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Deciphering a UCS Call Home Inventory Email with the right tools

January 4, 2012 at 6:45 pm PST

Every year I decorate my home’s front door for the holidays, it’s very simple just evergreens, some pine cones, maybe some sticks with berries.  It takes about a day, I get up early the first Sunday of December and drive around the rural areas where I live and clip greens. I look for interesting items maybe red or blue berries, cool pine cones, maybe some tall grasses that have a decorative look to them. I been doing this for about 14 years and have learned how to be more efficient by using the right tools and preparing the day before.

I make sure the wire frames that I hang the greens in are in a good state of repair, I get out my warm gear since I’ll be outside all day, setup my van so I have a place to put the clippings.  I even coat all my fingertips with a product called nu-skin since the greens can be pretty sharp and at the end of the day my hands are beat up.  My preparation and implementation methods have evolved over the years and I think now I have it down to a science, the results of my efforts are shown below with before and after pictures.

What I found was that the right tools really do make a difference, my first time I had clippers that weren’t sharp enough, clothes that weren’t warm enough, and I was so frustrated when I was finished that I swore I would never do it again.  The end result however was so nice and received so many compliments that  the next year I tried it again but did it a little smarter. I used the right tools for the job.

The right tools will always help but you have to know how to use them and then sometimes you have to use them a lot to get comfortable.  When it comes to XML the tool that I found does a great job is xmlstarlet. One of the features of Cisco’s UCS Manager is the ability to send a system inventory email using Callhome.  The inventory email can be sent automatically on a regular basis with the minimal interval of a day.   The UCS inventory email contains all sorts of useful information

  • IP addresses
  • Serial Numbers
  • Firmware Levels
  • Fabric Interconnects
  • Chassis
  • IOM
  • Blades
  • Associated Service Profiles
  • Processors
  • Memory
  • Disk
  • Controllers

This information and more can be retrieved from the Callhome email.  What follows is a detailed breakdown of an xmlstartlet command to mine the UCS inventory information from the Callhome inventory email.

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Best Practices for Application Delivery in Virtualized Networks – Part II

As we start off this New Year, how about including a resolution to improve application delivery? In Best Practices for Application Delivery in Virtualized Networks – Part I , we covered key application delivery challenges that have come up due to the complexities of managing the many types of applications that enterprises use today, and further complicated by data center consolidation and virtualization. We then covered some best practices, courtesy of Dr. Jim Metzler’s 2011 Application Service Delivery Handbook, which recommended taking a lifecycle approach to planning and managing application performance.

A key step to the lifecycle approach is to implement network and application optimization tools, such as WAN Optimization solutions and Application Delivery Controllers, including server load balancers. Of course, these solutions are not new to the market and already address many of the needs that exist with delivering enterprise applications in virtualized data centers -- namely, the need to ensure network reliability, availability and security for users accessing these applications. In this post, we will discuss a recent study by IDC, where IT decision makers across Europe and the US spoke out about their strategies for using server load balancers to deal with emerging challenges.



.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              What important attributes do you look for in your server load balancers?

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Registering a Sense of FCoE Perspective: Sniffling, Scaling and Storage

January 1, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

When The Register published a conversation with Brocade on December 8 about the success of their 16Gb Fibre Channel vs. Cisco’s FCoE solutions, you just know that there were going to be several elements that were going to raise an eyebrow or two. Maybe three.

Personally, I found the comparison between Brocade’s 16G solutions and Cisco’s FCoE solutions as something of a red herring. That is, there are different reasons why a customer would want to use one tool in the toolbox versus another, but they were saying “our new jackhammer is better than their entire toolbox.”

Nevertheless, some people felt that the article was an unbalanced promotion of Brocade’s new toys. I was invited by The Register author Chris Mellor to write a response article, which I did, and then waited for it to be printed. Read More »

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Cisco Announces Industry-Leading TPC-C and TPC-H Benchmark Performance on Cisco UCS!

Cisco continues its performance leadership with the announcement of its inaugural  TPC-C and TPC-H benchmark results on the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS™) platform .  On December 7th 2011, Cisco published two industry standard benchmarks from Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) on the Cisco UCS platform.

Cisco’s leading TPC-H result demonstrates the enterprise performance for Cisco UCS Servers when combined with Microsoft SQL Server, and  Cisco’s leading TPC-C result demonstrates that Cisco UCS systems represent a high-performance, cost-effective enterprise platform for Oracle Database.

Cisco UCS Demonstrates TPC-C Performance and Price/Performance Leadership

Often referred to as the flagship server benchmark that measures online transaction processing performance, TPC-C simulates a complete compute environment where a population of users runs transactions against a database.

In its first TPC-C result, Cisco demonstrates industry leadership in partnership with Oracle, establishing the Cisco UCS as the fastest two-socket Intel Xeon processor-powered platform running Oracle Database. Cisco’s leading TPC-C result demonstrates that Cisco UCS servers, combined with Oracle Database, can deliver industry-leading enterprise capabilities. Cisco’s  industry-leading TPC-C result asserts both performance and price/performance leadership.  A Cisco UCS C250 M2 Extended- Memory Rack-Mount server achieved 1,053,100 transactions per minute (tpmC) in the standard TPC-C benchmark, with a price/performance ratio of $0.58 USD per tpmC, exceeding the HP two-socket TPC-C result using identical Intel® Xeon® processors and memory capacity by 2.8 percent in performance, at a 11 percent lower price/performance ratio.

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‘Tis the Season … for Giving Back ….

December 22, 2011 at 10:32 am PST

In many cultures across the world, this is a time for giving.  In a departure from my previous blogs discussing data center servicescloud adoption and IT architecture transformation, I’ve decided to end the year by discussing how we in Cisco give back our time and money to help others, something that Cisco most definitely encourages. Here I’ll discuss how a few colleagues and I have helped out in one of the computing degree courses at the University of Dundee in Scotland.

You can read this full blog entry here on our Corporate Social Responsibility blog.    And look out for more blogs from me in 2012!  Best wishes everyone!

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