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Cisco is transitioning its data centre management business to the cloud with the introduction of the Intersjght platform.

Intersight is a new cloud-based management platform for Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) and HyperFlex Systems that simplifies data centre operations by delivering a systems management as-a-service with machine learning, analytics and automation at its core.

Essentially Cisco is pulling together its UCS Manager, UCS Director and other software into this  new platform, with the intention of analysing telemetry data from all users, coming up with policy-driven automation and, eventually, allowing machines to manage machines.

Intersight will include features from Cisco Integrated Management Controller (IMC) and UCS Manager, with UCS Director tools for orchestration to be added at a later date. Initially it will also incorporate a recommendation engine, whilst within six months it will further add a workload optimisation tool to predict the effect of proposed system changes.

The new platform is designed to be intuitive from the start and continue to learn and evolve over time, with some of the key features being:

  • Simplicity: it will feature a dynamic user interface that can be customised by user role. New functionality will be delivered via portal updates and the platform is designed to constantly learn to help make daily IT operations easier
  • Expertise: tight integration with the Cisco Technical Assistance Centre (TAC) combined with insights from the UCS Community will provide a flow of recommendations and best practices
  • Continuous optimisation: the platform will learn from the collective experience of the UCS user community and other Cisco experts and peers to provide better predictive analytics and resource utilisation through the recommendation engine

Intersight will be available in the fourth quarter of 2017, with an on-premise deployment model planned in the future. The initial options are:

  • The Base Edition which will be available at no charge. It includes global health monitoring and inventory, a customisable dashboard, the HyperFlex Installer to quickly deploy clusters, and the ability to context-launch the UCS Manager, IMC and HyperFlex Connect element managers
  • The Essentials Edition which will include all the functionality of the Base edition as well as policy-based configuration with service profiles, firmware management with scheduled updates, hardware compliance checks and upgrade recommendations.

Todd Brannon, marketing director for unified computing at Cisco, confirmed that Intersight represents “…the culmination but also the starting point of a multi-year effort on Cisco’s part to bring cloud-based subscription services to more and more of its customers.”

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