Cisco UCS iSCSI Boot Through Appliance Ports Setup Video
Appliance Ports and an iSCSI target is very similar to Boot from SAN. Using Appliance Ports the traffic can move separate from NFS and SMB shares if extra interfaces exist. This can also be accomplished with a separate VLAN outside of Appliance Ports. I prefer segregating the iSCSI boot network. Boot storms can create a lot of traffic and a loss of connectivity will crash all the servers using iSCSI. Really depends on your current architecture how you set it up, but I like it separate.
Have iSCSI boot working on a 6120 UCS, Code level 2.0(w), Appliance Ports, and an Isilon NAS system. The video and screen shots are created using the Cisco UCS Emulator application downloadable from Cisco. Many iSCSI device’s with 1 or 2 ports will work for iSCSI boot. MS Storage Server and FreeNAS have worked in my testing. Cisco only supports NetApp and EMC officially, but an iSCSI target is an iSCSI target. Whether using Appliance Ports or binding to a global VLAN on UCS you get the same result. I like Appliance ports to separate the traffic and create a “Closed Redundant Loop” and authentication iSCSI Initiator based. Authentication Profiles are not hard to use if desired.
An iSCSI device that supports a virtual IP or a load balancer can be used for redundancy. In my testing Isilon Smart Connect IP didn’t work, it is expecting a DNS request. That is fine, just use an IP on two different chassis. This same model will work with most NAS devices with multiple interfaces.
Have not had the greatest luck setting up dual vHBA’s for iSCSI and mimicking a SAN architecture but a single virtual iSCSI NIC overlaying a vNIC that has “Enable Failover” set works well.
Be sure to create two paths (“iSCSI Static Target” in Boot Profile under “Set iSCSI Boot Parameters”) for redundancy. When UCS boots it will try the targets in order as seen in “Completed iSCSI Boot Parameters” below. Have not experimented with MPIO on these targets yet.
iSCSI Boot Steps using Appliance Ports (This was done on Cisco UCS Emulator)
Cisco UCS iSCSI Boot Setup Video
Another setup video from around same older code level
- Create a Block of IP Addresses
- Create MAC Pool
- Create Appliance VLAN
- Create Appliance Ports
- Bind Appliance Ports and Appliance VLAN
- Create iSCSI vNIC Template and bind to Appliance VLAN
- Create iSCSI Authentication Profile (if needed)
- Create iSCSI Adapter Policy
- Create iSCSI Boot Policy
- Create vNIC for Service Profile (use iSCSI vNIC Template)
- Modify Boot Policy (add iSCSI Boot Policy to Service Profile)
- After Boot Policy is applied “Modify iSCSI vNIC”
- After Boot Policy is applied “Set iSCSI Boot Parameters” for NAS controller 1
- After Boot Policy is applied “Set iSCSI Boot Parameters” for NAS controller 2
- Completed iSCSI Boot Parameters
- While blade powers up should see this if iSCSI boot LUN is found
- Hitting F6 to bring up boot menu should show iSCSI Boot LUN as option