UCS has freed up our staff to focus their time elsewhere
December 03, 2021

UCS has freed up our staff to focus their time elsewhere

Tim Lillis | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • Cisco UCS B-Series Blade Servers

Overall Satisfaction with Cisco UCS Series

We replaced our HP C Series blade chassis with UCS back in 2013. Since then we have upgraded the chassis and blades once, rolling the old chassis' to our DR site. UCS serves as our main [computer] for our virtual environment at both our main production site as well as for our DR hot site. We no longer have a classic server environment as we have moved to all UCS blades. Combined with VMWare, UCS has made firmware upgrades a breeze without downtime. Another bonus is when scaling up with new blades, we pre-configure the blade before it arrives and once it is plugged in, the template has it ready to go as if it were there all along.
  • Minimal downtime for firmware upgrades when paired with VMWare
  • Easy OS upgrades with complete firmware packages that cover all of the subcomponents
  • Solid performance over time. Unlike some other Cisco products, UCS is well baked and has lasted a very long time with barely any hardware failures.
  • Memory for a while had a few bugs with the OS. We ended up replacing a handful of DIMMS before the latest firmware seems to have stabilized the issue.
  • Some of the templating is not intuitive, but this is on par with most things Cisco.
  • Our facilities have thanked us, as the HVAC associated with Cisco Blade Chassis cut our power footprint almost in half. Of course, we still had some standard servers with the HP Blades when we moved to UCS.
  • On the server team one person now does what we had 3 doing for upgrades.
Nutanix sold a great story of scalability and ease of management. But when we deployed a small cluster in our environment it was nowhere near as robust as UCS with VMware. Yes, there was a central location for management, but the hoops you had to jump through when deploying servers in their proprietary hypervisor [are] just not quite there yet. I think in a few years they might give Cisco some stiff competition, but currently, it just isn't baked enough to threaten our UCS choices.
This question is easy. Cisco UCS Series has improved our agility by letting one person do what it used to take three. In the past, we had a server person handling server upgrades, a network person doing fabric upgrades, and another server person installing the OS and configuring the servers. Now that is one person thanks to UCS.
At first, the template method seemed clunky and difficult. Through the years Cisco has really improved the process for rolling out new servers. It is just that first template setup with fiber addresses and VLANs, and uplinks that [are] a bit of a headache. Once solid templates are in, rolling out new VLANs and servers is a breeze. At least we find it that way. We would highly recommend training and lab work to understand it first.

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We played with Nutantix and used HP blades for years. But nothing really has matched the complete package that is included with UCS. The ability to manage the network, compute, and storage, alongside the firmware in one place, has yet to [beat]. Cisco was one of the first to revolutionize the old school server model and has yet to beat in our opinion. Some of the new hyper-converged products look nice, but we keep sticking to UCS when upgrading our infrastructure.