unified computing system (UCS)

A unified computing system (UCS) is a data center architecture that integrates computing, networking and storage resources to increase efficiency and enable centralized management.

What is unified computing system (UCS)?

A unified computing system (UCS) is a data center architecture that integrates computing, networking and storage resources to increase efficiency and enable centralized management. When UCS is sold as a product, hardware and software are designed or configured to work together effectively.

Cisco announced details of its UCS product in April 2009. Wendy Mars, director of the company's UCS initiative, reported on a comparison of Cisco's UCS with a legacy system. Mars claimed that UCS would enable an 86% reduction of cabling and allow provisioning in a matter of minutes, rather than the "days and weeks" required for a legacy data center. Capital expense was estimated to be 43% lower.

Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior describes unified computing as a tighter "integration of networks, servers, and storage, based on open standards, with virtualization as the common abstraction." Because Cisco's UCS is essentially a collection of existing hardware and software rather than a new product, it is sometimes referred to as a marketecture.

Similar offerings to Cisco's include HP's BladeSystem Matrix, Liquid Computing's LiquidIQ, Sun's Modular Datacenter and InteliCloud's 360.

Learn More About IT:
> On Gestalt IT, Cisco responds to concerns about UCS.
> Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior answers questions about unified computing systems.
> Mark Fontecchio writes about what, exactly, a unified computing system is.

This was first published in September 2009

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