Earlier in the week I had blogged about Cisco UCS in a world of open source computing. And now with Microsoft TechEd right around the weekend, I get to blog about Cisco UCS in a Windows world. Both are relevant now that Cisco is the #2 x86 blade server vendor worldwide with 17.6% of the market and in a statistical tie for #4 in the server category according to research firm IDC. So if you plan to be in New Orleans next week for Microsoft TechEd, or if you use Microsoft technologies in your data center will find the following very interesting.

Last year Cisco UCS Manager, the single point of management for UCS domains, was the Best of TechEd Winner in the breakthrough product category. If you use Microsoft PowerShell or some of the Microsoft System Center 2012 suite of products for management, you definitely want to check out the demos we will have at TechEd.  The Cisco PowerTool for Powershell lets you use a comprehensive list of commands called “cmdlets” to manage all the components of a UCS domain.  With Cisco UCS PowerTool, your operations team can tie together the management of storage components, computing components, and software applications into custom, end-to-end management solutions that are easy to use and easy to script.

If you use the Microsoft System Center Operations Manager, you can download the UCS Management Pack for System Center Operations Manager and monitor the health of Cisco UCS.  With the Management pack you can

  • Monitors Cisco UCS devices such as Cisco UCS blades, chassis, and rack servers.
  • Correlate faults and events across bare metal and virtualized Cisco UCS infrastructure.


If you use the Systems Center Orchestrator, you can get the UCS Integration Pack for System Center Orchestrator and automate UCS Management. The Cisco UCS Integration Pack exposes prebuilt runbook actions that cover all management aspect of Cisco UCS.  The Integration pack enables IT administrators to:

  • Automate Cisco UCS management, improve predictability, expedite delivery, and reduce errors.
  • Deliver scalable and reliable Cisco UCS infrastructure through orchestrated workflows.
  • Provide consistent service across multiple systems and departments.
  • Optimize and extend Cisco UCS capabilities through integration with third-party management tools.

If you use the Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM), you can see the entire UCS inventory with the UCS GUI extensions. With the extensions you can

  • Manage physical UCS servers and Virtual Hyper-V instances in one place
    • Correlate hypervisors to Cisco UCS service profiles and physical servers
    • View and manage UCS servers directly from SCVMM by launching the UCSM GUI

As shown in the diagram above, all this is made possible by the .NET library, which provides a programming interface for all the Microsoft System Center integrations. The .NET library itself uses the UCS XML API to communicate with the Cisco UCS Manager. It is designed to support full manageability of UCS across multiple releases.

So be sure to visit our booth if you are at at Micrsoft TechEd 2013 in New Orleans next week to check out these capabilities in Windows environments.