Cisco UCS: Product Overview and Insight

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Bottom Line

For large enterprises already invested in Cisco infrastructure, Cisco UCS products are an obvious choice for the hardware component of a software-defined storage (SDS) environment. The hardware boasts extremely fast performance, easy management and 100 percent programmability, which makes it a good fit for software defined storage.

Enabling flexibility for customers, UCS products come in blade or rack form factors, and a storage-only solution is also available.

For the software component, Cisco has partnerships with most of the leading SDS vendors, so customers can get hardware that they know will work with their chosen software vendor.

Product Description

Cisco’s approach to software-defined storage is to focus on what it does best — infrastructure — while partnering with other firms that can provide the software that enables SDS.

Its primary SDS product is its UCS line of unified computing hardware, which won awards for best servers for software-defined storage. These are industry-standard x86 servers that include networking and storage capabilities in the same product. Their big appeal is their fast performance, and Cisco says they have set more than 150 records in benchmark tests. They are also 100 percent programmable, which makes them ideal for SDS.

For SDS software, Cisco has partnerships with many different vendors, including IBM, Red Hat, Scality, Cloudian, Cohesity, DataCore, Hedvig, NexentaStor and others.

Type of product:

Hardware only (software available through partners)

Editions available:

Cisco has three families of UCS products, the UCS B-Series blade servers, UCS C-Series rack servers and the UCS S-Series storage servers. It also offers UCS management software, fabric interconnects and extenders, UCS E-Series blades servers for ISR routers, adaptors and related rack and power infrastructure.



Key features:

  • Modular architecture
  • Up to 600TB of data storage
  • Dual server nodes with Intel Xeon processors
  • I/O expansion capabilities
  • Policy-based storage management
  • Support for Ethernet or FibreChannel

Target Industries

Large enterprises on the Fortune 500 list from any industry.


According to the company, more than 63,000 organizations use Cisco UCS, including 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies.

Pricing and How to Buy

Prices for UCS B-Series start at $581.33. C-Series starts at $1,597, and the storage servers start at $26,666. Products can be purchased through Cisco certified partners and resellers.

Cisco UCS Features Chart

Cisco UCS
Type of Product Hardware only (software available through partners)
Editions Available ● B-Series blades
● C-Series rack servers
● S-Series storage servers
License Proprietary
Key features ● modular architecture
● up to 600TB of data storage
● dual server nodes with Intel Xeon processors
● I/O expansion capabilities
● support for NVMe and flash
● policy-based storage management
● support for Ethernet or FibreChannel
Target Industries Large enterprises in any industry
Pricing $581 and up ($26,666 and up for storage servers)

Cynthia Harvey
Cynthia Harvey
Cynthia Harvey is a freelance writer and editor based in the Detroit area. She has been covering the technology industry for more than fifteen years.

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