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VMware vCenter 5.5 Update 2 released!

VMware has released vCenter 5.5 Update 2 today. Most of the updates are basic product support updates, like support for Microsoft SQL Server 2014 and removing support for IBM DB2. There are a bunch of bug fixes in there as well. For the full list, check here.

One particular change was a bit buried in the release notes and was not mentioned in the blog post, which tries to say it’s not a major change. However, for VMware administrators, this might be the most important change in Update 2 and the reason they will upgrade; In Update 2, you … Read more

Cisco UCS Grand Slam Announcements

Cisco held a “UCS Grandslam” today, where they announced some amazing new UCS products and announced a few refreshers of the UCS family. I think “Grand Slam” is a baseball term (not american 😉 ), because there was a pretty cool presentation from the major league baseball on how they are using the Internet of Things (IoT) to further the multimedia experience of baseball.

On to the important stuff! Cisco is refreshing and expanding the UCS family with a few new awesome things:

  • UCS Mini. Smaller UCS Pod, with built-in Fabric Interconnects (check my review a while
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Cisco releases Nexus 1000v 3.1 with an Update Manager!

Cisco has released version 3.1 of its virtualised switch (available for download here). It comes with increased scalability and resiliency, but one very cool thing stood out for me: the Virtual Switch Update Manager or VSUM.

The VSUM is not the only cool improvement on the virtual switch, here’s an overview of changes:

  • Scale
    • Increased Scalability (Advanced Edition) – More than doubles the scale from the previous release. The virtual switch now supports 250 hosts/servers per switch with 10,000 ports per switch. In addition it supports 4094 active VLANs and 16 million VXLAN (6144 active VXLANs) per switch across
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Taking the CCIE Datacenter Lab Exam

As I’m writing this post, I am still high on the drug that is called a passing grade. After 10 months of studying the blueprint and putting in hundreds of hours reading through the configuration guides, building topologies (just to tear them down and start over when you’re done), one failed attempt in May, dreaming about all things Cisco UCS, Nexus (physical and virtual) and MDS..I can finally say that I got my CCIE on Datacenter: number 44460 (an easy one to remember too!).

Stating the obvious is usually not my thing, but this time I’ll make an exception: Preparation Read more

Cisco UCS: Which uplink is listening for which VLAN?

While troubleshooting VLAN connectivity on UCS in end-host mode with multiple uplinks, it is be good to know which uplink is the designated receiver (listener for broadcast and multicast) for which VLAN. This will be useful when you have L2 connectivity issues, where 1 or more VLANs are having issues going outside the Fabric Interconnects.

Considering the length of the command to find the designated receivers, I haven’t memorised the command itself, but the which command to find it:

Mini version of Cisco UCS Review – Part 1

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

How to boot a UCS C-Series server from iSCSI

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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