Back in March we announced the third generation of UCS, with significant expansions to the I/O and systems management capabilities of the platform as well as a new lineup of servers. This month we’re continuing to expand the UCS server lineup with the addition of four new models. The latest batch of M3 systems are comprised of three Intel Xeon “EN” class machines (E5-2400 series processors) as well as a four socket “EP” (E5-2600 series) blade server. Specifically: the UCS B22 and B420 M3 blades and the C22 and C24 M3 rack servers. These new servers round out the UCS portfolio with an even stronger set of products optimized for scale-out and light general-purpose computing as well as a new price/performance 4S category in the mid-range.
If you prefer watching than reading , here is a nice conversation between Intel Boyd Davis , VP & GM, Data Center Infrastructure group, Cisco Jim McHugh, VP UCS Marketing, and Scott Ciccone, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, highlighting the key benefits of these new models.
To figure out how these fit in, let’s step back and consider the broader evolution of server technology in play here:
1) Cisco has made server I/O more powerful and much simpler.
One of the key differentiators of UCS is the way in which high-capacity server network access has been aggregated through Cisco Virtual Interface Cards and infused with built-in high performance virtual networking capabilities. In “pre-UCS” server system architectures, one of the main design considerations was the type and quantity of physical network adapters required. Networking, combined with computing sockets/cores/frequency/cache, system memory, and local disk are historically the primary resources considered in the balancing act of cost, physical space and power consumption, all of which are manifested in the various permutations of server designs required to cover the myriad of workloads most efficiently. Think of these as your four server subsystem food groups. Architecture purists will remind us that everything outside the processors and their cache falls into the category of “I/O” but let’s not get pedantic because that will mess up my food group analogy. In UCS, I/O is effectively taken off the table as a design worry because every server gets its full USRDA of networking through the VIC: helping portions of bandwidth, rich with Fabric Extender technology vitamins that yield hundreds of Ethernet and FC adapters through one physical device. Gone are the days of hemming and hawing over how many mezz card slots your blade has or how many cards you’re going to need to feed that hungry stack of VM’s on your rack server. This simplification changes things for the better because it takes a lot of complication out of the equation.
If I become hiring manager for a Data Center team, I’m asking candidates whether they have Tetris skills. Anyone who can neatly fill a space with odd-shaped blocks falling at ever-increasing speed can oversee the rack-and-stack activities in my Data Centers.
I talked in my last two posts – on preparing for and then executing a Data Center move – about planning where you want to place your Data Center hardware. That’s a good idea even if you’re not moving your server environment, because how you deploy your equipment affects how efficiently rack space is used, airflow patterns and more. Read More »
Ah, moving day. You’ve spent weeks packing your valuables into boxes and are now fervently hoping your movers treat them like priceless artifacts rather than testing their bounce factor. Sure, said movers are either complete strangers you’ve hired or friends you’ve enticed with beer and pizza, but what could possibly go wrong?
One of the most daunting tasks a Data Center manager can face is a large scale hardware relocation. While today’s technology often allows you to avoid physical moves – you bring new hardware online at your destination, migrate applications there and then decommission the old gear – sometimes you still have to roll up your sleeves and do some heavy lifting.
I invited today Eoin McConnell, who is the Intel Xeon Processor E5 Family Product Line Manager within Intel’s DataCenter and Connected Systems Group, to comment on Cisco Third Generation of Fabric Computing‘s launch.
“Three years ago Cisco timed its entry into the compute side of the data center with the launch of the Intel® Xeon® 5500 series when it introduced Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) to the world. Few outside the walls of Cisco would have suspected that in such a short time Cisco would have grown significantly in this space. It now has nearly 11,000 UCS customers and has risen to No. 3 in MSS in the blade market, according to IDC.
Cisco has partnered with Intel in delivering innovation in the data center around UCS from the beginning. On March 8, 2012, Cisco launched the UCS “M3” server line. The company coordinated this introduction to follow immediately on the heels of Intel’s introduction of the Intel® Xeon® processor E5 family. The three stellar offerings that are available immediately are the Cisco UCS B200 M3 Blade Server, the Cisco UCS C220 M3 Rack Server, and the Cisco UCS C240 M3 Rack Server.
Intel Dylan Larson and Cisco Scott Ciccone had recently a quick conversation about the features and the benefits of this new offering
This third generation sets the mark, and definitely has Cisco delivering new innovation for the cloud. Cisco has always looked to Intel to deliver world-class foundational building blocks that allow the company to innovate. The M3 series will in fact be the first UCS series to implement Intel l® Trusted Execution Technology, which many believe is fundamental to securing cloud architecture.