Recently a Cisco reseller blogged about the UCS platform comparing it to HP and the blog contained incorrect and misleading information so I wanted to respond to set the record straight.
The blogger attempts to compare the Cisco UCS blade offering to HP BladeSystem Matrix which is an apples to oranges comparison. The accurate comparison would be to compare UCS blades to HP BladeSystem itself. HP BladeSystem on its own is the superior platform for data center virtualization. BladeSystem is more scalable in compute, memory and IO and has advanced Insight Control management capabilities including physical/virtual server management and advanced power management not found in UCS. BladeSystem is also more compatible with existing datacenters than the UCS offering. BladeSystem is the go-to platform for virtualization and due to our scalability, systems management, power management and wide range of partnerships its sales dwarf the sales of UCS with statistics such as:
- 56% Blade server revenue market share and growing
- 2 million HP blade servers sold
- 24% of all 10GB ports in the industry sold being on BladeSystem with Virtual Connect
- source Dell’Oro Group
- 3 Million Virtual Connect ports sold
- Contrast this with Nexus where Cisco says they have only sold a total of 1M 10GB ports
And HP is extending its lead. With our latest announcements, HP BladeSystem is able to support up to 4x more virtual machines per blade than any other competing offering in the industry and with HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric we provide the world’s simplest, most flexible way to connect servers to any network while reducing network sprawl by 95%. We announced 7 new G7 blades ranging from our HPC BL2x220c HPC blade with built-in Infiniband and Virtual Connect Flex-10 to our BL680c terabyte blade with built-in 60Gb of Virtual Connect FlexFabric IO bandwidth and ability to expand to 192Gb of IO. These new blades are driving new levels of virtualization efficiency. In contrast, Cisco’s newest blade, the UCS B440 M1, is only able to support a maximum of 256GB of memory and 40Gb of IO which significantly limits their ability to support virtualized environments.
With respect to HP BladeSystem Matrix, its value has no equivalent in the UCS offering. BladeSystem Matrix is a highly-automated and specialized management software environment that spans the server to the network fabric to the application. BladeSystem Matrix brings functionality to the table that is simply not included with UCS such as:
- A self service portal able to deploy entire application stacks in one, automated operation i.e. all the infrastructure (physical servers, virtual machines, networks, storage) and now even applications.
- Capacity Planning and Consolidation tools
- Disaster recovery capabilities allowing applications and storage to be failed over to datacenters over any distance in the case of a site failure.
Due to its advanced capabilities, HP customers are leveraging BladeSystem Matrix as the backbone for their cloud implementations. ISVs are also investing in this technology and have provided best practice BladeSystem Matrix deployment templates to allow for simple pushbutton deployment of all the infrastructure for their applications. And, we now enable private cloud automation with the industry's first one-touch, self-service provisioning of infrastructure and applications through integration with HP Server Automation.
It is unfortunate that this misinformation has surfaced again. Some months ago HP offered this blogger access to HP experts so that he could better understand the competitive landscape and correct his inaccurate comparisons and misinformation, but he elected not to take us up on our offer. If he would look closer, he would see that none of the UCS features he touts in his comparison table require the advanced Insight Dynamics management or services that come with BladeSystem Matrix.
For more info you can read The Real Story about the Cisco UCS .
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic.