Cisco has been working for over three years to bring the industry-leading Application Resource Management (ARM) capability to Cisco customers. It started with Cisco Workload Optimization Manager (CWOM). CWOM is powered by Turbonomic, and it enables Cisco customers to continuously resource applications to perform at the lowest cost while adhering to policies irrespective of where the application is hosted (that is, on the premises or in the cloud, containers, or VMs). In January 2020, Cisco announced Intersight Workload Optimizer (IWO), which is the integration of CWOM and Intersight. With IWO, application and infrastructure teams can now speak the same language to ensure that applications are automatically and continuously resourced to perform.
Alongside the Intersight Workload Optimizer, Cisco offers Intersight Kubernetes Service (IKS), which is a fully curated, lightweight container management platform for delivering multicloud production-grade upstream Kubernetes. It simplifies the process of provisioning, securing, scaling, and managing virtualized Kubernetes clusters by providing end-to-end automation, including the integration of networking, load balancers, native dashboards, and storage provider interfaces.
This chapter will cover the following topics:
IT challenges and workload management solutions
Intersight Workload Optimization Manager
Cisco Container Platform
Cisco Intersight Kubernetes Service
IT Challenges and Workload Management Solutions
Managing application resources in a dynamic, hybrid cloud world is increasingly complex, and IT teams are struggling. With application components running on the premises and in public clouds, end users can suffer outages or experience slow application performance because IT teams simply lack visibility to see how things are connected and how to manage their dynamic environment at scale.
With more people accessing your business through a digital experience, application performance is more critical than ever. Managing workload placement and resources across your ever-changing IT environment is a complex, time-consuming task that has big implications on user experience and costs.
Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer (CWOM) discovers how all the parts of your hybrid world are connected and then automates these day-to-day operations for you. Supporting more than 50 common platforms and public clouds, it provides real-time, full-stack visibility across your applications and infrastructure. Now you can harness the power of data to continuously monitor supply and demand, match workloads and resources in the most efficient way, and ensure that governance rules are always enforced. The result? Better application performance, reduced cost, faster troubleshooting, and more peace of mind.
Unchecked complexity can result in the following:
Underutilized on-premises infrastructure: To ensure application performance, IT teams often allocate resources modeled to peak-load estimates and/or set conservative utilization limits.
Public cloud overprovisioning and cost overruns: When planning and placing workloads in public clouds, IT teams routinely overprovision computing instance sizes as a hedge to ensure application performance.
Wasted time: IT teams end up chasing alerts and meeting in war rooms to unravel problems instead of supporting innovation.
Figure 5-1 illustrates why managing hybrid cloud resources to ensure application performance and control costs is a complex problem.
Figure 5-1 Hybrid cloud resources for ensuring performance and cost
The following are some of the challenges of workload management in a hybrid cloud:
Siloed teams with different toolsets managing different layers of the stack and multiple types of resources
Flying blind without a unified view of the complex interdependencies between layers of infrastructure and applications across on-premises and public cloud environments
Separating the signal from the noise and prioritizing the constant flow of alerts coming from separate tools
Lack of visibility into underutilized capacity in public clouds and cost overruns from unmanaged spikes in utilization
To deal with all this complexity, the only choice is to automate resource management and workload placement operations. But how? To optimize effectively, you need a way to collect and track streams of telemetry data from dozens, hundreds, perhaps thousands of sources. You need a way to correlate and continuously analyze all of this data to understand how everything fits together and what’s important, as well as how to decide what to do from moment to moment as things continue to change. New tooling is required to connect all the dots and give you the insight you need to stay ahead of demand, stay ahead of problems, and respond to new projects with confidence. What if you could create a unified view of your environment and continuously ensure that applications get the resources they need to perform, all while increasing efficiency and lowering costs?