Implementing Cisco UCS: Installing and Configuring

Part 1 of 2 of the Implementing Cisco UCS series focuses on installation and initial configuration of Cisco UCS infrastructure.
Course info
Rating
(149)
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Dec 13, 2011
Duration
8h 53m
Table of contents
Getting Started
Lab Setup and Platform Emulator Configuration
An Introduction to Cisco's Unified Data Center
The Components of Cisco UCS B-Series
Installing Cisco UCS Hardware
Exploring UCS Manager
Initial Configuration of Cisco UCS
Configuring LAN Connectivity
Configuring SAN Connectivity
Creating Pools
Creating and Managing Service Profiles
Description
Course info
Rating
(149)
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Dec 13, 2011
Duration
8h 53m
Description

Part 1 of 2 of the Implementing Cisco UCS series focuses on installation and initial configuration of Cisco UCS infrastructure. This course is designed for virtualization or datacenter administrators looking to implement, support, or manage Cisco UCS infrastructure for themselves or their clients. This course offers an in depth look at UCS Architecture and Components, UCS Installation, Configuring Connectivity, Routine and Advanced Management, and more. To get the most from this course, you should have experience with server and network administration, and VMware vSphere.

About the author
About the author

Jason Nash has over 15 years of industry experience and is currently the Data Center Solutions Principal at Varrow, a leader in virtualization, storage, and DR located in the southeast.

