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Cisco details first Nutanix-based hyperconvergence offering

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Just weeks after Cisco killed its Hyperflex platform and turned that business over to Nutanix, the vendors rolled out their first integrated hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) package aimed at easing hybrid- and multi-cloud operations.

HCI platforms combine storage, compute, networking and virtualization resources in a single system. The newly available Cisco Compute Hyperconverged with Nutanix combines Cisco’s SaaS-managed compute and networking gear with Nutanix’s Cloud Platform, which includes Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure, Nutanix Cloud Manager, Nutanix Unified Storage, and Nutanix Desktop Services. The system can be centrally managed via Cisco’s cloud-based Intersight infrastructure operations platform, and it supports Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV) and VMware vSphere hypervisors.

“Together, Cisco and Nutanix enable you to see and control your entire hyperconverged infrastructure fleet through a single pane of glass – spanning clusters globally,” Cisco wrote in an FAQ about the new system. “Nutanix Prism adds storage and hypervisor functions and additional services such as end user computing.”

The Cisco and Nutanix HCI package will offer flexible deployment options with support for Cisco UCS rack and blade servers, including initial support for C-Series servers – the1U C220 M6 All Flash and NVMe nodes and 2U S240 M6 All Flash node – and planned, future support for the Cisco UCS X-Series.

The goal is to reduce complexity with a cloud operating model that delivers simplicity, visibility, control, and consistency for hyperconverged systems across highly distributed environments, according to Jeremy Foster, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco compute.

“This includes Day 0 and Day 1 enhancements, including service profiles customized for Nutanix and preinstalled software configured with a choice of hypervisor for an easier start,” Foster wrote in a blog about the new Cisco and Nutanix HCI package. Customers can “maximize resilience by keeping hyperconverged systems running and protected with an augmented joint solution support model combined with proactive, automated resiliency, and security capabilities.”

The joint platform features support for file, block and object storage, a built-in hypervisor to run both virtual machines and containerized workloads, integrated network and security, as well as snapshots, replication and disaster recovery, according to Nutanix. “In addition, this solution benefits from Nutanix portable licensing, enabling seamless application and workload deployment across hardware and locations, whether it be on-premises or in the public cloud,” the company stated.

“Consolidated HCI systems have become a popular alternative to the traditional three-tier IT architectural approach with discrete SAN/NAS storage, compute, and networking resources that often require skilled IT staff to provision, operate, and maintain,” IDC stated in a report earlier this year.

“HCI systems that consolidate virtualization, compute, storage, and networking resources and simplify provisioning, operations, and management can be a good fit for a wide range of edge workloads, from [robotic] applications and virtual desktops to analytics, AI/ML, and IoT,” IDC stated.

Most HCI vendors have been strengthening capabilities for edge environments, and many have added edge-specific SKUs, including options for small-footprint deployments, high-capacity installations, and/or ruggedized needs. Enterprises need to do a careful assessment of their workload requirements to determine which HCI product will best meet their needs, according to IDC.

Cisco in August said it would cease development of its HyperFlex product family. The last day to order any products related to the system is September 11, 2024, and the last day to renew to an existing subscription is February 28, 2029.

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