by Brian Beeler

Cisco Launches UCS Blade VMware vSAN Ready Nodes

Cisco has long been a VMware vSAN Ready Node partner with their more traditional rackmount servers available in all-flash configurations like the UCS C220 1U server and the UCS C240 2U server. Now Cisco has certified their popular UCS B200 blades in an all flash configuration for vSAN. Most vSAN deployments are heavier on drive count, hence the popularity of rackmount servers. The UCS B200 blades are targeting a very different use case, which is plain to see given the unbalanced CPU/Memory footprint to storage capacity. 

The B200 boots off of a 32GB SD card, keeping both 2.5" bays free. Cisco is leveraging a 400GB write-intensive SSD for caching and a 3.8TB SSD for capacity. In a four-node cluster, this translates into 15.2TB total capacity with FTT=0, 7.6TB with FTT=1 (RAID-1) and 10.18TB with a RAID-5 configuration with 3+1 node configuration. Of course these numbers are before vSAN's data reduction technologies come into play, highlighted by data compression and deduplication. With those services enabled, it's reasonable to expect 2-7X more effective capacity.

Cisco indicates this exact configuration is in demand by customers, driving them to respond with this latest all flash Ready Node. The most likely use case stems from VDI use cases, where customers want a powerful compute platform, but have a lesser need for cluster capacity given the advantages of linked clones within VMware. This need coupled with the systems management benefits Cisco offers via UCS Manager make for a compelling deployment of vSAN under the right set of conditions. 

Cisco UCS B200 M4 Ready Node Specifications

  • SKU: UCS-vSAN-B200M4-3-8TBESXi
  • Pre-Installed?: No
  • System: UCS B200 M4 Blade Server w/o CPU, memory, drive bays, HDD, VIC adapter x4
  • CPU: UCS-CPU-E52650E 2.20 GHz E5-2650 v4/105W 12C/30MB Cache/DDR4 2400MHz x8
  • Memory: UCS-MR-1X162RV-A 16GB DDR4-2400-MHz RDIMM/PC4-19200/dual rank/x4 x64
  • Caching Tier: UCS-SD400G12S4-EP 400GB 2.5 inch Enterprise Performance 12G SAS SSD (10X endurance) x4
  • Capacity Tier: UCS-SD38TBKS4-EV 3.8TB 2.5 inch Enterprise Value 6G SATA SSD x4
  • Controller: UCSB-MRAID12G-HE Cisco FlexStorage 12G SAS RAID Controller w/2GB FBWC x4
  • NIC: Cisco UCS VIC 1340 modular LOM for blade servers x4
  • Boot Device: UCS-SD-32G-S 32GB SD Card for UCS servers x8 

The Cisco UCS B200 M4 all flash vSAN Ready Nodes are available now. 

Cisco UCS B200 M4 Product Page

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