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Cisco UCS C125 M5: Rack Server Overview and Insight

By Drew Robb (Send Email)
Posted January 28, 2019


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Bottom Line:

Cisco UCS C125 M5 racks are the workhorses of the Cisco UCS family. They are less expensive than the Cisco UCS C240 racks, and in fact have the cheapest starting price of any in this guide. Yet they come with powerful AMD EPYC processors and a robust amount of memory. Plenty of these units can be packed inside Cisco UCS chassis.

They are aimed at general purpose applications and can serve well as infrastructure or application servers. For those looking at Cisco versus lower-end servers from HPE or Dell, the Cisco platform can serve quite adequately as banks of rack servers. Those already well invested in Cisco gear would probably be more inclined to gravitate to Cisco racks.

Furthermore, Cisco has sweetened the offer. It also paired the C125 M5 with the UCS C4200 Series Rack Server Chassis to create the UCS C4200 Platform for high density data centers and edge environments. Another interesting development is that Cisco chose an AMD server over Intel and ARM processors. The AMD Epyc 7000 series processors deliver better price/performance/energy ratios for high density, lower OpEx environments.

Product Description:

The Cisco UCS C4200 Series Rack Server Chassis can support up to four Cisco UCS C125 M5 2-socket rack server nodes. Scale-out, compute intensive, or bare-metal applications all do well on these units. They can be deployed as standalone servers or as part of the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) to take advantage of Cisco’s standards-based unified computing platform which has the goal of reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and increasing business agility.

The C4200 chassis extends the capabilities of the Cisco UCS portfolio in a 2U form factor. It incorporates AMD EPYC 7000 processors for high-density compute power. These processors have up to 32 cores per socket, up to 2 TB of DRAM using sixteen 128-GB DDR4 DIMMs for 2-socket CPU configuration (eight DIMMs/memory channels per CPU), and over 45 TB of storage, with up to six Small-Form-Factor (SFF) 2.5-inch direct-attached drives per node.

Features:

Number of processors:

Up to 2

Processors supported:

2 AMD EPYC 7000 processors

Cores per processor:

Up to 32

Maximum processor frequency/cache:

 2.5GHz / 64 MB

I/O expansion slots:

2 PCIe Gen3, 1 OCP 2.0

Maximum memory/# slots/speed:

2 TB / 16 / 2666MHz

Maximum Persistent Memory:

None

Storage controller:

Embedded SATA AHCI Controller

Cisco 12G SAS RAID PCIe Controller

Support:

Support for the Cisco C125 varies from the base package, which offers support from 8 AM to 5 PM, up to an advanced option of 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Key markets and use cases:

  • Scale-out computing including applications like web infrastructure and gaming.
  • Industrial high performance computing: oil and gas, high tech, aerospace, banking and finance, genomics.
  • For remote sites, branch offices, retail locations, etc., physical space can be a premium. Customers can get four C125 M5 servers in its 2RU C4200 chassis. In aggerate, they would have 256 cores, 8TB of memory, and 182TB of storage for their server needs.
  • At the other end of the spectrum are workloads that require as many cores as possible and need the best memory bandwidth, e.g. HPC type workloads. (The C125 M5 has the highest core count of any UCS server (32 per CPU) and the fastest memory bandwidth with eight DIMMs per channel).

Price:

Starting at $3,175

Server

Cisco UCS C125

Max Processor Frequency

2.5GHz / 64 MB

Max Persistent Memory

None

Form Factor

2U

Max Processors

2 AMD EPYC 7000

Max Memory

2 TB

Max Storage

48 TB

Price

$3,175

Key Differentiator

Good power in small footprint

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