What is Unified Computing?

The unified fabric now enables a fully virtualized cloud data center with pools of computing, network, and storage resources, through the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS).UCS unites computing, network, storage access, and virtualization resources into a scalable, modular design that is managed as a single energy-efficient system. This system is managed through an embedded management framework, in the Cisco UCS platform.

The Cisco UCS management framework provides robust API for managing all system configuration and operation. Its also helps increase cloud data center staff productivity, enabling better management of storage, networking, computing, and applications to collaborate on defining service profiles for applications.

Service profiles help automate provisioning, allowing cloud data center to provision applications in minutes instead of days. This provides a means to stateless computing, where compute nodes have no inherent state pertaining to the application that it might execute.

So, at any given time, a machine could be running operating systems X, and then the next minute, it could be rebooted and it could be running a Hypervisor Y. Hence, the compute node is just an execution engine with CPU, memory, disk, flash, or hard drive.

The core concept of a stateless computing model is to separate the access to the application from the execution of the application. Stateless computing provides a holistic way to address configuration management, rapid provisioning, upgrades/downgrades, scalability, policy enforcement, and auditing.

Cisco UCS extends virtualized data centers and creates a foundation for private clouds that federate with compatible virtual private clouds  With the virtualized environment defined by a dynamic, scalable data center fabric, a workload really can run anywhere; the resources needed to support a workload can come even from an outside service provider in a cloud-computing model.