisco Intersight is easy to implement and scale. The simple UI and mobile app allow you to manage infrastructure. We offer flexible deployment either as SaaS on Intersight.com or running on your premises with the Cisco Intersight Virtual Appliance or the Cisco Intersight Private Virtual Appliance.

Add-on capabilities

Intersight Workload Optimizer

Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer (IWO) extends the capabilities of Cisco Intersight well beyond just Cisco servers and hyperconverged infrastructure. It provides greater insights and decision automation across the entire hardware and software stack. Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer is truly an intelligent hybrid-cloud resource management solution to help you reduce costs while ensuring SLAs. It helps bridge the gap between applications and infrastructure to ensure application performance. You can seamlessly optimize resource management across virtual resources, applications, public cloud, and a broad third-party ecosystem. IWO gives teams the ability to better collaborate and take strategic actions (IWO solution brief).


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Cisco Intersight offers flexible options with a choice of four licensing tiers. The Cisco Intersight Base offering is available at no cost to customers with platforms enabled to support Cisco Intersight, including Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex. The Intersight Essentials offering and other tiers are available as a subscription and build upon the functions provided in the Base tier. The Essentials tier includes policy-based configuration with service profiles, Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) compliance checks, firmware management, and other features. Cisco Intersight Advantage and Premier enable further functionality such as orchestration, central policy-based configuration for different user profiles, operating system installation for supported Cisco UCS platforms and more.

Cisco Intersight Virtual Appliance and Private Virtual Appliance

If you have additional data locality or security needs for managing systems at the edge or in more traditional data centers that may not be a fit for a SaaS management model, you can leverage one of the Cisco Intersight Virtual Appliance options. The Cisco Intersight Virtual Appliance is deployed on premises, while the Cisco Intersight Private Virtual Appliance can be deployed off premises, allowing you to still take advantage of the SaaS functionality. Through the Cisco Intersight Virtual Appliance and Private Virtual Appliance, you have an optimized way to run Cisco Intersight in an easy-to-deploy VMware OVA hosted on premises. The Cisco Virtual Appliance options also enable users to specify what data is sent back to Cisco with a single point of egress from the customer network.


The Cisco Intersight Premier edition offers private-cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) orchestration across Cisco UCS, HyperFlex, and third-party endpoints including VMWare vCenter and Pure Storage. This feature, called Cisco Intersight Orchestrator, allows you to create and execute workflows in Cisco Intersight. For example, provisioning a Pure Storage FlashArray or deploying a new virtual machine from a template could involve multiple tasks, but with Cisco Intersight Orchestrator, the administrator has a workflow designer to visualize a workflow definition and monitor the execution of that workflow on any infrastructure element. Learn more.

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