Defense Agencies Modernizing Core IT Case Study

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Updated:July 18, 2021

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Updated:July 18, 2021


Executive Summary

Industry: Defense


  Reduce server and cabling footprints
  Simplify infrastructure management and scaling
  Minimize operating costs


  Cisco® Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®) C-Series Multinode Rack Servers, powered by AMD EPYC™ processors
  Cisco UCS Manager
  Cisco Intersight™ Private Virtual Appliance


  Consolidated 20 racks of gear down to a single rack
  Reduced 200 cables down to 80
  Lowered power consumption and licensing costs


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Challenge: Modernize and simplify IT infrastructure within the defense industry

Defense agencies around the world are working to modernize their IT infrastructure, taking advantage of high-performance servers that are more dense, less costly, and easier to manage than legacy systems. In fact, various defense departments in multiple countries are now using the powerful combination of:

      Cisco UCS C4200 Series Rack Server Chassis, which hosts four rack server nodes in two rack units (2RU) with shared power and cooling

      Cisco UCS C125 M5 Rack Server Nodes, which are powered by AMD EPYC processors that deliver the highest core density in the industry

Footprint and cost consolidation

One defense agency wanted to expand its private cloud, but had limited physical space in a shared environment. The agency replaced its legacy servers with Cisco UCS C-Series to get more performance and capacity without additional rack space.

Instead of three chassis and 24 nodes in a single rack, the agency now has 10 Cisco C4200 chassis and 40 Cisco UCS C125 M5 server nodes in a single rack. Two-hundred cables have been reduced to 80. And because of the improved performance of the new environment, the agency was able to significantly reduce its hypervisor licensing costs.

Another defense agency had a mishmash of rack and blade servers, with an equally varied collection of management tools. The agency wanted to reduce 20 racks of gear down to a single rack and was able to do so with the Cisco UCS C-Series. The deployment significantly reduced the agency’s IT footprint, power consumption, and operating costs, and was easily replicated across 25 field sites and within an associated agency’s server environment..

Simplified management and scaling

One defense agency deployed the Cisco UCS C-Series to simplify infrastructure management and scaling. Instead of manually managing servers on an individual basis, the agency is now orchestrating its servers collectively using software-defined service profiles.

Leveraging Cisco UCS Manager, service profiles are easily deployed to both rack and blade servers – up to 160 nodes simultaneously. As a result, the defense agency has streamlined infrastructure management, established greater consistency of server configuration and security, and simplified scaling without the need for downtime. 

Another defense agency is using the Cisco Intersight Private Virtual Appliance to simplify and centralize server management. In addition to enabling thousands of nodes to be managed collectively, the appliance aligns seamlessly with Ansible and other open source tools for infrastructure automation and orchestration. 

Performance and reliability

All of the defense agencies have noted the exceptional performance and unwavering reliability of Cisco UCS C-Series servers. Often deployed in the field where technical skills, physical spaces, and power resources are limited, the robust and resilient Cisco C4200 chassis with Cisco UCS C125 M5 server nodes help ensure mission success.  

Product List

Cisco UCS C4200 Series Rack Server Chassis

      Support for four nodes
Up to four Cisco UCS rack server nodes can populate this 2RU chassis

      Up to 512 cores per chassis
With the AMD EPYC processor, industry-leading core density is achieved

      Shared power and cooling
N+1 redundant power supplies support all four servers and provide sufficient power to support top-bin processors

      Up to 24 Small-Form-Factor (SFF) drives
The drive bays are allocated so that each rack server node has access to six SAS, SATA, or up to four disk drives and two NVMe drives


Cisco UCS C125 M5 Rack Server Nodes

      Up to 2 AMD EPYC processors
Choose the number of cores you need for your workload with consistent processor features, from 8 to 64 cores per CPU

      16 DIMM slots
Up to 2 TB of memory

      2 PCIe 3.0 slots
Use to connect to the I/O infrastructure that best suits your needs

      Optional fourth-generation Cisco VICs
Complete programmability of the number and type of I/O devices, making it easier to host different workloads

      Flexible OCP 2.0 slot
For third-party I/O devices

      Internal drive connectivity
Up to 6 SAS or SATA drives or up to 2 NVMe drives plus 4 SAS or SATA disk drives

      Internal SD or M.2 boot options

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Learn more about the capabilities of Cisco UCS C-Series C4200.



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