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ASK THE EXPERT - RACK SERVERS

Unanswered Question
Feb 26th, 2010

Welcome to the Cisco Networking Professionals Ask the Expert conversation. This is an opportunity to learn about Cisco UCS C-series innovation and value with Cisco expert Son Tran. Son is a Senior System Administrator in Cisco IT.  He has over 10 years of experience in supporting IT organization. He’s a member of Cisco Network Data Center Service (NDCS) Design Organization responsible for leading Cisco UCS design and architecture.  He also led Cisco IT in architecting Windows solution for over 35,000 windows servers.

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tenaro.gusatu.novici Tue, 03/02/2010 - 06:40

Hi there,

we were using HP servers for all Cisco Unified Communications applications. What we can expect during migration period and once we start deploying UCS boxes?

Regards,

Tenaro

sonttran Tue, 03/02/2010 - 11:25

We’re currently in the process of qualifying UC on UCS C-series so I don’t have any data as of now. I don’t anticipate any technical challenge moving from HP to UCS C-series so your migration experience will be largely depend on your project planning.

tenaro.gusatu.novici Wed, 03/03/2010 - 07:44

Hi again,

is it possible to connect a data storage to a C-series UCS? Can we have FC interface on UCS side or we are limited to Ethernet port?

Regards,

Tenaro

tenaro.gusatu.novici Thu, 03/04/2010 - 02:13

Thanks Son,

acctually, I'm trying to figure out is there any strong technical reason why B-series hardware is reserved only for ATPs. Seems to me both series are able to the same: applications together with operating systems are running inside VMware ESX 4.0; both series are supporting FC links so we can use storage or internal disks. Do you see any technical reason why B-series requires ATP and C-series not? Or if you want, I can rephrase the question: in which areas (if any) is C-series UCS inferior when compared with B-series?

Regards,

Tenaro

sonttran Fri, 03/05/2010 - 16:39

Hi Tenaro,

I'm familiar with ATP so if you can collaborate what it is then I’ll see if I can track down the answer for you.

From a HW server specification the b-series/c-series are similar. What you're missing from the c-series is the UCSM integration.

Regards,

-Son

tenaro.gusatu.novici Thu, 03/04/2010 - 02:22

Hi again,

is there any recommendation, official or personal, regarding type of connection when talking about communication between UCS servers and the storage? Seems to me NFS should be just fine as we are using VMware on UCS but I would like to hear your opinion, especially because I'm not so experienced in SANs, i.e. SCSI and FC.

Thanks,

Tenaro

sonttran Tue, 03/09/2010 - 20:21

Hi  Tenaro,

The C-series supports several storage adapters (http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/ps10265/ps10493/c_series_net_adapter.html) . Selecting the appropriate adapter depends your operating environment and your application IPOS requirement. For example, if you’re hosting DB on VM then you want something high performance like one of the CNA adapters but if you’re not behind a N5K then a QLE2462 or LPE11002 will do. For lower tier VM something you can do is run it over NFS or iSCSI which offer block level data presentation. You can take a look at this article to determine which protocol suits your app.. http://technomagesinc.com/papers/ip_paper.html

Regards,

-Son

v_rajure Sat, 03/06/2010 - 04:54

Hi Son  Tran,

In case if you plan to use C-Class servers instead of B-Class blades along with two Fabric Interconnects.

1. Can we use all the features of UCSM ?

2. Can we achieve the same level of HA as compared to B-Class ?

3. What do would be the technical limitations in this scenario in your view ?

Thanks and Regards,

Vinay

sonttran Tue, 03/09/2010 - 19:53

Hi Vinay,

The 6120XP UCSM can’t detect downstream c-series devices yet. The plan is in future UCS code release this will be possible.

Regards,

-Son

sonttran Thu, 03/11/2010 - 11:29

Hi Vinay,


The c-series servers cannot be integrated with UCSM at this point. The .pdf is correct but it fails to say the timeframe when that will be available. The plan it to enable the integration in future UCS code releases.
One of the groups within CiscoIT is using the 6120XP in Switch Mode along with the c-series and wait for the UCSM integration code to be available before switching back to Host-Mode. This will enable you to easily transition your c-series servers into UCSM.
As with the .pdf I’m checking with our UCS TME to determine if it should be pull from the link because it is misleading.

Regards,
-Son

v_rajure Thu, 03/11/2010 - 21:01

Hi Son,

Thank you very much for answering the query very clearly.

Can you keep me posted on the updates on this matter. Or is there any way I will get a notification.

We are talking to our customers on this solution and if it goes through we need to know the timeframe of this feature to be enabled.

Thanks and Regards,

Vinay

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