Cisco and VMware continue to work together to deliver the benefits of automation and the software-defined data center (SDDC). The integration of Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) management software with VMware vRealize Operations 6.0 is another example of the ongoing investment by both companies. It delivers significant efficiencies, improved performance, and a proactive means of managing operations. As the theme of VMworld 2015 claims, this solution can help your organization be “Ready for Any.”
Keeping IT Simple
VMware vRealize Operations (formerly called vCenter Operations Manager) was built to meet the challenges of managing virtualized and cloud environments. Although you might be running this software on another platform today, you can go further faster when you pair it with Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) management software. The combination lets you manage your VMware environments with familiar VMware tools, establish policy-based best practices and experience other significant benefits.
The integration of Cisco UCS with vRealize Operations lets you simplify daily operations while automating routine tasks. Working with your familiar VMware tools, you can easily access the functionality in the UCS management software. This integration creates synergies that allow you to realize the benefits of the software defined data center (SDDC).
We designed Cisco UCS to facilitate role- and policy-based automation. Our approach encourages a process by which administrators create policies that establish best practices for configuration, deployment, and management. You can monitor and provision infrastructure directly through Cisco UCS or through vRealize Operations. Either way, configuring infrastructure, ensuring compliance, and isolating and resolving problems becomes an easier and faster process.
VMware vRealize Operations provides a wide range of functionality to enhance operations management. It automates the delivery and lifecycle management of infrastructure and application services while maintaining the policy-based control in Cisco UCS. It helps you proactively manage performance, capacity, compliance and logs across applications and infrastructure.
Cisco and VMware have developed multiple plug-ins and content packs to unify Cisco UCS management with the vRealize software suite:
VMware vSphere Auto Deploy with Cisco UCS Service Profiles: Enables you to establish Cisco UCS service profiles in VMware, deploy bare-metal servers, and then deploy the hypervisor with a single click. This results in a rapid and simple means of deploying new hypervisors.
Cisco UCS Manager Plug-In for VMware vCenter: Integrates Cisco UCS with VMware vCenter and enables critical vSphere capabilities such as vMotion, Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), High Availability (HA), and Fault Tolerance (FT). The plug-in adds the capability to provision servers from the firmware up with the policy-based provisioning and configuration drift protection that Cisco UCS Manager provides.
Cisco UCS Manager Plug-In for VMware vRealize Orchestrator: Brings Cisco UCS infrastructure automation and composable infrastructure into the realm of VMware vCenter Orchestrator. As a result, the library of VMware-provided workflows can work in harmony with Cisco UCS workflows.
Cisco UCS Content Pack for VMware vRealize Log Insight: Provides detailed data and insight into one or more VMware clusters at the infrastructure level. This allows you to generate comprehensive analytics for Cisco UCS components (blades, servers, chassis, I/O modules, fabric extenders, and fabric interconnects). Data collection is simplified, because Cisco UCS Manager is a single source of data about each domain.
Integrating two robust suites of software creates some unique synergies. Here are a few reasons why vRealize Operations with UCS management creates a powerful combo:
Performance management: vRealize Operations helps you manage application performance. Cisco UCS gives you better underlying performance. The Cisco UCS Virtual Machine Fabric Extender (VM-FEX) technology allows you to connect virtual machines directly to physical network interface cards (NICs). Bypassing the hypervisor and software switching yields up to 37 percent better network performance.
Faster with greater visibility and control: Cisco UCS was designed with role- and policy-based automation. Our approach encourages a process by which administrators create policies that dictate infrastructure configuration. You can deploy secure and compliant servers directly through Cisco UCS or through vRealize Operations. All of this helps you achieve better configuration and compliance, and hardens your security beyond what any other vendor can do.
Security hardening: Cisco UCS eliminates the need to make trade-offs between flexibility and security, because there is no difference between physical and virtual networks. Both networks are implemented in hardware and have the same visibility, control, and security. Whether you connect your virtual machines using Cisco Data Center VM-FEX, or you use Cisco software products such as the Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch, Cisco quality and security are built in.
If you’d like to learn more about the full range of benefits offered by the Cisco UCS-vRealize Operations integration, click here.
Figure 2: Cisco UCS Management Partner Ecosystem
Open and Extensible
The integration of Cisco UCS with vRealize Operations is part of a broader partner ecosystem that we’ve established around UCS management over the past six years. The entire Cisco UCS management suite is designed to be open and extensible.
Through a standards-based XML API, a broad range of third-party management tools have been integrated with UCS. These integrations simplify and streamline the full range of operations management functions. They allow you to leverage your existing investment in management tools and processes to achieve even greater productivity and speed with Cisco UCS.
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