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 Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
LRTV Documentaries
Broadband Battles

10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed