Cisco Unveils Unified Computing Servers for Data Centers
Networking giant Cisco just unveiled what it’s calling “significant innovations” to its Unified Computing System (UCS) business
servers that promise to address new market segments and use cases. Cisco UCS M-Series Modular Servers for cloud-scale applications, and also the UCS Mini for small-scale and enterprise
-edge environments are at the heart of the announcement.
Cisco is also expanding its current UCS portfolio to offer more power and scalability for data center workloads. The company unveiled new fourth-generation UCS rack and blade servers for application performance and new UCS Director solutions to manage big data infrastructure workloads.
“Rapid changes in the way applications are architected and delivered are being driven by the demands of big data, the Internet of Everything, mobility, video and cloud,” said Paul Perez, vice president and general manager at Cisco UCS. “We are in a new world where data sets and application scale are rapidly growing, and the opportunities for businesses to capitalize on the deeper intelligence and faster decisions they afford are really taking off.”
Cisco Leading Server Growth
Cisco’s strategy is working. The company has achieved the ranking of number one provider of x86 blade servers in the Americas, measured by revenue market share, according to IDC. Cisco also demonstrated 39 percent revenue growth on a cumulative four quarter basis ending in first calendar quarter of 2014. That’s the highest industry growth in the total worldwide server market, according to the IDC report, and it came during a period where other vendors in the top five posted flat or declining results.
Cisco hopes to kick it up a notch with its new UCS M-Series Modular Servers aimed at driving new levels of operational efficiency for cloud service providers and enterprise customers that rely on scale-out application architectures. The company is throwing out some impressive stats resulting from its new disaggregated server architecture. Cisco said it can deliver up to 36 percent in combined total cost of ownership savings with its new paradigm.
Meanwhile, the UCS C3160 Rack Server features high-capacity local disk storage. The company has pegged it as ideal for distributed data analytics and object stores, unstructured data repositories, and media streaming and transcoding. Cisco is also offering new UCS B200 M4 Blade Server, C220 M4 and C240 M4 Rack Servers, based on the future Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v3 product family, as well as UCS Director Express for big data, which claims to automate Hadoop deployment.
We caught up with analyst Zeus Kerravala at ZK Research to get his take on the new products. He told us Cisco is leveraging the experience it gained with the first wave of UCS servers to broaden its horizons.
“The initial wave was targeted at large enterprises and cloud organizations, but with this new line of servers they can virtually deliver UCN [user-centric networking] capabilities to almost any size organization,” Kerravala said. “I like the scale out capabilities with the small rack mount servers. If you are a large enterprise or cloud provider you have the ability to add more capacity now. It really has become plug and play.”
Kerravala sees a lesson in Cisco’s server success: Even with technologies that the industry feels are commodities, like servers, there is always room for innovation through new designs.
“A lot of the industry has been pointing to Cisco’s networking business and saying it’s long overdue for commoditization but Cisco has historically managed to stave it off because they find ways to differentiate and UCS is a good example of it,” Kerravala said. “Every other server manufacturer faced commoditization for years and then Cisco came in with something different.”
Posted: 2014-09-05 @ 6:38am PT
Cloud Servers and Cloud Storage are the buzz word now.