Taking a clean slate architectural approach to data center infrastructure, Cisco introduced the Unified Computing System which unites compute, network, storage access, and virtualization into a scalable, modular architecture that is managed as a single system. The Unified Computing System is the first offering in a new family of products which complements the Cisco data center portfolio.
Key Unified Computing System elements include:
- Compute – Cisco designed an entirely new class of computing system which incorporates the new Cisco UCS B-Series blades based on the future Intel Nehalem processor families (the next generation Intel Xeon processor). The Cisco blades offer patented extended memory technology to support applications with large data sets and allow significantly more Virtual Machines per server.
- Network – The Cisco Unified Computing System provides support for a unified fabric over a low-latency, lossless, 10 Gigabit-per-second Ethernet foundation. This network foundation consolidates what today are three separate networks: local area networks (LANs), storage area networks (SANs) and high performance computing networks. This lowers costs by reducing the number of network adapters, switches, and cables and by decreasing power and cooling requirements.
- Virtualization – The Cisco Unified Computing System unleashes the full potential of virtualization, by enhancing the scalability, performance and operational control of virtual environments. Cisco security, policy enforcement, and diagnostics features are now extended into dynamic virtualized environments to better support changing business and IT requirements.
- Storage Access – The Cisco Unified Computing System provides consolidated access to both storage area networks (SANs) and to network attached storage (NAS). Support for a unified fabric means that the Unified Computing System can access storage over Ethernet, Fibre Channel, Fibre Channel over Ethernet or iSCSI, providing customers with choices and investment protection. In addition, IT staff can pre-assign storage access policies for system connectivity to storage resources, simplifying storage connectivity and management, and helping to increase IT productivity.
- Management – Management is uniquely integrated into all the components of the system, enabling the entire solution to be managed as a single entity through the Cisco UCS Manager. The Cisco UCS Manager provides an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI), a command line interface (CLI), and a robust application programming interface (API) to manage all system configuration and operations. Cisco UCS Manager helps to increase IT staff productivity, enabling IT managers of storage, networking, compute and applications to collaborate on defining service profiles for applications. Service profiles help to automate provisioning and increase business agility, allowing data center managers to provision applications in minutes instead of days.