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Sean Rollman

By: Sean Rollman on April 16th, 2024

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How Cisco Intersight & Hyperflex Improved Ops for a Large, Distributed Data Center

Data Center | converged/hyperconverged

IE has been working with a customer with a large, distributed data center. They requested our services to help address the challenge they faced of building a private cloud solution with automated capabilities for dynamic expansion. The goal was to create a secure environment with the flexibility of a public cloud but that operates within the confines of a government setting, where cloud usage is restricted.  

The focus was on building a robust UCS compute environment, utilizing Hyperflex for most workloads and implementing Cisco Intersight to assist with management of the environment. Our customer required consolidated reporting of the data center environment, automation and orchestration capabilities, compliance management, security reporting, vulnerability assessment, and inventory management for the UCS infrastructure.  

Let’s cover some of the tech stack, namely Cisco Intersight, we implemented to help our customer achieve their goals. 

Check Out Cisco Intersight Resources and Request a Walkthrough

Purpose of Cisco Intersight Implementation 

The purpose of implementing Cisco Intersight was to achieve a fully automated, on-premises private cloud solution. This involved managing Hyperflex in clusters, standalone UCS servers, Pure Storage, and Cisco MDS (Fiber Channel) across multiple locations. The project aimed to consolidate reporting for Pure Storage and Hyperflex, providing a unified view of the entire infrastructure for compliance reporting, security, and vulnerability management. The deployment spanned two primary data centers on the East and West coasts, with additional locations for standalone UCS servers. The solution also integrated with AWS S3, providing 20 Petabytes of backup storage. 

Key Advantages of Cisco Intersight for This Project 

The decision to choose Cisco Intersight over other management platforms was driven by several key advantages. The platform allowed consolidated reporting for both Pure Storage and Hyperflex, making it a cost-effective solution compared to alternatives like SolarWinds. The seamless integration with Cisco UCS and Fabric Interconnects simplified the management of network, compute, and storage solutions. Additionally, Intersight's ability to provide a single "pane of glass" for viewing and reporting across diverse platforms was a significant advantage. 

Capacity Planning and Resource Optimization:  

Cisco Intersight played a crucial role in capacity planning by consolidating reporting across eight different Hyperflex clusters. It facilitated trending analysis, growth projections, and weekly capacity reporting. The platform's unified view acted as a snapshot for resource utilization and provided insights into VM placement and resource allocation, enhancing resource optimization strategies. 

High Availability and Disaster Recovery Strategy:  

The high availability and disaster recovery strategy involved exporting the Intersight configuration for compliance and facilitated recovery processes in redundant data centers. In case of a failover, VMs were backed up and replicated between East and West locations, ensuring continuity.  

Additionally, the future strategy considered the migration to UCSX, where Intersight is a requirement for the evolving UCS platform. 

Learn How Implementing Cisco UCSX Can Save You Money 

Alignment with IT and Business Strategy:  

Cisco Intersight played a pivotal role in aligning IT with the overall business strategy in our customer’s environment. The integration with UCS and networking enabled the creation of a scalable, automated, on-premises cloud environment. It addressed the needs of IT and security for compliance, reporting, resource utilization, capacity planning, and redundancy. The platform became an essential component in meeting both IT and business objectives for continuity, ensuring a secure, compliant, and efficient private cloud environment. 

The Right Team and Technology can Optimize Your Data Center for the Future 

Internetwork Engineering partners with various Data Center–focused technology vendors, like Nutanix and Cisco. As technology evolves, we’ll revisit this project to adjust based on availability, functionality, and best practices. We predict that Nutanix will eventually replace Hyperflex as the go-to hyperconverged solution for many customers. Cisco UCSX and Intersight were also gamechangers for allowing us to meet the requirements of our customer. If you need to optimize your data center, for better data protection and scalability, contact our team! 

Learn How a Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure Can Save You Money 

About Sean Rollman

Sean Rollman has been with IE since 2005 and has more than twenty years of experience providing the design, implementation, and management of complex technology solutions for mid-level and enterprise customers. His diverse background includes the development and oversight of voice, video, LAN, WAN, wireless, and data center solutions for customers across numerous verticals, both domestically and internationally.