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An Overview of Cisco UCS

( Unified Computing Systems )

Prepared and Presented by:

Sheldon Nailer (PG0846)
What is a Data Center?
• A data center is also called a server farm , it is a facility
used to house computer systems and associated components,
such as telecommunications and storage systems, Environmental
Controls (e.g., air conditioning, fire suppression) and
security devices.
• A data center can occupy one room of a building, one or more
floors, or an entire building.
• Most of the equipment is often in the form of servers mounted in
19 inch rack cabinets, which are usually placed in single
rows forming corridors between them.
• Many cables are necessary to connect all the components, and
methods to accommodate and organize these were devised, such
as standard racks to mount equipment, elevated floors, and
cable trays (installed overhead or under the elevated floor)
• Air conditioning is used to control the temperature and humidity
in the data center
Problems with today ’ s Data
• Every rack-mount or blade server and chassis is a separate
point of management
• Updating server, blade, and chassis firmware is a manual and
time-consuming process.
• Each switch has its own unique set of features and limitations
that add new layers of management to an already complex
• Majority of IT budgets are spent just maintaining and managing
existing Infrastructure
• Since shared storage is a requirement for using some of
virtualization’s best features when access to Fibre Channel
SANs is added to every server in a rack, required number of
cables, adapters, and upstream switch ports increases
Introducing the Cisco
Unified Computing System
Announced on March 16 , 2009 , Cisco unveiled an evolutionary New

data center architecture.

• Compute Incorporates blade servers based on Intel Xeon 5500
Series processors
• Network Consolidates what today are three separate networks:
LANs, SANs and high-performance computing Networks.
• Virtualization Unleashes the full potential of
virtualization by enhancing the scalability, performance and
operational control of virtual environments
• Storage access The system provides consolidated access to
both SAN storage and network attached storage (NAS) over the
unified fabric.
• Management Enabling the entire solution to be managed as a
single entity through Cisco UCS Manager software.
What makes the UCS

 The Cisco Unified Computing System Integrates a Family of

Components into a Single, Cohesive System; Fabric Interconnects,
Blade Server Chassis, Blade Servers, Fabric Extenders, and Network

 Cisco has partnered with Accenture , BMC , EMC , Intel, Vmware and
many more..
Fabric Interconnects
• A core part of the Cisco Unified Computing System
• The Cisco UCS 6100 Series Fabric Interconnects provide both
network connectivity and management capabilities to all
attached blades and chassis.
• Offers line-rate, low-latency, lossless 10 Gigabit Ethernet
and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) functions.
• All chassis, and therefore all blades, attached to the
interconnects become part of a single, highly available
management domain.
• Provides both the LAN and SAN connectivity for all blades
within its domain.

Fabric Interconnects
• Typically deployed in redundant pairs
• Provides Centralized unified management with Cisco UCS
Manager software.
• Virtual machine optimized services with the support for VN-
Link technologies.
• Efficient cooling and serviceability with front-to-back
cooling, redundant front-plug fans and power supplies, and
rear cabling.
• Two models are available: the 20-port Cisco UCS 6120XP and
the 40-port Cisco UCS 6140XP.

Fabric Extenders
• Cisco Fabric Extenders connect the Blade Server Chassis to the
Fabric Interconnects and help simplify cabling, management,
and diagnostics.
• High-speed, low-latency, FCoE-capable 10 Gigabit Ethernet to the
• Up to two fabric extenders per chassis allowing redundancy and
increased bandwidth
• Hardware-based support for Cisco VN-Link architecture, helping
optimize virtualized environments
• Built-in logic to manage chassis components including fans and
• Simplified management -the fabric extender is fully managed
through the fabric interconnect

Cisco UCS B - Series Blade
• Up to two Intel Xeon 5500 series multi-core processors
• Two optional front-accessible, hot-swappable SAS hard drives
• Support for up to two dual-port mezzanine card connections,
for up to 40 Gbps of redundant I/O throughput
• Industry-standard DDR3 memory
• KVM access through a front console port on each server
• Adapt processor performance to application demands and
intelligently scale energy use based on utilization.
• Server uses network adapters for consolidated access to the
unified fabric.
Inside a UCS – B200 – M1 Blade
Cisco UCS B - 250 M1 Extended
Memory Blade Server
• Designed to maximize performance and capacity for the most
demanding virtualization and large dataset applications
• Each Blade Server Chassis can house up to four Extended
Blade Servers (Maximum 160 per Unified Computing System)
• Up to two Intel® Xeon® 5500 Series processors, automatically
and intelligently adjust server performance according to
application needs.
• Up to 384 GB of DDR3 memory for demanding virtualization and
large data-set applications
• Two dual-port mezzanine cards for up to 40 Gbps of I/O per
• Mezzanine card options include either a Cisco UCS VIC M81KR
Virtual Interface Card, a converged network adapter (Emulex
or Qlogic compatible), or a single 10GB Ethernet Adapter

