The CCNA Data Center covers a wide range of technologies found in the data center. In this course, we dive deep into the concepts of unified fabric with the FCoE protocol, along with complimentary technologies found in the data center bridging extensions such as Priority-based Flow Control (PFC) and Enhanced Transmission Selection (ETS). We'll then move on to the Cisco UCS platform, spending time reviewing the products and solutions within the UCS stack, while also taking the time to do a full initial setup and configuration in the lab. Finally, we'll go over the Nexus 1000v switch - including an install and configure lab - and how virtualization impacts the data center.
Chris Wahl has acquired over a decade of IT experience in enterprise infrastructure design, implementation, and administration. He has provided architectural and engineering expertise in a variety of virtualization, data center, and cloud based engagements while working with high performance technical teams on global reaching environments.
Unified Fabric Well hello there and welcome to a module on unified fabric. This is going to be a very fun topic because many of the characteristics that surround unified fabric, some of the protocols, some of the standards, they're all still being baked up. They're not quite finalized, there's still a lot of debate going on around unified fabric, and it makes it a very interesting time, so we're going to take a nice high-level view to begin, and look at the characteristics of unified fabric. We're then going to dive deep into ways that you can implement a unified fabric and make it usable and not completely fall on its face with things like Class of Service, which is abbreviated CoS, and the extensions to Ethernet that are covered in the Data Center Bridging suite of extensions and improvements. Sometimes we'll call that DCB and since we've made this short and sweet, let's just dive right in to the unified fabric characteristics.
Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) Hello everyone out there and welcome to Fiber Channel over Ethernet or FCoE. If my legendary introduction to this fabulous protocol didn't whet your appetite for a module on FCoE, let's go into the little bits and pieces that we'll be discussing for this course. As you might logically think, we're going to go over the actual protocol itself and what does Fiber Channel over Ethernet do? Once we've got that ground covered we're going to switch gears and talk about the differences between single hop and multiple hop implementations and, partially, we're going to define what these mean, especially in context of Fiber Channel and how it relates to Fiber Channel over Ethernet. We're actually going to go into the weeds a little bit on splitting hairs between 0 hops, single hops, multi hops, and I'm not talking about the hops in a delicious adult beverage, and then to wrap things up and really give you a great exposure to FCoE we're going to do a configuration lab where we're going to configure both an upstream port, going from one switch to another with FCoE, and we're going to configure a downstream port going to a server that's attaching to a switch using FCoE, so this is going to be really cool, action-packed module. Let's get started.
Fabric Extension (FEX) Well hello there and welcome to a module on Fabric Extension, also known as a FEX. I think you're going to be in for a treat because this is going to be a fantastically fun module because fabric extension is really interesting. It has a lot of use cases that you can look at and examine and say, oh, this would fit or this wouldn't fit. Part of that discovery process is part of the fun. To begin we're going to talk about the various topologies that are available to you that might fit with FEX, things like using it in a Cisco UCS environment where it's pretty much necessary for blades and it's kind of optional if you want to do rack nodes. We're also going to talk about it in a Nexus situation where we're connecting 5, 7, 6, 9Ks, whatever they may be, to fabric extenders, which are the 2000 series switches. We're going to look at the technology that makes all of this work, the glue that binds those Ethernet frames as they traverse through the fabric extenders from the host interfaces all the way up through the parent switch, and then back down or across the network, wherever they need to go. We'll round out the discussion by looking at the interface types that are used within a fabric extension environment, including, this is going to be really cool, a lab where we're actually going to configure a FEX and look at how that process is completed using the command line in a lab environment, all sorts of fun stuff. It's always fun when we get to actually put our hands on the gear, although only my hands are technically on the gear, but you can certainly follow along in your lab, so enough blabbing, let's get to work.
Working With Cisco UCS Hello there and welcome to a module on Working with UCS, also known as the Unified Computing System. In the UCS Product Family module we talked kind of high level about all of the various components that comprise a UCS system. In that module we were focused more on the architecture and how all the bits fit together. In this module we're going to go deep into UCS. We're going to talk about how to actually cluster the Fabric Interconnects, the initial setup of the Fabric Interconnect, and build the relationship between those Fabric Interconnects to form a working UCS environment. We're then going to talk about the Port Modes and the Finite State Machine or FSM. We'll work on Unified Port Configurations so that we can determine how the ports on the Fabric Interconnect are going to behave, such as being an Ethernet Port or a Fiber Channel Port. We'll then talk about Identity Pools and this is really the meat and potatoes of Cisco UCS. This is what makes it so powerful and such a great tool from an administrative and operational perspective. We'll then transition into Service Profiles and Templates, which will use those previously created Identity Pools to form an identity or a profile that's used for our servers. Finally, we'll talk about Firmware Upgrades and some processes that have been introduced with more recent releases of Cisco UCS so that you can keep all of the Firmware across every component inside of UCS up-to-date on a certain release bundle. I hope you're fired up. There's going to be a lot of content in this module. Let's get crackin'.
