Cisco wants to smooth disaster for hybrid cloud

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Cisco has introduced several innovations to simplify the journey to the hybrid cloud. These include new VM and cluster management integrations, low-cost hyperconvergence solutions, and a new deployment model.

Companies are rapidly adopting hybrid cloud models that connect existing workloads with new cloud services and architectures. Market Research Future predicts that the hybrid cloud market will reach $173.33 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 22.25%. Different management models in on-premises and cloud architectures remain a major barrier to adoption. Cisco hopes to simplify this process.

The growth of virtualization and containers has made it more difficult to manage efficiently with separate tools. Cisco has added integrations to its Intersight platform to provide a consistent business model, with governance and multicloud sensing for virtual machines and Kubernetes clusters. With Intersight, IT can manage the lifecycle of Kubernetes clusters on-premise and in the public cloud and gain domain-wide visibility with mesh visualization and management of application services.

This can also help enterprises plan multi-cloud scenarios across multiple cloud providers. Multicloud architecture presents additional challenges than hybrid, due to the different technical and economic barriers of cloud providers. “Normalizing operations on these technology islands is one of the biggest challenges in IT today,” Todd Brannon, senior director of cloud platforms marketing at Cisco, told VentureBeat.

Intersight, and its integrations with other Cisco platforms such as AppDynamics and ThousandEyes, play a critical role in Cisco’s ability to deliver full-stack observability across infrastructure and in application topologies spanning multiple clouds.

The new Intersight integrations build on previous integrations with Hashicorp Terraform Cloud from last year, which provides infrastructure-as-code automation for on-premises infrastructure. Cisco also previously announced the Intersight Workload Optimizer, a real-time workload placement optimization decision engine that supports AWS and Azure today, with GCP coming soon. Intersight Cloud Orchestrator provides a low-code workflow designer with a library of multicloud automation tasks and workflows.

More configurable hardware

Cisco Hyperflex Express is the second major innovation to lower the entry point for hyperconvergence solutions. These represent a new approach to delivering enterprise hardware using software specifications that mimic cloud services. Existing hyperconverged approaches can contain hundreds of variations. Cisco has reduced the configuration process to four simple choices around the choice of platform; (b) choice of CPU; type and capacity of drives; and power supply.

In addition, the list price for components is lower and the offer consists of additional components for launching services that traditionally require a different server. This reduces complexity for new users and helps channel partners simplify their offerings.

The third innovation includes improvements to Cisco’s Unified Computing System product line. These products include hardware, virtualization, switching fabric, and management tools as a whole. Enhancements include better integration with Nvidia GPU resources and a modular data fabric that supports up to 200 gigabits of bandwidth at a lower cost. UCS-X is the fastest growing UCS system in Cisco history.

This could help support new data-intensive workloads that would traditionally run on specially configured rack-mounted servers, such as workstation virtualization, AI/ML, big data, and software-defined storage (SDS). Companies can streamline the fleet management of computers in their data centers and reduce the variety of form factors they have to manage.

“Server architectures have changed dramatically over the past decade and Cisco saw an opportunity to design a system that combines the best features of the two conventional form factors rack and blade,” said Brannon.

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