Nov 212011
 

 

Click here to download.

Here’s a recap of the new hardware and software features that was introduced in UCS Manager 2.0.

New Hardware Features in Release 2.0(1)

Release 2.0(1s) adds support for:
– Intel Xeon x5687 CPU on B200 M2
Release 2.0(1m) adds support for:
– Cisco UCS 6248 Fabric interconnect
– Cisco 2208 IO Module
– 2500 Watt DC Power Supply for the Cisco UCS 5108 Blade Server Chassis
New Software Features in Release 2.0(1)

Release 2.0(1) adds support for:

-Licensing – Updated information for new UCS hardware.
– 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 LSI storage controller firmware level.
– iSCSI Boot – iSCSI boot enables a server to boot its operating system from an iSCSI target machine located remotely over a network.
– Pre-login Banner – Displays user-defined banner text prior to login when a user logs into Cisco UCS Manager using the GUI or CLI.
– Unified Ports – Unified ports are ports on the 6200 series fabric interconnect that can be configured to carry either Ethernet or Fibre Channel traffic.
– Upstream Disjoint Layer-2 Networks – Enables you to configure Cisco UCS to communicate with upstream disjoint layer-2 networks.
– Virtual Interfaces – The number of vNICs and vHBAs configurable for a service profile is determined by adapter capability and the amount of virtual interface (VIF) namespace available on the adapter.
– VM-FEX Integration for VMware – Cisco Virtual Machine Fabric Extender (VM-FEX) for VMware provides management integration and network communication between Cisco UCS Manager and VMware vCenter. In previous releases, this functionality was known as VN-Link in Hardware.
– VM-FEX Integration for KVM (Red Hat Linux) – Cisco Virtual Machine Fabric Extender (VM-FEX) for VMware provides external switching for virtual machines running on a KVM Linux-based hypervisor in a Cisco UCS instance.

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Jun 022011
 

I started playing with the Cisco UCSM Toolkit recently (currently in Beta) and with its 70 Cmdlets I have been able to automate quite a few actions in UCS that can often take up a fair amount of administrative effort. For me its extremely useful to be able to automate those initial configuration tasks that would be  repeated on every UCS instillation. Working for a solutions provider I often have to install multiple UCS deployments and find allot of repetition.

Using UCSM’s XML API for all commination between the toolkit and UCSM instance. By creating the appropriate XML document for the API call it can then send it to the Web Service on all the UCSM instances.

So why is this UCSM ToolKit of interest?

Well not everyone can afford tools like UIM and EMC Bladelogic to automate the provisioning of the UCS components within a single UCS environment and also (more importantly) with multiple UCSM instances. By adopting the XML API, UCSM opens up the API to almost any scripting language in the future. Utilising the VMware PowerCli and the UCSM Toolkit, it is now possible to automate a huge chunk of a VMware on UCS deployment which has not been easy to achieve previously.

You don’t need a real UCS system.

Download the UCSM Toolkit here (you will need to register with Cisco) and follow the instructions in the user guide.

Using the UCS emulator you can perform pretty much every cmdlet that is in the Toolkit. The emulator runs as a VM and presents a small UCS B-Series environment that critically contains the XML API.

You can download the emulator here.

 

Here’s a really basic script that will connect to the UCSM server and create a new service profile then configure it with a description

# the bellow module contains the cmdlets
import-module <filepath>\CiscoUCSPS.dll
# connect to UCSM
connect-ucsm -Name 192.168.70.128
# Add a masic service profile and configure it.
add-serviceprofile -spname davetest | set-serviceprofile -Desc vmackem
# disconnect all UCSM Sessions
Disconnect-AllUCSM

 

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