Cisco has announced a new generation of servers and software that extend its unified approach to computing.
The Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) M5 generation builds on the company's vision to deliver pervasive simplicity, uncompromised application performance and a strategic, future-proof architecture for IT.
IT leaders are realising that a system-level approach that helps scale and accelerate operational capabilities is essential to future success, and a 'more of the same' approach is no longer sustainable. The Cisco® UCS M5 line-up delivers new systems and software that extend the power and simplicity of unified computing for data-intensive workloads, applications at the edge, and the next generation of distributed application architectures.
It's not a server. It's a system.
Cisco comments that it takes a unique approach to computing and continues to build on the architectural foundations, partnerships and rapid customer adoption of Cisco UCS to offer a more effective operating model for the data centre. Cisco UCS customers have gained value from this total system design: reducing administration and management costs by up to 63% and accelerating the delivery of new application services by up to 83%.
"As organisations strive to become more competitive through real-time analytics and faster decision-making, new thinking around data center infrastructure is required," said Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco Computing Systems Product Group. "Our unique, unified system architecture delivers the agility our customers need to create a cloud experience on-prem, so that our new line of servers simply means faster applications with fewer complications."
Versatility without compromise
Cisco is ready to power customers' digital transformation with its highest performing servers ever. Built on the new Intel Xeon Scalable processor family, UCS M5 servers are ready to take on even more workloads, with up to double the memory capacity of previous systems. Cisco lab testing reveals that UCS M5 servers deliver up to 86% higher performance over the previous generation of UCS, delivering a significant step forward for data intensive workloads such as real-time analytics and in-memory computing. Cisco UCS M5 servers extend a history of application performance leadership, including six world record results on benchmarks representing a wide variety of data-intensive workloads. Cisco now claims to deliver the industry's highest GPU density on blade servers for even greater efficiency.
The M5 generation of servers include:
- Cisco UCS B200 M5 Blade Server: a fundamental data centre workhorse in a half-width blade form factor, the B200 delivers performance, versatility and density for traditional multi-tier or distributed applications. It leads the industry in GPU density on general purpose half-width blade servers with support for up to two GPUs.
- Cisco UCS B480 M5 Blade Server: delivers high-level performance, versatility and density for workloads ranging from memory-intensive, mission-critical enterprise applications to distributed database virtualized workloads.
- Cisco UCS C220 M5 Rack Server: among the most versatile general-purpose enterprise infrastructure and application servers in the industry, this high-density 2-socket rack server delivers industry-leading performance and efficiency for a wide range of workloads, including virtualisation, collaboration, and bare-metal applications.
- Cisco UCS C240 M5 Rack Server: a storage and I/O optimised enterprise-class rack server for big data analytics, software-defined storage and bare metal applications.
- Cisco UCS C480 M5 Rack Server: featuring an innovative modular architecture for flexible technology refreshes, the C480 delivers scale-up extensibility for in-memory databases, big data analytics, virtualisation, VDI and bare metal applications. GPU support has tripled – with up to six supported –as has disk capacity, which now supports 32 drives.
"After deploying Cisco UCS M5 servers, we've witnessed a notable uptick in infrastructure speed and overall performance," said Scott Miller, senior director at World Wide Technology. "By reducing management and administrative concerns and costs, our customers will be able to speed up the delivery of applications while focusing more on addressing their immediate needs instead of performing constant infrastructure maintenance."
Extending infrastructure automation and optimization capabilities with Cisco Enterprise Cloud Suite
According to IDC, the top driver for IT operations and analytics is the requirement for improved infrastructure capacity planning and utilisation. With the release of Cisco UCS Director 6.5 and the addition of Cisco Workload Optimization Manager, customers can deploy a multi-cloud strategy with uncompromising performance, while driving more efficiency in on-premises IT.
- UCS Director 6.5 allows data centre professionals to complete 80% of operational tasks from a single console. This release extends automation capabilities beyond infrastructure by automating native PowerShell functions, virtual machine mobility across vCenter data centers and support for VMware VMRC console. It also includes automation improvements for FlexPod, Cisco HyperFlex™, and added support for the UCS M5 series and UCS S-Series servers.
- Workload Optimization Manager uses intent-based analytics to continuously match workload demand to infrastructure supply across on premise and multi-cloud environments. The deep integration with Cisco UCS chassis, blades, IO modules and fabric interconnect enables customers to lower costs by recovering idle or stranded resources while optimising their compute resources for virtualised and cloud environments. The latest release of Cisco UCS Director 6.5 also includes integration with Workload Optimization Manager, which enables the automatic creation of a new virtual machine or configuration of a physical server by UCS Director. Workload Optimization Manager then reallocates resources to ensure application performance and cost efficiency.
 IDC IT Operations Analytics Survey, IDC, August, 2016