ViewYonder.com recently posted a great write up on some things that Cisco’s UCS can do that IBM, Dell or HP really can’t. You can go to ViewYonder.com to read the full article, but here are 10 things that Cisco’s UCS Polices do:

  • Chassis Discovery – allows you to decide how many links you should use from the FEX (2104) to the FI (6100).  This affects the path from blades to FI and the oversubscription rate.  If you’ve cabled 4 I can just use 2 if you want, or even 1.
  • MAC Aging – helps you manage your MAC table?  This affects ability to scale, as bigger MAC tables need more management.
  • Autoconfig - when you insert a blade, depending on its hardware config enables you to apply a specific template for you and put it in a organization automatically.
  • Inheritence - when you insert a blade, allows you to automatically create a logical version (Service Profile) by coping the UUID, MAC, WWNs etc.
  • vHBA Templates – helps you to determine how you want _every_ vmhba2 to look like (i.e. Fabric,  VSAN,  QoS, Pin to a border port)
  • Dynamic vNICs – helps you determine how to distribute the VIFs on a VIC
  • Host Firmware – enables you to determine what firmware to apply to the CNA, the HBA, HBA ROM, BIOS, LSI
  • Scrub - provides you with the ability to wipe the local disks on association
  • Server Pool Qualification – enables you to determine which hardware configurations live in which pool
  • vNIC/vHBA Placement - helps you to determine how to distribute VIFs over one/two CNAs?
  • For more on this topic, visit Steve’s blog at ViewYonder.com.  Nice job, Steve!

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    • REALcustomer

      Wrong again… Better do some more homework…. Others just call it something else or have no need for those features. For example HP can configure a servers characteristics before it is ever placed into chassis….

    • http://BladesMadeSimple.com/ Kevin Houston

      RE: Cisco UCS Profiles

      Thanks for reading. I agree that some of these items are exclusive to Cisco because only Cisco needs these features, however it shows Cisco's difference in their design and it shows the granularity of management you can get with Cisco UCS.

    • enemes

      UCS can do that too as well. It just has a lot more flexibility and automation built in. Things like vNIC and vHBA placement gurantees you that you can migrate from a single mezz blade to a dual-mezz blade without restructuring your service profiles. Then there are Service Profile Templates which are, for all practical purposes, can be viewed as configuration policies.

    • http://BladesMadeSimple.com/ Kevin Houston

      Yes, UCS can do all of the things I mentioned – that's what the post was about ;) If you want to read all of the things it can do, please visit the link in the post. Thanks for reading!

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    • blades rock

      Can Cisco UCS move a server profile from a blade to a rack mount server as well as support HyperV to ESX or ESX to a physical server? As far as that goes, can HP?blade

    • http://BladesMadeSimple.com/ Kevin Houston

      #cisco can't move profiles on their C-Class rack servers (yet). The profile feature is exclusive to #UCS (blades). As far as #HP goes, HP Insight Rapid Deployment software allows you to deploy an entire server image (OS, updates, utilities, and applications). Thanks for reading!

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