Cisco UCS B-Series Review

The separation of the hardware from the components' software definition is key for us


What is our primary use case?

Mostly VMs, for hosting virtual infrastructure. It represents 99 percent of our computing workforce.

How has it helped my organization?

The versatility of the solution is the most helpful to us.

What is most valuable?

The way the hardware is separated from the software definition of the components.

What needs improvement?

Better UI. Cisco makes a great product but doesn't know how to make a UI.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Very stable and very reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is a blade system so it's fairly scalable.

How is customer service and technical support?

I've used technical support and it's above average.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We had a bad experience with IBM servers, which is why we decided to change solutions. Also, as a bank, the switch was a money-driven process. They offered us a very good deal to test the new solution and it became widely spread throughout the company. 

Reliability, price, support, and scalability are important factors for us in selecting a vendor.

How was the initial setup?

Coming from a server background, it wasn't straightforward at all. It is a process that is closer to requiring telecommunication knowledge than server knowledge. Once you overcome that little step at the beginning it's fine, but at the beginning it was a little difficult to understand.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to a colleague looking at this or a similar solution would be to test it. When we started, Cisco UCS was the first solution on the market and the only one that provided certain capabilities hardware-wise. It was the one with the most cores per CPU and it was the one with the most memory per blade server. Of course, now there are other vendors in the market. If I were to start the search process right now, I would consider Cisco UCS, but also other vendors like Dell and HPE, which are making new blade servers. They are coming up with different solutions and are catching up to the market. Until there is something really new on the market, like UCS had when they started, UCS is facing some competition.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten. Two points go to the UI, which is lacking. Also, the way you can actually switch from one system to another doesn't allow for the easy transfer of all of the server definitions.

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