CUCM, UCxN, VMWare and 3rd party blade centers

Answered Question
Apr 18th, 2012

Cisco has the voice wiki published that has a good bit of info in it.  In the Wiki, Cisco has published a standards based set of requirements for non Cisco UCS third party blade hardware for supporting virtualization of UC.  It lists the expected things such as processor speed, type, amounts of memory, etc.  All this is common sense.

Then it goes on to say that Cisco will only support IBM and HP, and specifically excludes all other manufacturers.  As a partner, we are having issues with this.  Customers don’t understand why the manufacturer enters into the standard, and the only answer we can give them is “Because Cisco said so”.  That isn’t being received very well, and we have had large customers back away from UC virtualization as a result several times. 

I’m not trying to force this in any particular direction.  I just need an answer as to WHY the vendor even matters if we are going to use a performance based specification.  I can't make sense of this, and the customers certainly aren't getting it. 

Has anyone ever gotten an official or semi official answer on this matter?   Every time I've asked into the various SE's I deal with, I get complete silence in response.  Not trying to force this in any particular direction....just trying to understand the answer so I can communicate the requirement and explain it better.

TIA

Cliff

I have this problem too.
0 votes
Correct Answer by gapande about 1 year 12 months ago

Cliff,

We truly value your concerns & would like to suggest you with 2 more options apart from what Chris mentioned about CAM team.

1. You might want to open a PDI Helpdesk case from portal www.cisco.com/go/pdihelpdesk so that an answer from the product team can be seeked.

2. Alternatively, raise a thread at Cisco Communities here https://communities.cisco.com/community/partner/collaboration/uc?view=discussions which is monitored by Cisco's product team.

GP.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Average Rating: 5 (7 ratings)
Chris Deren Wed, 04/18/2012 - 05:53

Cliff,

It matters because testing needs to be performed on all supported platforms. I am unsure of Cisco's future direction here, but your best bet would be to discuss this with your Account Team and voice your frustration, if they get enough complaints they may look into changing it as voice of the customer goes a long way.

HTH,

Chris

cmcglamry Wed, 04/18/2012 - 07:30

Chris,

Thanks, but if a customer is using specifications based support, Cisco specifically states that they DO NOT support the hardware and it's the customer's responsibility.  It's the customer's responsibility to meet the standard. 

After saying that, they then mention the specific vendor part.  This combination is what creates confusion and pushback from customers. 

Cliff

Correct Answer
gapande Wed, 04/18/2012 - 06:02

Cliff,

We truly value your concerns & would like to suggest you with 2 more options apart from what Chris mentioned about CAM team.

1. You might want to open a PDI Helpdesk case from portal www.cisco.com/go/pdihelpdesk so that an answer from the product team can be seeked.

2. Alternatively, raise a thread at Cisco Communities here https://communities.cisco.com/community/partner/collaboration/uc?view=discussions which is monitored by Cisco's product team.

GP.

Gordon Ross Wed, 04/18/2012 - 06:28

I totally agree with your sentinments.

A couple more thoughts to throw on the fire.

1) Cisco rigidly specify the server make, CPU model & speed but give carte blanche on the disc & network, apart from to say: It must be supported by VMWare. Why can't they be more relaxed on the hardware like the disc & memory ?

2) The whole point of virtualisation is to abstract the hardware from the operating system/software. So why do we need this daft restriction on the hardware we can run on ? (being a total pedant, I seem to recall the point of the operating system is to abstract the hardware from the application....)

3) Using a spec based configuration for the CUCM VM, we're reserving X amount of CPU, memory & I/O for CUCM. So why do Cisco refuse to allow any other VMs to run on the same server ?

I understand and appreciate the move to support CUCM virtualised, but the way Cisco are locking things down, it's just costing us more money for no extra benefit. They seem to be doing the "letter" of virtualisation, but not the "spirit"

GTG

cmcglamry Wed, 04/18/2012 - 07:35

Gordon,

Actually they don't give carte blanche on the storage.  In the application specific performance requirements, the number of IOPS required by the VM in specific situations is defined.  This actually DOES drive down into the storage and network requirements. 

As far as the other VM's (non UC), I actually understand and agree with that one.  Cisco has no way of knowing what those other VM's are doing and how they would interact with available processor, memory, BUS transfer requirements, etc.  UC VM's are tested for corresidency issues, and some can't live together on the same blades.  No way to test this with all the different flavors of non UC VM's out there. 

Again, I'm not advocating any specific position.  I just need to be able to explain and justify it.  The manufacturer one is what's causing me issues because I can't explain or justify the position to anyone (and Cisco said with specs based support that they do NOT support the hardware anyway).

