Cisco UCS B-Series Review

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

What is most valuable?

Probably the Cisco Integrated Management Controller.

How has it helped my organization?

Remote access to the server is very useful.

What needs 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.

For how long have I used the solution?

Two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

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.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No, we haven't had issues post setup.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

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

How are customer service and technical support?

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

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

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

How was the 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.

What was our 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.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

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

What other advice do I have?

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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