Cisco announced the UCS E-Series in January. I haven't been paying close attention to that particular market niche, ran across something about it at Networkers, and checked it out. This blog will briefly cover what the UCS E-Series is, and key items I gleaned about it from the datasheet. I hope this information will be of use to you!
The UCS E-series has some interesting use cases:
In case you were wondering, the UCS E-series is managed locally off an Integrated Management Controller (CIMC). There is no current management off a central UCS Manager comparable to the way the C-series rack mount servers can be managed.
Operating System support is more broad than the UCS Express:
To better understand the hardware side of this new family of products and how it upgrades the capabilities of the UCS Express, I build the following table from the datasheets for the two product lines:
The servers are available in two form factors: a single-wide blade and a double-wide blade. The single-wide blade includes a four-core Intel Xeon E3 processor and occupies a single service module slot in the Cisco ISR G2 device. The double-wide blade occupies two Cisco ISR G2 service-module slots side by side and includes either a four-core or six-core Intel Xeon E5-2400 processor with more RAM and storage capacity than the single-wide module. The double-wide blade also has a PCIe card option for expanding external network and storage I/O.
The new server blades in general support additional RAID capabilities compared to the UCS Express products. See the datasheet for details.
Relevant product positioning from the Q&A sheet:
Cisco UCS Express is designed to host essential infrastructure services and business-critical applications in a lean branch office using a size-, weight-, and power-optimized form factor. Such branch offices typically require only a few physical servers with modest hardware resources. Therefore, Cisco UCS E-Series Servers do not include features such as Cisco® Unified Fabric, Cisco Extended Memory Technology, Cisco VN-Link, and other hardware and large deployment management features that are relevant to data centers and not necessary for most lean branch-office environments.
Cisco UCS E-Series datasheet: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/ps10265/ps12629/data_sheet_c78-705787.html
Cisco UCS E-Series Q&A: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/contnetw/ps5719/ps11273/qa_c67-625001.html
Cisco UCS Express datasheet: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/contnetw/ps5719/ps11273/data_sheet_c78-625000.html