Fast IT — Also Known as SDDC
So that means traditional IT systems—and IT administration, which is a bit more challenging—has to change along with it. Cisco has described the new face of IT as FastIT, elsewhere known as the Software-Defined Data Center, and it has three basic characteristics:
- Simplicity. Complexity is increasing, and making complex systems easy to manage is the heart of simplicity. A lack of simplicity slows time-to-market for new applications and products.
- Velocity. By simplifying management and connectivity, applications can now be provisioned with a faster cadence. We live in an on-demand world, and IT has to begin to keep up with the kinds of demands being made of businesses today.
- Quality. All of this must be done without sacrificing quality. Rolling out 1000 VMs in 1 hour isn't any good if they don't work right. Same with applications. Whatever IT does, it has to do it with increasing quality for the IT consumers.
Cisco's goal is not to be #1 in the blade server market, it is to be #1 in the compute market, blades, racks, HPCs—everything. — Cisco Launch Event, Sept. 4, 2014
The UCS M-Series is for "modular", though Cisco admits the name doesn't do it justice. The idea is to decouple physical components that don't lifecycle as often: power supplies, RAID controllers, Ethernet adapters, HBAs, and so forth, and have simple "compute nodes" that can be easily upgraded without having to repurchase all that extra expense.
- (1) Intel E3-1200 v3 family processor. Each of these will have 4 physical core and 8 logical cores. Speeds range from the low 2GHz to upwards of nearly 4GHz.
- (4) 8GB DDR4 DIMMs, for a total of 32GB per compute node (64GB per cartridge).
- (2) 40Gbps VIC Uplinks
- (4) Hard disk drives, scale from 480GB SATA to 6.4TB SAS or go all SSD
- (2) 1400W power supplies
Did I mention that this will allow for up to 2,688 logical processor cores in a standard rack? Wowser.
Cisco also announced the iteration of the core server models, the B- and C-series servers, now to be in Generation 4. These new servers will be paired with the UCS VIC 1300 series, which operates at 40Gbps, as well as supports RDMA, which is basically accessing another server's RAM over converged Ethernet. Cisco believes that RDMA can match Infiniband speeds when probably configured.