Cisco Live! London opens on January 28th, and I’m starting to get excited. Not so much for the week-long trip to London in the midst of winter, but for getting more exposure to a simple three-letter solution – UCS (Unified Computing Systems).
tube_map2I’ve been in the storage industry for over a decade and have worked with Cisco on many storage and networking fronts in that time. Things have changed lately. Several months ago, I got introduced to the UCS as a converged server and network solution for our Technical Marketing test lab.

At first encounter, I could tell it was going to be more than your standard blade solution – this is both good and potentially very good. I found the power and flexibility of the UCS Manager approach for controlling the gear very useful for the testing, benchmarking and QA activities we perform on a regular basis against the Nimble Storage iSCSI platform.

The recent UCS experience also coincided with Nimble Storage’s forays into the VDI solution space. Here the combination of the UCS compute/network solution and Nimble Storage’s hybrid (SSD/HDD) storage platform were a great fit.  Our initial results of this combination can be reviewed here:

Since getting started last summer with our first UCS B-series chassis and the first two test blades, we have grown the test lab to two full chassis filled with Cisco’s latest gear. Tie that compute and networking horsepower to a couple of Nimble Storage CS400 series arrays and you have some interesting testing grounds for virtualization, application testing, VDI, benchmarking – you name it.

If you’re in London for Cisco Live, please stop by our stand (#E81) – I’ll be sharing a peek at our test lab. We’ll also be gathering ideas for our lab infrastructure for the upcoming year. We are already looking at the C-Series servers, which are a good fit for the lower mid-market or isolated environment focus.

See you at Cisco Live Europe!