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#CiscoChampion Radio S1|Ep5: UCS Invicta

March 18, 2014
at 12:00 pm PST

#CiscoChampion Radio is a podcast series by Cisco Champions as technologists, hosted by Cisco’s Amy Lewis (@CommsNinja). This week we’re talking about UCS Invicta.

Listen to the Podcast

cisco_champions BADGE_200x200

Featured Guests:
Cisco Champions: Trevor Roberts (@vmtrooper), Matt Oswalt (@mierdin)
Cisco Subject Matter Experts: Maxwell Riggsbee, Todd Brannon

How Invicta will allow UCS infrastructure to deliver resourcing
Four elements that will allow Invicta to transition into UCS in short and long term
Details on integration to date
Storage/bandwidth plans for Invicta going forward
When further integration will be available
Applications ideal for Invicta

CommsNinja Okay gallery, start thinking up those questions.
that1guynick I’m digging the history. Anxious to hear where Whiptail plays in
Guest 7 The questions you will publicly answer
@gallifreyan Why did Invicta come to market without direct integration into the UCS hardware/network platform? How far out is that?
CommsNinja Thank you for that caveat Aaron.
@gallifreyan How does it compare to/go up against the non-internal Fusion-io solutions?
Guest 7 As somebody who knows nothing about Invicta, is this a flash san like product or a server side cache product?
@gallifreyan Guest7: I believe it’s basically a flash san that connects to hosts by iscsi or FC (not FCoE).
Guest 7 Is the use case mainly application cache and therefore another storage medium will be required?
@gallifreyan think 24 Micron consumer-grade MLC SSDs in a C240M3 type server.
Guest 7 What apps and solutions does Cisco plan to target with Invicta
Guest 7 How long until it is in a Vblock and Flexpod
that1guynick Q: I think everyone wants to understand positioning, and what arena Invicta is attempting to do battle in?
vmtrooper @gallifreyan: when you say integration into UCS hardware, do you mean into UCSM?
CommsNinja nice use of boldface there Nick. LOL. #FontChampions
@gallifreyan vmtrooper: UCSM isn’t hardware. I mean like FCoE or iSCSI on the FI.
that1guynick /flex
vmtrooper @gallifreyan: understood, I meant for control similar to the rest of the components
that1guynick my chat skills will never reach those of Amy’s hashtagging skills
CommsNinja takes a bow
vsential #LikeABoss
that1guynick Those of you with 30k-40k+ tweets is staggering to me
williamcaban Any plans to support RESTful or any kind of API @ UCS Invicta?
CommsNinja Was thinking that James.
@gallifreyan vmtrooper: I assume that these “routers” have visibility from UCSM/XMLAPI as any supported hardware would.
Guest 7 Any plans to support RESTful or any kind of API @ UCS Invicta?  +1
@gallifreyan To be honest, I came out of the webcast with “1) UCS is cool” “3) Flash is fast” “buy our stuff” but not much for step 2 in there.
@gallifreyan I’d like to know what 2) is and how it backs up “buy our stuff”
CommsNinja Good questions--Trevor and Matt will pick some of these up I’m sure.
Erik Bussink Q: For a VDI solution like in a single UCS Chassis, could we see a UCS Invicta in a Blade forma using ServiceProfile ?
@gallifreyan good question, Erik.
@gallifreyan it seems like right now the Invicta platform is kinda like a super-high-performance Equallogic.
williamcaban Does the integration of UCS Invicta only as an “external” storage in the UCS FI’s or can it be integrated as part of the same UCS management domain?
williamcaban (after all, these are C-Series M3 which we can integrate with Nexus 2232 and directly to the UCS FI’s)
@gallifreyan williamcaban: It would be cool if they were able to serve FCoE/iSCSI back out over the VIC.
williamcaban @gallifreyan yeap!
@gallifreyan That should only require OS interface mapping changes in theory.
williamcaban yeap, in *nix world we call that a Kernel module
@gallifreyan well, I’m thinking a little bit higher level… i.e. identifying and mapping FCoE/iSCSI interfaces that are exposed by the VIC
@gallifreyan I saw some of this with 3PAR back in 2001-2002. Little UNIX IO handling drivers that had to know how to reach iscsi or fc
@gallifreyan Yep, it was me
@gallifreyan they have a 2u or 3u rackmount san device
@gallifreyan please don’t compare Invicta to the internal PCIE solution… that’s why I said non-internal.
vmtrooper @gallifreyan will clarify if it doesn’t get answered
@gallifreyan is the product I’m thinking of.
that1guynick I’d just like to thank Cisco for finally making a storage play to dispel the annual rumors that Cisco was eyeing NetApp.
@gallifreyan Disclaimer: I use a couple hundred PCIe Fusion-io cards in Cisco UCS hardware… but I’m curious about where this goes up against Accelerator &thelike
@gallifreyan thanks vmtrooper
Guest 10 -- Works at Fusion-io
CommsNinja who are you guest 10?
Guest 10 @mborgen
that1guynick REVEAL YOURSELF!
CommsNinja Hai!
that1guynick haha
CommsNinja LOL
@gallifreyan I think there’s no answer yet to “how does this go up against Ion Accelerator” … and I worry that it becomes vendor lock-in when it finally matures.
@gallifreyan Wonder if invicta in an E-series form factor makes sense too.
williamcaban Are there any UCS Invicta design guides available? (i.e. design for VDI vs design for Oracle over UCS Invicta)
that1guynick Sounds a lot like the LSI/E-series NetApp play from a few years ago. Stupid-fast storage, without the overhead of a big array.
CommsNinja we are 5-7 minutes from closing--any other questions?
williamcaban Does the integration of UCS Invicta only as an “external” storage in the UCS FI’s or can it be integrated as part of the same UCS management domain?
williamcaban (after all, these are C-Series M3 which we can integrate with Nexus 2232 and directly to the UCS FI’s)
that1guynick …and how is that not external storage array?
that1guynick are we just dancing around that?
@gallifreyan I think the storage network is external, the management network is through UCSM
@gallifreyan I’ve been burned by “planned integrations” before.
Billyc5022 Does Invicta site between UCS servers and a SAN ?
williamcaban is a network component… it stand besides… its a nice gadget… its time to refine the story (sorry)
@gallifreyan I think that’s pretty much the case, williamcaban
@gallifreyan it’s not between them
CommsNinja okay we’re wrapping! more questions for next time.
@gallifreyan it’s on a san, over iscsi or fibre channel. So it’d be analogous in layout to any block storage device, I think.
@gallifreyan it’s not a cache layer in front of the san though, if that was the concern.
williamcaban But UCS Invicta will be ONLY available as a complement to UCS B-Series. It will NOT be available for third party environments!
@gallifreyan Not just B-Series, fwiw.
williamcaban Okay,@gallifreyan, good to know.
@gallifreyan — C-Series admin
williamcaban yes, Im here
CommsNinja Great questions, great discussion, thanks to one and all!
CommsNinja Next week: UCS again--with community member and expert Scott Hanson.
CommsNinja Volunteer early and often.
Guest 10 Thanks Amy


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