Ciscos UCS Server proposition is rocking the market (“Report: Cisco Achieves Top Rank in Americas’ x86 Blade Server Market“) of datacenter computing. Their management software and profile concepts are, dare I say it, the best out there. As an engineer, it is a delight to work with UCS. The minimal amount of effort it takes to deploy a massive computing environment is mind blowing.

The thing that makes UCS awesome, is also the thing that usually weighs it down in small deployments; the Fabric Interconnect (FI). The UCS Manager that runs on the fabric interconnect makes the entire … Read more


When using a Cisco UCS C-Series rack servers in it’s standalone form (not connected to Fabric Interconnects, so not managed through the UCS Manager), you can boot it using a few options: local storage, fiberchannel connected storage, PXE boot and iSCSI.

When you don’t have fiberchannel at your disposal for central boot, iSCSI will do just fine.

The configuration inside the C-Series CIMC is a bit hidden though, here’s how you do it. Login to your CIMC and follow this procedure:

  • 1. Go to Inventory
  • 2. Select the ‘Cisco VIC Adapters’ tab
  • 3. Select the ‘vNICs’ sub-tab
  • 4. Click ‘Add’
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The UCS Inventory Script (UIS) is a tool written in Powershell (using the awesome Cisco Powertool plugin) which I’ve been using for a while in my job, gathering all the configuration data at the end of a build.

That way, I had a reference containing every detail of the UCS configuration to look back to. When an issue came around after we left, we could check back and see in what state we left UCS and if all the proper configuration was done.

Recently, I’ve started updating this script to include everything that I could think of and started adding … Read more


If you use UCS Manager, this has probably happened to you once or twice. Something happened on your UCS environment and you need to get KVM access to a few blades to get things working again. Then you discover one of your colleagues has left his desktop or terminal server session running with a KVM sessions open to the blades you need and you get a “Send sharing request?” dialog. Send all the sharing requests you want, that colleague is enjoying his weekend and won’t respond to them.

The way you can get around this is to reset the KVM … Read more


This post is part of my CCIE Datacenter reference series and will cover all there is to get FCoE up and running on the Cisco Nexus 7k, 5k and 2k switches.

The text assumes you have a understanding knowledge of fundamentals (storage paths, flogis, vPC, etc) and can be used as a configuration reference (I basically wrote this for myself).

Installing & Enabling FCoE

Nexus 7K

Installing and enabling FCoE on the Nexus 7k involves getting the storage VDC up and running. This section will cover just that.

QoS

The Nexus 7k comes with a default QoS policy of default-nq-8e-policy, … Read more


When working on a large project, I tend to make overview sheets for myself to track progress. My CCIE Datacenter project is no difference. I’ve been asked to share my CCIE Datacenter progress excel sheet a bunch of times now, so I figured I’d put it here: CCIE DC Progress Sheet

 

It has been put together with inspiration from other sheets and it assumes you have an INE subscription for their excellent videos.… Read more


VMware has released a design guide for a network with NSX, Cisco Nexus 7000 and Cisco UCS computing. Perhaps it’s a small glueing attempt from VMware to Cisco, maybe it’s nothing. The thing is, I’m really happy about this design guide, there’ll be a FlexPod for NSX yet! 😉

Read it here: http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/products/nsx/vmware-nsx-on-cisco-n7kucs-design-guide.pdf

The document outlines a few important tips:

  • Use separate links for the routing between NSX and the Nexus switches. As you don’t want to route over vPC. 
  • Use DVS network shares to prioritise your traffic.
  • Make sure your MTU values are set properly.

It’s a very good … Read more