Light Reading
New blade and modular servers are designed for an emerging category of apps that Cisco calls 'edge-scale computing.'

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  | 
Page 1 / 2 Next >
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
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
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive