Cisco Intersight is Cisco’s newest infrastructure management (IM) platform. A general overview of Cisco Intersight and its many benefits can be found in our Cisco Intersight Primer Series article. This article, however, will focus on integration with third-party infrastructure, specifically Pure Storage.
What is Cisco Intersight?
Cisco recognized that customers were likely using many different tools to effectively manage their infrastructure. As such, Cisco sought to simplify the management of Cisco compute infrastructure with the introduction of Cisco Intersight in 2017. Cisco Intersight is a cloud-based, subscription service IM platform that provides enormous management flexibility. The following are some of the many unique aspects of Cisco Intersight:
- Manage infrastructure from anywhere, at any time, regardless of where the infrastructure physically resides.
- Updates are continuously provided to customers without the need for time-consuming maintenance or system downtime.
- Connected-TAC simplifies the process of getting needed information to Cisco by automatically pulling relevant logs and files upon opening a TAC case.
- Vulnerabilities in Cisco products are constantly monitored, and customers are promptly notified of problems/issues.
- The customizable dashboard allows customers to quickly view, monitor and analyze information that they deem most important.
What is Pure Storage?
Pure Storage was founded in 2009 using the code name Os76 Inc. Under this name, the company developed products in “stealth mode” to ensure their ideas and products remained protected. Os76 Inc. emerged from stealth mode in 2011 as Pure Storage. Now a decade old, Pure Storage has become a storage staple built from the ground up to modern flash storage technology.
Pure Storage provides flash-based storage for next generation data centers and hybrid cloud environments. Pure Storage’s proprietary modern agile data services allow for a very dense solution that does not compromise performance and data services. Pure Storage has four main product lines:
- FlashArray //X - High Performance Flash
- FlashArray //C - Capacity Optimized Flash
- FlashBlade - High Performance Unstructured Data
- Cloud Block Store - Public Cloud Solution
Cisco’s partnership with Pure Storage
In addition to simplifying the management of their own infrastructure, Cisco focused on integrating third-party infrastructure. As a result, Cisco teamed up with Pure Storage. Cisco and Pure Storage first partnered in 2015 to develop FlashStack (pictured below). Continuing their partnership today, Pure Storage’s FlashArray is the first third-party storage product to fully integrate with Cisco Intersight.
Customers may be asking: “What exactly are the management capabilities of FlashArray using Cisco Intersight?” These competencies are as follows:
- View storage device inventory, as well as other general information about FlashArray hardware and Purity software.
- Add certain storage device information widgets (i.e. capacity, inventory, utilization, etc.) to the completely customizable Cisco Intersight dashboard for quick reference.
- Automate Pure storage provisioning of volumes using Cisco Intersight’s workflow designer.
How does Pure integrate with Cisco Intersight?
Cisco Intersight works through the use of its device connectors. Device connectors provide a secure, encrypted link to Intersight; this is how Intersight gives commands to infrastructure. While these device connectors are embedded in Cisco products, they do not exist on third-party infrastructure. Consequently, an Open Virtual Appliance (OVA) called the Intersight Assist Appliance (with its own embedded device connector) is needed in order to allow for integration with third-party infrastructure.
Since Cisco Intersight is a subscription service, certain tiers of licensing allow for different functionality of Cisco Intersight. There are four different tiers of licensing: Base, Essentials, Advantage and Premier. In order to enjoy the benefits of Pure’s integration with Cisco Intersight, customers must purchase at least the Advantage tier of licensing. This tier allows access to the Intersight Assist Appliance. If automation of Pure Storage’s FlashArray is desired, the Premier tier of licensing is required.
How we can help
Have questions about Cisco Intersight and/or how it integrates with Pure products? Our subject matter experts are here to help. Contact your WWT account team or reach out to us directly to schedule an in-depth demonstration of Cisco Insight.