Cisco adds to its Nexus data-center-management software

Cisco adds to its Nexus data-center-management software

Cisco has added support for traditional network environments to the company’s recently available data center-management console.

Introduced in October, Cisco’s Nexus Dashboard melds a number of Cisco’s on-premises, cloud and hybrid fabric-management tools into a single interface to administer application lifecycles from provisioning to maintenance and optimization.

The idea is that the dashboard provides a central platform for data center-operation applications to simplify the operation and management of the applications while reducing the infrastructure overhead to run them, according to Cisco.

For example by supporting Cisco’s Multi-Site Orchestrator, which provisions, monitors, and manages resources in Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) networks, the dashboard can set network and application-control policies for on-premises or cloud-based environments, Cisco says. ACI is Cisco’s flagship software-defined networking (SDN) data-center package. It also delivers the company’s intent-based networking technology,

Most recently, Cisco said it has added similar support for its Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) software which manages existing networking systems running NX-OS.

For customers that means they can control newer ACI-based cloud and edge resources and now traditional DCNM-based systems all from a single console.

Another  key component of the dashboard, Nexus Insights, lets customers monitor and analyze their fabric in real-time to identify anomalies, provide root-cause analysis, perform capacity planning, and accelerate troubleshooting. That application can now work with ACI and DCNM environments, Cisco stated.

“Nexus Dashboard is a giant leap towards an intuitive, easy to use console for full-lifecycle data-center automation that will make day-to-day infrastructure operations, governance, and security activities highly automated, based on policies and business KPIs,” wrote Usha Andra, product marketing manager with Cisco’s Data Center Networking Portfolio in a blog outlining Nexus details. “The process of shifting architectural decisions to focus on these types of metrics, rather than on managing siloed lifecycle management of infrastructure…marks a significant cultural and operational shift.”

Cisco’s overarching goal is to enable the cloud-neutral orchestration and networking support needed for customers to deploy and support workloads anywhere they are deployed, Todd Nightingale, Cisco’s Enterprise Networking & Cloud business chief said in a recent Network World article. “The idea going forward is to focus on delivering powerful networking and software options on a smaller number of integrated platforms to simplify and bring an enormous amount of agility for enterprise customers,” Nightingale said.

At the time of its introduction, Cisco said the Nexus Dashboard supports services provided by third-parties such as ServiceNow for incident management, AlgoSec for security policy, Splunk for business intelligence and F5/Citrix for load balancing. Additional third-party integrations are expected, Cisco stated.

The system also supports open-source software including Red Hat Ansible for building and deploying enterprise automation and Hashicorp’s Terraform infrastructure management software.

The Nexus Dashboard is available now as an appliance and later in the first quarter as a virtual cloud instance.