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Data Center Server Infrastructure
4 minute read

Deploying Cisco Intersight Assist

Cisco Intersight Assist is a virtual appliance deployed in your datacenter that allows for the integration of VMware vCenter and Pure Storage FlashArray with Cisco Intersight. In this ATC Insight, we walk you through the technical steps of deploying the Cisco Intersight Assist virtual appliance into your virtual environment. We also walk through the steps for integrating Cisco Intersight Assist with VMware vCenter and Pure FlashArray.

In This Insight

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ATC Insight

Our focus in this ATC Insight section is to show you the step-by-step process of:

  • Deploying Cisco Intersight Assist
  • Adding VMware vCenter to Cisco Intersight using Intersight Assist
  • Adding a Pure FlashArray to Cisco Intersight using Intersight Assist

 

Deploying Cisco Intersight Assist

The first step is to download the virtual appliance from Cisco. 

Cisco Intersight Appliance Download


Before the appliance is deployed, the following fully qualified domain name records need to be created for the virtual appliance. A and PTR records are created for the hostname intersight-assist and mapped to the IP address that will be applied tothe appliance. A CNAME record also needs to be created for dc-intersight-assist and it is mapped to the A record that was created.

 

After the download is complete, the next step is to deploy the appliance in vCenter. This is accomplished by right-clicking the cluster and choosing "Deploy OVF Template"


After selecting "Deploy OVF Template", we need to select the file OVA file that was downloaded. Click the browse button, navigate to the file, and click Next.

 

Now it's time to give the virtual machine a name. Our appliance will be called intersight-assist. Click Next after selecting the name.


The installer automatically selects the cluster that we chose earlier. Click Next to proceed.

 

The installer will show the appliance details being deployed. Click Next.


On the configuration page, select the Tiny deployment for Intersight Assist only. Small and medium would deploy the on-prem version of Intersight. Click Next.


Select the datastore for the OVF appliance and the virtual disk format. In this demo, we will use thin provisioning.


Select the proper network/portgroup for the DNS Name/IP address that was created earlier. Click Next.

 

On the customize template page, the network information and password for the appliance are entered. Click Next.


The final screen is a final review of the settings before the appliance is created. Review and click Next.

 

After the OVA deployment finishes, power on the virtual machine and open the VM console. Once the VM finishes booting, it will automatically configure the hostname from DNS.


Open a browser and navigate to the FQDN created for the appliance. There should be two options. Select "Intersight Assist" and click Proceed.


From here, the appliance needs to be connected to Intersight. To do this, we need to copy the Device ID and Claim Code and enter them into Intersight. The Claim Code will rotate after a period of time.

 

Now we need to log into Intersight and select Administration -> Devices (on left), then Claim a New Device (on right).

 

Enter the Device ID and Claim Code from the Intersight Assist appliance and click Claim.


Switching back to the browser windows for Intersight Assist, we can see that the device was successfully claimed. Click Continue.

 

Intersight Assist will start downloading the required software. There are a number of steps to be completed and will continue unattended.

 

When the installation is complete, the screen will refresh and bring you to the Intersight Assist login page. Use admin, the password that was specified during setup, and click Sign In.

 

The UI has switched to dark mode. The browser can now be closed.


Adding vCenter to Cisco Intersight 

Log into Intersight, select Devices (on Left), then Claim New Devices (on right)


Click Claim Through Intersight Assist. Device Type should be VMware vCenter. The hostname is the FQDN of the vCenter. Enter a username and password to access the vCenter and click Claim.

 

To verify that the vCenter was claimed, click devices and search for the vCenter name.

Adding a Pure FlashArray to Cisco Intersight 

Log into Intersight, select Devices (on left), then, select Claim New Devices (on right)

 

Click Claim Through Intersight Assist. Device Type should be Pure Storage FlashArray. The hostname is the FQDN or IP address of the FlashArray. Enter a username and password to access the FlashArray and click Claim.

 

Claiming the FlashArray may take a few minutes.  To verify the array was successfully claimed, click Storage and it will be listed. Clicking on the array will provide more detail on the FlashArray.

 

This concludes the deployment of Intersight Assist and claiming third-party devices from VMware and Pure.