Light Reading

Cisco Goes Hyper With New UCS Servers

Mitch Wagner
9/4/2014
50%
50%

Cisco is expanding its server line beyond the conventional data center, building on new carrier and enterprise IT practices pioneered by hyperscale businesses such as Facebook, Google and Amazon.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) today launched new servers in its Unified Computing System (UCS) line, designed to suit the needs of private cloud, virtualized workloads, and automated network management. The UCS Mini blade server is designed for remote offices and midmarket businesses, while the M-Series modular server is designed for next-generation data center applications. (See Cisco Broadens UCS Blade Server Line.)

In addition to launching new servers, Cisco is coining a new buzzword: "edge-scale computing." Edge-scale computing incorporates mobile devices, sensors, smart objects, the Internet of Things (which Cisco calls the "Internet of Everything"), and big data. Edge-scale computing also serves smart infrastructure in industries including manufacturing and energy.

Source: Fleshas
Source: Fleshas

"There's a need for compute out there in the field to collect up a lot of the data, do the initial processing, decision making, and then pass data back to the data center core," says Todd Brannon, director of marketing for Cisco UCS.

Cisco's new UCS Mini blade server is designed to put compute power out near the network edge. Where traditional rack servers are optimized for enterprise scale, with hundreds of servers, the Mini is optimized for installations of about 15 servers or less. "For IT, it's a small package of enterprise-grade computing they can put in remote sites," Brannon says. IT can manage the server remotely, as if it were located in the data center.

In addition to edge-scale computing, the Mini is also designed for midmarket customers. "In any environment where the customer only has a handful of servers, what the customer wants is simplicity," Brannon says. The Mini supports automatic configuration. "You can change the configuration through policy rather than turning the knobs manually."

Remote-office and midmarket servers are nothing new of course, but businesses now have new needs for this scale of server. In retail, for example, customers expect a converged digital and physical experience in the store. Retailers are arming salespeople with tablets, and when a customer walks into the store, an app is aware of the customer's identity. The salesperson greets the customer by name, and takes the customer to try on merchandise selected online. This kind of intelligence requires more than the traditional dumb point-of-sale system; it requires a virtual desktop app, Brannon says.

"There's a term in retail -- 'retail is detail'," Brannon says. "And detail is data."

And it's not just retail -- similar transformations are going on in ballparks to enrich the fan experience, and in hotels and convention centers. Instrumented oil drilling rigs are collecting swathes of data and passing it on to data centers for processing.

The data center is also changing, driven by business needs, according to Brannon:

  • Carriers need to serve enterprise customers with increased mobility for virtual machines, infrastructure as a service, and more.
  • Carriers and enterprises both want to move faster in the data center, accelerating app deployment.
  • Carriers need to help enterprises make greater use of scale-out apps such as MapReduce and Hadoop, originally developed for the cloud and becoming more common for data center computing.
  • The cloud model itself is inherently "scale-out," running workloads on hundreds or thousands of compute nodes rather than a big heavy servers.
  • Customers are looking for a uniform operating model across traditional applications and these new edge-scale and scale-out apps, rather than operating them in separate silos.


Find out more about key developments related to the systems and technologies deployed in data centers on Light Reading's data center infrastructure channel


To serve these new data center needs, Cisco is introducing the UCS M-Series Modular Servers, optimized for high-density scale-out computing.

The M-Series provides a cartridge approach to hardware configuration, separating the processor and memory from other subsystems. With other servers, customers need to replace the entire server to upgrade processor and memory, but with the M series, customers can replace just a cartridge containing the processor and memory and save the other components. Each rack shares storage and networking among all the servers.

That results in cost savings -- 30% of the cost of the server is IO, disk, and other components that are not CPU and RAM, Brannon says.

The M Series comes in a 2U enclosure with 8 slots, each with a cartridge with two Intel Xeon E3 compute nodes, for 16 servers.

Cisco refers to the modular approach as "disaggregating," a word -- and principle -- favored by the Facebook -led Open Compute Project, which is developing its own server and switch design to challenge proprietary companies like Cisco. (See Facebook in Production Testing of Open 'Wedge' Switch.)

Next page: Open Compute not a threat

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/5/2014 | 2:28:51 PM
when will these features filter down to consumers?
I know some crazy IT guys who have impressive RAID storage in their homes... wonder when edge-scale computing gets cheap enough for a HENRY household?

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/h/high-earners-not-yet-rich-henrys.asp
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Ericsson's Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000, featuring Intel's Rack Scale Architecture, caused a stir when it was announced at MWC 2015. For more on this revolutionary product, join me on Thursday, April 30 at 12:00 p.m. EST for a Super Webinar event, A New Hardware Paradigm for the Telco Data Center.
LRTV Documentaries
Cox Eyes Cloud-Based Home Networks

4|27|15   |   05:30   |   (0) comments


Cox's Jeff Finkelstein explains how moving services to the cloud will let cable deliver services faster and eliminate constant hardware replacements.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
Upcoming Live Events
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
In its latest survey covering network operators' plans and strategies for ICT transformation, Heavy Reading asked telecom operators worldwide to identify the most important goals and objectives for their ICT transformation initiatives. Heavy Reading also asked operators about the importance of a "digital first" strategy, which enables customers to complete an interaction across different digital channels, such as web and mobile self-service and social media.
Hot Topics
Comcast Formally Ends Its Bid for TWC
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/24/2015
Google's WiFi-First Mobile Service 'Fi' Is Here
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2015
Comcast Reportedly Dropping $45B TWC Bid
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 4/23/2015
Adtran Is Developing White Box GPON Tech
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/24/2015
Amazon Earnings: What to Watch For
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/23/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
Cats with Phones
Learning Curve Click Here
Pierre could never remember how to use Excel.
Latest Comment