Deploying new servers is a routine task in data centers. Whether it is tied to server refreshes, net new compute initiatives or to an expansion of existing compute capacity, adding new servers can be a time consuming activity for IT personnel. This server deployment process has historically been very manual, with many solutions requiring:
- Multiple tools or scripts
- Repeated human interaction by the server team throughout the deployment process
- Coordination of activities across server, networking and storage administrators for every server deployed.
All of these add to complexity, increase time to production, increase costs, and unavoidably increase the potential of human error.
What is needed is a dependable, repeatable process that automates and streamlines server deployment activities. This lets IT staff to devote their time to more value added activities which improves operations and productivity, yielding a much better TCO picture. Automated, fast, efficient, scalable management and infrastructure – this is where Cisco UCS and UCS Manager excel.
The efficiency of Cisco UCS server deployment is tied to UCS Manager. Cisco took a unique approach to computing and focused on the common point of interaction, the fabric. Servers don’t operate in isolation. They are part of a total environment that at the minimum encompasses servers, networking, management and storage – a Fabric Based Infrastructure . Cisco’s comprehensive and efficient architecture is the key to why customers worldwide are rapidly adopting UCS.
This detailed paper (below) does a side by side “time to deploy” evaluation of the Cisco UCS B200 M3 and the HP BL460c Gen8. The strength of UCS and UCS Manager for automation is clear in the ease of use and lack of complexity.
Below is a new time lapse side-by-side video – B200 M3 is 77% Faster Blade Deployment vs. HP BL460c Gen8.This new video (July 2013) illustrates the Business Advantage of the Cisco UCS Unified Compute, Unified Fabric and Unified Management – Cisco’s Unified Data Center. Comparing this video to the one we did for the B200 M2 is 47% Faster Blade Deployment vs. HP BL460c G7 (May 2011), Cisco UCS Manager has shaved a full minute off the deployment time for two blade servers and still only takes 14 steps to set up the automated process. HP’s time to deploy increased dramatically and is still very serial nature with lots of manual inputs.
For information on how UCS and UCS Manager integrates with other major systems management tools follow this link UCS Manager Ecosystem Partners and for interoperability see the UCS Interoperability page.
I have a meeting with an HP vendor on Monday, maybe I will print this PDF off and put it on the corner of my desk for him to read while I excuse myself from the room.
Thanks Ryan. Let me know how it goes.
Please pardon my fat fingers Randy.
The productivity of Cisco UCS look marvelous. But are they proper only for large datacenters, or will be convenient for general servers (DHCP, DNS, File Server) in one business network with about 500 PCs? Can we load them enough, as we are now using DELL, which caused a lot of outages and problems.
Great question Villi and thanks for reading our Cisco Data Center & Cloud blogs.
My response is a little long, sorry, but wanted to get you what you needed. I will have another blog late this week of the being of next week that should be of interest to you as well.
We definitely have VDI solutions for your user count, including both C-Series (UCS rack servers) and the B-Series blades, which are the subject of this blog.
To your specific questions:
• You can absolutely use UCS B-Series for your DHCP, DNS, file/print, SQL, Exchange, VDI and more.
• There are NO restrictions on mixing blade configurations, models or applications within a UCS chassis or domain. Most customers standardize on one or two configurations to maximize their HA and burst capacity requirements. See this earlier blog for more: http://blogs.cisco.com/datacenter/fabric-based-infrastructure-and-cisco-ucs-servers/
• We have pre-validated and supported UCS B-Series architecture bundles for VDI solutions (with various VDI software companies), starting at 300 users and up. Your Cisco UCS certified partner can provide you with more specifics. Ask them about part number UCS-EZ-VDI-ENT-VW to kick off your conversation.
• Smaller VDI deployments on blades are, of course, easily doable. We just put together a 300 solution to help you get started.
• UCS “up times” are outstanding and customers can deploy additional chassis and blades, and customize their I/O to each chassis, by themselves. It is very easy to add capacity at any level. No services engagement required or needed.
There are a number of customers with small deployments that are getting outstanding benefits and performance from UCS, whether they are small deployments or small data centers. The use cases vary quite a bit because UCS is very flexible and delivers great value across the spectrum of size.
Below are a couple of case studies:
• Human Kinetics, (this one may be spot on for you) http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/ns340/ns517/ns224/human_kinetics_cs.pdf
• Pitt Ohio – http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns340/ns517/ns224/Cisco_Pitt_Ohio_CS_090810.pdf
• Lindquist & Vennum, http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns340/ns517/ns224/nimble_storage_cs_lindquist_vennum.pdf
• Walz Group, http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns340/ns517/ns224/case_study_c36_647446.pdf
You can access and sort our case studies for companies specific to your industry here – Data Center Case Studies – http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/ns340/ns517/ns224/dc_case_studies.html.
I hope this answered your question and please let us know if we can be of further assistance.
Really thanks for your full explanation and answer. There were really a lot of good articles and studies, which you gave me. I had a look into the studies and see that really Cisco is looking quite more productive than HP and DELL servers.
Thanks a lot
Great Write up on UCS. Needless to say that UCS has gone miles and much further than most people had expected it to when it was launched only a few years ago. And that does not happen if a product and related services are not of stellar standards.
Speaking of VDI and UCS, I had caught a nice presentation a few months back on Brighttalk:
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