I was tighted up with the cloud computing event we run in KL and Penang last week. It also the 1st time that the Cisco UCS showcase to the public in our event. Of course the demo and staging unit were setup by myself with my close buddy from Cisco Malaysia. The 1st time I unpacked and setup the box, it really surprised myself because it does not require special skillsets to understand too much about the architecture. Of course, I did went for a 4 days boot camp previously for Cisco UCS, but they did not show us step by step to setup and configure the UCS box from scratch. Anyway, to setup the UCS 6120 HA cluster, it take me less than 8 mins from the console CLI. I will suggest anyone of you who are preparing to setup this Cisco UCS, to have the Serial to USB converter ready as most of the business laptop today will not support serial ports. It require console connection to both unit of UCS 6120 for the 1st time to enable the UCS Switching cluster. Once is done, you can access the UCS Manager with the right virtual IP you had enabled in the UCS switch cluster.

Once I unpacked the UCS Chassis from the box, it took me less than 10 mins to slot in 5 units of the B200M1 with 48GB Memory , 2x Intel 5540 and 2 x 146 SAS Local HDD each. At the same time, I did try to open up the casing for 1 of the blade,. it took me less than 1 min to do so. Came to the cabling part, usually we spent a lot of effort for cable management on Gigabits Ethernet and FC cabling, for Cisco UCS, maximum 8 cables per chassis for IO uplink. Of course, I do not require to over provision in this case, I managed to connect 4 FCoE connections from the chassis to the UCS 6120 Cluster for demo purpose and it is more than enough to handle the IO requirement for the showcase.

Well, when I move the box from my office to 2 different location in my country for event, it take me less than 1 hour to re-setup everything and boot up all the physical and virtual machine within the Cisco UCS.  It is really a great design to simplify a hardware setup and configuration. Guess what, I do have different engineer who are non server background that help me to re-setup and they were impressed with the design and took less than 5 mins to understand the architecture after my explanation.