It might surprise you that Cisco rack-mount servers, a.k.a., the C Series, can also take advantage of these benefits. Utilizing a Cisco Virtual Interface Card, or VIC, such as the M81KR, VIC1240, or VIC1280, you can manage these individual rack servers through the same interface and in the same ways as B-series blades. Fantastic!
Using these devices, you can on-the-fly provision, via Service Profiles, a huge number of unified adapters, both vHBAs and vNICs. Boot it from SAN storage—do anything you would as if it were a blade server.
- Purchase 2 Fabric Interconnects with basic licensing
- Purchase VIC adapters for your (existing) C-Series servers
- (Next year) Purchase B-Series chassis and 4 blade servers using a Cisco UCS SmartPlay
- Move all your compute services from the C-Series to your new B-Series blades
Now, what do you do with those C-Series after you pull them out of the fabric? The answer is . . . buy new server adapters. Because the VICs are designed explicitly to work with the Fabric Interconnects, they won't function as regular server adapters. :(