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Cisco HyperFlex update may open partner opportunities

Cisco has updated its hyper-converged infrastructure offering, Cisco HyperFlex, which the company said expands sales opportunities for channel partners.

The networking vendor rolled out its version 3.0 software release for Cisco HyperFlex, which now includes support for Microsoft Hyper-V and the ability to expand hyper-converged clusters to 64 nodes. The product also includes support for multi-cloud environments, a growing area of focus for IT service providers.

From the multi-cloud perspective, the software upgrade includes AppDynamics with HyperFlex, which lets customers monitor the performance of hybrid applications running on HyperFlex and across multiple clouds, according to Cisco. Other software elements include CloudCenter for HyperFlex, which provides workload lifecycle management for customers spanning private and public clouds.

New hardware customers

Todd Brannon, director of product marketing, unified computing, at Cisco, said the HyperFlex product line has brought new customers into the Cisco fold. He said 30% of the organizations purchasing HyperFlex are new to Cisco computing gear, while 70% are existing customers of the vendor’s Unified Computing System (UCS) server products.

Cisco HyperFlex, Brannon said, is “expanding our opportunity and expanding opportunities for partners.”

He said the product line is gaining greater traction due to enterprise customers deploying core business applications such as SAP on hyper-converged infrastructure. In the technology’s early days, hyper-convergence was often used to support virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) projects as opposed to enterprise-wide applications.

“It’s not just for VDI anymore,” Brannon said of hyper-convergence.

Multi-cloud integration

Cisco’s move to integrate hyper-convergence with multi-cloud environments is on track with where some customers are going. Myles Angell, executive project officer at VertitechIT, a managed IT solutions provider in Holyoke, Mass., said the company has hyper-converged customers, regionally separated from each other, that are talking about using each other’s cloud and hyper-converged infrastructure environments as disaster recovery resources.

Cisco’s vision is to provide a unified set of tools to make it easier to move workloads from on-premises hyper-converged platforms to public clouds or other off-site resources such as disaster recovery centers.

The Cisco HyperFlex update puts “common services on both sides of the Internet wire,” said Scott Mohr, director of data center and cloud go-to-market in Cisco’s Global Partner Organization.

Multi-cloud has become a target for numerous cloud and managed service providers that are building out practices via mergers and acquisitions.

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