Cisco Unveils Kubernetes Platform

Cisco Systems today launched a Cisco Hyperflex Application Platform that marks the first time the company has made available a hyperconverged platform available that comes pre-installed with a distribution of Kubernetes.

Eugene Kim, a product marketing manager within the data center group at Cisco, says the Cisco Hyperflex Application Platform is also integrated with Cisco Intersight analytics software for infrastructure and AppDynamics application performance management software. These technologies together aim to increase the appeal of the platform to organizations that have embraced best DevOps practices.

Announced at the Cisco Live! event in Barcelona, the Cisco Hyperflex Application Platform is being launched alongside an integrated AppDynamics and Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer tool and AppDynamics Journey Map, an application that automatically displays the most important user experience journeys within mission-critical applications.

Scheduled to be available in the second quarter, the Cisco Hyperflex Application Platform deploys a curated distribution of Kubernetes on top of an instance of the open source kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) to allow organizations to isolate Kubernetes workloads without having to rely on costly commercial virtual machine software, otherwise known as a “V-Tax,” Kim says. Cisco plans to evaluate the demand for instances of Kubernetes running on bare-metal platforms as well, he adds.

Cisco is bringing the Cisco Hyperflex Application Platform to market now because interest in deploying instances of Kubernetes in on-premises IT environments is on the rise. he notes. Rather than layer Kubernetes on legacy infrastructure, many organizations want to deploy containerized applications on the most modern IT infrastructure platform available.
Previously, Cisco made available the Cisco Container Platform based on a distribution of Kubernetes from Google that IT organizations could install on existing IT infrastructure.

By combining an instance of Kubernetes with observability tools such as Intersight and AppDynamics, Kim says Cisco is trying to drive adoption of a closed-loop operating model that unifies the management of applications and infrastructure. As organizations embrace DevOps, many of them are shifting toward an application-centric approach to managing IT, Kim says. In fact, Cisco predicts inter-application dependencies will increase by 250% in the next 12 months. As part of that DevOps effort, Cisco integrates Kubernetes with the operating system, libraries, packages and patches needed to operate the platform, in addition to checking for security updates and consistency between all components every time an organization deploys or upgrades a cluster to provide what Cisco describes as a container-as-a-service experience that resembles a public cloud.

Naturally, Cisco is not the only provider of infrastructure starting to deliver platforms optimized for Kubernetes. As the number of stateful workloads based on containers being deployed on-premises increases, it’s only a matter of time before organizations shift toward modern hyperconverged platforms that resemble cloud platforms to support those workloads. The only real issue is to what degree those IT organizations will continue to rely on existing suppliers for those platforms versus viewing the arrival of containers and Kubernetes as a seminal moment to switch IT infrastructure vendors.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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