What is UCS Cisco’s Unified Computing System?

I will be using the acronym UCS a lot as we are implementing it at my work and thought I would share what it is…

Amplify’d from www.cisco.com

Data Center Server Platform—Cisco Unified Computing System

Cisco Unified Computing System Overview

Today, IT organizations assemble their data center environments from individual components. Their administrators spend significant amounts of time manually accomplishing basic integration tasks rather than focusing on more strategic, proactive initiatives. The industry is in a transition away from the rigid, inflexible platforms that result and moving toward more flexible, integrated, and virtualized environments.

The Cisco Unified Computing System™ is a next-generation data center platform that unites compute, network, storage access, and virtualization into a cohesive system designed to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) and increase business agility. The system integrates a low-latency, lossless 10 Gigabit Ethernet unified network fabric with enterprise-class, x86-architecture servers. The system is an integrated, scalable, multichassis platform in which all resources participate in a unified management domain.

Managed as a single system whether it has one server or 320 servers with thousands of virtual machines, the Cisco Unified Computing System decouples scale from complexity. The Cisco Unified Computing System accelerates the delivery of new services simply, reliably, and securely through end-to-end provisioning and migration support for both virtualized and nonvirtualized systems. It provides the following benefits:

Embedded system management—Management is uniquely integrated into all the components of the system, enabling the entire solution to be managed as a single entity through Cisco UCS Manager. Cisco UCS Manager provides an intuitive GUI, a command-line interface (CLI), and a robust API to manage all system configuration and operations. Cisco UCS Manager enables IT managers of storage, networking, and servers to collaborate easily on defining service profiles for applications.

Just-in-time provisioning with service profiles—Cisco UCS Manager implements role- and policy-based management using service profiles and templates. Infrastructure policies—such as power and cooling, security, identity, hardware health, and Ethernet and storage networking—needed to deploy applications are encapsulated in the service profile. This construct improves IT productivity and business agility. Now infrastructure can be provisioned in minutes instead of days, shifting IT’s focus from maintenance to strategic initiatives.

Unified fabric—Cisco’s unified fabric technology reduces cost by eliminating the need for multiple sets of adapters, cables, and switches for LANs, SANs, and high-performance computing networks. The system’s fabric extenders pass all network traffic to parent fabric interconnects, where it can be processed and managed centrally, improving performance and reducing points of management. The unified fabric is a low-latency lossless 10-Gbps Ethernet foundation that enables a “wireonce” deployment model in which changing I/O configurations no longer means installing adapters and recabling racks and switches.

State-of-the-art performance—Intel® Xeon® 5500 series processors automatically and intelligently adjust server performance according to application needs, increasing performance when needed and achieving substantial energy savings when not.

Performance and power settings can also be manually configured.

Energy efficiency—The system is designed for energy efficiency. Power supplies are 92 percent efficient and the Intel Xeon 5500 series processors use automated low-power states to better match power consumption with workloads. The simplified design of the Cisco UCS B-Series Blade Servers improves airflow efficiency and can reduce the number of components that need to be powered and cooled by more than 50 percent compared to traditional blade server environments; similar component reduction can be achieved with the Cisco UCS C-Series Rack-Mount Servers.

Read more at www.cisco.com