More from the author
VMware NSX for vSphere: Network Services
Advanced
3h 54m
Mar 16, 2015
EMC XtremIO Implementation
Intermediate
3h 44m
Jul 5, 2014
More courses by Jason Nash
Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Getting Started
Welcome to TrainSignal and welcome to the Implementing Cisco Unified Computing System course. My name is Jason Nash and I'll be your instructor throughout this course so I want to tell you a little bit about myself before we get started and then we'll talk about what we're really going to cover throughout the different lessons that we're going to do. So first, again, Jason Nash. To give you a little bit of information, I've got about 18 years experience in the IT field, which makes me a little bit sad, but it's been a good 18 years. My experience has kind of varies, you know, I started out as a young guy doing consulting, moved into some larger organizations and then as a network manager for a midsize company, kind of managed the data center environment, after that I was a platform architect for a large investment and financial institution, and now I work for a smaller company where I'm much happier to be quite honest and the I'm the data center solutions principal for Varrow and what we do is we are a southeastern based consulting company focused on Cisco VMware and EMC. I handle our data center product and solution sets around Cisco's data center practice, USC, Nexus, Catalyst, those sorts of things, and VMware, vSphere, vCenter operations, site recovery manager, all this sort of ancillary product. So I've got a good idea, you know, of how these things fit together and really that's my passion. I'm an infrastructure guy. I've done infrastructure for a long time. And I love UCS, I mean it's one of the products that I'm most excited about. My sales guys always talk about, when you get Jason in front of a customer and they start asking questions about UCS you can just see that passion come out and that's why I wanted to do this course. I'm really excited to do it. Some other information about me, you know, a little bit of education, I've got a bachelor's degree in networking technology, I've got a master's degree in information security. Certifications, like anybody that's been in the business almost 20 years I've gathered a number over the years, the ones I'm most proud of, VMware and VCDX #49, which to me is a huge accomplishment. I'm also a V expert nominated by VMware the last 2 years and you'll see that I'm a big VMware guy, obviously, but you'll hear more about that in the course and I speak at VMworld, I've spoken the last two VMworlds around distributed switching or virtual switching and Cisco's Nexus 1000V product, so that's kind of what I really, really like to do. Other certifications, Cisco CCMP for a number of years and for some of my information security background and love of that I've had a CISSP for a long time now, along with the other MCSE and stuff that people just get as they go through things. So, you know, other things that I've done, again I speak at VMworld, I speak at a lot of user's groups, so I speak at VMUGS, VMware user groups, EMC user groups, now we're starting to see Cisco UCS user groups, which we started one here in the Carolinas, actually we're starting to see one I believe in Atlanta and several more throughout the country, which I think are really neat, it's an offshoot of the Cisco user's group more focused on UCS, I've done that. Other things are I've written a number of books over the years, it's been awhile since I've done books, I kind of got that out of my system years ago, but I started off doing networking books for the MCSE track, I've done Linux books, Windows server books, things like that. Just kind of focused in that area. So with that, I think we're kind of ready to go start and let's talk a little bit about what you're going to see in this course. For this course, you need to know a few things. So we're not just going to talk servers. We're going to talk a lot about servers and UCS and all that, but it's not completely that. So my recommendation is to have at least a general or base knowledge of networking, thinks like VLANs, know what a VLAN is, know what a port channel is, understand IP addressing, understand the difference between layer 2 and layer 3. That's the extent you'll need to understand the networking piece. Storage is a little different. So you might be someone who's implementing UCS in your environment and you guys are VMware and you use NFS or iSCSI and you may not need a lot of storage knowledge because all that's handled on the network side, but if you're a Fibre Channel user or you plan to sit the exam, you're going to need a bit of storage knowledge, so that's one that kind of gets some people sometimes, you don't have to have a lot. I recommend that you understand the different Cisco switches, which we'll talk about in the lesson anyway, but along that, things like VSANs or virtual storage area networks, understand what an HBA card is, understand what a target, understand what an initiator is, and a lot of this I actually do a primer on Fibre Channel, but it's better to have a little more knowledge, that way it comes as kind of easier for you, but those things are important. And again, if you're going to sit the exam I recommend some VMware knowledge, so right now for that exam you have to be VMware certified to obtain the certification and therefore you're going to need some knowledge there. If you don't plan to do the certification, but you're still a VMware user it's good to have knowledge in that because I'm going to tell you about how we integrate UCS with VMware and vCenter. So with those just basic understandings and the rest should be easy for anyone deploying servers as far as operating systems or drivers or what a network card is or an HBA, that stuff you probably already know. It's only the other little things that you might want to brush up if you're not really familiar with. So in this course we're going to walk you through a complete end to end what it takes to implement, manage, and support a UCS environment. We start with the basics. First we're going to talk about Cisco's data center strategy and the reason I want you to understand that, along with it's probably going to be asked on an exam if you plan to take it is I want you to know the other components that make up a data center that UCS talks to. So it's not just this myopic view of the servers, we've got to talk about connectivities and storage and networking and automation and provisioning. Now we're not going to get real detailed on that, but you need to understand the building blocks and the phases that Cisco kind of envisions for data center. Then we move on into components and we'll talk about UCS as a whole and we'll talk about architecture and I'll answer a lot of questions that I get from customers and users and people just kind of kicking the tires on UCS. Then we dig into component, component by component, top down, what they're for, where they fit, how they function, what do they connect to, and what my options are, you know, blades and interconnects and things like that, there's more than one model, so we talk about all that. And then at the end of that, we do a nice kind of lesson in my lab. So one of my labs we'll be in we'll be going through physically hands on, showing you those components, your options and connectivity so that if you're not able to do that yet or you're still looking at UCS and your gear hasn't arrived, you're not just going to look at pretty pictures and kind of think, I know where things are, I want to show you on real equipment. So from there we just move into configuration. We do an overview of the UCS management environment with the GUI as well as the command line interface and then it's just configuration topics, network connectivity, storage connectivity, basic connectivity or basic configuration on day 1 install that you'll probably do one time and not come back to, but important things that set the groundwork for everything else. And then we get into access control and service profiles, which really give you that stateless nature of UCS, being able to move a server from one blade and one chassis to another blade and another chassis with a simple reboot and you just magically move that server over there, so we talk about that. We talk about how we use pools and logical resources and policies and how we can dictate all this as standards so that your servers are all the same, you know they're the same, they're built the same, they're configured the same, and everything comes together. We'll talk a bit about integrating them with VMware, that's a big thing with Cisco's virtualized data center and, again, if you're going to take the exam for the certification, you're going to need to apply some VMware knowledge, so we'll talk about integrations, what Cisco is doing with what they call their VM-FEX technologies, which is really cool stuff and how that works. And then basic things like troubleshooting, day to day management, and anything else that you need to know to implement and support UCS. So I'm really excited about this course. I love this technology and I love this product and hopefully at the end of this you'll see it the way that I see it. So with that let's get started.

