Cisco Unveils HyperFlex Application Platform, Dubbed Container-as-a-Service

A new Cisco HyperFlex Application Platform (HXAP) was unveiled this week at the Cisco Live show in Barcelona, designed to simplify the provisioning and ongoing operations for Kubernetes across cloud, datacenter and edge.

Dubbing the new offering as a Container-as-a-Service option, the company said, "This new platform curates open-source tooling, automates routine tasks, provides full-stack lifecycle management and makes it easier for IT and DevOps teams to use Kubernetes in a way that accelerates application innovation across multi-cloud environments. It also supports monitoring and optimization of the complete application to infrastructure stack using AppDynamics and Cisco Intersight."

Cisco said HXAP was developed after the company learned container/Kubernetes customers primarily required a solution that was agile, simple and economic, adding that it provides customers with the following key capabilities:

  • Container cloud: Enables IT to deliver Container-as-a-service to developers and enable DevOps
  • Turnkey: Integrated Kubernetes platform for production grade cloud native applications
  • Cloud Managed: Intersight Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based management of infrastructure and Kubernetes clusters
  • Economic: Eliminate penalties of 3rd party hypervisor licenses for cloud-native applications
  • Future proof: Delivers a single platform for the support of current and future workloads

Cisco's Intersight technology is put to use to manage application services across the cloud, datacenter and edge in the new platform, integrating infrastructure, virtual machine and container capabilities. For example, an Intersight Workload Optimizer drives better workload placement decisions based on application performance metrics, while providing visibility into the entire software stack, the company said.

Cisco Intersight Manages Kubernetes Environments
[Click on image for larger view.] Cisco Intersight Manages Kubernetes Environments (source: Cisco).

"HXAP eliminates this complexity by integrating a full-stack container platform, the foundation of which is native upstream Kubernetes that is tightly integrated with the HyperFlex hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) system," the company said. "In addition to Kubernetes, HXAP also integrates native Container Networking, Container Storage, Ingress and L7 load balancer, Logging, Monitoring, a Container Registry and Service Mesh which together creates a complete platform for cloud native application development. This full-stack is curated by Cisco and hardened and productized for production ready enterprise container deployment. HXAP provides integrated lifecycle management by enabling single click install and upgrade for this full-stack platform, greatly simplifying the operating experience for operations teams. HXAP also ensures multicloud development consistency with 100% upstream Kubernetes compliance and up to date versions.

"The end goal of HXAP is to enable IT infrastructure teams to deliver an on-prem Container Cloud experience to their internal application and DevOps teams by using HXAP to implement container-as-a-service."

The company introduced HXAP along with several other initiatives at the show, including:

  • Cisco's AppDynamics, an application performance monitoring solution, introduced the AppDynamics Experience Journey Map which automatically displays the most important user experience journeys within mission-critical apps.
  • AppDynamics and Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer now exchange and correlate data to give application and infrastructure teams a shared view of infrastructure dependencies that effect application performance, user experience, and business impact.
  • The aforementioned Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer introduces powerful workload and cost optimization capabilities across hybrid application architectures. Intersight Workload Optimizer takes into consideration performance, cost and compliance constraints.

AppDynamics Experience Journey Map, Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer and HyperFlex Application Platform for Kubernetes will be available in the second quarter, Cisco said.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.