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High performance backup storage: Cisco UCS C3160

I don’t know about you, but the thought of using a “server” as a “backup storage” resource may sound a bit odd at first. After this post, you may change your tune. Let’s dig into this a bit.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Cisco UCS Unified Computing line of servers and their associated Fabric Interconnect technologies. Additionally, you may know that there are M-Series, B-Series and C-Series form factors for the various configuration options that are in high demand for the modern data center. Which reminds me, you should check out this PDF poster of all of the current UCS components; it is my go-to resource to see how the different UCS offerings can be arranged and interconnected.

So let’s zoom in on the Cisco UCS C3160. It has a few key specifications that caught the interest of a number of keen architects in my extended professional networks which led to this notion of putting the C3160 in place as high performance and high capacity backup storage system. The most interesting specification is that the C3160 can hold up to 60 small form factor drives. Two additional small form factor SSD drives are in place for the boot volume. What this means is that these 60 drives can be used as a backup storage repository.  RAID levels are available on this configuration as well, in particular the Cisco 12G SAS Modular RAID controller supports RAID levels 0, 1, 5 and 6. I’d recommend RAID level 6 for this large of a storage resource in terms of drive capacity (up to 4 TB) and the sheer number of drives coupled with rebuild times and have some spares in place. That being said, there is easily over 200 TB available for backup storage in one C3160 server. Let’s take the following figure:

Ciscoblog-April 2015-FigA

The C3160 provides large amounts of backup storage with excellent connectivity

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Cisco UCS Mini for SAP and SAP HANA

On the way to tradeshow week (May 4th), I decided to do a brief blog series on UCS Mini tied to these shows. Last week was Microsoft Ignite.

This week SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference in Orlando and the discussion of UCS Mini for SAP and SAP HANA.

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NAB 2015: Cisco Welcomes New Global Independent Software Vendors to Software Solutions Program

Paul BoscoGuest Blog by, Paul Bosco, vice president, market development, Cisco Service Provider business

 At NAB this week, Cisco is showcasing to media and entertainment companies its certification of independent software vendors (ISV) focused on media-centric applications.

The solutions available to customers involve a host of software applications paired with the Cisco Unified Computing System™ (UCS), and/or multiple Cisco Nexus 7000 and 3000 Series switches. Select demos of these solutions in action will be showcased at Read More »

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Cisco UCS Mini – Powering Microsoft Applications

Since Cisco UCS Mini launched last September, Cisco and our partners (Citrix, EMC, Microsoft, NetApp, Nimble Storage, Oracle, SAP, and VMware) have been hard at work putting together a wide variety of solutions.

On the way to tradeshow week (May 4th), I’ll be doing a brief blog series on UCS Mini tied to these shows.

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FlexPod for the Future

I’ve been a huge fan of Cisco and NetApp’s FlexPod since 2011, when I had the pleasure of working with it for the first time.  We had just gotten two brand new UCS Chassis full of B-Series blades, and I was impressed with how quickly I had them up and running.   I wired up the UCS Chassis to a Nexus 5000 switch I had in the lab, as well as a NetApp FAS2020, it wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t in the same rack, but it was still a FlexPod.  When I did some firmware updates a couple of weeks later, again, it was simple process.  I could have actually scheduled it to run later, which I thought was an extremely cool feature.  It took next to no time to have everything revved to current levels (the poor UCS sat in the lab neglected for a few months before I got my hands on it).

FlexPod has come a long way since then, so let’s take a look at some of the hottest Cisco Validated Designs out there today, and a little bit more about what makes a FlexPod a FlexPod Read More »

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