Is Cisco HyperFlex discontinued? Cisco has decided to discontinue its HyperFlex hyper-converged infrastructure products. This move comes as Cisco reevaluates its strategy due to evolving customer needs and changing market dynamics. HyperFlex combined a hybrid cloud software stack with Cisco’s Unified Computing System servers to compete with rivals. Its rivals include VMware, Dell’s vXRail, Nutanix, and HPE’s hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) offerings.
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What Is Cisco HyperFlex?
HyperFlex stands as Cisco’s robust hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) platform. It merges software-defined storage and data services with the Cisco Unified Computing System. In order to streamline operations and bolster centralized management. This unified infrastructure mixes computing, networking, and storage resources.
Intel Xeon E5 2600 v3 processors underpin HyperFlex systems. It runs VMware 5.5 or later hypervisors and Cisco Data Platform software. This software was created by the startup Springpath. It serves as a log-structured distributed object store software designed for hyper-convergence.
Within the HyperFlex ecosystem, you’ll find three distinct types of nodes. The HX220c caters to compute-intensive workloads. At the same time, the HX240c is created for capacity-intensive tasks. Notably, the HX240c can be combined with UCS B200 blade servers. So that it can infuse more compute muscle into a cluster.
Starting with a minimum configuration of three nodes. The HyperFlex system can scale up to eight nodes, offering flexibility and agility. Clusters also have the versatility to mix different node types so that they cater to specific workload requirements.
HyperFlex initially found its footing in various use cases, including:
- Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments
- Remote offices/branch offices (ROBO) setups
- Reliable test beds for software development and rigorous testing
Its versatility made it an appealing choice for a range of scenarios.
One challenge Cisco faced was the presence of hyperscale cloud providers in the market. For example, Oracle entered the arena with its on-premises cloud solutions. It directly competed with larger hyperconverged setups.
Cisco hasn’t provided a detailed explanation for discontinuing HyperFlex. They emphasize that this decision has been made to support their customers best. Cisco is committed to simplifying hybrid multi-cloud operations. But has opted to partner with Nutanix for a trial. This partnership involves running Nutanix’s software on Cisco hardware. Moreover, it is having Cisco salespeople promote and sell these combined solutions.
Cisco is offering five years of support and service for existing HyperFlex customers. However, for those running VMware’s ESXi hypervisor with HyperFlex. There is a complication as Cisco will not certify future ESXi versions to run on their hardware.
Customers do have options, including:
Migrating away from HyperFlex, as Cisco has provided guidelines to this process.
Cisco will continue to accept orders for HyperFlex hardware and software until March 12, 2024. As it aims to complete shipments before June 10 of the same year.
Moreover, HyperFlex licenses cannot be used as credit for Nutanix products. But both companies are working on migration offers.
Why Is Cisco HyperFlex Discontinuing?
Cisco’s discontinuation decision may be attributed to lower adoption rates of HyperFlex compared to industry leaders like VMware and Nutanix.
HyperFlex’s market share placed Cisco in the “Other” category. It makes it a less dominant player. Additionally, maintaining a management software stack for HyperFlex proved burdensome as Cisco shifted its focus towards cloud and subscription models.
As Cisco discontinues HyperFlex, questions arise about its future involvement in the server market. Also, what does this decision mean for other niche HCI offerings from major vendors? Such as IBM’s SpectrumFusion. Cisco’s strategic move reflects the evolving landscape of HCI. Besides, it reflects the need to adapt to changing customer demands.
All in All, Cisco’s announcement indicated the discontinuation of Cisco HyperFlex. The availability of the specified Hyperflex System Bundles shapes the transition into a new phase for their product offerings.
In 2021, Cisco has introduced a series of product replacements. This was a part of their transition strategy for the HyperFlex lineup:
- Cisco HyperFlex All Flash Application Experience Bundle replaced with Cisco Hyperconverged System. Specifically the HX240c M5 All Flash Node. This transition brings a more advanced and efficient solution to the forefront.
- Cisco HyperFlex Hybrid Application Experience Bundle finds its replacement. It was replaced with the Cisco Hyperconverged System, featuring the HX220c M5 Node. This updated system offers improved capabilities, making it a worthy successor.
- Cisco HyperFlex Edge Application Experience Bundle replaced with Cisco HyperFlex M5 Edge. It is available in both Hybrid and All Flash configurations. This new offering ensures continued support for edge applications without Fabric Interconnect (FI).
- APPX HX220c Hyperflex System was replaced with the Cisco HyperFlex Hybrid Edge 220 M5 system. It provides users with enhanced hybrid capabilities.
- Additionally, the standalone HX APPX 6454 FI was replaced with UCS Fabric Interconnect 6454. It was aligned with Cisco’s evolving product portfolio.
These replacements mark Cisco’s commitment to delivering innovative solutions. Also, it supports them as they transition their HyperFlex offerings.
Cisco HyperFlex (HXDP) Timeline for various Platforms
Below, you can check timelines for various HyperFlex Data Platforms (HXDP):
- Release Date: August 14, 2023
- End of SW Maintenance (EOSM): February 22, 2024
- End-of-Download (EOD) Date: February 22, 2024
- End of Security and Vulnerability Support (EoVS): February 22, 2024
- Last Date of Support: May 22, 2024
- Release Date: August 23, 2022
- End of SW Maintenance (EOSM): February 23, 2024
- End-of-Download (EOD) Date: November 23, 2024
- End of Security and Vulnerability Support (EoVS): November 23, 2024
- Last Date of Support: February 28, 2025
- Release Date: June 30, 2021
- End of SW Maintenance (EOSM): December 17, 2022
- End-of-Download (EOD) Date: September 17, 2023
- End of Security and Vulnerability Support (EoVS): September 17, 2023
- Last Date of Support: December 31, 2023
Why To Upgrade To Cisco HyperFlex Newer Releases?
