Cisco Systems introduces modular storage server

Cisco Systems is venturing into storage through its successful server business, with the company on Tuesday, unveiling modular systems capable of being deployed with different combinations of computing and storage capacity.

Though, this does not come as Cisco's first foray into storage, the UCS S3260 Storage Server offers a density and a freedom of configuration that none others offered, even competing on cost with public cloud services, according to the company.

The announcement of the server was made at the Cisco Partner Summit in San Francisco. It was the first entry in Cisco's S-Series, a line of systems that would serve both enterprises and companies that provided cloud services to others.

According to Cisco, the S-Series servers would cost companies 50 per cent less than leasing public-cloud resources, considering all costs over time. While hardware came at a regular one-time purchase price, cloud services had regular fees. The company added, with Cisco financing, the initial costs might work out even  lower.

According to company, the S-Series packed a lot of storage and computing into a small space, which had inherent cost advantages. In the case of the first S-Series product, the UCS S3260 Storage Server, there was room for 600TB of storage in a 4U (7-inch-high) system, if it was fully dedicated to storage.

With the 2U storage servers that were not typical, including Cisco's own UCS C240 Rack Server, it would take five machines – a total of 10U of rack height – to get to the same amount of capacity, Cisco said.

According to Cisco, the server was 56 per cent cheaper over three years than paying out for Amazon's S3 service.

The S-Series was designed for data intensive workloads such as big data, streaming media and collaboration applications, as also for deploying software-defined storage, object storage, and data protection solutions.