Company enhances Intersight platform, rolls out Nexus Dashboard, to address both on-premises and cloud environments
Cisco Systems is building out its Intersight systems management platform and consolidating services in its new Nexus Dashboard in a push to elevate its capabilities in the rapidly expanding world of hybrid clouds and multiclouds.
The Lowdown: The announcements Wednesday at the company’s virtual Partner Summit echo similar moves by Dell and Hewlett Packard Enterprise to extend their reach further into the cloud as enterprises increasingly embrace a business model that includes some applications and data migrating to the cloud while others stay on premises.
The Details: Simplicity, automation, efficiency, and insights are among the key words that Cisco is using to describe the goals of the enhanced and new offerings, which are designed to enable organizations to adapt to changes in IT, from distributed applications to mobile workforces, challenges that have become even more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The San Jose, California-based company said it wants to provide deep visibility from the application to the infrastructure, whether on-premises, in the cloud, or at the network edge. The key announcements involve:
> Intersight: The company wants to evolve the product into a hybrid cloud platform connecting data centers to clouds. New capabilities include Intersight Kubernetes Service, which automates the lifecycle management of the container orchestration technology and containerized applications; Intersight Workload Optimizer for simplifying application resource management; and Intersight Integration with AppDynamics to improve management across infrastructure and applications.
> Nexus Dashboard: The new insights and automation platform for operating multicloud networks pulls together Cisco’s orchestration, insights, and assurance services with third-party services to help drive the adoption of cloud-native application practices.
> Identity Services Engine (ISE): Cisco is extending the zero-trust workplace model anywhere, including Internet of Things (IoT) endpoints, and enforcing consistent policies from the cloud.
The Impact: The hybrid cloud model is removing delineations between on-premises and the cloud, and both traditional data center infrastructure vendors and public cloud service providers are adapting quickly. Top cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud have developed technologies that enable enterprises to run cloud services on-premises, while Cisco, Dell, HPE, and others are pushing higher into the cloud with service and software solutions.
The channel will play a key role in this environment as long-time OEMs continue to offer more of their products as services. For example, Nexus Dashboard initially is available as an appliance, but by the end of this year or early next will be offered as a virtual instance or a cloud-hosted service managed by channel partners, service providers, or Cisco itself.
Background: Like other IT hardware and software vendors, Cisco has been undergoing a multiyear effort to become more of a solution and service provider and grow its recurring revenue stream. Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins in August said the company, like HPE and Dell, is pushing to have more of its product portfolio available as a service, with the announcements at the Partner Summit as part of the effort.
The Buzz: “Complexity can paralyze our teams. Our systems can no longer be powerful, but brittle. For IT to be as agile as their businesses require, they need solutions obsessed with simplicity,” said Todd Nightingale, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Enterprise Networking and Cloud business. “This year, technology groups around the globe were tested by unprecedented change. This fundamental shift in how businesses, schools, and governments operate requires IT teams to transform how they function. Today, Cisco is announcing IT platforms for multicloud operations that provide advanced insights and automation to help organizations transform faster.”
“Cisco’s new solutions are part of an overall effort to transform how customers connect people, secure their organization, and automate their processes,” said analyst Will Townsend, networking practice head for Moor Insights and Strategy. “It is designed to bring together platforms and portfolios to help customers respond and adapt to business disruptions, accelerate cloud adoption, and transform IT operating models.”