Composable Infrastructure direct-connects compute and storage resources dynamically, using virtualized networking techniques controlled by software. Instead of physically constructing a server with specific internal devices (typically storage or NICs), or cabling the appropriate device chassis to a server, composable enables the virtual connection of these resources at the device level as needed, when needed.
Not bound by a fixed ratio of CPUs to storage or networking, etc., these products can assemble or “compose” bare-metal compute systems with the desired hardware configuration, essentially at run time. And, they can “disassemble” it when no longer needed, returning those resources to a common pool. Some solutions also support GPUs and/or FPGAs.
Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) is a line of servers, networking components and management software designed to provide a comprehensive IT operational environment that helps simplify the enterprise data center. First released in 2009, UCS servers, networking components and server virtualization are sold with Cisco’s switches, storage servers or with other vendors’ enterprise storage arrays and managed by UCS Manager software.
Unified Computing System assembles dedicated compute, storage and networking resources into bare-metal server instances through an API-based software-defined management platform called UCS Manager. While the UCS architecture supports the characteristics of a composable system, and the term “composable” has been used in some product documents, the company hasn’t actively promoted UCS as a composable system, per se (see “Usage and Deployment”).
Product Brief Includes: