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Cisco UCS E-Series Servers OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

What is Cisco UCS E-Series Servers?

Cisco UCS E-Series Servers are next-generation, power-optimized, x86, Intel Xeon 64-bit blade servers designed to be deployed in Cisco Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 (ISR G2) and the Cisco 4451-X ISR. These price-to-performance-optimized single-socket blade servers balance simplicity, performance, reliability, and power efficiency. They are well suited for applications and infrastructure services typically deployed in small offices and branch offices.

Cisco UCS E-Series Servers was previously known as UCS E-Series Servers.

Cisco UCS E-Series Servers Buyer's Guide

Download the Cisco UCS E-Series Servers Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: December 2021

Cisco UCS E-Series Servers Customers

Navaho,  MiroNet AG, Columbia Sportswear

Cisco UCS E-Series Servers Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Cisco UCS E-Series Servers pricing:
  • "It's expensive, they are quite pricey."

Cisco UCS E-Series Servers Reviews

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MN
Assistant Director IT (Data Center operations) at Freelancer
Real User
Top 20
Easy to configure and operate

Pros and Cons

  • "The Cisco chassis is very easy to configure and any network engineer or expert can configure the solution and easily integrate it with the chassis."
  • "One thing that could be improved is the cost - it is very high for this Blade chassis as compared to other vendors. Especially in Asia. Asian customers mostly prefer a cost effective, cheaper solution."

What is our primary use case?

It was a government organization and we only developed a data set. We have data centers. So where I designed cell phones for the customer, I used two Blade chassis 5108 for a primary data center and one Dell Chassis. I used two Blade chassis with two fabric interconnects that were F5-6-2-4-4-8 series and was able to interconnect A and able to interconnect B. So I was able to figure it out. First of all, I am mega cabling metrics for both the chassis and I used two IOM for each chassis. Then I connected it to an IBM storage with their servers. I also added EMC storage and HP 3PAR storage as well with this Dell chassis.

How has it helped my organization?

If you provide the high-end skill and high-end bandwidth for this single port it will be more beneficial for that customer. The high-end traffic is going to be more beneficial for customers and provide high bandwidth traffic between servers or between chassis.

What is most valuable?

In terms of the features that I have found most valuable, I would say the hardware recondition in this chassis is pretty good, and that is not found with other vendors like HP or Dell servers. I like the hardware recondition of this chassis because you have just a single cable for the server cords and then you can easily use virtual HPS and the perfect server providing for this Blade chassis. I like the hardware of this setting.

What needs improvement?

One thing that could be improved is the cost -it is very high for this Blade chassis as compared to other vendors. Especially in Asia. Asian customers mostly prefer a cost effective, cheaper solution. The Blade chassis is perfect quality compared to the Dell chassis and I personally like it, but the customers want cost a effective solution for this server.

For how long have I used the solution?

I first began deploying the Cisco Blade chassis in 2014. In 2016 we deployed it for our customer China Airlines. Then I deployed multiple C-Series rack servers in seven sites for the State. In that case I actually deployed C-Series rack servers. So I have a lot of experience with Cisco C-Series rack servers and I have three to four Blade chassis for multiple customers. About three to four months ago I deployed a Cisco UCS C-Series rack server, I believe C240, and four rack servers. Plus I have trained the customer, as well, about how to use the Cisco rack server.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I would rate the stability as 98/99 out of a hundred.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of this solution is pretty good. You can easily scale the Blade servers to interconnect. You can add multiple Blade servers because you have a single chassis. So we can add four servers in the chassis and eight servers of hardware in a single chassis. And if you want to add more servers, you can add them into the chassis in the same fabric interconnect and you won't need to purchase other fabric servers or to add another server.

How are customer service and technical support?

Sometime I use Cisco technical support.

On a scale of one to 10, I would evaluate their support as a nine.

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

I like the hardware of the Cisco chassis. In HP products, for example, there are a lot of updates and a lot patches from their side. With Cisco, the quality is already at a high level and there is no need to upgrade or to have patches as frequently as HP or HSE. Cisco's UI is much more stable compared to HP. Overall, the Cisco chassis is pretty good, pretty stable and easier to configure as compared to HP and others.

How was the initial setup?

The setup process of this chassis is really easy. And it is easy to use. Anybody who has CCNA training, who has the knowledge of basic routing, basic servers, and storage can perform the configuration of the chassis and servers. It is very easy. I learned this by working with this chassis and server and by reading blogs and watching YouTube. It's not complex and there is no need for much expertise. If you have the basic knowledge you can easily configure its chassis.

