Cisco UCS Test Drive With IDS

Last week, the folks here at IDS and the knowledgeable experts at Cisco teamed up for a test drive of their latest rollout: the UCS Blade server. The feedback we received was overwhelming in response to both the capacities of the UCS, as well as the care and attention to detail that went into the development of the server (which makes sense, since Cisco is at the top of the industry in spending top dollar on research and development). The detail-oriented mindframe when developing the UCS is what differentiates it from any other server on the market to date.

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We began our tour at Cisco’s brand-spanking-new Rosemont offices, where we were in a state of awe as soon as we stepped over the threshold to be greeted by their demo data center. Everything about the layout of their offices is centered around the customer experience. Touring their facility offered a look into their awesome array of demo rooms, product displays and classrooms for product demonstrations. Distractions abounded as we mosied into their UCS demo classroom.

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We proceeded into an informational session about the UCS, where the following points were emphasized about the blade server:

1. Embedded management.
2. Unified fabric computing.
3. Expanded memory.
4. Virtualized adaptor.
5. Stateless servers and service profiles.

Per our tour moderator, Cisco’s Jon Ebmeier, Consulting Systems Engineer, overall the UCS handles more traffic per blade than any other server: prime example – an HP needs 38 blades, while the UCS can take on the same workload with only 19 blades. Another point that was highlighted is the chassis’ flexibility in working with the existing software in your data center. This flexibility also leads us into the UCS’s propensity towards functioning optimally within a fully virtualized environment (check out our upcoming event that revolves around 100% virtualization).

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While we viewed the actual blade server, the customers’ and engineers’ feedback I received was immense. Below are some of the highlights from actual IT managers and IDS engineers:

  • “The organization of this interface is the best I’ve ever seen.”
  • “This would make my data center exponentially easier to manage.”
  • “From a cost and real estate/space perspective the UCS can handle a lot more with less.”
  • “The Catalina chip within the blade makes 4 memory slots appear as 1 to the server, thereby cutting down on the amount of physical servers needed at any time.”
  • “In the customer example we heard from Cisco that 308 concurrent VMs were running on one server, this is unbelievable and amazing, I’d love to see what the UCS could do for my data center.”
  • “Huge network traffic ability.”
  • “Flexibility in losing a blade and still being able to move data while not going offline.”

Overall, we had an amazing experience at Cisco. Learning about the specifics around the UCS server was definitely beneficial for everyone involved. I invite you to check out the in the field interview I conducted post-tour with our engineer, David Langley:

 

Photo Credits: idsdata