Customers around the world – now 60,000 strong – rely on UCS as their platform for IT innovation and have made it the industry’s system of choice for enterprise applications including big data analytics and business applications. Today, I’m very pleased to introduce another milestone in the UCS journey, a very powerful new generation of servers: UCS M5.



From the beginning, the success of UCS has arisen from design inputs and priorities that come directly from our customers. As we bring forward our 5th generation rack and blade servers, things are no different: customers asked us to focus on increased density for accelerators such as NVMe and GPUs, and we have responded. You will find significant engineering differentiations that enable broad support for NVMe across our server portfolio with a 5X or better capacity increase on rack platforms and an all-NVMe high density rack platform. We’ve also delivered industry-leading GPU density, particularly in blades, where we will offer the only half-width blade in the industry with dual GPU support. These are the type of advancements our customers need to increase computing density and efficiency – not just for VDI, but also for real time analytics, deep learning and machine learning.


Faster Applications, Fewer Complications

The new Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors bring increased core counts and faster memory. In Cisco lab testing comparing M4 to M5 generation machines, we’re seeing performance improvements up to 89%. For scale-up workloads like in-memory database, we’re doubling the memory capacity on all of our 2-socket servers. The big picture is that faster CPUs, more memory, and the GPU/NVMe accelerators increase the workload applicability for 2-socket servers, which will save customers money and provide quicker time to value as they refresh their environment.


It’s Not a Server. It’s a System.

All that said, the truly sustainable advantage we deliver isn’t found at the product level, it’s in the operating model our customers enjoy from our architectural approach:


  1. Simplicity you can build on.

UCS is a software-driven architecture that delivers pervasive simplicity and operational agility. From the software embedded in the custom ASICs of our Virtual Interface Cards to the UCS Management software embedded in the system, to the orchestration software in Cisco Enterprise Cloud Suite, it’s software that creates the magic of UCS: fully abstracted and truly software-defined infrastructure from top to bottom. The future of IT is being built on infrastructure-as-code for powerful integrations and continuous delivery of distributed applications.


  1. Performance with versatility.

UCS has a proven track record of performance leadership, one that we’re extending with this new line of servers. But our systems approach means that customers can configure UCS to meet the unique needs of all their various applications without spawning islands of infrastructure, management, policy and security. Be it scale-up, scale-out, physical, virtual, container, converged, or hyperconverged, UCS offers the versatility to support the performance and scalability of all of these with common management and resource pools.


  1. Future proofed by design.

UCS is a unified yet modular architecture and still completely unique in this regard. The power of these 5th generation servers, like all of those before, comes to our customers as a simple plug-and-play into the UCS environment. No forklifts for connectivity, management, or disruptions to the operational model. The real beauty of UCS is that our customers are assured that as yet-unknown technologies become available in the future, Cisco will integrate these and deliver them as part of a system. This has been proven time and again with examples such as HyperFlex and S-Series.


Starship Ready

Recently we’ve begun communicating about the exciting path we’re on toward cloud-based management and advanced operation analytics. This generation of UCS systems has all the hooks in place for integration with Starship when that platform launches later this year. Again, we are always focused squarely on future-proofing IT investment through superior architecture. Watch this space as that story unfolds.


Making Something Great Even Better.

I’d like to congratulate the teams at Cisco and our technology partners on this latest round of UCS innovation. It’s incredible to look back on the 8 years of success we’ve had with our customers and the ability for this system to get stronger with every new generation. Please look for additional blog posts this week with deep detail on the advantages of these new M5 servers. You will also see new Cisco Validated Designs in partnership with our ISV and storage partner ecosystem.


In the meantime, check out this special edition of TechWiseTV for a great tour of UCS M5, courtesy of Arvie Martin and James Leach. You can also read our partners’ blogs to see why they’re excited about the UCS M5: Citrix, Dell EMC, IBM, MapR and Pure Storage.





Satinder Sethi

No Longer with Cisco