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UCS Palo and C-Series

Posted on Saturday, October 10, 2009 | 2 Comments

The Register has published some of the information regarding the awaited Palo adapter along with the C-Series rack servers for Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS). Now that some of its public, even though many already know about it, we can start talking more outside of our NDAs.

Have a read of the article but here are the highlights or new things.

Some of the C-Series models will start shipping this year.

  • C200-M1, two-socket, 1U rack box, up to 96 GB of main memory, two PCI-Express 2.0 slots and up to four 3.5-inch SAS or SATA drives. Ships November.
  • C210-M1, two-socket, 2U rack box, up to 96 GB of main memory, five PCI-Express slots and up to sixteen 2.5-inch SAS or SATA drives. Ships November.
  • C250-M1, two-socket, 2U rack box, up to 384 GB of main memory with the Catalina memory technology and up to eight 2.5-inch SAS or SATA drives. Expected to ship in December.
Starting to ship any day is the full width B250-M1 blade. This model has the Catalina memory technology to go to 384 GB of main memory. It also has 2 Mezz cards so it can provide 40Gb of bandwidth, 20Gb of each fabric (F-I A/B).

The article also gives a production name to the long awaited Palo card, being the Virtual Interface Card (VIC). The VIC is a CNA that in theory "supports up to 128 virtual network interfaces (vNICs) on the C-Series version of the card, which plugs into a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot, and up to 64 vNICs on the mezzanine card that plugs into the B-Series blades". The PCI-Express version of the VIC will ship in December.

In order to run the VIC (Palo) with VMware you will need to upgrade your vSphere to the next version, vSphere Update 1 (40u1), which is not released yet. Given that these cards are going to start to appearing soon you would expect that Update 1 may be coming soon! I certainly won't be saying when in this post!

Lastly details of something that I think a lot of people don't realise about the C-Series blades
it is not possible to use the C-Series rack servers in conjunction with the UCS box, which has the system and network management software converged into the UCS 6100 switch. [...] But sometime in the first half of 2010, Cisco is going to allow the C-Series racks to plug into the UCS system.

Until then, customers have to use C-Series racks servers as they would any other such machine, using a variety of in-band and out-of-band system management tools and KVM switches, and perhaps plugging them into Nexus 5000 switches to at least converge network and storage links into the server.
If you would like some more details on a few of these items. I detailed the extended memory technology called Catalina, videos of the B250-M1 extended memory blade along with a VIC (Palo) adapter and a lame unprepared video of a C-Series.

[Update : Here is a video from Cisco revealing many of the details. http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10493/index.html]



  1. Anonymous3:12 am

    Just to clarify about couple of posts you have here, does that meant the Rack mount server work as the traditional server as others did? or it will require to connected to UCS 6100 for management purpose?

  2. It can be used as a stand alone server :)


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