Lab Setup and Platform Emulator Configuration
Welcome to TrainSignal. You're watching Lab Setup and Platform Emulator Configuration. So in this lesson we're just going to give you an overview of my lab environment. So I've got a couple of labs here, I've got three, well two, physical labs and a virtual lab. My first physical lab is in Charlotte, so if you can't tell by my accent I'm from North Carolina and I've got two local labs, the first one being in Charlotte and the second one in Greensboro and I'll give you a quick overview of those and kind of explain why I'm using two different ones. Then, we'll go through an in depth walk through of Cisco's UCS platform emulator, Cisco UCSPE as I call it, and kind of the function of that that's my virtual lab, that's something I can run in a VM and I can play with and within reason do most things that I need to do. So a lot of the labs that you'll see when it's kind of management interface lab, we'll do it in UCSPE. The nice thing there is no physical gear needed and you can do it anytime you want to. So we'll give you an overview of that and then I'll show you how to use the PE and then we'll go through a lab of actually deploying and using the VM. So with that, let's get started.

An Introduction to Cisco's Unified Data Center
Welcome to TrainSignal. You are watching An Introduction to Cisco's Unified Data Center. So this is an interesting lesson. It's kind of a high level overview of Cisco's Data Center strategy and this is important for a couple of reasons. It's important because I want you to understand how UCS fits into the data center, I want you to understand some of the other Cisco components that make up this data center strategy, and it's important if you plan to take the DCUCI exam because Cisco, on the exam, will ask you about other components and connectivities and what your options are, so it's not just UCS, it's how UCS talks to the rest of the data center environment and that's kind of what I want you to see here. So we'll start with an overview of the Cisco's Virtualized Data Center, go through some of the components, understanding the components and the pieces and parts, and then a little more detail, infrastructure components on the Nexus switches, a quick overview of FEX, which is your fabric extended technology, virtual infrastructure with the Nexus 1000v, and another infrastructure component which is the MDS Fibre Channel switches, and then finally just a quick hit on cloud provisioning and automation. Didn't think I was going to let you get through any of these lessons without hearing cloud, so I'm just going to get it out of the way early. So with that, let's get started.

The Components of Cisco UCS B-Series
Welcome to TrainSignal. You are watching the Components of Cisco UCS B-Series. So now it's time to really dive into the Unified Computing System from Cisco. We'll start by talking about how UCS is different. You may be comparing this to other blade or server platforms and we'll kind of go through and show you why UCS is different from those and how its architecture is also kind of differentiated from other systems you may have seen. Then comparisons of traditional blade enclosures to UCS. So often we compare, you know, Dell or IBM or HP blade enclosures to UCS and this will show you how they're different. Next, overview of the components that make up the UCS architecture. We'll go component by component starting at the top and working our way down through the chassis into the blades and show you all the pieces and parts so you understand what they do, how they work, and how they work together. Then, we'll describe the fabric interconnects and their options, describe the fabric extenders, and finally describe the UCS chassis itself. Go into a little bit more detail on each of those, those are kind of your major components so you'll want to understand those very well. Next we go through each of the different blade models. There are several different blades, shapes, sizes, things like that, just like there are servers, so I want to talk about those. And finally, comparing the different mezzanine adapter options and we'll go through those and how they fit on the blades and what your different options are and why you may choose one over another.

