?

Cisco Intersight™ with Intel® Optane™ Persistent Memory Modernizes Cisco UCS

WWT, Cisco and Intel collaborated to integrate Intel® Optane™ persistent memory and other data center technologies into Cisco UCS as part of Cisco’s next-generation management and automation platform, Cisco Intersight™.

March 7, 2021 6 minute read

When it comes to technology innovation, the key to lasting success lies in forging mutually beneficial partnerships with respected industry leaders, and pooling collective expertise to create leading-edge solutions together.

At WWT, one important and longstanding alliance is with Cisco. For 25 years, WWT and Cisco have joined forces over shared goals and ideologies that have helped shape each company’s strategic vision and resulted in WWT becoming Cisco’s top technology partner. WWT employs 360 Cisco-certified engineers and holds more than 1,900 Cisco certifications. Additionally, Cisco is the leading investor in our Advanced Technology Center (ATC), WWT’s world-class testing and demonstration environment.

WWT’s inner circle of strategic collaborators also includes another valued partner, Intel. Intel® architecture lies at the heart of virtually every WWT customer solution, as we leverage the latest Intel-based innovations for the modern data center. In fact, Intel® technology drives 95 percent the compute solutions in our ATC.

It’s no surprise that the capabilities of these three companies converge in WWT’s state-of-the-art ATC as we showcase Cisco’s next-generation management and automation platform, Cisco Intersight™. This jointly created solution opens up a host of new use cases and leverages the strengths of the latest Intel® products for the data center, including Intel® Optane™ persistent memory. Now may be the time to take a fresh look at the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS™), powered by Cisco Intersight and Intel Optane persistent memory. 

Next-gen Cisco Intersight broadens adoption while removing barriers

Cisco Intersight came to market in 2017. What makes 2021 significant is the release of general availability of Intersight Managed Mode (IMM). The Cisco Intersight infrastructure management platform reduces data center operational complexity by offering systems management as-a-service, so that organizations can dedicate all on-prem infrastructure to workloads. Cisco Intersight delivers total system lifecycle management through machine learning, analytics and automation.

A key advantage of the next-gen Cisco Intersight platform relates to the fabric interconnects that reside at the top of the server rack. Previously, the management experience (via UCS Manager) was localized to each set of fabric interconnects and the hardware directly connected to them. Now, Intersight’s cloud-based management can expand the management domain across multiple sets of fabric interconnects, driving simplicity and standardization while maintaining consistency and reducing errors. 

In achieving feature parity with UCS Manager, Intersight ensures customers have all the same management options available. Intersight also affords customers the ability to manage a growing list of non-Cisco devices, as well as Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS). The result is an easily deployed management platform solution that supports not only Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex hyperconverged infrastructure, but third-party Intersight-connected devices as well, expanding its appeal for wider acceptance in any environment. 

In addition to all of the features and functionality that make UCS stand out, Intersight brings new capabilities that include:

  • Easier deployment management and support through a single cloud-based interface.
  • Secure global reach for seamless management across geographies.
  • Reduced cost and enhanced performance through greater operational automation.
  • Anywhere/anytime management infrastructure.
  • Automated updates that are transparent to the customer.
  • Multiple deployment and subscription options.

Maximizing performance with Intel® Optane™ persistent memory

In the same way Intersight revolutionizes the management of the UCS platform, a significant performance gain is derived from Intel® Optane™ persistent memory. Intel’s reimagining of the storage-memory hierarchy is designed to make up the capacity, cost, and performance difference between traditional DRAM memory and storage for servers. It provides an optimal alternative to DRAM and SSDs, lowering the cost while potentially expanding server memory footprint and/or providing fast, persistent data storage. 

This key aspect of Intel® Optane™ technology delivers non-volatile persistent memory, large memory pools, fast caching and rapid storage acceleration. It becomes easy to implement Intel Optane PMem in a consistent fashion across the data center by way of Intersight’s robust policy-based management capabilities. Users can define policies for how Intel Optane persistent memory will be used, whether in Memory mode to reduce memory cost, App Direct mode for low-latency, high-speed persistent memory, or both. This enables hundreds of servers to be configured as easily as a single server. And, automated policies diminish the need for manual control, reduce errors, deliver consistent performance, and accelerate deployments.

Bringing it together in the ATC: next-gen Cisco Intersight with Intel Optane PMem

WWT, Cisco and Intel are currently engineering a joint buildout of the next-gen Intersight management platform – and we’re doing it in a one-of-a-kind research and development facility: WWT’s ATC. Cisco and Intel have invested heavily to create a unique, innovative ecosystem incorporating physical labs and virtualized environments. Here, WWT partners, customers, and others can design, build, educate and explore innovative ideas, architectures, and integrated solutions that can generate exciting new business outcomes.

For organizations interested in exploring the new capabilities of Cisco Intersight, WWT can serve an advisory role, providing you with a fresh look at how this solution would fit into your environment, watching the platform in action, learning more through workshops and labs as Intersight makes it easy to leverage Intel Optane persistent memory. ATC visitors can even build out their own proof of concept based off of a specific, real-world use case, environment and need.

Readying Cisco Intersight for general availability – and a world of new use cases

WWT, Cisco and Intel have collaborated to integrate persistent memory and other data center technologies such as the latest Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors into Cisco UCS servers as part of the next-gen Cisco Intersight solution. The integration process is currently in testing phase and results will be shared upon completion. As we prepare for platform upgrades from Intel expected in the spring, this joint Cisco/Intel/WWT solution is already being eyed for use cases as diverse as:

  • Database management
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
  • Real-time analytics 
  • Standard virtual workloads

Cisco’s IMM solution is in early preview and has limited hardware to run; watch for general availability in Spring 2021. Contact us to schedule a lab or workshop, test-drive it in the ATC, or learn more.

Share this