Cisco UCS Servers and Blade Server Evolution, part 1, as the title suggests, discussed blade server evolution and why Cisco UCS is a game changer. Now let’s talk about what the implications are for blade server TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and how Cisco Unified Computing System scales vs. legacy blade architectures.
Blade Server TCO and Scale
Scale is the crux of the problem that has historically been the barrier for blade servers to deliver on their initial promise. Scale for I/O. Scale for Servers. Scale for Management. Cisco identified these shortfalls in the traditional legacy blade architecture and came to the marketplace with an innovative, game changing redefined architecture – Cisco UCS.
As discussed in “part 1”, to move the bar for blade chassis, we to better consolidate I/O, management and scale. Enter Cisco UCS. Deliver everything at scale: servers and I/O and blade chassis and management etc. Deliver a new design, rather than retreading an old dead end chassis ‘building block’ design.
Efficiency and Scale by Design
The requisite new design is what Cisco delivered. Cisco UCS is a variable chassis count, variable server count, variable I/O capacity, smart scaling architecture.
Figure 1 is the Cisco design, a converged I/O (FCoE – lossless FC and Enet combined) that scales. It provides easy, efficient infrastructure scaling across: multiple chassis, multiple servers, racks, rows and yes, it even includes the integration of rack servers into the solution.
Figure 1: Cisco UCS architecture – 10 x 8 blade chassis = 80 blade servers, 20 cables (add more I/O by simply adding cables – easy scaling)
Figure 2 is a Non-Converged legacy blade chassis I/O architecture. More = more… of everything. More chassis to hold more blades is OK, that makes sense. But more Switches? More cables? More points of Management? More complexity? Not too good.