I read a blog, watched YouTube, learned here and there and it took me four days to configure the chassis. After that, for the the second chassis, I just needed four hours to configure. It is easy to configure. If I have a chassis, I can configure it in two or three hours maximum.

In terms of an implementation strategy, it depends on the client. It first depends on the design.

What was our ROI?

Customers have seen a return on their investment. Especially those who can not compromise on quality, they can definitely use this product and get a high ROI. But for smaller-medium customers that purchase this chassis or servers it might be a high cost. That's why those customers prefer other vendors because they can get a lower cost chassis or server. So mostly they prefer a local server.

What other advice do I have?

The Cisco chassis is very easy to configure and any network engineer or expert can configure the solution and easily integrate it with the chassis. If you have another chassis, like HP, and you configure storage with HP media or FC carrier, you will need to have additional costs for switches. But Cisco chassis products are good. You can easily just add storage with an upgrade and there is no need to purchase any switches. You can get it.

On a scale of one to ten, I would rate Cisco UCS E-Series Servers a 10 out of 10.

There is one thing more I can add. The traffic flows of the Cisco chassis switches are very easy and very straight forward. There is no error in the traffic. You can easily work on it. Now, having three or four years working on this chassis, I feel it is much easier to use this chassis compared with the other ones.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
David Mbugua
Group General Manager-ICT at a consumer goods company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Reliable, efficient, and easy to set up

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are that they are efficient and easy to setup."
  • "The processing capacity could be improved."

What is our primary use case?

The UCS Servers are our primary servers processing payment for our 600,000 plus small scale growers on a monthly basis. They Host our SAP ERP system and all other on premise systems across the different factories in the country.

How has it helped my organization?

The support from CISCO for all their products that we are using is great. The servers are stable. We once had a major power surge that went through our UPSs as a result of fault in the power distribution channel. The only equipment that was not affected were the CISCO Servers.

We have also brought down the processing time from 6 hours to 1 hour.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are that they are efficient and easy to setup.

When comparing to other solutions the performance is good and in terms of stability, there is no comparison.

What needs improvement?

For the SAP Hana in-memory processing takes a lot of resources and we are forced to delete some logs to improve on speed especially during peak hours (i.e. when almost every one is using system)

I would like to see better pricing available. They can try to compare with their counterparts on the same level with the same specifications, the same processing capacity, and try to match their price.

I am always asked to justify why we should purchase such expensive hardware when there are other brand names available with same capacity for a lesser price.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for five years.

We are using both UCS M4 220s , M5 220s and the UCS 240 M4, C460 M4.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable. No other solutions compare.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a scalable product and we upgrade on demand.

We have approximately 200 users in our main office, but we have 69 factories and each of those factories has at least one of the UCS servers.

We plan to increase our usage in the future, as any new factory will require a new server and we plan to use Cisco.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not contacted technical support. We use the Cisco partners Next Technologies and they help us sort everything out, not only with the UCS Servers but also with our networking.

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

Previously, we were using IBM. IBM sold its intel-line service to Lenovo. We tried using Lenovo, but in terms of performance, there was a degraded performance.

I had gone to San Jose for some training when I saw the UCS Servers. We decided to try them out and have not yet been disappointed. The UCS Servers are more stable.

I did not have an issue with the IBM servers that we were using, but we could not continue because the Power servers were quite expensive. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

We were connected to a CISCO engineer in Dubai, and another from  San Jose, I opened a port for them and they were able to set up from where they were.

Some of the best startups that I have had are when the engineer doesn't have to come on-site. They set everything up remotely and I never have any issues.

What about the implementation team?

The setting up of the hardware for implementation of the SAP ERP was done by the Cisco team through a partner and took a very short time. It was done within a week. We used a Cisco partner called Next Technologies.

My project took some time due to a lack of knowledge transfer, and some training. It was a new ERP that we were setting up. The delay had nothing to do with the setup of the cisco servers.

What was our ROI?

ROI - 3 years. We use to spend a lot on maintenance for server for the other brands -- especially on spare parts. Rarely do the Cisco servers break down.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's expensive, they are quite pricey. For the to penetrate the African market, price require a review.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated HP & Dell . the experience we had before made them not an option with our users.

What other advice do I have?

