Overall Concepts for ICO Usage
As stated in the Intersight Handbook, “one of Intersight’s founding goals is to help simplify the lives of IT professionals”. Intersight Cloud Orchestrator is a cloud-based management platform designed to simplify and automate the deployment and running of infrastructure in a hybrid cloud environment. Cisco Intersight Cloud Orchestrator is a platform designed to streamline the automation and orchestration of IT workflows in a hybrid cloud environment.
Here are some of the main features to help explain why a customer would use Cisco Intersight Cloud Orchestrator to manage their environment:
Cisco Intersight Cloud Orchestrator aims to provide a single-pane-of-glass view, allowing IT administrators to manage both on-premises and cloud resources centrally. This unified approach simplifies complex infrastructure management tasks.
The orchestrator streamlines operations by automating repetitive tasks and workflows. This includes provisioning, scaling, and decommissioning resources, ensuring that IT teams can focus on strategic initiatives rather than manual, time-consuming processes.
Leveraging policy-driven automation, Cisco Intersight Cloud Orchestrator enables organizations to codify and enforce policies for security, compliance, and resource allocation. This ensures consistent governance across the entire infrastructure.
Analytics and Insights
Advanced analytics and reporting capabilities provide valuable insights for IT teams into their infrastructure performance, resource utilization, and potential optimization opportunities. This data-driven approach enhances decision-making and troubleshooting.
What Does This Mean For Users?
Essentially, this tool gives us access to tasks that Cisco and other vendors create to perform their IT operations faster and in a standardized fashion. These tasks can take specific actions against managed devices, run both code and Infrastructure-as-Code tools, or invoke REST APIs to accomplish the functions the IT operator needs to perform.
ICO provides a library of pre-built tasks as workflow components covering common use cases and IT operation steps. These predefined workflows (essentially templates) can help accelerate new workflow creation and help IT organizations get started quickly.
After a user has determined the specific steps that they are trying to perform against their environment, these tasks can be combined into a workflow using the Workflow Designer, which provides a low-code tool to perform those operations (some of its users describe it as an IFTTT or Node-Red style tool). Within Cisco ICO, the Workflow Designer is a critical component that enables users to create, customize, and manage automation workflows efficiently.
The Workflow Designer offers a user-friendly, drag-and-drop interface, enabling users to design automation workflows visually. This approach eliminates the need for extensive coding, making automation accessible to a broader range of IT staff.
The Workflow Designer integrates with various systems, applications, and infrastructure components. This enables the creation of end-to-end workflows across different environments, promoting seamless automation across the hybrid cloud.
Benefits to Customers
In the end, customers can gain some real benefits from using Intersight Cloud Orchestrator, such as:
By automating tasks and workflows, Cisco Intersight Cloud Orchestrator significantly increases operational efficiency, reducing the time and effort required for routine management activities.
The orchestrator facilitates seamless scalability, allowing organizations to easily adapt to changing workloads and demands without compromising performance or incurring unnecessary costs.
Improved Resource Utilization
Through intelligent resource allocation and optimization, the orchestrator ensures that IT resources are utilized effectively, leading to cost savings and improved overall infrastructure performance.
Implementing policy-driven automation ensures consistent governance, reducing the risk of security breaches, compliance violations, and operational inconsistencies.
Let’s continue to dig into the platform and its components in the following articles.