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Cisco Utilities - RHEL6

Hi,

We are looking to install RHEL6 OS on our UCS B200M3 servers. Does anyone have any information on whether Cisco has any similar RHEL6 utilities to the following HP utilities:

  • hpacucli - CLI utility to configure RAID array from OS
  • hpasmcli - view/set/modify BIOS settings such as hyperthreading, boot control - to display hardware status, such as fans, power supplies, etc. - shows, repair, and clear the IML - iLO log
  • hpbootcfg - to set which device to boot from on the next boot of the system.
  • hponcfg - to configure iLO/RILOE II from within the operating system without requiring a reboot of the server

Many Thanks, Paul

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New Member

Cisco Utilities - RHEL6

Hi Paul,

For local disk RAID configurations for a server, we have the UCS Manager.

For viewing/setting/modifying BIOS settings, we have the UCS Manager.

For configuring how a server gets booted, we have the UCS Manager.

For configuring OOB access, we have the UCS Manager.

All the utilities you mention require additional programs/agents/etc to be loaded or included in the host Operating System.  With UCS Manager, we require *zero* programs/agents.    All the magic we do happens below the Operating System --- in the UCS Manager.

What happens when you use any of the above utilities in an HP server environent?    Well if the server ever fails, then you have to manually re-apply all the configuration you've done, because those settings aren't really part of the "server" that you care about.  Whereas in a UCS environment, if the server ever fails, then all you have to do is re-associate the Service Profile to another blade/rackmount.   Because in UCS, we don't "configure servers with settings" --- we create servers with policies.   And those policies are all used to define the "server" --- the one that you care about --- not just the hardware.

There are 2 main focal points : Service Availability, and Minimizing the Number of Management Points.   We are certain we have a more attractive solution that HP in these regards.   And so do our 30,000+ customer base (expanding by the hour).

So to answer your question more directly --- "Does Cisco UCS have a dozen different server configuration utilities to configure servers in a piecemeal fashion?"      ----       No we don't, and that's the point.

Hope this helps.   Thanks for your question.    Cheers,

     -Jeff

4 REPLIES
New Member

Cisco Utilities - RHEL6

Hi Paul,

For local disk RAID configurations for a server, we have the UCS Manager.

For viewing/setting/modifying BIOS settings, we have the UCS Manager.

For configuring how a server gets booted, we have the UCS Manager.

For configuring OOB access, we have the UCS Manager.

All the utilities you mention require additional programs/agents/etc to be loaded or included in the host Operating System.  With UCS Manager, we require *zero* programs/agents.    All the magic we do happens below the Operating System --- in the UCS Manager.

What happens when you use any of the above utilities in an HP server environent?    Well if the server ever fails, then you have to manually re-apply all the configuration you've done, because those settings aren't really part of the "server" that you care about.  Whereas in a UCS environment, if the server ever fails, then all you have to do is re-associate the Service Profile to another blade/rackmount.   Because in UCS, we don't "configure servers with settings" --- we create servers with policies.   And those policies are all used to define the "server" --- the one that you care about --- not just the hardware.

There are 2 main focal points : Service Availability, and Minimizing the Number of Management Points.   We are certain we have a more attractive solution that HP in these regards.   And so do our 30,000+ customer base (expanding by the hour).

So to answer your question more directly --- "Does Cisco UCS have a dozen different server configuration utilities to configure servers in a piecemeal fashion?"      ----       No we don't, and that's the point.

Hope this helps.   Thanks for your question.    Cheers,

     -Jeff

New Member

Cisco Utilities - RHEL6

Nice sales pitch Jeff   You are right though, for 90%of the things you can do with those utilities the setting won't apply until the next reboot anyway. Applying the settings to the service profile or in the CIMC does the same thing.

To Paul's point though, there are things I'd like to do from the running OS or out of band while the server workload is active.

  • Configuring RAID for example, adding hot swappable drives and adding/removing logical disks to the OS is perfectly manageable without a reboot. Oddly I can do this from the latest CIMC on the C series, but UCSM still requires a reboot to reconfig the service profile. For the LSI cards you can always load MegaRAID manager or their CLI to do this though. There are versions of those for Linux. 
  • Resetting the CIMC. In practice this has never worked for me from UCSM. On C-series if the the CIMC is locked up there's no way into it without rebooting the OS. There are issues on the CIMC for which the only fix is physically re-seating the blade server or pulling all the power cables from a C series. That's a design problem IMHO. 

-Harry

New Member

Cisco Utilities - RHEL6

Thanks Harry --- I've had a bit of practice

You make very good points here.   And I've passed them all on to the Prod Mgmt teams.    Appreciate the feedback!

Cheers,

   -Jeff

New Member

Cisco Utilities - RHEL6

Hi Paul

Yep, I also agree these utilities would be useful. Not sure if it helps you, but from my limited testing, it seems as if the ipmitool can switch the one time boot on a UCS blade but only tried on M3 and ran the command from a SUSE linux pre build environment.

Regards Paul

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