Cisco deprecates Microsoft management integrations for UCS servers

Working on Azure integration – but not there yet

Cisco has deprecated support for some third-party management integrations for its UCS servers, and emerged unable to play nice with Microsoft's most recent offerings.

Late last week the server contender slipped out an end-of-life notice [PDF] for integrations with Microsoft System Center's Configuration Manager, Operations Manager, and Virtual Machine Manager. Support for plugins to VMware vCenter Orchestrator and vRealize Orchestrator have also been taken out behind an empty rack with a shotgun.

The Register inquired about the deprecations, and has good news and bad news.

The good news is for VMware users. Virtzilla has binned the tools that support the plugins, in favour of the newer HTML 5 client for vSphere.

It makes sense for Cisco to EOL the older plugins as customers focus on plugins that support the newer management platforms, according to a Cisco spokesperson. Cisco already supports VMware's HTML 5 client. COVID-19's impact on vAdmins saw VMware extend the supported life of some older vSphere versions longer than originally planned, so there may be some complications for those who haven't been able to keep to Virtzilla's schedule.

The bad news is for Microsoft-centric UCS shops. Cisco hasn't quite caught up with Redmond’s newest management offerings. Not yet, at least.

"Microsoft Azure Monitor and similar Azure monitoring solutions support REST API-based integrations that are being looked at longer term," Cisco told The Register. "Microsoft's Azure-based solutions are a relatively new platform compared to SCOM. We are actively working on this."

Microsoft still offers System Center Operations Manager and its Virtual Machine Manager, but the current versions are tied to Windows Server 2019. And in Windows Server 2022 Microsoft did not include a standalone Hyper-V server preferring to suggest use of Azure Stack HCI to manage on-prem VMs instead. Cisco has its own HyperFlex HCI offering, so integrating with Azure Stack HCI probably isn't necessary.

UCS users can of course continue to manage their server fleets with UCS Manager or Cisco's SaaS-y Intersight offering. And Cisco told us these deprecations aren't a sign that Intersight is becoming closed – quite the opposite, in fact.

Given the extent to which the server specialist has bet on Intersight and its APIs, said the spokesperson, “we will continue to evolve and accelerate integrations with other Cisco products and third parties." ®

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