Questions Arise About Security for Cisco UCS

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

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 10 years and more than 3,500 stories at eWEEK, he has distinguished...