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Cisco has introduced several innovations that should simplify the journey to hybrid cloud. These include new VM and cluster management integrations, low-cost hyperconvergence solutions and a new deployment model.
Enterprises are rapidly adopting hybrid cloud models that connect existing workloads to new cloud services and architectures. Market Research Future predicts the hybrid cloud market to reach $173.33 billion by 2025 with a CAGR of 22.25%. Different management models across on-premises and cloud architectures remains a large hurdle to adoption. Cisco hopes to simplify this process.
The growth of virtualization and containers has made it harder to efficiently manage with separate tools. Cisco has added integrations to its Intersight platform to provide a consistent operating model, with governance and multicloud observability for virtual machines and Kubernetes clusters. Intersight allows IT to manage the lifecycle of Kubernetes clusters on-premise and in the public cloud and get observability across the entire estate with application service mesh visualization and management.
This could also help enterprises plan for multicloud scenarios across multiple cloud providers. Multicloud architecture creates additional challenges than hybrid, owing to cloud providers’ various technical and economic barriers. “Normalizing operations across these islands of technology is one of the greatest challenges in modern-day IT,” Todd Brannon, senior director of cloud platforms marketing at Cisco, told VentureBeat.
Intersight, and the integrations with other Cisco platforms like AppDynamics and ThousandEyes, plays a crucial role in Cisco’s ability to deliver full-stack observability through the infrastructure and across application topologies that span multiple clouds.
The new Intersight integrations build on prior integrations with Hashicorp Terraform Cloud last year that provides infrastructure-as-code automation for on-prem infrastructure. Cisco also previously announced the Intersight Workload Optimizer, a real-time decision engine for workload placement optimization 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 composable hardware
Cisco Hyperflex Express is the second major innovation that lowers the entry point for hyper-convergence solutions. These represent a new approach to provision enterprise hardware using software specifications that mimic cloud services. Existing hyper-converged approaches can include hundreds of variations. Cisco has reduced the configuration process to four simple choices around hoice 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 offering consists of additional components for launching services that traditionally require another server. This reduces the complexity for first-time users and helps channel partners simplify their offerings.
The third innovation includes enhancements to Cisco’s Unified Computing System product line. These products include hardware, virtualization, switching fabric and management tools as a single unit. Enhancements include better integration with Nvidia GPU resources and a modular data fabric supporting up to 200 gigabits of bandwidth at a lower cost. UCS-X is the fastest-growing UCS system in Cisco’s 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). Enterprises will be able to streamline fleet management of compute in their data centers and reduce the variety of form factors they need to manage.
“Server architectures have changed dramatically in the last decade, and Cisco saw an opportunity to design a system that combines the best attributes of the two conventional form factors of rack and blade,” Brannon said.