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Cisco expands datacentre portfolio with unified services

The networking company has introduced Unified Network Services, designed to complement its existing suite of end-to-end service offerings
Written by Jack Clark, Contributor

Cisco has bulked out its datacentre offerings with the launch of Unified Network Services, and has made additions to its Unified Fabric and Unified Computing System lines.

The networking company introduced Unified Network Services (UNS) on Tuesday. The UNS strategy will provide a comprehensive range of hardware and software solutions to improve application availability, security, acceleration and performance-monitoring within the datacentre.

"Cisco UNS is designed to deliver a consistent set of services (security, load-balancing, app acceleration and/or control, and monitoring) to a given workload wherever it is running without regard to the underlying infrastructure. UNS delivers a number of tangible benefits including reduced operational complexity, improved policy compliance and reduced infrastructure sprawl," Omar Sultan, a senior manager for datacentre architecture at Cisco, told ZDNet UK on Wednesday.

Cisco rolled out two UNS products — the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) and the Cisco Virtual Wide Area Application Services (vWAAS) products.

The VSG is a virtual appliance for administering security policies across virtual machines. The appliance is designed to run within a datacentre's virtualised local network.

Cisco's vWAAS product helps to optimise wide area network traffic over distances, providing compression and application acceleration services.

Cisco UNS is designed to sit alongside Cisco's Unified Computing System, a line of products for developing hardware and services that increase interoperability within the datacentre environment. UNS is also designed to operate with Cisco's Unified Fabric, a strategy for converging the connections between server and storage resources. All of these systems combined form the foundation of an integrated architecture called the Cisco Data Center Business Advantage programme (DCBA).

The DCBA programme is focused on offering customers the option of having an all-Cisco datacentre hardware and software architecture.

On Tuesday, Cisco launched a new blade server to fit into its Unified Computing System product line. The UCS B230 M1 Blade Server — an Intel Xeon 6500/7500 processor series-based system — is designed to deal with high input/output database workloads and server and desktop virtualisation, and is half the width of a standard rack-fitted server.

Cisco also launched new products in its Unified Fabric range. The Nexus 5548 switch unit, designed for networking within the datacentre, has 48 ports — almost double the number of ports available in its precursor, the Nexus 5010m, which allowed a maximum of 28.

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