Data Center Virtualization Well hey there and welcome to a module on Data Center Virtualization. That sounds snazzy doesn't it? This is going to be a great module to give you the mental break for a little bit. We're going to shift gears and talk about some concepts that aren't just pure networking in their nature. We're going to talk about things like Device Virtualization, which covers the Cisco Nexus 1000V and how that incorporates into a virtual environment, and I also want to say that there's an entire module dedicated toward the Nexus 1000V, so if you want to go deep specifically into that product, go ahead to the Nexus 1000V module. We'll just touch on it a little bit here in the context of Device Virtualization. We'll also revisit a topic that was covered in a different course called the Virtual Device Context or VDC, something that's available in the Nexus 7000 series switch, and we'll look at Virtual Interface Cards or VICs and talk about how that relates with Virtual Network Interface Cards, vNICs, in a Cisco UCS system. We're then going to talk about something that kind of bridges the gap between device virtualization and server virtualization and this is called VM-FEX, which stands for Virtual Machine-Fabric Extension, so we're going to go through a high level overview of how that works and why you might want to use it, and then we'll finally shift to the final gear, which is Server Virtualization, and I'll give you an introduction to what virtualization is, some benefits and advantages, and we're going to talk about Server Virtualization within the scope of VMware's product, just because a lot of the products that we're going to talk about in the CCNA Data Center tie into VMware's vCenter and ESXi Hypervisor. With that said, let's get started.
Nexus 1000v Switch Hello and welcome to a module on the Cisco Nexus 1000v Switch. The Nexus 1000v was introduced a little over five years ago at VMworld 2008, which is the VMware annual conference that covers all the things in their product portfolio. From a third-party switching perspective, the 1000v is pretty much what people use in a VMware deployment. There's some other choices out there, but I've really never seen them used. The 1000v, on the other hand, is actually used somewhat commonly, although I will say that the VMware's standard and distributive switch are definitely the more prevalent switches used in a VMware deployment. I find that a lot of people have a little bit of trouble wrapping their head around the 1000v switch because it blends a little bit of virtualization with a little bit of networking, so we're going to cover everything you need to know to be successful with the 1000v in a VMware environment. To begin, we're going to talk about the Supervisor Module, which is called the Virtual Supervisor Module in this case or the VSM. That's going to provide the control and management plane for our Nexus 1000v Switch. Then, we'll focus on the Virtual Ethernet Module, which is like a remote line card, and is sometimes just called the VEM or the V-E-M or the VEM, although I personally say VEM, and this is where the actual data forwarding plane or the data plane exists. Of course, the 1000v Supervisor and Ethernet Modules need to talk to one another and the outside world, and this is where we get the concepts of the Management, Control, and Packet Networks. These are specifically required for a Nexus 1000v Switch. We'll then go over some feature comparisons. This is kind of a thing I added to this module to talk about what the differences are between the 1000v and a native VMware switch. We'll talk about the two licensing modes that are available to you and we'll do a lab environment where we install, setup, and configure the Nexus 1000v in a VMware vSphere environment. There's a lot of content that we're going to cover here, so let's just get started hammering through the 1000v.
Data Center Network Services Hello and welcome to a module where we're going to discuss the Data Center Network Services provided by Cisco. This is really going to boil down to two different things. The first is going to be the Application Control Engine, sometimes just abbreviated A-C-E or ACE, and within ACE we're going to look at how to build high availability clusters, different load balancing predictor types, and the benefits of Global Load Balancing, although I'm sure you probably know a few of them off the top of your head. Then we're going to talk about WAAs. No, not Steve Wozniak, the WAAS, W-A-A-S, which is the Wide Area Application Services. We're going to look at benefits of this and we're going to dice a little deep into the Acronym Soup because there's a lot of acronyms when we start talking about WAAS, so let's get started.