UCS Manager
• Cisco UCS Manager High Availability
• Cisco UCS Manager Clients
• Role-Based Access in UCS Manager
• Simplicity Through a Hierarchical Information Model
• Serves as an embedded device manager for all Cisco UCS components.
• Cisco UCS Manager Notifications

 Cisco®UCS Manager v1.0.1 software manages all components of the

Cisco Unified Computing System server solution through a single
pane of glass.
High - Level Topological View of VMware
View Deployment on UCS and Symmetrix
V - Max Array
Scalability Study for
Deploying VMware View on
Cisco UCS
Study Conducted

• A fully-populated UCS chassis 8 Half Slot UCS blades

and with 96 GB of memory can run up to 1,280 desktops
(160 desktops per blade).
• Given the fact that UCS scales to 40 chassis or 320
UCS blade servers. We clearly see a linear
scalability of desktops with a large multi-chassis
• Study also determined that a 128 virtual desktop
environment can be deployed on a single UCS blade
with 48 GB of memory.
• Joint study between Cisco, EMC, and Vmware clearly
achieved the objective of scaling the UCS platform
and determining the safe limits for VMware View

CPU Utilization
Memory Utilization
Disk Usage
Application Execution
Radical Simplification in
Comparison to Traditional
 Integrated Cohesive System
• Integrates a redundant 10-Gbps unified fabric with enterprise-
• Managed as a single system whether it has 1 server or 320
servers with thousands of virtual machines

 Increased Business Agility
• Power and Cooling,
• Security,
• Hardware Health
Radical Simplification in
Comparison to Traditional
 Scalability Decoupled from Complexity
• Designed to be highly scalable, supporting 40 blade chassis
and 320 blade servers connected by a single pair of fabric
• Cisco UCS Manager can recognize new resources as they are
inserted into blade chassis slots. Eg: Cooling Fans
• In addition, Cisco Extended Memory Technology provides more
than double the amount of memory (384 GB) than traditional
two-socket servers
• Technology also offers a more cost-effective path to support
standard memory footprints for less-demanding workloads.
Radical Simplification in
Comparison to Traditional
 Radical Architectural Simplification
• Radical simplification compared to the way that servers and
networks are deployed today.
• It reduces network access-layer fragmentation by eliminating
switching inside the blade server chassis.
• Unified I/O fabric supports standard IP protocols as well as
Fibre Channel through Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)
• The result is fewer switches, cables, adapters, and
management points, helping reduce cost, complexity, power
needs, and cooling overhead.
Radical Simplification in
Comparison to Traditional
 Designed for Energy Efficiency
• Every aspect of the System is designed for energy
• The blade chassis is designed for outstanding airflow, with
63 percent of the midplane open for unobstructed airflow.
• Power supplies are 92-percent efficient.
• Intel Xeon 5500 Series processors in each blade balance
power consumption with performance.
• Capability to install more memory per server.
Radical Simplification in
Comparison to Traditional
 End - to - End Optimization
• The system delivers end-to-end optimization designed for
virtualized environments
• Cisco UCS M81KR Card unleashes the full capabilities of the
system’s end-to-end support for virtualization.
• With end-to-end optimization comes reduced risk.
• The risk of a rogue virtual machine consuming entire
bandwidth is mitigated by the capability to discontinue
only that virtual machine’s network connectivity.

Limitations for Cisco
• Cisco Systems has no prior experience building and maintaining
generalized compute servers.
• Cisco is heading into a highly competitive market dominated by
companies that in some cases have decades more experience
• Cisco also needs to build out a partner ecosystem, demonstrate
its support and professional services
• Cisco is going to suffer from a common Cisco malady in the
blade server market and that is a reputation as a high-cost
• Cisco will need to embark on a grand plan to educate all of its
partners and customers about UCS.