Installing Cisco UCS Hardware
Welcome to TrainSignal. You are watching Installing Cisco UCS Hardware. Now that you have an idea of all of the components that make up UCS, how they connect, how they talk, and what their purpose is, it's time to start talking about how you actually install the gear. So in this lesson, we're going to start with starting the hardware installation, a little bit about what you need to do ahead of time, and then move into the physical space in the rack. So, we'll talk about the size of the components, the total space needed, things like that. Power capacity and plug types and power to the chassis, these are probably the two biggest hindrances on new installs. It's things that often get overlooked, and things that can be a limitation, depending on what your environment is. Next, physically installing the equipment, cabling the interconnects, chassis, and infrastructure, and finally, necessary configuration information before we move on and actually start powering up the gear. Starting the hardware installation, and the picture there on the right is one of our installs sitting on a kind of a scissor lift and the boxes for some of the basic components. Now, when you get all your UCS gear, it looks complicated, but we saw in the last lesson that there's a lot less infrastructure here than there are in other blade enclosures, so don't let it get to you, just separate things out and understand what goes where. Less things to plug in here than anything else, so it's very manageable. I highly suggest things like a scissor lift-- I know it sounds dumb, but the chassis are very heavy, even the interconnects are very deep, go way back in the rack and weigh a lot, so you're going to need at least two people, preferably with a lift. So, the first couple concerns are physical implementation tasks. Confirming physical space in the rack and the number one problem that we run into, making sure you have the right power cables and plugs that connect those into.

Exploring UCS Manager
Welcome to TrainSignal. You are watching Exploring UCS Manager. In this lesson, we're going to take a look at the UCS Manager interface and your normal point of entry for all the management in the UCS ecosystem. So first we'll start with an introduction to UCS Manager, give you kind of an overview of what UCSM, what it needs to run, things like that. Next, logging into UCS Manager, and then the main UCS Manager window, show the different window panes, some of the standard options that you have, things that you can do. And then we'll go through each of the major tabs and give you an overview of those tabs in UCS Manager. After that, we will jump into a good lab where I'll kind of walk you through UCSM, show you where to find and pull out information, so you really get a good idea of what we're going to be doing in future lessons. And then finally, there is a Command-Line interface to UCSM, it's something we don't use very often, except for really troubleshooting or some other things like that, but I'll give you a demo and some examples of when you would use the CLI.

Initial Configuration of Cisco UCS
Welcome to TrainSignal. You are watching Initial Configuration of Cisco UCS. Now it's time to get on the keyboard and do some configuration, so in this lesson we're going to start bringing up the interconnects and getting those guys online and doing some very basic configuration in UCS Manager. So, we're going to start with starting the initial configuration. This is basically a kind of re-hash of the end of the last lesson where we talk about your site survey, IP addresses, DNS names, making sure you have all that ready to go. Then, connecting to the interconnects. So, we'll use a console connection, bring the interconnects up, configure one, and then configure the other, and make sure they're clustered together. After that, we'll fire up UCS and use UCS Manager for the first time, and we'll do that to make some kind of basic configuration settings. We'll configure the Chassis Discovery Policy, the Chassis Power Policy, MAC Table Aging Policy, DNS servers, time zone, and probably a few other things while we're in there, such as maybe syslog, or some of the other things that you're going to want to set on day one. So with that, let's get ready, let's get started.

Creating Pools
Welcome to TrainSignal. You are watching Creating Pools. So in this lesson we're going to go over the different types of pools that you create when deploying UCS and pools are gonna be a very important concept as we continue on into service profiles. So we'll start off with what are pools and then kinda give you a quick run of the types of pools. After that we're gonna go through each one of them individually and don't worry about the acronyms, we'll define those as we go through them, but we'll start with management IP address pool, UUID pools, the Mac address pools, WWNN and WWPN pools, server pools, and then finally server pool membership. There's gonna be a lot of jumping back and forth in and out of labs in this lesson so it's gonna be very quick. We'll describe a pool and then we're gonna jump over to the lab and show you how to create it, give you some recommendations for naming schemes and functionality, so hopefully you can get some extra benefit out of pools, and then back to the slide deck to continue on, so with that, let's get started.