HyperFlex 4.0 Will Help Cisco Address Emerging Edge IT Demands, but Cisco Must Also Pay Heed to Adjacent Concerns

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • Cisco’s soon-to-be-launched HyperFlex 4.0 will come with simplified deployment options and an emphasis on enabling HCI in remote locations such as edge environments.
  • As part of its edge computing strategy, Cisco needs to be able to address adjacent customer concerns about security, architecture design, and workload placement.

On April 12, Cisco’s HyperFlex 4.0 will become commercially available, with the vendor planning to promote the latest version of its hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solution as part of its ‘Data Center Anywhere’ strategy. This strategy is based on the recognition that the increasingly distributed character of enterprise data and applications requires a new approach to delivering data center resources, one that brings infrastructure to wherever it is required (see Cisco Targets Emerging Edge IT Opportunities with HyperFlex 4.0,” March 27, 2019).

The latest HyperFlex innovations focus on simplifying deployment and enhancing the performance of the solution and include a major emphasis on enabling HyperFlex for deployment in remote locations such as edge environments. With HyperFlex 4.0, customers can ship ready-to-deploy edge nodes directly from the factory to the required edge locations, while also gaining access to Cisco Intersight, a cloud-based infrastructure management and automation platform. By leveraging Intersight, customers can benefit from a fully automated, zero-touch approach to installing and managing the HyperFlex Edge clusters.

The edge is emerging as a key battleground for HCI vendors, with Cisco competitors such as Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and Lenovo having all recently launched solutions that target edge infrastructure opportunities. However, for many enterprise end users, actual engagement with edge computing technologies is still either non-existent or in the very early stages. The deployment of 5G networks and services will likely provide an important stimulus for enterprise edge computing initiatives. But, many enterprises will first need to identify the business case and use cases before investing in emerging edge computing technologies.

As it develops and promotes its ‘Data Center Anywhere’ strategy, with HyperFlex as a key component, Cisco will need to show that it can compete against the aforementioned HCI competitors on a range of points that include the cost, flexibility, and manageability of its solutions. Cisco also needs to demonstrate to potential customers that it is the right infrastructure partner to help them address the full range of adjacent challenges and concerns in relation to edge computing and distributed IT; these include all-important questions about security, architecture design, and placement and management of diverse sets of workloads.

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