New & Exciting Hardware from Cisco!

New hardware releases are common in the technology field, but very few of these new hardware releases get me as excited as a couple of the products that Cisco has recently announced! Similar to other vendors, Cisco has released a variety of new technologies and solutions to kick off the new year. However, I’m most impressed and eager about the catalyst 9K switch line and M5 servers. I’m excited about these products because I feel they will solve problems that many of my customers currently face and it will also help me design solutions that will save customers money and get more performance out of their compute environment.  The products haven’t been available for very long but we already have a few of each in production and the customers are loving the performance gains.

The Cisco catalyst switch line the most popular family of switches in Cisco’s portfolio without a doubt.  They offer a wide variety of options ranging from compact 8 port switches to 48 port switches with stacking and 10G capabilities.  One of my favorite switches has been the catalyst 3850 series due to its horsepower and ability for configuration with multiple 10G uplinks but it came at a cost.  This is where the catalyst 9K line comes into play.  Just to be clear we are talking about the catalyst 9k line not to be confused with nexus 9k line which is vastly different.  The catalyst 9k offers more uplink options including 40G, more advanced security integrations, and best of all its more cost competitive than the 3850’s. This makes me extremely happy to be able to offer customers a more powerful and versatile switch solution for less money.

The second thing I’m excited about is the M5, fifth-generation UCS server line. If you are looking to add servers or add blades to your existing UCS environment I would highly recommend you look at the M5. Furthermore, the M3’s EOS announcement has been made well over a year ago and I’m sure you can all see the writing on the wall for the looming announcement that the M4’s will be getting in the near future.  But this is a good thing.  The M5 line is a massive improvement over the M4’s. For example, take a look at some of the more common M5 servers and their comparisons to the M4.

B200 M5 Blade Server

  • 100% more memory than the M4 (3TB)
  • 55% more storage (20.5TB) than the M4
  • 20% more cores than the M4

B48 M5 Blade Server

  • 20% more cores than the M4
  • 100% more memory than the M4 (3TB)
  • 20% more SFF drives

If you were considering a 3850 switch, or upgrading your older 3560’s I would highly recommend you consider the catalyst 9k.  It’s going to offer better performance and with the network modules you can get for 40G, it will offer excellent investment protection.  Likewise, when it comes to upgrading your server infrastructure please consider the M5.  I know the M4’s haven’t received an EOS announcement yet but I’m confident it will be soon and any slight savings there are over the M5 will be negated by installing equipment in your environment that will be obsolete in couple years.

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