Service Provider Cloud

Cisco Intersight Aims to Tame Data Center Management 'Monster'

IT infrastructure has become a monster. And to tame that monster, the industry has built complicated management tools that have become monsters in their own right, says a Cisco executive.

"If you think about this monster that customers have to manage -- their IT infrastructure estate -- they have had to build another monster to manage the monster," said Todd Bannon, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) director of product marketing for unified computing.

"We're asking customers to build a whole other infrastructure to manage the systems," Bannon said.

Cisco this week said it plans to tame the monster with Cisco Intersight, a subscription-based management and automation cloud for Cisco Unified Computing System data center servers and HyperFlex hyperconverged storage, along with Project Starship, a multi-year program to bring machine learning and AI to IT systems management.

Wrong Starship
That's not Cisco's Project Starship. It's Starship Troopers, the movie.
That's not Cisco's Project Starship. It's Starship Troopers, the movie.

Intersight and Project Starship leverage technologies from Cisco's Meraki business, which started out as a company Cisco acquired for managed WiFi, but has expanded to cloud-based enterprise management.

Cisco is looking to bring automation available in networking and storage management to server computing, Brannon says.

Intersight will be available in the fourth quarter in a base edition, available for free to all UCS customers, and as an Essential Edition for additional cost. The Base Edition features include global monitoring of health and inventory status; user customizable dashboards for different roles in the organization, such as storage, network, and compute management; tagging and basic search; and HyperFlex Installer to quickly deploy clusters. The Essentials Edition includes all the capabilities of the Base Edition, as well as simplified server setup and policy-based configuration; firmware management with scheduled updates; HCL compliance check and upgrade recommendations; and advanced global search and detailed inventory.

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[email protected] 9/26/2017 | 2:03:53 PM
Re: Cisco and cloud Philbrit that is the case with any new solution the learning curve needs to take hold once everyone is confident and understands the process it should yield fewer calls and more efficiency long term.
Phil_Britt 9/25/2017 | 8:51:13 PM
Re: Cisco and cloud It's amazing how many new solutions initially result in more complexity.  This happened with Internet banking. As banks adopted it, calls to the contact center went up. People would make an electronic deposit, then call the contact center to make sure it went through. It was some time before automatic notifications and other advances to automate some of these issues. 
Susan Fourtané 9/22/2017 | 2:48:58 PM
Project naming Intersight and Project Starship made me wonder if all these names are picked up by sci-fi fans. Or if these is trend in all the companies.
[email protected] 9/22/2017 | 1:19:45 PM
Re: Cisco and cloud Agreed Mitch it sounds like a solution to tame the monster. It's also great that it is free to their customers. It would be interesting to see what a client thinks of it after it is implemented and used--maybe we can do a follow-up piece!
danielcawrey 9/22/2017 | 12:42:30 PM
Cisco and cloud Data center management from a software perspective surley needs work. There are so many logs and data generated that a proper management system can weed out the false positives and let IT deal with more urgent issues. 
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