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Cisco grows UCS server family with high-powered AMD processor

News Analysis
Mar 15, 20212 mins
Data CenterServer Virtualization

Cisco is using AMD’s new EPYC 7003 processor to boost performance in its Unified Computing System family of servers.

servers / server racks [close-up perspective shot]
Credit: Monsitj / Getty Images

Cisco has bulked-up its rack server offering with new models that promise to deliver low latency and high-speed computing needed for hybrid-cloud and financial workloads.

The new servers are part of Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) family and are built with AMD’s new EPYC 7003 processors, which feature up to 64 Zen 3 cores per processor and a variety of performance and security features.

Cisco and AMD have worked together on server offerings since 2018 when Cisco first  partnered with AMD to better contend with competitors such as Dell and HP. 

“Together with AMD, we are delivering systems optimized for workloads requiring high core counts, including cloud and VDI workloads, and massive I/O-intensive workloads such as data analytics. Combined with the simplicity of SaaS-managed infrastructure, customers can improve operations spanning infrastructure, workloads and clouds,” said DD Dasgupta, vice president of product management for Cisco Cloud in a statement.

The new rack-mounted server can also be used with Cisco’s Nexus Ultra Low Latency  switching and adapter portfolio to support high-capacity applications lik high-frequency trading (HFT).

The Nexus system is built on technology Cisco acquired with Exablaze in 2019. 

Exablaze specialized in low-latency field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) used to construct logically reconfigurable digital circuits for networking gear in high-performance environments such as data centers, HFT, big-data analytics, high-performance computing and telecommunications. Exablaze products include FPGA-based switches and network interface cards, as well as picosecond-resolution timing technology.

Cisco said the new servers will be available in 90 days. 

Cisco wasn’t the only vendor to announce support for the AMD EPYC 7003 processors. Others such as Amazon Web Serves said it will add the AMD EPYC 7003 series processors to its core Amazon EC2 instance families later this year. Others including Dell, Microsoft Azure, HPE, Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud and VMware announced support for the new AMD processor as well.