Cisco unveils big overhaul of UCS server line

In what the company is calling the biggest refresh for its UCS server line since its '09 introduction, Cisco (CSCO -0.4%) has added two new product lines, refreshed its existing lines, and launched new tools for handling big data/analytics deployments.

The new UCS M-Series modular server line is getting the most attention: It supports up to 8 computing cartridges (each containing 2 Intel Xeon CPUs) in a small 2U chassis, all of which share the same storage and networking resources.

UCS chief Todd Brannon: "To upgrade the server, just replace the cartridge ... This really kind of fundamentally breaks apart what a server is." Cisco has already worked to differentiate the UCS line through integrated networking features that improve virtualization performance. Intel, H-P, and Facebook have their own modular server efforts.

Also launched: 1) The UCS Mini, an integrated server/storage/networking system meant for remote/branch offices and SMBs. Cisco/EMC's VCE JV offers more powerful integrated hardware. 2) UCS Director Express, software that automates Hadoop big data project deployments on UCS servers. 3) A partnership with Red Hat (RHT -0.3%) to create integrated hardware/software offerings for OpenStack cloud infrastructure deployments.

UCS has been a bright spot for Cisco as it contends with soft carrier and emerging markets switch/router sales: IDC estimates Cisco's server revenue rose 35% Y/Y in Q2, leading its share to rise 140 bps to 5.8%. John Chambers recently mentioned UCS is now on a $3B/year run rate.

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Comments (2)
  • alan kohn
    , contributor
    Comments (170) | Send Message
    The fact that I am the only comment so far tell us a lot about the
    investor interest in cisco at this time . In my opinion this is
    a important announcement. Investors will only care if it flows to the bottom line.
    Investors under estimate cisco's importance in the compute center. The ability to cross sell network products and server technology is a natural . Look out HWP !
    I agree with your article if that means anything ! Cisco gets a bad rap for its recent slow grow. Much of this is was not in their control. First good quarter
    will change all this. Thanks for the article.
    5 Sep 2014, 04:25 PM Reply Like
  • alan kohn
    , contributor
    Comments (170) | Send Message
    The fact that this announcement generated no comments so far tells
    how low the investor interest has gotten in cisco. This is an important
    announcement for investors to factor into their views of the company.
    Cisco has been leaving a lot of potential on the table for server companies
    as customers upgrade;; their cisco networks. The enhanced server
    offerings will allow the large opportunity to sell additional hardware that would have gone to others. It was important that cisco, with these
    announcements, makes it clear that they are committed to this new business
    and not a sidelight. Look out HWP ! Your article made the case well ;
    investors will care when it hits the bottom line.
    5 Sep 2014, 06:34 PM Reply Like
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