Your guide to Cisco UCS Mini

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Your guide to Cisco UCS Mini

When Cisco announced the launch of its UCS Mini a year ago it was big news. Dubbed by many as the ‘blade runner’ of converged infrastructure and the world’s first truly disaggregated server, Cisco got a big thumbs up from the media.

According to many in the press, this was a move that signalled a significant expansion of Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) portfolio and proved Cisco was a serious contender in the data centre deployment market. So has Cisco’s UCS Mini lived up to the hype? Let’s take a look at the product itself, how it has fared over the past 12 months and assess whether it could be the right solution for your business.

What is the UCS Mini?

Not everyone is an IT whizz, so we’ll start with the basics. The UCS Mini is basically a smaller version of Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) which is a single, simpler, more cohesive system that unifies servers, storage, network and management. The more petite version, in the form of the UCS Mini, is all about converged infrastructure.

In plain English, this means it offers a simplified approach to data centre management. It does so by taking configuration work away from IT, and saves on energy and space costs in the data centre. Think of it as a handy data centre in a box.

Who is it designed for?

UCS Mini brings all the advantages of Cisco UCS to smaller IT environments. It allows small and medium-sized businesses to reap the benefits enjoyed by larger businesses employing Cisco’s UCS. This straight-forward, no nonsense system is designed by be used by organisations employing between 50 and 500 members of staff. It is scalable to deployments of anything from two to 15 servers.

Equally able to benefit from the technology are larger companies with branch networks dialling back to the mothership (aka the main data centre). In this scenario, most remote or branch offices lack local IT staff. Finally, for companies wanting to outsource their server needs but are reluctant to have their servers housed alongside those of other companies, the UCS Mini allows them to achieve physical hardware separation.

Business benefits

There are a number of benefits the UCS Mini can bring to any business. Here are some of the main ones:

  • A discreet solution: The UCS Mini is non-intrusive to your current environment. This entry-level bundle will slip seamlessly into your IT infrastructure with a single point of management for a range of both blade and rack servers.
  • Attractive price point: With the UCS Mini, you get all the power of its bigger brother but without a hefty price tag. For most SMBs the budget attached to an enterprise-sized UCS solution is simply not an option. UCS Mini is perfect for a more modest budget.
  • Scalability: The UCS’s new integrated Fabric Interconnect 6324 allows users to scale up to 8 blades and 7 rack servers, with the potential for 16 blades and 4 rack servers in the future.
  • Flexibility: The UCS Mini allows you to move your business’s computing power to the edge of the network, not bundled away in a server farm or data centre. It allows businesses to be far flexible and versatile in its approach.
  • Remote management: UCS Central allows you to troubleshoot any issues remotely and avoids the need for an on-site technician. This is of particular use for companies with a number of branch offices who do not have the luxury of IT experts at each and every location.
  • Simpler maintenance programme: If you want your servers to run at peak performance you need to keep up to date with the necessary server upgrades and maintenance. With UCS Mini, this process can happen with greater ease thanks to a one-click upgrade.
  • A happier IT department: For all of the reasons listed above your IT team will have the time and energy to focus on the job at hand rather than consistently troubleshooting an ineffective IT architecture. And as you’ll know, a happier IT team generally means a happier business.

Why UCS Mini is right for you

If you are looking for a solution that can deliver excellent infrastructure for remote and branch offices, then UCS Mini is the answer. It is a robust solution that will meet the computing and networking requirements of small and medium-sized businesses, and allows those companies to design a simple storage solution without the need for additional infrastructure.

What is more, the UCS Mini is a cost-effective system to deploy and manage, acting as nothing more than an extension of the main data centre infrastructure from a deployment and management perspective.

If you are a small or medium-sized business or are operating through a number of branches and are looking for smarter, more innovative IT solutions for your business then get in touch with the LAN2LAN team on 0870 787 4001.

Our experts will be able to guide you through which areas of your server environment could benefit from Cisco’s UCS Mini.

 

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