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Nimble Storage for Cisco UCS

Went to an introduction to Nimble Storage devices attaching to Cisco UCS the vendor offered. Nimble was presenting a strong pitch for UCS iSCSI Boot. The iSCSI targets could also be presented as drives of course. If not familiar with iSCSI boot checkout this article Cisco UCS iSCSI Boot Through Appliance Ports Setup Video Read more:

A Nimble device does not require Appliance Ports. Nimble devices can be attached to a common network to several UCS’s. Best if this is 10G.

Something that is enticing about Nimble Storage devices is a “Golden Image” LUN can through disc deduplication be presented as a new iSCSI target. Tested this with some success. Need much more testing to validate but this could be used for imaging similar to deploying from template like vSphere/ESX! This could be orchestrated via UCS Director or API from each system.

Unlike using SAN for a boot, all things are not handled in a Boot Profile. After a Service Profile is created each Boot Policy needs “Set iSCSI Boot Parameters” edited. See link above for details. This is a lot of extra work depending on number of blades. If this was automated via PowerShell or integrated smoother in UCSM life would be better.

Overall this is a great option to get around needing SAN for boot and may be simpler. Most shops tend to be SAN or NAS – not usually both. If deduplication could be used for imaging that is another big win for some. Booting form a SAN LUN took about 3 minutes, and the Isilon NAS was 13 minutes. This was over 1g though. Doesn’t matter in most environments if it works.

Published ininteroperabilityiSCSINimble Storage

One Comment

  1. Hello. Great job. I did not exppect this.

    This is a splendid story. Thanks!

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