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Cisco UCS Manager OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Cisco UCS Manager is the #10 ranked solution in our list of Infrastructure Monitoring tools. It is most often compared to Cisco Intersight: Cisco UCS Manager vs Cisco Intersight

What is Cisco UCS Manager?
Cisco UCS Manager helps significantly reduce management and administration expenses by automating routine tasks to increase operational agility. Customers can extend the benefits of Cisco UCS Manager globally across an enterprise to thousands of servers in multiple domains with Cisco UCS Central Software.
Cisco UCS Manager Buyer's Guide

Download the Cisco UCS Manager Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

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What users are saying about Cisco UCS Manager pricing:
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Cisco UCS Manager Reviews

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JM
Infrastructure Architect at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Easy to manage and has high availability

Pros and Cons

  • "Ease of management is certainly the most valuable feature in this product."
  • "Upgrading the firmware is a difficult procedure."

What is our primary use case?

Our use case, from our point of view, is that we installed this product in data centers for our customers. I work with six customers currently, and I have to set up the data centers for each of them. For one of them, we run the Cisco UCS Manager. So I have hands-on experience with the setup from end-to-end.  

Usually, we are called by clients specifically about product suggestions. I often personally recommend Cisco UCS because of the high availability. The setup time is quick compared to other products in this category. When we are contracted we have to set up the network, the storage, and other parts of the environment. That means a network and storage link for each and every chassis. But here, because of the configuration of Cisco UCS, we need just one link for all the chassis. This helps us make for quicker delivery time.  

We also monitor the systems, we install and keep spare blades for each and every chassis. Just one or two blades are sufficient for the entire environment. That way, we can easily manage system maintenance. Also, the failover and the profiling system is good with the Cisco product. You can just move the profile to the new blade so that it will start working with the new configuration. This makes it easy during maintenance.  

What is most valuable?

The ease of management is certainly the most valuable feature in this product.  

What needs improvement?

So far the only challenge we face with Cisco UCS is during firmware upgrades. If it happens that there is a failover, and we need to change something in the system, this is where we can run into problems. We can't upgrade the firmware for each component one-at-a-time. It is not a method that will work in a practical way in a larger or global network.  

Nowadays it is some sort of a status symbol or a business necessity for a customer to be in various geographical locations. Because the client can have locations in Australia and the U.S. — in different regions of the world — that tends to make the maintenance of the firmware more difficult. The various business locations offer challenges in that way.  

Usually, when we procure the blades, everything has the same firmware level. This makes sense and is fine if installing in a singular location and for new installations. Everything will match. If it is a new installation and the hardware was not procured at the same time, the firmware for all the components can easily be upgraded because it is still before the implementation.  

But later — say after one year — a customer needs to expand. If we are procuring a new blade, the new blade will come with the new firmware. When the new blade is mounted into the chassis, the old alignment will not understand the new blade because it has new firmware.  

In that case, you need to downgrade the firmware for the new blade or upgrade the firmware for the entire environment. During the firmware upgrades, we would definitely need to take downtime in some cases and the downtime would take too long. We face that challenge all the time in having to choose which path to take during the upgrade. But because of the obvious issues with upgrading the entire environment, it often looks like a better solution to just downgrade the one new blade. We need the option to downgrade or choose the firmware for the component because we cannot upgrade the entire environment. In many cases, we cannot take the downtime for the entire environment because of what it means to the network and the business.  

We should have chances to work with firmware levels in one or two firmware versions and it should be easier to do. Everyone would be comfortable with that. Otherwise, in some cases, there is no point in providing a new blade. Customers will hopefully grow and need new blades. We don't want any extra risk with downtime.  

So Cisco should make an improvement in the firmware upgrade process. No one is providing this kind of solution. But if Cisco would improve that firmware issue, that would be great.  

A new feature that I would suggest is to have the possibility of different types of connections. Within the full-width blade, there are two types of blade: full-width and half-width blade. In the full-width blade, when one link fails, the other link will take care of the entire load. The half-width blade doesn't have that kind of input. It has only one link. If one link goes down, the entire blade goes down. So Cisco should include the feature like that in the half-width blade so it functions more like the full-width blade and is not prone to failure.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used UCS Manager for almost six years.  

