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6 reasons why HPE OneView surpasses Cisco UCS Manager



bigstock--148296122.jpgWelcome to the digital disruption. Success in this environment requires you to turn ideas into value faster than the competition. So what’s holding you back? The same thing that is holding many businesses back – an IT infrastructure that is not designed for today’s demands. Complex manual processes and non-integrated tools fail to provide the speed and simplicity you need to support your new ideas and applications.

To overcome these challenges, IT leaders must redefine technology models with breakthrough infrastructure management that increases speed and simplicity. HPE OneView is an infrastructure automation engine that will enable you to meet your needs today, along with your future needs.

Using software-defined intelligence, HPE OneView brings a new level of automation to infrastructure management by taking a template-driven approach to provisioning, updating and integrating compute, storage and networking infrastructure. Designed with a modern, standards-based API and supported by a large and growing partner ecosystem, HPE OneView makes it easy to integrate powerful infrastructure automation into existing IT tools and processes.

Side by side comparison of HPE OneView and Cisco UCS Manager

A new white paper comparing and contrasting HPE OneView and Cisco UCS Manager offers a guide for customers to use when choosing the right infrastructure management tool for their business. The paper looks at 6 key factors to evaluate the two management tools: simplicity, a unified API, non-disruptive management, a people-centric design, automated lifecycle management, and end-to-end management.

You may be thinking that since HPE produced this white paper, they have a vested interest in promoting their solution over Cisco’s. Of course, that’s true. But the information contained in the paper was compiled using publically available information from Cisco’s own blogs and website and information readily available on HPE OneView. Based on those 6 key factors, the white paper concludes that HPE OneView is the solution of choice for boosting speed, productivity, and efficiency through innovation and customer focus.  Here is a closer look at the deciding factors:

1. The power of simplicity

Simplicity is a core tenet of HPE OneView—from the intuitive user interface (UI) to the enterprise scale Global Dashboard.  Day-to-day administrative tasks including connectivity to fabrics, networking, storage and managing multiple resources are all simplified. HPE OneView Global Dashboard unifies management by consolidating alerts, smart search, single sign-on, and in-context launch for all managed and monitored resources across multiple data centers in multiple geographic locations. 

Cisco UCS Manager uses a hierarchical tree-and-branch user interface, which could dramatically increase the learning curve. Remember, the more cumbersome a UI is to learn and use, the longer it can take to get tasks completed.

2. Unified API

Adding to the value of HPE OneView is a standards-based, unified API for composable infrastructure. Native in HPE OneView, this API enables you to use a single line of code to abstract every element of your infrastructure, supporting full infrastructure programmability. The unified API serves as the interface for delivering Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) on bare metal. It also enables a broad HPE OneView partner ecosystem, including many emerging DevOps tools like Chef, Docker, and Ansible, so you can deploy your new traditional and cloud-native apps faster.

The HPE unified API is a RESTful API built with JSON objects—the standard preferred by a vast majority of web-based developers.[i]  Compared to XML, which Cisco used to build UCS Manager/Central, JSON is much more lightweight and developer-friendly.[ii] The advantages of the REST methodology is that it is a widely accepted and prevalent interface that is used by modern Web 2.0 providers (Twitter, Facebook, Azure, Office 365, GitHub). This well-documented public API is very useful for developers and end users who want to create their own app or provide integration capabilities with other services they use.

Cisco UCS Manager also offers a more limited support for DevOps tools directly through the UCS Manager. For example, when discussing using Chef, Cisco points to a VMware integration with Chef, NOT a native integration with Cisco’s UCS Manager.  We don’t see any direct Docker integration with Cisco UCS Manager. [iii]

3. Out of Band management

With HPE OneView, management is independent of the data path, so you can perform management system maintenance activities without taking the system down. HPE OneView appliances physically separate the management fabric from the data fabric, which makes HPE OneView independent of the fault domain.

In contrast, Cisco embeds server management into the top-of-rack Cisco switch called a Fabric Interconnect. If UCS Manager crashes or becomes unavailable, there is increased opportunity for the associated fabric interconnect to also crash, which would stop all passing traffic and leave the UCS domain in a failed state—a fundamental problem with running the management application on the data path device.

4. People-centric design

Further driving simplicity, HPE OneView was designed with a consumer-inspired user interface that is highly intuitive and easy to use. A short learning curve means that HPE OneView admins can be productive almost immediately.


 In our opinion, the UCS Manager does not have a consumer-friendly UI. Remember that tree-and-branch UI? It increases complexity with scale. Cisco even admitted that it didn’t work well in large-scale environments. Of course, they admit to “fixing” that problem, but also say that their “fix” has a steep learning curve.

5. Automated lifecycle management

HPE OneView offers automated lifecycle management via server profile templates. BIOS settings, firmware and driver updates can be made in the template once and then propagated to all profiles created from that template. Profile compliance notification is also automatically generated.

In contrast, Cisco has two mechanisms for delivering firmware and drivers. There is no cross-checking of firmware and drivers, so the user must perform each task independently each time, which can be extremely time-consuming.

6. End-to-end management

HPE OneView automates the provisioning of HPE 3PAR StoreServ storage volumes, zones the external SAN fabric and attaches volumes to server profiles on the fly. All of these features are automated, which dramatically simplifies end-to-end management.

Not so with Cisco UCS Manager, as it does not manage external storage. To manage external storage, you must purchase Cisco UCS Director at an additional cost.[iv]

HPE OneView – the solution of choice

Given these 6 key factors, HPE OneView is the solution of choice for boosting speed, productivity and efficiency through innovation and customer focus.  But don’t just take my word for it -- all of this information was compiled using easily available documentation. To get all of the details (including links to Cisco blogs/documentation) read the white paper, HPE OneView Surpasses Cisco UCS Manager.  

To learn more about HPE OneView on HPE Composable Infrastructure, follow @HPEConverged_DI on Twitter and the hashtag #Composed2Win. 


Follow HPE Composable Infrastructure


[i] PWC “Consumerization of APIs: Scaling Integration,” figure 3, at 

[ii] The hunt for the perfect API,, and New v2 API: What’s Not There Is Just As Important As What Is, 


[iv] Overview of Cisco UCS Manager, “Tasks You Cannot Perform in UCS Manager… Configure or manage external storage on the SAN or NAS storage.”


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