Cisco Upgrades HyperFlex Platform for Multi-Cloud Use

Networker adds support for containers and Microsoft Hyper-V, integrates multicloud services.


Cisco Systems is shoehorning everything but the kitchen sink into the latest version of its hyperconverged cloud platform.

The giant networking company on Jan. 25 upgraded HyperFlex with a v3.0 release that includes support for Microsoft Hyper-V, stretch clusters, containers and new multicloud services that enable applications to be deployed, monitored and managed in any cloud.

That represents a lot of additional use cases, adding Microsoft, open source container deployments and everything else along with them. It’s a catch-all for running any type of cloud, and that’s not a bad thing; choice and options are always what people want.

Cisco says the result is a platform that “uniquely enables development and deployment of both traditional and cloud-native applications on a common hyperconverged platform.” It appears to be that and more.

Cisco Trying to Pour on the Functionality

The company contends that other hyperconverged solutions–which include VMware vSAN, Datrium, GoBeyond, HyperGrid, Nutanix, StratoScale, HPE and Dell EMC--don't have the same functionality and neglect the crucial roles that networking and distributed file systems play in the performance and scaling of clustered servers. Cisco uses an end-to-end approach that engineers high performance server and networking with its own purpose-built filesystem.

The result is data center performance that enables users to efficiently support a broader array of applications, including databases and mission critical ERP workloads, Cisco said.

Drilling down to details, the HyperFlex 3.0 software release includes:

  • Multi-hypervisor support: In addition to VMware ESXi, HyperFlex adds hypervisor support for Microsoft Hyper-V.
  • Container support: Data platform enhancements include a FlexVolume driver to enable persistent storage for Kubernetes-managed containers, enabling development and deployment of cloud-native applications on HyperFlex.
  • Enterprise application validations: HyperFlex is ready for a wide range of workloads with workload profiling and sizing tools available to support application migration projects. In addition to design and deployment guides for virtual server infrastructure (VSI) and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), Cisco design guides are now available for mission critical databases, analytics and ERP applications--including Oracle, SQL, SAP, Microsoft Exchange and Splunk.

Naturally, HyperFlex 3.0 also includes new service integrations with Cisco’s multicloud software portfolio:

  • Application performance monitoring: AppDynamics with HyperFlex enables performance monitoring of hybrid applications running on HyperFlex and across multiple clouds.
  • Application placement: Cisco Workload Optimization Manager (CWOM) for HyperFlex assists customers with automated analysis and workload placement.
  • Cloud management: Introduced last year, CloudCenter for HyperFlex enables workload lifecycle management across one to many private and public clouds.
  • Private cloud: CloudCenter for HyperFlex simplifies the deployment and management of VMs, containers and applications, making it easy for developers and administrators to deploy private clouds.

Cisco said that Hyperflex enables users to run growing workloads with the following attributes:

  • Greater scalability and resiliency on-prem: Supporting customers with higher virtual machine density,  HyperFlex clusters now scale to 64 nodes with added resiliency through fully-automated availability zones.
  • Stretch clusters across data centers: To meet data protection and high availability requirements, HyperFlex can now be configured into stretch clusters for campus and metro mission critical availability.
  • Cloud-based Management Across Datacenters: Cisco Intersight now supports HyperFlex Cloud Deployment, extending simplified deployment and management to any remote location.

Cisco claims HyperFlex is being used by more than 2,000 customers globally.

The company is planning a Feb. 28 deep dive into HyperFlex 3.0 on TechWise TV: “Accelerating Multicloud IT with the New Cisco HyperFlex.” Register here.

For more information, go here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...