Cisco ENCS which stands for Enterprise Network Compute System is a hosting platform designed for the Cisco SD-Branch network services and Enterprise Network Functions Virtualization (ENFV) solution. This platform inherits the best attribute out of a Cisco routing and networking platforms combined with best attributes of a server compliance. Cisco puts it all together in this hybrid platform with a smaller infrastructure footprint which is very useful for branch networks.
Offered with the Cisco Integrated Services Virtual Router (ISRv) and NFV Infrastructure Software (NFVIS) as the hosting layer, the platform offers a complete solution for a simplified deployment. It also accelerates some functions in hardware such as inter-VM traffic flows, IP Security (IPsec) crypto, and RAID for storage. Built-in lights-out management is also supported with Cisco Integrated Management Controller on certain models.
Also Cisco SD-WAN capability can be enabled on both ENCS 5100 and 5400. Cisco SD-WAN provides an entirely new way to manage and operate your WAN infrastructure.
Cisco ENCS 5400 benefits from the latest and greatest Intel processors from Xeon family. Plus, there is three main options available to choose from, 6, 8 and 12 core processor. Just as same as any other server in the world, a key feature that’s typically relegated to high-end servers is the ability to do lights-out management which is basically managing the device even if the main processor is completely down. So using CIMC lights-out management you can you could actually change the BIOS settings, get a virtual KVM, virtual VGS and etc.
Cisco ENCS gives the variety of options for the hosting platform. For those customers that have more centralized services, cloud services or they do not see the need to have that flexibility of services at the branch, as a known demand function, Cisco ISR 4K is a great solution for them. For those customers want to start moving and further journey with virtualization, they can would keep the router physical but have other services virtual. For those customers who wants full flexibility including a virtual router, can choose ENCS or with the UCS-C server which supports high capacity from core memory of storage requirements perspective.
You can find the differences between two Cisco ENCS models in the following figure: