Cisco has announced upgrades to its Unified Computing System (UCS) datacentre platform, adding new server hardware based on Intel's Xeon E5-2600 chips, and has also beefed-up network capabilities and unified management of its rack and blade servers.
According to Cisco, the third-generation of its fabric computing platform brings benefits including four-times the memory capacity, double the switching capacity and simplified management for customers with large-scale datacentre deployments.
UCS itself comprises a mixture of compute and storage hardware combined with a unified network fabric and virtualisation tools, and was introduced in 2009.
For network connectivity, Cisco announced the UCS 6296UP Fabric Interconnect, which offers 96 ports in place of the 48 of existing kit.
Because of its unified fabric nature, each port can be 10Gbit/s Ethernet, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), or up to 8Gbit/s Fibre Channel.
On the compute side, Cisco has added one blade and two rack-mount servers based on Intel's Xeon E5-2600 processor family, itself officially launched earlier this week.
The B200 M3 blade (pictured) ships in a half-blade form factor and can be configured with up to 384GB of RAM, two hard drives, and up to eight 10Gbit/s Ethernet ports. Eight of these blades can fit in a Cisco UCS 5108 Blade Chassis.
Meanwhile, the C220 M3 and C240 M3 rack servers are both designed for performance and density, with the 1U C220 fitting 256GB of RAM, eight drives, and twin gigabit Ethernet ports, while the 2U format C240 offers up to 384GB of RAM, 24 drives, and four gigabit Ethernet ports.
As part of this update, Cisco said its UCS Manager now unifies management of both blade and rack servers within a single domain, and that it will expand this support later this year to handle automation and orchestration for large-scale UCS deployments spanning thousands of servers and even multiple datacentres.
"Our customers care most about time-to-deploy business applications, application performance and unified management of bare metal, virtualised and private/public cloud environments," added Soni Jiandani, senior vice president for Cisco's Datacentre Group.
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