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Cisco expands UCS portfolio

Cisco has expanded its Unified Computing System networking portfolio with new Fabric Interconnects, a new Virtual Interface Card, a new Chassis I/O Module and version 2.0 of the UCS Manager software.

UCS is central to the company’s cloud computing strategy, and has been instrumental in Cisco achieving third position in the global x86 blade market. The new extensions mark the delivery of next-generation fabric within UCS, a core attribute of the platform, which includes Fabric Interconnect 6248UP. This capability allows IT managers to designate any port to be 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel (2/4/8 gigabits) or Fibre Channel over Ethernet.  Next is Fabric Extender 2208XP Chassis IO Module, which doubles bandwidth to the blade chassis to 160 Gb/s.

Third, Cisco unveiled a Virtual Interface Card — the VIC 1280 — that quadruples bandwidth to the server through dual 40G interfaces, up from dual 10G on previous VICs. VIC 1280 also supports 256 virtual interfaces, double the number of previous-generation VIC interfaces.

Cisco has also updated UCS Manager, which manages all system configuration and operations for both UCS blade servers and rack-mount servers, and provides a robust and open Application Programming Interface (API) for integration with other management software.

The software now supports VMware VCenter for the Unified Computing System and UCS Express, a unified virtualisation management platform which enables IT organisations to organise, rapidly provision and configure the entire virtualised IT environment across branch offices and the data centre. This will help customers reduce operating costs, improve operational automation, and deliver higher levels of security, Cisco says.

UCS Manager 2.0 now also now provides Red Hat KVM integration for Cisco VIC and customers who prefer running the UCS Fabric in End Host Mode (EHM) rather than switch mode can now do so and can now connect their management, backup, production, and test networks to the Fabric Interconnect in End Host Mode.


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