I got an overview of Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) from the Cisco rep today. Being used to HP blades I didn’t have high hopes for what Cisco would have to offer. After the meeting I’d have to that it looks like they have done their home work. Now, I haven’t seen anything other than the present with question and answer but at first glance I’d have to say that the offering looks pretty good.
Reduced cabling, greater capacity, plus networking and fiber channel over ethernet all rolled up in one, well pretty much. Plus the added virtualization features for Vmware and 10Gb ethernet with a road map of 40Gb ethernet looks promising. And with Cisco VN-Link virtualization support, Cisco Extended Memory Technology, and the Cisco UCS Manager to help sweeten the pie. Being able to upgrade the components even down to the BIOS of the blades just seems really though out to me.
While this all sounds good and promising, can I say that this is a must have data center solution? My response is that right now there is not a need in our current environment or data center for this solution. With that said, if cost is comparable or even close to what we spend now on current infrastructure (blades, modules, cabling, etc) trying to make it as much to an apples to apples comparison I could at least consider it for future deployments. We are a Cisco shop for networking and fiber channel where I currently work and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Some would argue vendor lock in and while vendor lock in may be a bad thing to some it could have it’s benefits which should be factored in. This is not a post for or against Cisco UCS so make your own decision. Technology is forever changing so make your decision wisely.
I can’t wait to see more of what this Unified Computing System can offer when we get a test unit in. Also, find out more information on Cisco Unified Computing here.