It seems I’ve developed a following of people that look forward to my posts on the new UCS bundles. I think that’s a good thing! It shows the value of these pre-built offerings that Cisco puts together and it is good feedback up the chain to Cisco to show the work is worth it. Last week Cisco released the new round of offerings. There is nothing too shocking here but it’s really split in to a few different things.
First, all previous M2-based bundles were extended until July 28th!. If you don’t remember what those offerings are you can check my post here (original bundles) and here (refreshed B230 bundles). For the most part those stay the same…same SKU numbers and same list price. The expansion packs will probably end up being a little cheaper due to some changes there…so if you’re looking to add more blades check those out.
The real meat of the new offerings are in the new M3 bundles.
Once again the B-series bundles are available with and without hard drives. The vast majority of our deployments are BFS (Boot from SAN) and do not have drives, but you can get them if you wish. Just realize that there is still some constraint on hard drives and that can delay orders.
The most popular bundle has been the B200 Value with (4) blades, (12) cores, and 48GB of RAM. This now equates to the B200 M3 Value with (4) blades, (16) cores each, and 64GB of RAM. If you do a side-by-side you’ll see that with the old blades using the 2.53GHz E5649 CPUs you got a raw 30.36GHz of CPU. Now you get 32GHz CPU. More cores, just a lower clock speed. You also get more RAM. The downside is that the price has gone up a bit but again, you can still get the B200M2 bundles so you can decide if the price premium is worth the new E5 CPUs from Intel and the new M3 blades from Cisco. If buying today it’s hard to argue against future proofing those blades.
Along with these new base bundles Cisco has new M3 expansion packs.
These allow you to quickly add more blades with standard offerings that reduce the cost. It’s very common for us to do an initial UCS deployment using a combination of the base bundle and the expansion packs. Keep in mind there is technically a limit on the number of bundles a customer can buy per quarter. Right now that limit is:
- Smart Play Base Bundles – 5 per quarter (Resets on 4/30/12)
- Expansion Packs – 10 per quarter (Resets on 4/30/12)
Once again Cisco has also released some updated B230M2 and C260M2 expansion packs.
Those just build upon the ones we’ve had before. It makes pricing and ordering a much smoother process so I’m a fan of these packs.
There are also other offerings called Solution Packs. These are built around vWAAS and UC-on-UCS.
These are very simple and easy ways to get both in your environment. It helps you leverage the UCS infrastructure as appliances for some applications. There is a limit of 10 Solution Packs (I refuse to use the term Pak, btw) per quarter. Those reset at the end of April as well.
BTW: Cisco, it’s VMware, not VMWare. Everybody drink.
I think that’s it! If you want to see the advantages of the M3 offerings I have a post on that here. Cisco has been REALLY good at taking feedback on the bundle offerings and it continues to show in these. If there is something you think is missing or you feel is a good idea please shoot me an email and I’ll get that feedback up the chain and we can discuss some options. My address is really simple…just email@example.com. Happy to answer any UCS related questions you have.
Today I’m flying off to San Diego for Cisco’s Partner Summit. If I get time while there I want to do a summary post on these bundles as the extensions and mid-quarter additions have caused some blurring of what’s available…especially on the expansion packs. I want to work on a good summary to lessen that confusion.