Consider these reasons for upgrading to Cisco HyperFlex newer releases:
Reasons to Upgrade to Cisco HyperFlex Release 5.5(1x):
- Support for VMware ESXi 8.0 U1
- Stretched Cluster Intersight Arbitrator
- Stretched Cluster Preferred Site Support
- UCS FI 6536 Support
Reasons to Upgrade to Cisco HyperFlex Release 5.0(2x):
- Expanded Server Data Center Node Support
- 15TB NVMe Support
- “Diag,” User in HX Shell
- Software Encryption for Stretched Cluster
- Flexible MTU Editing for DR Replication Network
- ESXi 7.0 U3 Compatibility
- HX CSI Release 1.2
- Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory (DCPMM) Support
Reasons to Upgrade to Cisco HyperFlex Release 4.5(x):
- HyperFlex Edge 240 Full Depth Servers
- Hardware RAID M.2 Boot Drives
- Native iSCSI Protocol Support
- Backup and Restore for HyperFlex Edge Clusters via Intersight
- Scheduled Snapshots on HX Connect
- Secure Admin Shell
What happens to the consumer’s existing entitlement To Cisco HXDP after discontinuation? No need to worry if you already have HyperFlex Data Platform (HXDP) entitlements. The announcement of its discontinuation/ EOL won’t affect your current benefits. Your entitlement gives you three key rights:
The right to use HyperFlex software and access to Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) support. The right to receive patches and updates.
These rights remain unchanged. They will be in place until the end of your subscription or the Last Date of Support, whichever comes first.
What’s the status of the HyperFlex Roadmap?
Cisco is committed to delivering everything that’s in the committed stage of the HXDP roadmap.
However, any plans or items in the planning stages or the vision section of the roadmap as of the Cisco HyperFlex End-of-Life announcement on September 12, 2023, will not be released.
What Consumers Can Expect?
Cisco’s offering as an alternative to HXDP for hyperconvergence? Cisco has teamed up with Nutanix to provide an alternative solution. You can choose Cisco Compute Hyperconverged with Nutanix instead of the HyperFlex platform. This transition can be done on qualified HyperFlex M6 hardware, as it involves purchasing a new Nutanix software license. For more details, please reach out to the HyperFlex to Nutanix migration guide.
In short, your existing HXDP entitlements are secure. Also, the committed items on the roadmap will be delivered as planned. Additionally, Cisco offers a migration path to Cisco Compute Hyperconverged with Nutanix. This offering is for those seeking an alternative to HXDP.
Can you still Buy Extra Nodes To Expand An Existing HyperFlex Cluster?
When it comes to expanding your existing HyperFlex cluster, remember these things. You have the option to get extra drives for your converged nodes. You can also add more converged or compute nodes before it reaches the End-of-Sale date. However, no new orders can be placed after its discontinuation/End-of-Sale milestone.
Let’s break down the scenarios:
- Expanding an Existing Cluster:
If you’ve already placed an order to expand an existing cluster. Then you’re good to go. You can proceed with your plan to expand the cluster as originally intended.
- Creating a New Cluster:
In the event that your order was placed to create a brand-new cluster, no worries. You can still move forward with deploying it as a new HyperFlex cluster. Or you’ll receive the support in the End-of-Life announcement.
- Repurposing Hardware:
Suppose you find that your hardware needs change or you have surplus equipment. Then, there’s the option to repurpose it. Furthermore, Cisco HyperFlex is here to support your cluster expansion needs. Plan accordingly before the discontinuation/ End-of-Sale date so that you can ensure a smooth transition and utilization of your hardware.
Will You Get Cisco TAC Support For HyperFlex After Discontinuation?
Cisco is here to support you every step of the way as it transitions from HyperFlex Data Platform (HXDP) software to the end of its life. Suppose you have a valid support contract. Then, you can count on Cisco TAC support until the Last Day of Support (LDoS) date for HXDP software.
For the HyperFlex hardware, the company’s commitment remains strong. You’ll have TAC support available until the hardware’s Last Day of Support (LDoS) date. Your existing hardware support contracts will stay in effect. It will remain in effect until its end date or the hardware’s LDoS date, whichever comes first.
You’ll have the support you need for both software and hardware until the end-of-life dates. Your existing contracts remain in force, and you can renew them as needed.
Cisco discontinued HyperFlex development, handing HCI’s future to Nutanix. Navigating the discontinuation landscape may be difficult. But Cisco promised five years of support for HyperFlex customers. Preparing for a post-HyperFlex era involves considering migration options and embracing change.
While HyperFlex offered a competitive edge. The shift signals Cisco’s strategic evolution towards the cloud and subscription models as we bid farewell to HyperFlex. The industry’s future lies in embracing the next generation of hyperconvergence solutions with Nutanix, as it is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future. Cisco’s decision underscores the dynamic nature of the HCI landscape as it prompts businesses to adapt and innovate.
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