How are customer service and technical support?

The help that we get from Cisco support is really good, but there can be nuances with the incompatibilities in existing structures that cause complexity. These can take some time to resolve. But the resource is dependable.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is complex. I will have to spend a lot of time planning the actual implementation. When we execute the plan it will take about two months. The recommendations of the product to the client, the acceptance and the procurement could take as much as four months. But once they deliver the product, we will take a maximum of six to seven weeks to finish the implementation. This is the outlook for the plan but the implementation does not always work so smoothly.    

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this solution as an eight out of ten. I use the UCS Manager and I think it is a good solution.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
FC
IT Infrastructure Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 10
Stable and scalable but extremely complex

Pros and Cons

  • "Technical support has been good so far. We haven't had any issues with them. We're satisfied with the level of service they provide our company."
  • "The interface and the way it is constructed is very complex. They should work to simplify it. It's quite difficult for somebody who doesn't know the product very well. Users should be able to get proficient with it faster. There's definitely room for improvement there."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is primarily used to manage user infrastructure.

What is most valuable?

It's difficult to pinpoint the exact features which are the most valuable to our organization.

What needs improvement?

The interface and the way it is constructed is very complex. They should work to simplify it. It's quite difficult for somebody who doesn't know the product very well. Users should be able to get proficient with it faster. There's definitely room for improvement there.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about six or seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution offers quite good stability. We haven't had a problem at all with it. It's quite good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We don't have too much equipment, so we haven't tried to scale it too much ourselves. However, the solution is actually quite scalable if a company needs to.

We have about six people using the solution in our company.

I'm not a system administrator, so I don't know if we plan to increase the usage. I personally don't intend to.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been good so far. We haven't had any issues with them. We're satisfied with the level of service they provide our company.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used different products. We had an IBM blade server but integrated the management, so it was a very different scenario to what we have now. The previous solution no longer exists, so we had no choice but to switch solutions and we chose Cisco.

How was the initial setup?

The initial installation itself is not very complicated. However, the configuration of the solution can be quite complex.

Deployment times vary. It can be anywhere from a few hours to several weeks. It depends on the company and what needs to happen with the configuration. In our case, it took about a week to deploy it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Currently, we're mostly paying for maintenance. As for the cost of the solution itself, I'm not sure what it is.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were evaluating both Cisco and HP and eventually ended up choosing Cisco.

What other advice do I have?

We're not partners with Cisco. I'm a user of the solution and also a consultant.

We're currently using the latest version of the solution. I'm not sure of the exact version number, but it was updated recently.

I don't have specific advice to others considering implementing the product. I'd just say that it's important that they know the product before implementing it.

I'd rate the solution seven out of ten. You can do pretty much anything you need to on the product, but it's quite complex. If they were able to simplify both the configuration and the user interface, I'd probably give them full marks.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Cisco UCS Manager. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
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PK
Systems Engineer at a hospitality company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5
Easy to manage and simple but has limited scalability options

Pros and Cons

  • "Cisco UCS Manager is overall a good package because it gives a GUI interface and a CLI."
  • "Cisco UCS Manager is not a scalable solution because once you have 160 blades, it cannot be expanded more."

What is our primary use case?

Cisco UCS Manager helps us manage all the blades so we can apply quality to templates. Recently, we have installed VMware vCenter from where we manage it. Cisco UCS Manager gives us control of all the blades with a maximum of 160 blades in a single UCS Manager. From there we can manage all the hardware related issues, like upgrades.

What is most valuable?

Cisco UCS Manager is a simple solution. Their technical support is good because whenever we need to generate a technical log, we can generate it from the console itself. It gives ease of management. Cisco UCS Manager is overall a good package because it offers a GUI interface and a CLI. We use Cisco UCS PowerTool to manage through.

What needs improvement?

In terms of what can be improved, the help dashboard could. Usually, we use vCenter. If I go to an option called Performance Monitoring, it gives us metrics in real-time.

