It’s really tough to be a “cloud vendor” without the proper management tools. And cloud management applications can easily be a major decision point for customers looking to build out large hardware infrastructures to support either public or private clouds, or even some sort of hybrid environment. That’s why Cisco’s USC Manager, with a limit of 160 or 320 managed nodes (depending on your connection model), was not a big selling point for investing in their hardware or the UCS infrastructure model that on which Cisco is building for the future.
That would be why, along with today’s rollout of version 2.1 of Cisco UCS Manager came the announcement of UCS Central, their management overlord which can now manage UCS installations across multiple sites, running public, private, or hybrid clouds. The new software can handle a maximum of 10,000 nodes, which should satisfy the needs of even the most aggressively growing cloud customer.
The ability to provision and orchestrate nodes across the entire UCS enterprise without the need for additional third-party software or explicit interconnects dedicated to management means that UCS Central will greatly enhance the flexibility of large UCS deployments and encourage a more agile business mindset when the process to provision and deploy even entire datacenters becomes just another aspect of your cloud management scheme.
Current Cisco administrators who are using UCS manager will easily be able to transition their skills to USC central as it uses the same provisioning and deployment model that they are already familiar with. And UCS manager isn’t being obsoleted; there remain tasks in local management for which it is better suited and it’s availability locally means that should satellite datacenter be disconnected form the primary UCS Central site that business as usual can still be expected, with any changes made while out of communication to the central site being replicated when connectivity is restored.
In light of the weather related problems datacenters have faced in the last week, or even the last year, many operators will be looking for new solutions. They can now include Cisco on that list with a higher level of confidence that it has the right tools available.