Wednesday, December 12, 2012

UCS 2.1 Emulator Released

Happy Holidays Everyone,

Feel like taking UCSM 2.1 for a test drive? Go to the Cisco Developer Site and download the new UCSM 2.1 emulator. It does require VM Player or VMware Workstation but is a great assest if you wish to test and develop best practices on Cisco UCS.


Cisco UCS 2.1 Released

Thinking about updating to UCSM version 2.1? There are many features in UCSM 2.1 that make the upgrade worth wild for sure. With support for UCS Central, Firmware auto install and VLAN groups and permissions, this is sure to be another game changer for Cisco.

The following is a list of features delivered in this release:
Cisco UCS Central Support ***
Cisco UCS C-Series Server Integration through Single Wire Management
Default vNIC and vHBA Behavior Policies
Fault Suppression
FCoE Uplink Ports
FCoE Port Channels
Fibre Channel Zoning
Firmware Auto Install ****
Firmware Cross-Version Support
LAN/SAN Connectivity Policies for Service Profile Configuration
Multicast Policy
Scheduled backups *****
Service Profile Renaming *****
Support for discovery of flash I/O devices (Fusion I/O and LSI flash cards)
Support for Multiple Receive Queue Support (MRQS) on Linux
Troubleshooting Enhancements for Finite State Machine (FSM) processes
Unified Uplink Ports
Unified Uplink Port Channels
Unified Storage Ports
vCon Assignment and Distribution
VLAN Port Count Optimization
VLAN Groups
VLAN Permissions
VM-FEX Integration for Hyper-V SRIOV
VM-FEX Integration for KVM (Red Hat Linux) SRIOV

Happy flashing and make sure to read the upgrade guides.


Monday, April 30, 2012

UCS C-Series UCSM managed discovery fails at 99%


If you ever run into this issue in the field here is what you might do to resolve the issue. First off log into the FEX and check the VIC uplinks. If the ports do not reflect the private UCS VLANs in a show interface, then a former server or device once occupied these ports.

If that is the case, you have a few options: 

1. relocate the server VIC uplinks to a new FEX port and view the port configuration once they go active.   

FEX port configuration: ABNORMAL


FEX configuration post move: NORMAL

2. If #1 happens improperly, you must re acknowledge the effected FEX to clear all port configurations and stage them for rediscovery.

Needless to say this was a learning experience for me given the circumstances.  From this incident I learned this much, never move a device from a FEX port without decommissioning it first. 


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cisco UCS 2.0 (1M) Release


Cisco UCS 2.0 is out and available for download for both the 6100 and 6200 family of UCS Interconnects. The firmware release does have a few bugs in it such as false FCoE warnings, more empty pool warnings. Most have work arounds and are minor. I would encourage you to read the release notes and see if the issues are noteworthy in your environment prior to the installation.


2.0 includes:

Support for the following items:

-Cisco UCS 6248 Fabric interconnect
-Cisco 2208 IO Module
-2500 Watt DC Power Supply for the Cisco UCS 5108 Blade Server Chassis

Added Features:

-New Licence items for new UCS hardware.
-Unified Port Support
-The "Firmware Bundle" option: Enables you to select a bundle instead of a version when updating firmware using the Cisco UCS Manager GUI.
-Disk Drive Monitoring Support: support for disk drive monitoring on certain blade servers and a specific storage controller firmware levels.
-iSCSI Boot support on blades with iSCSI vNICSs.
-New Login banner
-Disjoint Layer-2 Networks - Cisco UCS is now able to communicate with upstream disjoint layer-2  networks.
-Larger VIF support for the M81KR adapter card.
-VM-FEX Integration for VMware - Better VN-Link support
-VM-FEX Integration for KVM (Red Hat Linux) - VN-Link for RedHat

Have fun and be careful,


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

UCS 2.0 Information Sneak Peak


After Networkers 2011 in Las Vegas this year Cisco has finally release information concerning Cisco UCS 2.0. The additions are amazing when it comes to system bandwidth, Port-Channel enhancement and a port density. All UCS items have been refreshed and are backwards compatible with current UCS environments. Please review the link below for all the details.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Qos on UCS


The other day I was tasked with doing QoS on UCS for NFS/VMware. This first thing I did was read Brad Hedlund's article in QoS on Cisco UCS. This provided some great direction as Brad's articles usually do.

1. The first thing I did was to enable and adjust all the native UCS QoS system classes: Note the MTU for NFS and the weight.


2. Next I create QoS policies for all VMware/System networking needs:

3. Finally I created my vNIC templates and then applied the created QoS polices to each respective vNIC.

4. Upstream I ensured that Jumbo Frames were enabled and that all QoS polices were being honored. After some testing, it worked like a charm.


Cisco UCS false error reporting on DIMMs


Cisco has advised all field teams to be aware of a potential case of false error reporting on DIMMs. If this occurs, please read the article below.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Cisco Unified Computing System Extended Memory Technology

Hey folks,

I hope all is well. I recently found a Cisco white paper explaining the extented memory technology of the B250. Since memory is the heart of our systems today, it is certainly worth a read.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Placement of mezzanine adapters in full width blades


I found this great article recently on one of the other UCS blogs. Its a great read and is worth looking when planning a fully redundant UCS installation.


Palo vNIC or vHBA calculation


I got this tip from a good friend at Cisco. It great information when you start to design a UCS system.

It is generally advertised in marketing materials that the M81K Palo card can do a maximum 56 virtual interfaces (vNICS and/or vHBAs) (sometimes 128 in some marketing materials). 

This limit is actually set on the number of uplinks from the chassis to the fabric interconnect.  The formula is (15n-4) where N is the number of uplinks.  So plugin 1, 2 or 4 to get your max.

1 uplink per FEX:   15*1-4 = 11
2 uplinks per FEX: 15*2-4 = 26
4 uplinks per FEX: 15*4-4 = 56 (hence the maximum in the marketing slide)

Thanks Jason,


Sunday, January 30, 2011

UCS & FlexPod for VMware

Hey folks,

I hope all is well. Recently I attended a lunch and learn on FlexPod for VMware. This product can be a pay-as-you go cloud solution and brings out the best in Cisco UCS, NetApp & VMware. Please take a look and make sure that your UCS can be all it can be.



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

LDAP in UCS firmware version 1.4.1


I found this article on LDAP integration in firmware version 1.4.1.. I tried it in my lab and it worked just fine. I used ADSI edit to pull out the needed DN info and I created all the groups contained in the article. I tested all items and it worked great.

ADSI edit info pulled in my lab:

a. BaseDN   DC=omat,DC=tec,DC=msi
b. BindDN:CN=ucs user,OU=Service Accounts,DC=omat,DC=tec,DC=msi
c. Bind password:  Nbv12345
d. Filter: sAMAccountName=$userid
e. Roles:
ucsaaa       CN=ucsaa,OU=UCSGroups,DC=omat,DC=tec,DC=msi
ucsadmin     CN=ucsadmin,OU=UCSGroups,DC=omat,DC=tec,DC=msi
ucsnetwork   CN=ucsnetwork,OU=UCSGroups,DC=omat,DC=tec,DC=msi
ucsoperation CN=ucsoperation,OU=UCSGroups,DC=omat,DC=tec,DC=msi
ucssecurity  CN=ucssecurity,OU=UCSGroups,DC=omat,DC=tec,DC=msi
ucsstorage   CN=ucsstorage,OU=UCSGroups,DC=omat,DC=tec,DC=msi

UCS side:

Putty side:

Happy Authenticating!