Cisco has revealed more details on its Unified Computing System (UCS) for virtualized data centers a month after it was first announced.

Company executives used a live Internet TV broadcast to provide further insight into pricing, processing power and memory capacity.

The networking company’s UCS is a mainstream data center computing platform that promises to seamlessly integrate processor, storage and network systems in a virtualised architecture.

It offers medium and large enterprises a single architecture that links all data centre resources together, so overcoming the "assembly-required" nature of distinct virtualisation environments.

Starting in the second quarter of 2009, Cisco plans to offer complete systems of up to 320 compute nodes housed in 40 chassis, with data flowing across 10 gigabit Ethernet.

When first revealed in March, details on the UCS were limited, largely because the system is based on Intel’s Nehalem-class Xeon 5500 series of server chips, which wasn’t released until March 30.

This week, Soni Jiandani, vice president of marketing for the Cisco Server Access Virtualization Group, and David Lawler, vice president of product marketing for the Cisco Server Access Virtualization Group, provided some more details

They revealed performance-test results that show UCS performs either first or second in benchmark tests against competing systems in trials conducted by VMmark and SPEC, which will have full results available soon.

Cisco also added new details around its Memory Extension Technology, a core component of UCS, which Cisco said enables the CPU to access four times the amount of memory compared to typical blade systems.

The company said its memory extension can cut memory costs by 33 per cent to 60 per cent in 64-GB, 96-GB and 144-GB deployments, while expanding available memory to 192 GB and 384 GB.

They said this solves the problem of users running out of memory before running out of CPU availability.

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