Cisco Updates UCS, Data Center Portfolio

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Cisco on Tuesday updated its data center infrastructure, virtualization capabilities and its UCS technology with new servers, network connectivity, storage and fabric management.

Cisco refreshed its data center technology, which ties server, storage, and networking into a single Unified Computing System, or UCS, as well as stand-alone products for heterogeneous physical and virtualized data center environments.

The centerpiece of what Cisco calls its Data Center 3.0 strategy is UCS, upon which the company is looking to help customers build virtualized data centers, said Paul Durzan, director of unified computing at Cisco.

"We want to make sure that as data centers move toward virtualization, they are ready," Durzan said.

To push that move faster, Cisco introduced a new Fabric Extender for UCS. That Fabric Extender, or FEXlink, extends the Cisco Nexus 5000 switch into Cisco's blade server chassis to eliminate the need for an actual switch inside the chassis, Durzan said.

With the updated FEXlink, scheduled to ship in the fourth quarter, the bandwidth of the individual blade servers inside the Cisco chassis will be quadrupled to 160 Gbps.

Cisco also refreshed its blade servers with new Intel processors. The company upgraded two existing two-socket blade servers and three two-socket rack-mount servers with the Intel Xeon 5600 "Westmere" processor. "The earlier versions of these servers will go end-of-life soon because the 5600 processors are coming in at an aggressive price," Durzan said.

It also introduced a new blade server and a new rack-mount server based on Intel's new 8-core Xeon 7500 "Nehalem-EX" processors, which Intel officially unveiled last week.

The new B440 M1 blade server has four processor sockets and room for four hard drives and 32 memory DIMMs. The new 4U C460 M1 rack-mount server has four sockets and space for up to 12 hard drives and 64 DIMMs. Both are scheduled to ship this summer.


Next: Cisco Enhances UCS Portfolio

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