UCS Firmware 1.4 support FCoE Direct Attach SAN

Posted on March 13th, 2011 in Announcement, Server, Storage | No Comments »

If you are following Cisco Unified computing solution, here is some good news. The latest firmware version 1.4 is officially support direct attach FCoE Storage protocol without require the additional SAN switch as previous version. Both Netapp and EMC are officially supported and certified to direct attach with the Cisco UCS without a SAN switch require. This will reduce the complex layer it require to deploy especially for those environment who are not FC users previously.

I found some very good post over the internet, you can refer the URL below for more information about the new update provided in Firmware 1.4

Unified Computing Blog

M. Sean McGee

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FCoE VLAN and FC Uplinks in Cisco UCS Architecture

Posted on March 10th, 2010 in Data Center, Server, Tips | 6 Comments »

Today I found some interesting technical details during my installation of Cisco UCS for the client. FCoE architecture are slightly different when you decide to uplink the FCoE traffic end to end to the Cisco Nexus 5000 unified fabric, or you are doing the FC uplink directly from the UCS 6120 to the MDS or SAN fabric switches. I went through the documentation and my previous round of installation, we were actually configure the LAN & SAN uplink from UCS 6120 to Nexus 5k. Therefore, in our configuration, we required to have specified FCoE VLAN which carry the FCoE traffic to reach the storage through Nexus 5000. Today, I implemented the similar configuration, but the different was the uplink configuration.

This new setup are included with 10 G Ethernet uplink from UCS 6120 to Catalyst 6509 through Fiber, and utilizing FC Uplinks from UCS 6120 to MDS 9124. In my test, I removed the VLAN that I created purposely for FCoE, and found that there are no impact to the configuration.  I had confirmed with the support guys that if you are doing an uplink with FC from UCS 6100 to MDS, you will not require to tag the specified VLAN that created for the VSAN in the configuration.

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Unified Computing System with Unified Storage

Posted on January 30th, 2010 in Data Center, Server, Storage | 1 Comment »

Unified had become a key word today, and what does it really meant for everyone? It is similar as the phenomenal Cloud Computing 2 years ago.  We had seen the storage vendor are moving from FC SAN, ISCSI SAN, NAS to a unified storage today. What a unified storage does today are providing all the storage protocol standard in the market in a single box. Vendor such as EMC and Netapp had their Unified storage to support this today and proven to be performing and user are happy with it.

Beside unified storage, we are looking forward for unified computing system for the server compute platform too. Cisco had moved ahead of their competitor to bring this to the world and it is 1 fo the great platform that get attraction and adoption worldwide. Cisco UCS or Nexus 5000 both provide the unified I/O capabilities and allow us to transform the data center architecture today. Beside consolidating LAN and SAN into 1 with FCoE, the more interesting capabilities that get attention by us are the switching capacity.

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Simplify Setup and Configuration for Cisco UCS vs Traditional Blade

Posted on January 27th, 2010 in Data Center, Hardware, Server | No Comments »

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.

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FCoE End to End Solution with Cisco Nexus 5000 and Netapp Storage

Posted on October 1st, 2009 in Hardware, Server, Virtualization | No Comments »

FCoE will be the next trend for most users to be adopted. Previous post I had explain about the high level architecture from Cisco UCS. Here I will describe the FCoE end to end solution which is slightly different with the UCS architecture. Please note that both architecture is similar but it does not same to each others.


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