UCSGuru on the new Cisco UCS 6324 single chassis system.

http://ucsguru.com/2014/07/22/cisco-ucs-has-had-a-baby-mother-and-daughterboard-doing-well/

But are they happy? I would imagine they are. Cisco/NetApp FlexPod’s are a great way to get a complete “Black Box” solution up and running on the Hurry-Up. Still believe for the hard core UCS’er a BIY build can be even better, but that will not be end-to-end supported other than hardware. Not surprised that Gartner wrote this up. “3,700 FlexPod customers”, that isn’t bad at all and should be enough of a customer base to keep FlexPod supported well and keep development rolling.  All below from http://www.gartner.com/: http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-1VJWM3X&ct=140617&st=sb

 FlexPod Based on Cisco UCS & NetApp Infrastructure Rocks 3,700 Customers! (Not Bad)

Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems

Vendor Strengths and Cautions

Cisco-NetApp

While Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) blade technology integrates compute and switching capability, it is not considered to be a full integrated system, as it currently includes no integrated storage. The FlexPod solution — jointly promoted by Cisco and NetApp — has evolved from its reference architecture beginnings — when FlexPod was really only a certified design — to its current status as a valid integrated system that can be deployed through a variety of Cisco and NetApp partners. FlexPod is the result of many years of joint development between Cisco and NetApp of networking and secure multitenancy. For FlexPod, the two vendors have developed a new support and go-to-market model, resulting in a cooperative support program and a channel-centric go-to-market approach.

While the use of Cisco’s UCS is common to VCE and FlexPod, the underpinning of each FlexPod is always Cisco UCS, NetApp Fabric-Attached Storage (FAS) and Cisco Nexus switches. Introduced in November 2010, there are now more than 3,700 FlexPod customers. FlexPod is delivered almost exclusively through channel partners. There are currently 1,000-plus partners certified to sell FlexPod, and over 90 FlexPod Premium Partners that have achieved a higher level of FlexPod certification.

Market acceptance for FlexPod has been strong, and service providers make up a significant proportion of the base. However, Cisco and NetApp also collaborate with vendors such as VMware, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Citrix and Red Hat to create more-focused FlexPod solutions. Microsoft and Citrix have also agreed to participate in the FlexPod Cooperative Support Program, along with Cisco, NetApp and VMware. The FlexPod portfolio has also expanded, with FlexPod Express for small enterprises and FlexPod Select for specialized workloads like Hadoop. The management tooling is not as consistent or holistic as that of many other integrated systems, and many users work with vendors like CA Technologies to create a more complete management experience. Recognizing the need for better management symmetry, Cisco has recently started supporting every FlexPod solution (by default) through its UCS Director (integrated manager) product that covers compute, network and storage setup and management, and a growing number of FlexPod users are now deploying with Cisco UCS Director.

Strengths
  • FlexPod has a single architecture (the integration of unified compute, network switching and storage) that scales from a small enterprise configuration to a large, secure, multitenant cloud infrastructure without changing architecture or technology platforms.
  • FlexPod has benefited from the fast ramp-up and track record of Cisco UCS, aided by easy access to NetApp’s large customer base.
  • NetApp has good presence in smaller data centers, and works with Cisco to price and position FlexPod for a wide range of use cases, from small or midsize businesses (SMBs) to large enterprises.
  • FlexPod is validated with multiple hypervisors (from Citrix, Microsoft and VMware) and bare metal.
  • Cisco and NetApp are developing use cases for FlexPod that cover a wide range of private cloud and application-specific scenarios, including desktop virtualization (Citrix XenDesktop and VMware), and enterprise applications (including Oracle, SAP and Microsoft), big data (Hadoop).
  • The two vendors have collaborated to create a Cooperative Support Program (which is one factor that qualifies FlexPod as a valid entry in this Magic Quadrant).
Cautions
  • Because either vendor can take the lead in sales situations, users must validate the rules for account management and responsibility.
  • Users who favor the more holistic single-vendor solution from vendors such as Oracle, IBM and HP will be more likely to question a partner-dependent business model.
  • There is a lack of a uniform management software experience (although certification of Cisco UCS Director is beginning to fill this void).
  • Potential future tensions may be created by Cisco’s entry into the storage market with the acquisition of Whiptail.

 

The 6324 FI is out! What amazing hardware! This is a whole UCS in a 5108 Chassis.

Now what I wonder is if this is just code? Being able to take a single chassis and install proper code and have a stand alone UCS would be GREAT. This will be “Cool” if it is a special chassis, but a GAME CHANGER if any chassis will do with code only (and maybe certain models of IOM’s that might be on hand anyhow).