The performance dashboard should be out in front of the UCS Manager - as soon as you log in you should see the dashboard. That should be improved. Another thing is the inventory management dashboard. Inventory is like a configuration database. So we should also be able to pull all the details which can give answers so we do not wonder about the HCI data.

Also, scalability could be improved in this solution.

Lastly, it should be more user-friendly because Cisco is a bit of a complex solution. So we are running the VMware environment and it has added capabilities of management.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Mostly it is stable. Sometimes when we upgrade there's a bug or something like that. Then we involve Cisco for the technical support and they help. I've been always grateful because whenever we need them, they are always available.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Cisco UCS Manager is not a scalable solution because once you have 160 blades, it cannot be expanded more. It has a limit of a maximum of 20 chassis which can hold up to 160 blades. Then, if we need 161 blades, we have to install another Cisco UCS Manager to manage it. That is not expandable. If you have a large volume of blades to support, like 1000 blades, we'd have to divide 1000 by 160 and that will be the number of UCS Managers in our environment.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've been in touch with them. They are very good at the technical level.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward and not so complex.

I think it is a 20 minute job to mount UCS Manager.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented it myself.

What other advice do I have?

Now people have many more options. If you're talking about HCI, Cisco has it. They have their own product called Cisco HyperFlex. Though if you are looking for a single short solution then you probably will not find it here.

On a scale from one to 10, I would rate Cisco UCS Manager a seven.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Erhan-Demirhan
Senior System Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10
Flexible, easy to manage, and scalable with a quick, focused technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are flexibility and management."
  • "We have three data centers and if we could manage all three data centers using one interface, it would be great."

What is our primary use case?

We are using this infrastructure for the virtualization usage for our ESX servers.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are flexibility and management. If you want a non-standard network or SAN configuration then Cisco UCS is very flexible. 

You can manipulate the ESX server network connection or SAN connections with Cisco UCS.

We are comfortable using Cisco UCS in our virtualization environment. We can control anything in the network or SAN site.

What needs improvement?

Integration can always be improved, but that is not an issue for me because I work in a bank in Turkey. In Turkey, there are some regulations regarding Co//ab in the banking industry. Authorities are not permitted to use Co//ab for banking, so integration is not a use case for us.

The stability could use some improvements.

We have three data centers and if we could manage all three data centers using one interface, it would be great.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Cisco UCS Manager for four and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. We had some issues with the batteries or memory, but if you look at the bigger picture it is very stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is very scalable. We manage two large Cisco UCS environments. There are many servers in it and we can grow and scale a lot if we want, it has a lot of room.

How are customer service and technical support?

I am very happy with the technical support.

When you work with vendors such as HP, IBM or Huawei, you can face these types of problems, but it is not as important because the technical support is very good. If you have any issues they resolve your issue very quickly.

The technical support is fast and focused on finding a solution. If we have errors with the hardware or the software, the technical support solves it immediately.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. In the beginning, it appeared to be complex, but after some time it was very straightforward and you can control everything.

It took three or four days to deploy this solution.

What about the implementation team?

We had the help of the Cisco professionals for the deployment.

What other advice do I have?

I am very happy with Cisco UCS. If I had to choose between other submissions, I would choose the Cisco UCS every time.

It's a wonderful product.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ND
IT Infrastructure Engineer with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Flexible and easy to expand features with good stability

Pros and Cons

  • "The flexibility and the ease in which the features can be expanded are the solution's most valuable aspects."
  • "The automation within the solution needs to be simplified."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for software computing within our organization.

What is most valuable?

The flexibility and the ease in which the features can be expanded are the solution's most valuable aspects.

What needs improvement?

The automation within the solution needs to be simplified. 

In the next release, the solution should have a central view center or offer administration capabilities for different environments.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is quite stable. We've never witnessed any bug or glitches. We also haven't experienced any crashes that would lead us to believe the stability is in question. It's very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is okay. You do get some scalability, but it's not fully scalable per se.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've reached out to technical support in the past. The support they've provided has been great. We're satisfied with the level of service that they've given us.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex. It was not straightforward. There's just too much effort to set up a simple environment.

