Cisco Adds Cloud Infrastructure Discovery to IAC 3.1
Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) has announced a major update to its UCS platform, but one of the key elements for those involved in the cloud computing world is an update to Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC), the vendor's cloud management software that now includes more infrastructure auto-discovery features.
Designed as cloud management software for public, private and hybrid cloud environments that supports UCS-based cloud deployments, Cisco IAC aids channel partners and end users in efficiently and flexibly managing their clouds. Included in the software is a self-service portal, a service catalog and an orchestration engine for automated provisioning. Cisco is aiming to go a step further with the 3.1 release of the software.
Scott Hammond, Cisco IASBU vice president, told Talkin' Cloud the next generation of cloud infrastructure needs to be developed as a service, and that's where IAC comes in. Cisco partners deploy IAC on top of a data center to deliver infrastructure as an orderable set of consumable services.
The three key new features and enhancements in IAC 3.1 include:
- CloudSync, a brand new feature that adds infrastructure discovery capabilities to IAC for managing and tracking all infrastructure events inside a cloud environment, as well as the systems the cloud connects to. The technology allows IAC to automatically discover the underlying physical and virtual resources in the cloud and provision those services against the cloud's topology. Basically, it is meant to make the management system more cloud-aware, Hammond said.
- Virtual data centers that go beyond self-provisioning. As Cisco noted in its announcement, "self-provisioning of virtual machines is not enough." IAC 3.1 was designed to support large-scale environments with out-of-the-box cloud management for multiple virtual data centers that span both virtual and physical compute. Not exactly an uncomplicated task, but by tying IAC 3.1 into UCS Manager and Cisco Network Services Manager, Cisco is taking self-provisioning beyond virtual machines and into the virtual data center.
- Network Services Manager bundles IAC 3.1 with Cisco Network Services Manager 5.02 and an NSM orchestration adapter to enable customers to order network resources from a self-service portal. Hammond said this bundle is meant to provide the foundation for network-as-a-service offerings.
Specifically to UCS Manager, Cisco released UCS Central, which Brian Schwarz, director of product management for UCS at Cisco Systems, said simplifies the management of thousands of servers spread out geographically and across different data centers. For channel partners and IT managers, UCS Central offers a single pane of glass to view a globally distributed infrastructure, including physical and virtual (including cloud) resources.