Our company is unique. We train our people so that we have the technical capability within the organization. We are managing agents for the 69 factories, which is why it is very important to have internal support capacity. I am more of a customer but I can handle most of the support issues internally. Anything beyond me goes to the partner.

All of our networking products from routers to servers are from Cisco. We use the Cisco server product but for storage, we have NetApp and just ordered HP, but, it has not arrived yet.

Apart from PCs and notebooks, this is the first time that we are trying HP.

The Cisco service line entered this market much later than the other companies, such as HP and Dell. They have been in the region for as long as I can remember. When I left college, we had knowledge of Cisco because of the networking components and security.

What I can advise other prospective customers is that they should not worry about Cisco's support, stability, and performance. They are quite stable and you will never spend a sleepless night because of the Cisco service product.

The capacity is adequate for the moment. 

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Cisco UCS E-Series Servers. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: December 2021.
554,586 professionals have used our research since 2012.
NW
Network Administrator at a educational organization with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Long-lasting and reliable solution with complicated upgrades

Pros and Cons

  • "They are really easy to maintain. I've added RAM to them. I've done a lot of other things with the virtualization."
  • "The biggest pain point for us is the matrix for the firmware upgrades. It is a pain. You look at that thing, you might as well be reading Greek. It would be a whole lot better if they could clean up their documentation on it."

What is most valuable?

Cisco UCS E-Series Servers have been reliable. I think that's one of the big things. Their hardware has been pretty, pretty reliable. I have noticed some issues with their controllers failing due to the thermal paste drying up and the heat sinks falling off causes them to fail. But that was something we experienced last year. It took almost five years for any hardware failure. And even that was like a $100 repair. So nothing too major. 

Additionally, the UCS GUI is pretty straightforward. The server itself is a lot easier to maintain than some of the other Cisco equipment, like the routers and switches.

They are really easy to maintain. I've added RAM to them. I've done a lot of other things with the virtualization.

What needs improvement?

In terms of what needs improvement, I would say the biggest pain point for us is the matrix for the firmware upgrades. It is a pain. You look at that thing, you might as well be reading Greek. You just look at it and you're like, well, is it this with this one? Or this with this one? My model matches this, but my CPU is running this. It's just a nightmare. It would be a whole lot better if they could clean up their documentation on it.

It would be good if they organized that more making it a little bit easier for people who don't understand the language as much. I think that's kind of what Cisco in general is, if you're not a CCNA or something like that you're going to have a lot of trouble managing and maintaining it. I think that's probably one of the biggest failure points with Cisco, from their documentation all the way to their products. I mean it's a solid product for sure. And they have some of the best experts working for them. But for small house users and schools, it's not really feasible.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Cisco UCS E-Series Servers for three to five years. We bought all the Cisco equipment at the same time. It was before I actually joined the company, but they were pretty much all bought within a year or two of each other. So somewhere in that three to five range.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I took it over the maintenance two years ago. I've also worked with vendors to initially get that started because I didn't know at the beginning how to do that.

We don't have a choice where I work. I have to handle everything on the racks. So servers, everything that's contained in the servers, all the switches, all the infrastructure. I deal with it by myself. And we have 10 sites with the same infrastructure at all sites, I maintain all those.

How are customer service and technical support?

The tech support is really good. I don't go through them, though. We have a reseller that we go through. They've basically got the TAC licenses. We work with an organization called OneNeck. And they do the majority of our tier one support. Then, if they can't get it figured out, they call TAC. And I've dealt with TAC just one or two times because I took over on the troubleshooting. But I would say that they know their stuff. I give them the logs and they can knock it out pretty quickly.

How was the initial setup?

In terms of the initial setup, I didn't do the install. I've done installs of their Cisco switches and things like that, and those are pretty straightforward and simple. I didn't actually do the UCS servers, so I'm not sure. We had one fail and we used an old one and spun that up, and that was relatively easy to reconfigure, I should say. So just reassigning IPs and folks' names and all that. That was simple.

The hardware was pretty simple to maintain.

What other advice do I have?

Our next move will be going away from them. We're probably going to move to a PowerEdge Dell or HP solution. We've already looked into that a little bit. So I don't have a lot of great things to say necessarily. With the blade servers, as long as they run, I think that's the most important thing. And software and everything seems to be pretty stable with those. They're pretty hands-off. It's just a little more complex when you have to upgrade the firmware.

On a scale of one to ten, I would give Cisco UCS E-Series Servers a seven. I think the biggest thing is they have good longevity.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Buyer's Guide
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