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Cisco Expands HyperFlex Converged Platform, Intersight Set to Replace UCS Central

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted January 25, 2018

Cisco announced the HyperFlex 3.0 hyperconverged platform release on Jan. 25, providing multiple new capabilities for the software. As part of the announcement, Cisco executives revealed to ServerWatch that the UCS Central management service for Cisco's server is set to be subsumed over time by the new Cisco Insight platform.

Cisco first announced the UCS Central management system back in November 2012 as a way to manage up to 10,000 physical servers at a time. Cisco Intersight was announced in September 2017 as a Cisco Hyperflexmanagement platform for both UCS and HyperFlex, and it's now set to replace UCS Central.

"Intersight is subsuming and replacing UCS Central," Todd Brannon, director of product marketing at Cisco, told ServerWatch. "All the functionally we had in UCS Central, that's what Intersight has been built to replace and expand."

Intersight provides a centralized location for pools of identity and service profile templates as well as analytics. Workflow automation capabilities that are currently in the UCS Director product are also set to come to the InterSight platform.

"We're continually adding new features to Intersight, and one them is the ability to do cloud-based deployments of HyperFlex clusters at a remote site," Brannon said.

As part of a multi-year process, Brannon added that Cisco is in the midst of taking its entire server management stack and moving it to the cloud as a service in the Intersight platform. While the strategic direction for Cisco is to move all server management to Intersight, it's not a forced migration, and Brannon noted Cisco does have a lot of customers using UCS Central today that will transition over time.

A core missing element from Intersight today though is the fact that there currently isn't an on-premises version. That said, Brannon noted an on-premises version of Internsight is currently in development.

History of Hyperflex and Hyperflex 3.0 Today

HyperFlex is Cisco's hyper-converged server platform that has been in the market since 2016.

In March 2017, HyperfFlex hardware platforms were expanded with all-flash storage options. At the time, Brannon told ServerWatch the direction for the platform was to enable containers in a future update.

That time has arrived with the HyperFlex 3.0 update, and the new release also adds support for Microsoft's Hyper-V in addition to VMware vCenter, which had previously been supported.

With HyperFlex 3.0, Cisco is now supporting a deployment approach it calls "Stretch Clusters," which allows for a set of server clusters to be deployed up to 100km apart.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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