Servers exist to run applications that solve business, technical, and scientific problems. Some applications benefit from clock speed improvements while others benefit from additional memory. Cisco UCS servers – now updated with 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors – provide both benefits. With these new processors, Cisco UCS servers now offer the following features:

  • Higher top-end frequencies
  • Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory with 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB module capacities
  • Support for 256GB DIMMs
  • DDR4 2933-MHz memory
  • Hardware mitigations for several side channel attacks
  • Intel® Speed Select Technology


What Is Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory?

Filling the gap between DRAM and SSDs

Intel Optane DC persistent memory is a new technology designed to fill the capacity, cost, and performance gaps between traditional DRAM memory and storage for servers. While the performance of DRAM is great, it is relatively expensive and volatile (the contents disappear when the server is rebooted). SSDs, one option for storing programs and data, while faster than hard disk drives, are not nearly as fast as DIMMs, though their content isn’t volatile. Intel Optane DC persistent memory was designed to provide an option between DRAM and SSD, reducing the cost while potentially increasing the size of server memory and/or providing the fastest persistent storage of data. Up to half of the server’s DIMM slots can be used for Intel Optane DC persistent memory.

Memory mode

In Memory mode, lower-cost, higher-capacity Intel Optane DC persistent memory modules are paired with DDR4 DIMMs to reduce the cost of a given amount of memory. For example, you now have two options to increase per-socket memory to 3 TB: 12x 256GB DDR4 DIMMs, or the more cost-effective option of 6x DDR4 DIMMs + 6x 512GB Intel Optane DC persistent memory modules (the DDR4 DIMMs are “invisible” to the operating system and instead act as a fast cache for the persistent memory modules). You will have to evaluate the price/performance tradeoffs to decide which is the best solution for your applications.

App Direct mode

In App Direct mode, the Intel Optane DC persistent memory modules are used as low-latency, high-speed persistent memory for data or storage attached directly to the CPU instead of the PCIe bus. Each CPU can have up to 1.5 TB of DDR4 memory and up to 3 TB of App Direct memory / storage. This allows application developers to customize their code to make the best use of each memory type.

Treat Infrastructure as Code

Only Cisco UCS and HyperFlex servers treat infrastructure as code and allow you to use polices to configure Intel Optane DC persistent memory. Like all other server hardware features, UCS Manager can be used to dynamically define how your Intel Optane DC persistent memory will be used – Memory mode, App direct mode, or both – and how much capacity should be configured for each.

With Cisco Intersight, Cisco is also the only server vendor to have a single management platform for all your server types including B-Series blades, C-Series rack and multinode servers, S-Series dense storage servers, and HyperFlex hyperconverged servers. Intersight is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) management platform that uses analytics to deliver proactive automation and support. By combining intelligence with automated actions, you can reduce costs dramatically and accelerate time-to-resolution.

Application performance improvements

With the 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors, we’ve set seven new world record benchmark results. Middleware, applications, and raw computing power are included. Read the performance brief for full details.


Learn more

All the server at-a-glance and data sheets have been updated with additional details. Go to www.cisco.com/go/ucs for more information. If you’re new to UCS, the Solution Overview explains how UCS is different than other server vendors and why those differences matter.


Bill Shields

Senior Marketing Manager

Product and Solutions Marketing Team