Today while I was walking around the vendor expo at VMworld 2011, I saw a very interesting product from Cisco. I was familiar with the datacenter UCS product, but a mini version caught my attention. Called UCS Express this is a micro ESXi server that slides directly into their ISR G2 chassis, which is a branch office router.
This is a micro server that currently supports dual cores and upto 8GB of RAM with two 1TB HDs. With RAID 1 you get about 500GB of usable space. It will run ESXi, so you could put very lightweight services like AD/DNS, DHCP or print server out at your branch office without deploying a full rack mount server. List price is around $4K for just the mini server, which isn’t bad. On the road map is a double wide server which will support more cores and up to 48GB of RAM. That should be coming in 2012.
They will also be working on a centralized management console, so if you have a lot of these micro servers on your network you have a single pane of glass to manage them through.
If your business has remote offices with limited space, and you only need very minimal Windows services, then this could be a great option for you. I don’t think this product gets much press, as I had never seen it before.