The Unified Computing System (UCS) fabric interconnect is a networking switch or head unit where the UCS chassis, essentially a rack where server components are attached, connects to. The UCS fabric interconnect is a core part of Cisco’s Unified Computing System, which is designed to improve scalability and reduce the total cost of ownership of data centers by integrating all components into a single platform, which acts as a single unit. Access to networks and storage is then provided through the UCS fabric interconnect.
The UCS fabric interconnect is part of a range of products provided by Cisco that are used to uniformly connect servers to networks and storage networks. These devices are usually installed as head units at the top of server racks. All the server components are attached to the fabric interconnect, which acts as a switch to provide access to the core network and storage networks of the data center.
The high-end model is the UCS 6296UP 96-port fabric interconnect, which is touted to promote flexibility, scalability and convergence. It has the following features:
- Bandwidth of up to 1920 Gbps
- High port density of 96 ports
- High performance and low-latency capability, lossless 1/10 Gigabit Ethernet and Fiber Channel over Ethernet
- Reduced port-to-port latency to only 2 ms
- Centralized management under the Cisco UCS Manager
- Efficient cooling and serviceability
- Virtual machine-optimized services through the VM-FEX technology, which enables a consistent operational model and visibility between the virtual and the physical environments