Cisco has rolled out a series of new data center products as part of its Data Center 3.0 strategy, consisting of new servers, storage area networks, and switches.

Cisco says the product rollouts, which the San Jose, Calif., company is billing as the second generation of its Unified Computing System (UCS), can deliver up to four times the computing capacity in the same footprint, compared to the first generation of products in the UCS lineup.

The centerpiece of the announcement are new two-socket and four-socket servers, which offer up to 50 percent more processor cores, 300 percent greater application performance, and four times the standard memory footprint of previous generations.

The two-socket M2 B-Series and C-Series servers are based on the new Intel Xeon 5600 processors. The four-socket B-Series and C-Series servers are new additions to the product lineup, which will be made available in the third quarter of 2010. They will incorporate the new Intel Xeon 7500 processor series.

It was just a year ago when Cisco shook up the server market by announcing it was moving directly into the business. It came out with the UCS strategy, which essentially bundled server, networking, and storage technologies into a single system. In the process, Cisco prompted many of its former partners in the server business, such as Dell, HP and IBM, to acquire their own networking capabilities or form partnerships with other switch vendors.

This week’s announcements indicate Cisco is attempting to capture a bigger slice of the data center market with a more powerful lineup.

Cisco also unveiled its FEX-link architecture, a switching fabric extension architecture being incorporated into two new Nexus fabric extender products, the Nexus 2248 and Nexus 2232. Cisco says the Nexus systems can reduce cabling requirements by 70 percent and cooling by 30 percent.




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