Cisco UCS B-Series Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
 (14)
Bob whitcombe li?1427124692
Real User
Technical Sales Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Jun 23 2017

What is most valuable?

Previously, the physical trappings of Cisco UCS, Intel chip-sets and UCS Manager were the most useful part of this server system. As we embrace new Intel CPU's, Chip-sets and memory, we are gaining added value from the original UCS design -... more»

How has it helped my organization?

I have a client who is currently managing 1500 servers with two people for a mission-critical retail operation. Previous operations teams using HP and IBM servers required 4x more people to manage the same number of servers.

What needs improvement?

This product comes from Cisco, who is fourth in the worldwide supply chain. That means options take a bit longer to get to their platform, as they insist on doing their own quality validations. Right now, the market is rapidly transitioning... more»
7e341472 c716 436f a0fc 135eb08dfd1f avatar
Consultant
Senior Solutions Architect & Consultant at ZAG Technical Services

What is most valuable?

After having used, configured and deployed HP and Dell blade systems, I was rather impressed at the time the initial setup of the UCS blade system took to achieve operational status. I was also very impressed with the thorough thought that... more»

How has it helped my organization?

Our company provides solutions that enable our customers to succeed. We thrive on our customers’ ability to see the value in our proposed solutions, so as to bring to their organizations a product that not only solves their current... more»

What needs improvement?

Areas that require improvement are notably small in comparison to other similar products. The UCS system would benefit from less-expensive performance monitoring tools or other third-party tools that perform this function. Surprisingly... more»
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Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
Technical Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees

What is most valuable?

Why pick a UCS blade over a Dell, HPE or Lenovo system? The answer depends on what application I need to run. If I want a small-scale, 3-4 server application space in a localized area, I want a rack mount, for a price advantage. If I need a... more»

How has it helped my organization?

Previously, we focused on CPUs and servers, relying on the Intel cadence for change. With Cisco UCS, we became network-centric and changed our mindset to abstract the server, making it a stateless object for workloads. Managing blade servers... more»

What needs improvement?

Cisco is behind as far as SSD qualifications and options allowed, relative to other vendors, but that is in keeping with their philosophy of a stateless working environment. If I add a unique storage attribute to my blades, I encumber it with... more»
284a6fe7 94c3 4b7b aa06 7bc2ffad6b68 avatar
Real User
Senior System Specialist at a construction company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Mar 27 2017

What is most valuable?

We are using it in the converged infrastructure with the common UCS Manager to push out: * Profiles * Firmware * Console access * VLAN configurations * Troubleshooting

How has it helped my organization?

Running in the VCE Vblock gives us the flexibility to deploy a large virtual workload of servers. We use a mix of mainly Windows servers and a few Linux appliances. I had one blade server fail. The replacement was up and operating quickly... more»

What needs improvement?

Smaller locations are held up where they use a pair of converged infrastructure interfaces for redundancy. To deploy a standard Cisco Blade system with redundancy for maintenance and reliability you have to purchase two converged... more»
Add davidvarnum
Real User
Manager of Engineering at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees

What is most valuable?

Cisco UCS utilizes Service Profiles for server provisioning. These are logical profiles that are comprised of many smaller parts, such as BIOS settings, NIC settings, HBA settings, Firmware packages, boot policies and more. Creating... more»

How has it helped my organization?

Cisco UCS has reduced our physical footprint, drastically simplified management and created strong partnerships between engineering teams.

What needs improvement?

Software defects that result in false environmental alarms have been a pain point for us. These defects are not operational or performance impacting, but they do result in many hours troubleshooting to rule out any potential risks.
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Articles

User Assessments By Topic About Cisco UCS B-Series

Previously, the physical trappings of Cisco UCS, Intel chip-sets and UCS Manager were the most useful part of this server system. As we embrace new Intel CPU's, Chip-sets and memory, we are gaining added value from the original UCS design - which was a software construct based on XML API's and a suite of code that is really starting to blossom as a central automation vehicle, that scales to deliver new features and extended integration with a suite of security, management and performance offerings Cisco has added to its portfolio. While UCS hardware leveraged standard x86 designs, the use of a single pane of glass to monitor, deploy and provision servers was a huge timesaver. Since its UCS release in 2009, Cisco has extended the core functionality with Central, a tool for managing multiple domains, Director - an automation tool and Performance Manager. In the past few years CIsco has been on a buying binge for the Data Center, snapping up Cliqr, Lancope, AppDynamics, ContainrX, and several others that are being integrated with in-house analytics tools like Tetration and external tools like Turbonomic to provide an incredibly powerful, secure automation platform that will be the foundation of a future autonomic server environment with adaptive security and dynamic self diagnosis. Cisco UCS Manager is embedded in the cost of the fabric controllers and is used to manage the servers, chassis and fabric. It also serves as a link point for integrating tools like Director, Performance Manager and Central. Future additions to the UCS tool set are extensions that Cisco is feeling out how best to offer to customers - for straight purchase - or via subscription. I encourage UCS users and those considering UCS adoption to dig into the subscription offerings and get some clarity on how they grow over time. For example, as powerful security tools like Stealthwatch (Lancope) are added, what other systems are required and how are those subscriptions managed. When Analytics are required - do you need a Gigabuck Third Party offering or are you going to jump on Cisco's Tetration bandwagon and roll your own? I push for simplicity with Cisco. However, you need good data for that conversation. Talk to the apps, dev and ops teams as to what is needed today, where you are going and what future needs will become vs what might be nice to have. Once you understand where you are going, you are in a much better position to negotiate with a relative newbie like Cisco on how best to get there. Things will only get better going forward. UCS Manager is an XML construct. Everything is in software and can scale and expand with increased hardware capability, while other architectures require extensive effort on each end to develop hardware, then update and test a new rev of software for reliability and consistency. The big challenge for Cisco today is they built UCS manager for Cisco CCIE's anxious and able to have every knob and dial available to tweak. As a result, UCS manager is overly complex relative to functions and features and a lot of effort can go into streamlining and simplifying the User Experience. However, after 8 years in the market and huge acceptance of its increased ROI over competitive offerings and an appreciation for what UCS provides in OPex reduction, you can buy experienced UCS engineers vs having to develop and train them, only to see them purchased by a competitor.
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7e341472 c716 436f a0fc 135eb08dfd1f avatar
62
Senior Solutions Architect & Consultant
Currently employed as a Senior Solutions Architect and Consultant. Other roles include Pre-Sales and Systems Engineer at a highly technical Solution Provider for many products surrounding Datacenter and Enterprise class infrastructures. We deliver high end infrastructure designs of... more>>
Srengineer672 li?1421917315
7,190

What is Cisco UCS B-Series?

Based on Intel Xeon processor E7 and E5 product families, Cisco UCS B-Series Blade Servers work with virtualized and non-virtualized applications to increase: Performance, Energy efficiency, Flexibility and Administrator productivity.
Also known as
UCS B-Series, Unified Computing System B-Series
Cisco UCS B-Series customers
Aegean Motorway, Anilana Hotels and Resorts, Anonymous Banking Group, Artoni Transporti, Bellevue, BH Telecom, Bowling Green State University, Children's Hospital Colorado, City of Biel, Dimension Data, Dualtec Cloud Builders, Hertz, Houston Methodist, Kuwait Petroleum Italia, Lufthansa Systems GmbH & Co.KG, Outscale, Sony Corporation, Talbots
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