Most branches have the need for local compute resources. They are required to host WAN acceleration application like Cisco virtual WAAS. In the retail industry, it is required that the Point of Sale application can continue to process orders when the WAN connection is down. Another example is the requirement to secure Direct Internet Access (DIA) line via Cisco’s virtual ASA from infecting end devices in the branch with malware like viruses. A physical server gives IT administrators the flexibility to load any application required for a specific branch.
But in most branches, a standalone server is simply overkill for the lean branch IT requirements. This is why Cisco came out with the Cisco UCS E-Series Servers. These modules can be directly inserted in the Service Module slot of any Cisco ISR G2 or ISR 4k branch router.
However, the trend to move more and more compute to the data center or the cloud continues; therefore, the need for even smaller compute modules rises. This is why Cisco recently launched the new Cisco UCS E-Series Network Compute Engine modules.
These lightweight modules can be inserted in a network integrated module (NIM) or double wide
EHWIC slot. As a result, even the smallest modular ISRs can now host a server module which lowers the total cost of ownership of the branch compute solution. Even though these modules are less robust and powerful than their Service Module counterparts, they have the capacity to host the most critical branch applications like a print server, file server or at least the Point of Sale application. Because these modules are generic compute modules, a variety of operating systems and hypervisors, including Microsoft Windows Server 2012, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Microsoft Hyper-V and VMWare ESXi, are supported. You can find a full list of supported software on our UCS E-Series Datasheet.
I also made a short video where I highlight some of the key components of these modules. Check it out here:
If you want more video tutorials or have any questions around these modules, feel free to comment here or just send me a tweet @MirkoGrabel.