Friday, October 20, 2017

Cisco UCS S3260 Storage Server Overview, Data, Unstored

Data, unstored, the keywords for Cisco UCS S-Series Storage Servers.

The S-Series is designed for data intensive workloads such as big data, streaming media and collaboration applications, and for deploying software-defined storage, object storage, and data protection solutions. 

The Cisco S-Series S3260, which is a follow-on from the C3260. Much of the bare-bones specification remains, such as 600TB of local data storage with enterprise-class redundancy, connectivity including NFS, iSCSI, Fibre Channel (FC), FCoE, SMB and SMB Direct, scaling to petabytes with Cisco UCS Manager, and a dual-node two-socket architecture using Intel Xeon CPUs. But much else has changed, particularly the adoption of a modular design so that different components can be refreshed at different times.

The S3260 is the first product in the S-Series line-up and the main features are:
  • Dual two-socket server nodes using an Intel Xeon E5-2600 v2 or v4 CPU, with up to 36 cores per server node or 72 cores per system.
  • Up to 512GB of DDR3 or DDR4 memory per server node (1TB total)
  • Support for high-performance Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) and flash memory
  • 600TB data storage capacity that scales to petabytes with Cisco UCS Manager
  • Policy-based storage management framework
  • Dual-port 40Gbit/s system I/O controllers with UCS Virtual Interface Card (VIC) 1300 platform embedded chip
  • Unified I/O for Ethernet or Fibre Channel to existing NAS or SAN storage environments
  • Support for Cisco bi-directional (BIDI) transceivers, with 40Gbit/s connectivity over existing 10Gbit/s cabling infrastructure

This slide from Cisco summarizes the modularity. One point is that Cisco's 40Gbit/s virtual interface card (think VNIC) provides 256 virtual adapters per node plus 16Gbit/s native Fabre Channel options.

UCS S-Series Modular Design

Modular components include disk, SSD and NVMe media (caching flash with Fusion ioMemory3 PX), disk expanders, IO expanders, flash memory and Ethernet/FC/FCoE connectivity options.
They can be cache-optimized, capacity-optimized, compute-intensive and IO-intensive configurations; the latter having 160GB/sec of aggregated VIC IO, and either 8 or 16Gbit/s FC. 

Capacity can be scaled out, by adding nodes, to 86PB in a UCS domain.

Compared to Cisco's own traditional-style servers, we're told the UCS S3260:

  • Reduces CapEx by 34 per cent
  • Lowers ongoing management by 80 per cent
  • Reduces cabling by 70 per cent
  • Takes up 60 per cent less space
  • Consumes 59 per cent less power