Cisco has unveiled its new data center architecture, with services and an open ecosystem of partners to help customers develop next-generation data centers that rely on virtualization technologies.
The company says it is delivering on the promise of virtualization through Unified Computing and key to Cisco's approach is the Cisco Unified Computing System which unites compute, network, storage access, and virtualization resources in a single energy efficient system.
Cisco calls the announcements a critical step in the company's "Data Center 3.0" strategy.
The modular architecture is managed as a single system. The Unified Computing System is the first offering in a new family of products which complements the Cisco data center portfolio.
Cisco designed a new class of computing system which incorporates the new Cisco UCS B-Series blades based on the future Intel Nehalem processor families (the next generation Intel Xeon processor). The Cisco blades offer patented extended memory technology to support applications with large data sets and allow significantly more Virtual Machines per server.
The platform also provides support for a unified fabric over a low-latency, lossless, 10 Gigabit-per-second Ethernet foundation. This network foundation consolidates what today are three separate networks: local area networks (LANs), storage area networks (SANs) and high performance computing networks. This lowers costs by reducing the number of network adapters, switches, and cables and by decreasing power and cooling requirements.
Consolidated access to both storage area networks (SANs) and to network attached storage (NAS) are provided. Support for a unified fabric means that the Unified Computing System can access storage over Ethernet, Fibre Channel, Fibre Channel over Ethernet or iSCSI. In addition, IT staff can pre-assign storage access policies for system connectivity to storage resources, simplifying storage connectivity and management, and helping to increase IT productivity.
The whole system management is integrated into all the components of the system, enabling the entire solution to be managed as a single entity through the Cisco UCS Manager. The Cisco UCS Manager provides a graphical user interface (GUI), a command line interface (CLI), and an application programming interface (API) to manage all system configuration and operations.
Cisco is collaborating with an open ecosystem of industry leaders to help stimulate technology innovation, augment service delivery, and accelerate market adoption of Unified Computing.
The Cisco Unified Computing System and associated services will be generally available to customers starting in the second quarter of 2009.