UCS VSAN Ready Nodes – Now in Blade Flavor

Just relaying an announcement I’m pretty excited about – VSAN ready nodes are nothing new to Cisco, but offerings to date have been in their C-series rack mount form factor. Cisco recently rolled out a new offering in the form of a B200M4 all-flash VSAN ready node. Due to the B200 slot limitations the form-factor trades raw storage capacity for performance. Even with this limitation, newer drive technology combined with innovations in data de-duplication and compression make for some pretty impressive claims.The configuration certified is for a four-node, all flash configuration (AF-4). In it, the blades boot from a 32GB SD card, leaving the two drive bays for cache and capacity. For caching, Cisco makes use of a 400GB write-intensive SSD drive and a 3.8TB SSD drive for capacity, all totaled, this amounts to 15.2TB of raw capacity in the four-node cluster (10.18TB in a RAID5 3+1 config). This is before compression and dedupe are factored in, and here VMWare is claiming an effective capacity of 20-70TB.

Factor in the UCS blade form factor, central management capabilities and UCS’ use of system configuration profiles and this makes for some prospects of very rapid provisioning in a data center friendly space. The BOM is below, and its available for orders now. When I’ve gotten a live demo (or better yet some installed in my environment) I’ll post an update.

  • SKU: UCS-vSAN-B200M4-3-8TBESXi
  • System: UCS B200 M4 Blade Server w/o CPU, memory, drive bays, HDD, VIC adapter x4
  • CPU: UCS-CPU-E52650E 2.20 GHz E5-2650 v4/105W 12C/30MB Cache/DDR4 2400MHz x8
  • Memory: UCS-MR-1X162RV-A 16GB DDR4-2400-MHz RDIMM/PC4-19200/dual rank/x4 x64
  • Caching Tier: UCS-SD400G12S4-EP 400GB 2.5 inch Enterprise Performance¬†12G SAS SSD (10X endurance) x4
  • Capacity Tier: UCS-SD38TBKS4-EV 3.8TB 2.5 inch Enterprise Value 6G SATA SSD x4
  • Controller: UCSB-MRAID12G-HE Cisco FlexStorage 12G SAS RAID Controller w/2GB FBWC x4
  • NIC: Cisco UCS VIC 1340 modular LOM for blade servers x4
  • Boot Device: UCS-SD-32G-S 32GB SD Card for UCS servers x8