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Posted by Richard Fichera on March 11, 2012
Next up in the 2012 lineup for the Intel E5 refresh cycle of its infrastructure offerings is Cisco, with its announcement last week of what it refers to as its third generation of fabric computing. Cisco announced a combination of tangible improvements to both the servers and the accompanying fabric components, as well as some commitments for additional hardware and a major enhancement of its UCS Manager software immediately and later in 2012. Highlights include:
Taken as a whole, Cisco’s enhancements to UCS seem to be timely and well-focused. As its customer base, now claimed as approximately 11,000 customers, grows so do the requirements for more specialized server configurations, hence the commitment to a more diversified product lineup. Likewise, the improvements in overall UCS bandwidth from server to Fabric Interconnect, which both improve overall scalability of a given UCS instance as well as blunt competitive claims that the Fabric Interconnects represents a critical bottleneck. The incorporation of rack-mount servers into the UCS management domain is a competitive first, and the committed ability to manage multiple domains from a single console will be important and remove a competitive scalability issue versus HP.
Overall, a strong set of enhancements to an already successful product line. Collectively these enhancements will keep the competitive vendor dynamics intact, and a very strong reason for existing UCS customers to continue buying as well as a strong set of cards to play in competitive situations.
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