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Fifth Generation Cisco Unified Computing System: The Workshop

- September 9, 2017 - 0 Comments

You know them, you love them…Cisco UCS just released their brand new fifth generation servers. Well, I shouldn’t even call them servers, it’s really an entire system when we’re talking about UCS. We at TechWise can’t get enough of them. We had experts Arvie Martin and Jim Leach on to tell us all about what’s new.

If you’d like to hear the full workshop click HERE.

We got an awesome 3D look at the new B and C Series. As always, we have a show corresponding to this launch too, which you can check out here (even if you don’t, that picture makes it worth it):

Since in the workshop and the show we’re really “reintroducing” UCS, I wanted to talk a little bit about why I fell in love with UCS servers…even before I came to work at Cisco. Admittedly, the first time I looked at the UCS Manager I felt a bit overwhelmed. But it was one of those things where if you just used it a few times it got to be like second nature, and then you were able to realize the full power of it. In fact, I wrote several blogs about it a few years ago. I was just amazed at how you could a.) fit all of that bandwidth and compute into such a small footprint when working with the blades and b.) how a whole compute system could be stateless until you assign it a “personality.”

Of course, by “personality” I really mean Service Profile. The service profile allowed you to work above the physical layer. If I wanted to assign 4 HBAs to a server, I could do that, if I wanted it to have 8 NICs…I could do that too. More importantly, if I was going to a customer site who had a hardware failure, I could pop in another UCS server, assign it the right profile and they were off and running again (as long as they were using boot from SAN correctly…another story for another time). AND this worked for both the rackmounts and the blades if they were both being managed by UCSM.

The CIMC also made it really easy to set up, and as a channel partner at the time, that made me happy. Cisco wasn’t the first or only company to have this kind of remote management console, but it was really easy to use and I didn’t have to manage extra licensing to use it.

If you are new to UCS, definitely watch the TechWiseTV show I have embedded above because we do start with a Primer that will help you understand how the system works. Then for a deeper dive and a look at the new UCS M5s listen to the workshop, because these guys do a great job explaining it!

To see all of the questions that were asked during the live workshop just click HERE, but here are a few to get you started:

Q. Can we touch upon the characteristics and use cases for the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS)
trusted platform module (TPM) for M5? I am looking for reasons to argue against using SkyPort as a
Trusted System core with a non-VMware virtualization schema.
A. Skyport does use Intel TPM in their SkySecure server. TPM 2.0 on Cisco UCS provides Intel TXT (Trusted
Execution Technology) w here you can secure server by encrypting on TPM.

Q. Is the Supermicro SATA DOM drive available and supported?
A. No, w e are not planning to support the Supermicro SATA DOM. They w ere mainly used for read centric use
cases. M.2 storage is much better for that and it supports the Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA),
serial-attached SCSI (SAS) and nonvolatile memory express (NVMe). All M5 servers support 2 M.2 slots.

Q. Can the Cisco UCS C480 M5 Rack Server be configured with only 2 CPU?
A. Yes, you can buy single server node (2 CPU) or Dual server node (4 CPU). There w ill be limitations on the
number of PCIe slots supported w ith only 2 CPUs.

Q. Do all the Cisco UCS M5 servers require an upgrade to UCS Manager 3.2?
A. As this is a new architecture all Cisco UCS M5 servers need UCS Manager 3.2 to support.

Q. Will all the current Cisco UCS M5 boards be usable with 3D XPoint or will a new motherboard be
required?
A. No, Cisco UCS M5 servers are pre-enabled for 3D XPoint w hen Intel starts supporting it.

Q. Is the Cisco UCS M series required when total RAM is over 768 MB or can each proc address 768 MB?
Can I use a Cisco UCS B480 M5 Blade Server with 4 proc and get 3TB of RAM without requiring the M
series?
A. Yes. Only the Intel CPUs that end in M support 1.5TB. You can have sockets and 3TB

 

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