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Cisco To Intro New "Westmere"-based UCS Servers In April

Although the new servers, based on the Intel Xeon 5600 "Westmere" processor, are not expected to ship for another month, Cisco is not waiting to brag about their performance.

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While other vendors including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and SGI this week officially unveiled their new Xeon 5600-based servers on Wednesday, and in some cases are already shipping them, Cisco will launch its new servers within the next 30 days, said Daniel Bounds, manager of product marketing for UCS at Cisco.

Intel on Tuesday unveiled its new 32-nanometer Xeon 5600 processors, code-named "Westmere," that feature up to six CPU cores. The Xeon 5600 series follows on from last year's introduction of the "Nehalem" Xeon 5500 series.

The 15 processors, which include six models with six cores, in the Xeon 5600 family range in power consumption from 40W to 130W. Even though the launch of its new B250 M2 blade servers and C250 M2 rack mount servers is still a month away, Cisco is already trying to build interest by emphasizing their performance in VMware virtualized environments and with applications such as Oracle, Bounds said. "Now the industry is at an inflection point, as everybody is looking to add the new Intel technology," he said.

With the new processors, which give the two-socket servers a total of 12 processor cores compared to eight cores with the Nehalem processors, the next generation of Cisco servers will see a 42 percent improvement in the Vmark benchmark, which measures performance in VMware virtual server environments, Bounds said.

Cisco introduced its first servers about a year ago as part of its Unified Computing System (UCS) strategy of combining server, storage, and networking technology into a single platform.

Since then, over 400 customers worldwide have adopted UCS, most of them in production environments, a Cisco spokesperson said. Most of those customers are using them for new data center builds, or for updating existing data centers, the spokesperson said.

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