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What is UCS?

April 6, 2010

VPC

For a great article explaining UCS (Unified Computing Systems), see here: http://searchdatacenter.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid80_gci1366109,00.html

Basically, UCS is:

  • Computing (servers) +
  • Network +
  • Storage

It is all of these, often delivered in a big server rack, or even trailer. You buy a crap-ton of hardware and you can now virtualize a very large data center, network, storage, and all. Cisco has a new product coming out, carrying the same name, Cisco UCS.

Centralized vs Decentralized

The article above equates this new “architecture” as similar to the mainframe movement. Over the years, computing has seen a move from Centralized -> Decentralized -> Centralized. UCS centralizes it, giving you one vendor to call, to fix it all. This can be bad for certain customers, because you can become locked in to a vendor. It can be great for others, who just want stuff to work.

My take – Hybridize

In the move to cloud and virtual environments, I think that UCS begins to solidify and standardize the data-room back-end. This will allow more competition and easier management of large datacenters. At the same time, it can also hold back innovative and smart employees, departments, or organizations. Those looking to do new things, and to have their systems work the way *they* want them to, may want to weight their options carefully. You might pay more in overhead costs for a custom heterogeneous network and server farm, but you might get more intellectual output if you think your company is up to it. I like to take the opinion that taking from a little of many methods, a hybrid approach, can get the best of all worlds. Maybe you implement a UCS system for a small subset of purposes, while keeping your existing network. This way you could get your toes wet.

Tata for now.

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