Yes, the trend is consolidation, it has been for a while. And it continues. Although readers of my blog know I'm all but a fan of Blade Systems (What might be the best Blade System, The HP Blade Nightmare continues, A Black VMware Weekend, Why I Hate Blade Servers), this system is the latest fashion for data centres. For more information about Cisco UCS check out the Unified Computing System page from Cisco.
And no, only because it's written Cisco on it doesn't make me less skeptical. But it may change my opinion about Blade Systems IF the system runs well, smooth and without problems.
One big positive thing, I have to admit, is the usage of rack space. The Blades are very powerful and don't need a lot of space. Instead of using a whole rack full of 1U or 2U servers, you simply add a Cisco UCS which takes 5U and two switches, each 1U. That's a total of 7U for a max of 8 Blade servers, that's not a shabby number. But be aware that those 5U are BLOODY HEAVY!
And here's the actual documentation of work - Cisco UCS in and old SUN servers out:
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