Home > Articles > Management


Chapter Description

With more people accessing your business through a digital experience, application performance is more critical than ever, and managing resources across your complex IT environment has big implications on user experience and costs. In this sample chapter from Cisco Cloud Infrastructure, you will learn about workload management solutions including Intersight Workload Optimization Manager (IWO) and Cisco Intersight Kubernetes Service.

From the Book

Cisco Cloud Infrastructure

Cisco Cloud Infrastructure

$47.99 (Save 20%)

Understanding Intersight Workload Optimizer Supply Chain

Intersight Workload Optimizer models your environment as a market of buyers and sellers. It discovers different types of entities in your environment via the targets you have added, and it then maps these entities to the supply chain to manage the workloads they support. For example, for a hypervisor target, IWO discovers VMs, the hosts and datastores that provide resources to the VMs, and the applications that use VM resources. For a Kubernetes target, it discovers services, namespaces, containers, container pods, and nodes. The entities in your environment form a chain of supply and demand, where some entities provide resources while others consume the supplied resources. IWO stitches these entities together, for example, by connecting the discovered Kubernetes nodes with the discovered VMs in vCenter.

Supply Chain Terminology

Cisco introduces specific terms to express IT resources and utilization in relation to supply and demand. The terms shown in Table 5-1 are largely intuitive, but you should understand how they relate to the issues and activities that are common for IT management.

Table 5-1 The Supply Chain Terminologies Used in IWO




This is the basic building block of IWO supply and demand. All the resources that IWO monitors are commodities. For example, the CPU capacity and memory that a host can provide are commodities. IWO can also represent clusters and segments as commodities.

When the user interface (UI) shows “commodities,” it’s showing the resources a service provides. When the interface shows “commodities bought,” it’s showing what that service consumes.

Composed of

This refers to the resources or commodities that make up the given service. For example, in the UI you might see that a certain VM is composed of commodities, such as one or more physical CPUs, an Ethernet interface, and physical memory.

Contrast “composed of” with “consumes,” where consumption refers to the commodities the VM has bought. Also contrast “composed of” with the commodities a service offers for sale. A host might include four CPUs in its composition, but it offers CPU cycles as a single commodity.


This refers to the services and commodities a service has bought. A service consumes other commodities. For example, a VM consumes the commodities offered by a host, and an application consumes commodities from one or more VMs. In the UI, you can explore the services that provide the commodities the current service consumes.


This refers to a buyer or seller in the market. For example, a VM or a data-stores is an entity.


This refers to the totality of data center, network, host, storage, VM, and application resources that you are monitoring.


This is the list of all entities in your environment.

Risk Index

This is a measure of the risk to quality of service (QoS) that a consumer will experience. The higher the Risk Index (RI) on a provider, the more risk to QoS for any consumer of that provider’s services.

For example, a host provides resources to one or more VMs. The higher the RI on the provider, the more likely that the VMs will experience QoS degradation.

In most cases, for optimal operation, the RI on a provider should not go into double digits.

Working with Intersight Workload Optimizer

The public cloud provides compute, storage, and other resources on demand. By adding an AWS Billing Target (AWS) or Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (Azure) to use custom pricing and discover reserved instances, you enable IWO to use that richer pricing information to calculate workload size and RI coverage for your Azure environment. You can run all of your infrastructure on a public cloud, or you can set up a hybrid environment where you burst workload to the public cloud as needed. IWO can analyze the performance of applications running on the public cloud and then provision more instances as demand requires. For a hybrid environment, IWO can provision copies of your application VMs on the public cloud to satisfy spikes in demand, and as demand falls off, it can suspend those VMs if they’re no longer needed. With public cloud targets, you can use IWO to perform the following tasks:

  • Scale VMs and databases

  • Change storage tiers

  • Purchase VM reservations

  • Locate the most efficient workload placement within the hybrid environment while ensuring performance

  • Detect unused storage volumes

Claiming AWS Targets

For IWO to manage an AWS account, you provide the credentials via the Access Key that you use to access that account. (For information about getting an Access Key for an AWS account, see the Amazon Web Services documentation.)

To add an AWS target, specify the following:

  • Custom Target Name: The display name that will be used to identify the target in the Target List. This is for display in the UI only; it does not need to match any internal name.

  • Access Key: Provide the Access Key for the account you want to manage.

  • Access Key Secret: Provide the Access Key Secret for the account you want to manage.

Claiming Azure Targets

Microsoft Azure is Microsoft’s infrastructure platform for the public cloud. You gain access to this infrastructure through a service principal target. To specify an Azure target, you provide the credentials for the subscription and IWO discovers the resources available to you through that service principal. Through Azure service principal targets, IWO automatically discovers the subscriptions to which the service principal has been granted access in the Azure portal. This, in turn, creates a derived target for each subscription that inherits the authorization provided by the service principal (for example, contributor). You cannot directly modify a derived target, but IWO validates the target and discovers its inventory as it does with any other target.

To claim an Azure service principal target, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Set up your Azure service principal subscription to grant IWO the access it needs. To set up the Azure subscription, you must access the Administrator or Co-Administrator Azure Portal (portal.azure.com). Note that this access is only required for the initial setup. IWO does not require this access for regular operation.

  • Claim the target with the credentials that result from the subscription setup (Tenant ID, Client ID, and so on).

  • Azure Resource Manager Intersight Workload Optimizer requires the Azure Resource Manager deployment and management service. This provides the management layer that IWO uses to discover and manage entities in your Azure environment.

4. Cisco Container Platform | Next Section Previous Section

Cisco Press Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Cisco Press and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Cisco Press products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@ciscopress.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Cisco Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.ciscopress.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020