Questions Arise About Security for Cisco UCS

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-05-04 Print this article Print

There is a glaring omission in Cisco Systems' new Unified Computing System data center initiative: security. With the main focus being on Cisco's entry into a huge new business, little or nothing about security was discussed at the March 16 product launch. Cisco provides the networking for UCS, while a host of partners provide storage hardware, management software, virtualization and other components. But specific security requirements are a mystery.

Cisco Systems made big news March 16 when it boldly announced that it was moving into the full-service data center systems business with its Unified Computing System.

But in all the hubbub of the UCS product launch, Cisco left something important out of the conversation: How is security for UCS going to be handled?

It turns out that there are, in fact, some real questions that need to be addressed.

To review, the Unified Computing System consists of a new data center architecture, a new application server (the Cisco UCS B-Series), and a new management software and services package. Cisco partners are providing most of the UCS components.

Intel's Xeon 5500 processors make up the UCS computing foundation. Longtime Cisco partners EMC and NetApp provide the storage hardware. BMC Software brings the only provisioning, change management and configuration software in the stack. Customers will have a choice of either VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization layers; systems integrator Accenture will help shape the individual product packages for customers.

Now we're back to that glaring omission involving security. With the main news focus being on Cisco entering a huge new business, little or nothing was said about the security aspect at the March 16 product launch.

Although EMC is a major partner in the storage component, its RSA Security subsidiary was not mentioned as being a part of this initiative. Neither were Symantec, McAfee, Iron Mountain or any other well-known security vendor.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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