Cliff

Rob Huffman Thu, 04/19/2012 - 06:34

Hey folks,

Excellent discussion on this topic here +5 to Cliff for starting this thread and

for asking a very relevant question.

+5 to Chris, Gordon and Gajanan for their great contributions. Especially Gajanan

for posting up the docs from the Partner Community!

In the Partner discussion James poses this response on the topic;

"2. “Why not Dell” is due to market share and support readiness. We want

“soak time” with VMware on HP/IBM before we consider opening up to other

vendors. If I get in trouble at a joint HP/IBM account I have relationships to fall

back on even though technically we don’t support the HW in that scenario. I do

not have these relationships with Dell, Fujitsu, Oracle, others … don’t really want

them … need to verify they won’t be required for customer/partner success.

Similar reasons why we never made a Dell MCS appliance for CUCM.

Hope that clarifies.

Also interested in hearing why preference for Dell vs. looking

at UCS … I can probably predict the answers but would prefer to hear direct from

the community."

Since we are not a Cisco Partner, I thought I would respond here in hopes that it

may get back to James.

When you have made a significant investment in a product infrastructure like we have

with Dell for our VM builds, it's very, very hard to "sell" the move to HP/IBM/UCS to management

in order to support our Cisco voice apps. They will always comment on the fact that we can meet the

requirements of the specs based "model" yet cannot be supported with Dell. It's an extremely hard

uphill battle to convince them why this is. I understand that Cisco cannot be "all things to all people"

but in the virtualization world this is a tough pill to swallow especially when other Cisco products like

NCS Prime don't have the same restrictions.

Just my 2 cent$

Cheers!

Rob

Gordon Ross Thu, 04/19/2012 - 06:50

rob.huffman wrote:

When you have made a significant investment in a product infrastructure like we have

with Dell for our VM builds, it's very, very hard to "sell" the move to HP/IBM/UCS to management

in order to support our Cisco voice apps. They will always comment on the fact that we can meet the

requirements of the specs based "model" yet cannot be supported with Dell. It's an extremely hard

uphill battle to convince them why this is. I understand that Cisco cannot be "all things to all people"

but in the virtualization world this is a tough pill to swallow especially when other Cisco products like

NCS Prime don't have the same restrictions.

MS Lync doesn't have a requirement that says: "You can only run our product on HP/IBM/Dell/Whatever's servers" (

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398835.aspx )

MS are trying to push hard into the UC arena. Their pricing at the moment is hard to ignore for many organisations. Factor in that you're not forced to use a very limited range of hardware nor are you forced to pay a VMWare tax, and CUCM is even harder to justify with the finance department aginst MS Lync.

GTG

gapande Thu, 04/19/2012 - 06:58

Sure Rob, will see if I can have James answer this thread here.


GP.

cmcglamry Thu, 04/19/2012 - 07:24

James' full notes indicate that there is an 18 month scheduled phase planned for this level of support.  He doesn't state it but the implication is that after the 18 month period is ended, Cisco plans to evaluate what has been learned and I would expect they might open this up, at least some, at that point. 

While MS Lync and other players may be competing agressively on pricing, my purpose in opening this thread was to address the current strategy for virtualization Cisco is following and what expectations we can have.  Pricing is really a totally separate (but important) issue, that's really beyond the scope of this thread.

Cliff

Rob Huffman Thu, 04/19/2012 - 07:39

Thanks Cliff!

I hope they do loosen this up a bit as we would like to move to

CUCM/CUC 8.6 but our 7845H2's aren't supported and the prospect

of moving to UCS seems rather faint at this point

Cheers!

Rob

PS: Thanks for pushing this info across Gajanan (much appreciated!)

PSS: Gordon, the cost comparison with MS is something that all new deployments

will have to consider so thanks for bringing this to the discussion.

Gordon Ross Thu, 04/19/2012 - 07:42

rob.huffman wrote:

I hope they do loosen this up a bit as we would like to move to

CUCM/CUC 8.6 but our 7845H2's aren't supported and the prospect

of moving to UCS seems rather faint at this point

What's stopping you upgrading them ? On my 7845H2s, I just had to slap in more memory.

GTG

Actions

Login or Register to take actions

This Discussion

Posted April 18, 2012 at 5:38 AM
Stats:
Replies:14 Avg. Rating:5
Views:1371 Votes:0
Shares:0
Tags: vmware, uc, ucs, cucm, blades, ucxn
+

Related Content

Discussions Leaderboard