17 Jan

Cisco amps-up its UCS server line with new Intel processors

    New high-end Cisco Unified Computing System servers with the 4th Generation Xeon processors will be more powerful and energy efficient.

    Cisco has  punched up the power and sustainability features of its Unified Computing System family with new UCS servers based on Intel’s latest generation processors.

    Intel introduced those processors—the 4th Generation Xeon Scalable processors and the Xeon  CPU Max Series—this week after months of delays. The new processors include a new micro-architecture, up to 60 cores per chip, plus support for DDR5 memory, PCI Express Gen 5, CXL 1.1, HBM2E memory and a of special-purpose accelerators for storage, networking, analytics, AI, and CPU-core load balancing.

    Intel also added a family of GPUs called the Data Center GPU Max Series that can be tied together with each other or with new Max CPU processors to offload application or networking functions from core server operations.

    Based on these processors, Cisco has introduced two new high-end X Series servers: the four-socket UCS X410c M7 and the two-socket UCS X 210 M7 servers. It is also introducing less powerful C Series rack servers, the1U UCS C220  and the 2U UCS C240.

    In addition Cisco will incorporate Intel Data Center GPU Series processors in its UCS X-Series Fabric technology to support compute-intensive workloads, said Siva Sivakumar, vice president  of Cisco Compute Product Management and Solutions.

    “The ideas here are to let customers support architectural and application diversity in a way that doesn’t disrupt their current environment,” Sivakumar said.  “All of the new servers and GPUs fit into our UCS Fabric and support existing mission-critical enterprise applications and future  memory-intensive applications, bare-metal, and virtualized workloads.”

    Cisco’s server environment is controlled and managed by its over-arching Intersight cloud-management system, which supports virtualized, containerized, and bare-metal workloads as well as Kubernetes container-native virtualization.

    The new processors are both more powerful and more energy efficient, which translates into fewer systems doing the same workload and using less power than previous generations. In some cases, that means cutting the number of systems required by three quarters while reducing power consumption 31% over existing models, Sivakumar said.

    Cloud vendors AWS, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, and Microsoft Azure as well as server vendors Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell, and others announced support for the new Intel processors.

    Cisco’s new servers will begin to roll out this quarter.

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