Cisco UCS B-Series Review

Remote access to the server is very useful but the RAID controllers lack a lot of functionality


Valuable Features

Probably the Cisco Integrated Management Controller.

Improvements to My Organization

Remote access to the server is very useful.

Room for Improvement

They use LSI for their RAID, while they may be robust RAID controllers, they lack a lot of functionality that Adaptec or HP Smart array.

Use of Solution

Two years.

Deployment Issues

The LSI controller is very "finiky", even though it had deployment software, the only way to successfully configure the RAID was via the boot command line.

Stability Issues

No, we haven't had issues post setup.

Scalability Issues

Probably the RAID card really limits what the servers are capable of if you require storage.

Customer Service and Technical Support

I haven't needed to deal with technical support yet.

Previous Solutions

We use this as a potential alternative for HP ProLiant servers.

Initial Setup

There are some quirks in the setup (e.g. for non Disk servers, you need to go into the CIMC to enable the SD Card for HyperVisor Installs, not the BIOS) but generally its fairly straight forward.

ROI

We haven't had a full life span on the Cisco UCS but so far we have not had to do nearly as much firmware maintenance as the HP Servers.

Other Solutions Considered

No but we have used HP for a number of years and IBM before that.

Other Advice

These are good servers for SAN environments, I think their Disks (RAID) need a lot of improvement before you consider them as a storage server.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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