Cisco Expands UCS and Cloud Management Control

by Sean Michael Kerner

The company's UCS Central platform can now manage up to 10,000 physical servers.

Cisco's UCS server platform is getting a major boost today with the introduction of the UCS Central management system.

UCS Central enables enterprises and data centers to manage up to 10,000 physical servers at a time, providing new levels of operational efficiency and scalability. In addition to UCS Central, Cisco is updating its UCS Manager offering as well as the Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud solution.

"UCS Central is a manager of many UCS domains, which can be spread across global data centers," Brian Schwarz, Director of Product Management at Cisco, told ServerWatch.

The UCS Central system is largely based on the same concepts that Cisco first introduced with the UCS Manager system. UCS is baked into every UCS system, providing management and control features.

"We have essentially taken code out of the UCS Manager system and moved it up a level, creating a big brother in the form of UCS Central, "Schwarz said.

With UCS Central, administrators can now take inventory across a vast pool of servers as well as identify faults and configuration tasks. Schwarz added that configuration consistency can now be delivered on a global scale across servers.

Server Datacenter From a deployment perspective, UCS Central does not technically replace UCS Manager. Schwarz explained that UCS Central talks to the UCS Manager, which is embedded in the UCS hardware and is always present. He added that the UCS Central system essentially administers the UCS Manager system from above.

"There are still some tasks that people will do locally, so it's not like UCS Manager will disappear," Schwarz said. "But they will probably use it less and less for large scale deployments."

UCS Manager is also getting upgraded by Cisco to version 2.1 to provide the necessary support for UCS Central.

Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud 3.1

Going beyond server management, Cisco is also updating its automation tools for large-scale cloud deployment. Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud 3.1 (IAC) leverages technology that Cisco obtained from its $105 million acquisition of Tidal Systems in 2009.

Among the new capabilities in IAC 3.1 is something that Cisco refers to as CloudSync.

"CloudSync can automatically discover the underlying physical and virtual resources in a next generation datacenter," Scott Hammond, VP of Business Strategy for Cisco's Intelligent Business Automation unit, explained. "So we can then bring the configuration information into our system and intelligently manage it."

Cisco has also added a cloud accelerator kit to IAC 3.1, enabling rapid deployment on multiple types of cloud infrastructure including Amazon, VMware and OpenStack-based clouds.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

This article was originally published on Thursday Nov 1st 2012
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