Cisco has long been a name associated with networking hardware, but these days, the company is continuing along its path of providing networking and infrastructure to its customers, whether physical or virtual, with its soon to be released trio of tools, which it refers to as a “closed-loop operating model.”
More specifically, the company is currently testing out with select customers its AppDynamics Customer Journey Map, Intersight Workload Optimizer, and HyperFlex Application Platform for Kubernetes, and it has said that all three are expected to be generally available sometime within the next few months. The first two products are meant to provide insight into and optimization of application performance, and even target business metrics such as cost. The HyperFlex Application Platform for Kubernetes, meanwhile, is Cisco’s new managed Kubernetes product, which will not only provide a “turnkey” Kubernetes platform, but also a number of other managed services, including container networking, container storage, ingress and L7 load balancer, logging, monitoring, a container registry, and service mesh.
Kaustubh Das, vice president of product management at Cisco, explained that the release is aimed at solving a recently emerged problem of siloed application and infrastructure teams that are finding it difficult to work together.
“The org chart of IT has changed in the last several years,” Das told The New Stack. “The application team is chartered with running applications and keeping the application of health and uptime to a certain level. The infrastructure team is chartered with keeping the servers and the network and the cloud infrastructure up and running at a certain level. These two teams have become operational silos and when something happens, there’s a lot of war rooming and these are not organization silos that are helping the customer experience.”
Das said that Cisco’s solution to this problem has been to create “a closed-loop operating model with a common dataset” to bridge the gap between these teams, using common terminology and tools.
“With common data, common vocabulary and common tooling, we’re able to bridge that bridge the gap between these teams, and they’re able to bridge the gap between applications that reside in the public cloud, on-prem, or in a hybrid,” he said.
These three tools comprise this “closed-loop,” which primarily concerns a level of interconnectivity between both the various aspects of infrastructure, storage, and compute, and the teams that operate alongside them. The AppDynamics and Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer, for example, works to give both application teams and infrastructure teams a “shared view” of the various aspects affecting performance, user experience, and business implications. The Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer similarly provides insight into performance, cost, and compliance across hybrid application architectures, again bridging the gaps between numerous disparate teams. Das explained that all three products are a result of Cisco’s history of treating infrastructure as code.
“Doing infrastructure-as-code requires some fundamental tenets, and we started on that journey about 10 years back. We said listen, a server is a piece of iron, the personality of the server is going to be coded in code and policies, and those have been the foundations for a long time. We took that to converged infrastructure and hyperconverged infrastructure, and now we’ve taken that and put that in the cloud,” said Das. “The code for the infrastructure resides in the cloud which gives us infinite reach, infinite scale. And it also gives us a lot of telemetry data that we can analyze and say, this infrastructure, I noticed that some things are going wrong. I can do proactive remediation of a potential future problem.”