The environment was quite large and the implementation process required a number of people.

Currently, we have six people who handle ongoing maintenance on the solution.

What about the implementation team?

We used a consultant that was able to assist us with the implementation.

What other advice do I have?

In terms of advice of how other users can implement the solution, I'd caution that it depends on what they like to use. If you need to have server usage, for example, for Oracle, for Microsoft Hyper V, VMware, or different solutions, then it's not the best.

For us, the complexity was too high especially when it comes to expanding it for other purposes.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RA
Sr. Lead Consultant - Infrastructure | Virtualization & Cloud Computing | SDN |NFV at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Top 5
Easy to use and manage with a good dashboard and portal for core configuration

Pros and Cons

  • "The reporting functionality will give you any report you want."
  • "I would like to see Cisco UCS optionally work as a hyper-converged system because right now, it only operates as a converged system."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use Cisco UCS Manager for VDI and for connecting to a private cloud.

What is most valuable?

Cisco UCS has a fantastic portal to do the core configuration.

The connection between the Cisco UCS server and the network is easy to use and easy to manage.

This solution has all of the requirements for the network using public extenders.

The dashboard is awesome and you can easily get all of the information that you want.

The reporting functionality will give you any report you want.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see Cisco UCS optionally work as a hyper-converged system because right now, it only operates as a converged system.

Adding another layer of embedded virtualization would allow us to sell this as one unit, like Nutanix or VxRail.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Cisco UCS Manager for three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Cisco UCS is easy to scale.

How was the initial setup?

The first time implementing this solution is a little bit complex. However, after you have the required hands-on experience, the second implementation will be easy. There are a certain number of steps and you follow the documentation.

What other advice do I have?

I have recommended Cisco USC for multiple customers and in particular, one of them was a financial institution.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from using Cisco UCS Manager is that sizing is very important. Once you start thinking about it, you have to understand the requirements, and sizing is important in this regard. Once you understand the requirements, you have to select the right model.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MK
Senior Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
The dashboard is very good and I like the management I get from it

What is our primary use case?

We mainly use this solution to manage the UCS C and B blades.

What is most valuable?

The management is one of the most valuable features of this solution. I also like the dashboard, as it is quite user-friendly.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have you been using Cisco UCS Manager for around five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't had any stability issues so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have about 20 users and I believe this program is scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good and the team was very helpful.

How was the initial setup?

I installed and deployed the program myself and it was really straightforward. …

What is our primary use case?

We mainly use this solution to manage the UCS C and B blades.

What is most valuable?

The management is one of the most valuable features of this solution. I also like the dashboard, as it is quite user-friendly.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have you been using Cisco UCS Manager for around five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't had any stability issues so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have about 20 users and I believe this program is scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good and the team was very helpful.

How was the initial setup?

I installed and deployed the program myself and it was really straightforward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I am not sure what the price is, but you buy the hardware and then you get Cisco UCS Manager for free. 

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend this product to others and my rating for it would be nine out of ten. The pricing can always be better, so I would like to see that being improved. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Daniel Aramayo
Implementation and Support Engineer at PRACSO S.R.L.
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Stable, easy to deploy, and good for managing the entire Cisco ecosystem

What is our primary use case?

I am using Cisco UCS Manager for managing our entire ecosystem for Cisco products.

What is most valuable?

I can quickly manage the provisioned servers.

What needs improvement?

Its user interface can be improved. It can be more user-friendly.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is really stable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is pretty good.

How was the initial setup?

Its initial setup is straightforward.

What was our ROI?

It provides a return on investment.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Cisco UCS Manager a nine out of ten. It is a very useful product. 

Which

What is our primary use case?

I am using Cisco UCS Manager for managing our entire ecosystem for Cisco products.

What is most valuable?

I can quickly manage the provisioned servers.

What needs improvement?

Its user interface can be improved. It can be more user-friendly.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is really stable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is pretty good.

How was the initial setup?

Its initial setup is straightforward.

What was our ROI?

It provides a return on investment.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Cisco UCS Manager a nine out of ten. It is a very useful product. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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