Appear’s a new IOM is needed to make this work in a 5108 Chassis.

Cisco UCS 6324 Fabric Interconnect

datasheet c78 732207 2 The 6324 FI is out! Whole UCS in a 5108 Chassis!

The Cisco UCS 6324 Fabric Interconnect Fabric Interconnect (Figure 3) is a 10 Gigabit Ethernet, FCoE, and Fibre Channel switch offering up to 500-Gbps throughput and up to four unified ports and one scalability port.

The Cisco UCS 6324 Fabric Interconnect extends the Cisco UCS architecture into environments with requirements for smaller domains. Providing the same unified server and networking capabilities as in the full-scale Cisco UCS solution, the Cisco UCS 6324 Fabric Interconnect embeds the connectivity within the Cisco UCS 5108 Blade Server Chassis to provide a smaller domain of up to 15 servers (8 blade servers and up to 7 direct-connect rack servers).

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/servers-unified-computing/ucs-6300-series-fabric-interconnects/datasheet-c78-732207.html

Cisco when you sending me one to checkout? icon smile The 6324 FI is out! Whole UCS in a 5108 Chassis!

Not UCS related but Cisco related. I like this, I posted it icon smile Cisco India Corporate Social Responsibility

Cisco is a cool company.

Very good article about FEX’s (IOM’s as UCS’ers call them).

http://vjswami.com/2011/11/10/wtf-what-the-fex-are-you-talking-about/

 WTF (What The FEX) are you talking about?

DCUFI – Implementing Cisco Data Center Unified Fabric v5.0
http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/exams/list/spec_dcufi.html

Going to be having fun this week!

Start Date: Jul 14 2014
End Date: Jul 18 2014
Start Time: 8:30AM
End Time: 4:30PM
Course Name: Implementing Cisco Data Center Unified Fabric 5.0

 

Updates

Monday 7/14 8:30am

IMAG0272 300x169 This Week! DCUFI   Implementing Cisco Data Center Unified Fabric v5.0

Getting Started

Monday, July 14, 2014 12:31:46 PM

TX is crazy hot, but nice.

IMAG0273 300x169 This Week! DCUFI   Implementing Cisco Data Center Unified Fabric v5.0

Texas Landscape (Irvine)

Covered Nexus hardware, VDC’s L2, L3, FEX’s, started talking about FabricPath, and VPC. Good Day.
Private VLAN’s are interesting “Private VLANs Revisited” http://blog.internetworkexpert.com/2008/07/14/private-vlans-revisited/

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 8:42:48 AM

Starting the day with VPC & Port-Channels. Learning lots about VPC setup and options. Learning a lot about how UCS FI’s connect to the IOM’s (FEX’s) and how a FEX becomes a “Virtual Line Card” for the FI.

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 10:39:50 AM

Starting Labs now. This is what my day looks like:

331179 This Week! DCUFI   Implementing Cisco Data Center Unified Fabric v5.0

Nexus fabric

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 2:57:53 PM

Today was all about FCOE. Went over FC basics and how Cisco Nexus and MDS switches manage FCOE. Tomorrow is labs.

 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 9:48:42 AM

Today going deep into how Cisco supports FCoE and the protocol. Also getting in to Data Center Bridging (DLB)

Fibre Channel over Ethernet Storage Networking Evolution

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/data-center-virtualization/storage-area-network-solutions/white_paper_c11-472771.html

FCoE Initiation Protocol

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/switches/nexus-7000-series-switches/white_paper_c11-560403.html

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 1:50:26 PM

Setting up an FCoE SAN now. Lab time! If I didn’t already know SAN, this would be really hard.

Thursday, July 17, 2014 9:55:39 AM

Focus on N7K’s today. Going over FabricPath and L2 & L3 specifics on N7K’s. Will do labs on all of this today. FabricPath RULES & STP SUCKS! Sooo much time spent on Multicast. There is a week class on Multicast? Blah, hope to never see that.

Thursday, July 17, 2014 1:54:35 PM

Starting 7k labs now. Making VDC’s and making OTV L2 tunneling between them. Now this is amazing stuff!!!

Friday, July 18, 2014 10:36:54 AM

Went over Security and QoS today. Back to L3 labs for a while and time to go to the airport.

Really has been a great class. Would recommend this class for sure. More info than can fit in my brain at one time. Only listed a high level overview of all that was covered. The class outline was followed. Got 2 huge books and a lab book, and these will be reference for some time.

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