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How to choose the correct Cisco UCS Server?

JohnnyKabundi
Beginner
Beginner

Good day,

As a Junior Cisco IPT Engineer, I have been asking to myself many questions regarding the choice the Cisco UCS Servers that are out now in the market.

The question comes always as which UCS Platform should I purchase for my customers and based on what?

For example, a customer need a solution that can support up to 4500 Cisco IP Phones, they want to have a 1:1 Redundancy Design (1 PUB and 1 SUB), also they need a Cisco Unity Connection box that can support up to 5000 Users, Unified Presence with support up to 5000 Users, Unified Contact Center Express with support up to 100 Agents.

With this kind of requirement, how should I go about procuring Cisco UCS Servers that can acconmodate those needs?

Expert, please help me clear my mind on this one.

Warm regards,

Johnny Kabundi.

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Paul McGurn
Frequent Contributor
Frequent Contributor

The first thing you'll want to decide is blade vs. standard chassis server.  The UC VM's themselves won't care, so this is a matter of preference on hardware deployment.

A good place to start in regards to sizing is really in looking at the requirements of the VM's themselves.  In the UCS world, CUCM, UCXN, and UCCX have VMware templates provided by Cisco that will drive the CPU, memory, and HD space requirements for each VM.  In a 1:1 redundancy deployment, you'll want two UCS servers too, so you'd have a layout of something like this:

Server1

CUCM PUB

UCXN Pub

UCCX Master

Server 2

CUCM Sub

UCXN Sub

UCCX Secondary

You'll want to think carefully about where each VM lives on each server if this is over a WAN though (CUCM Sub should be physically close to phones, as they are should register to it).  The biggest component (I think) to your referenced build will be UCCX (unless CUPS is bigger, I haven't touch CUPS yet).  In my experience, this is the most resource intensive component of the 3 I reference above, both in hard disk requirements and actual CPU/Mem demand.

In our environment, which is actually similar to what I've listed above, it's running on a pair of UCS C210 M2 servers.  It was previously on C200 servers, but Cisco recommended we resize to the C210's to ensure adequate CPU capacity.

The only thing I can't comment on are the additional requirements around your CUPS deployment.  I don't "think" that'd take you into a higher model than the C210, but you'll want to check the hardware requirements for your sizing.

The installation guides for each UC platform component are quite helpful in regards to helping to properly size the environment, and would carry over to VMware (if the guides don't specifically mention it anyways) based on your existing sizing requirements for device/user counts.

And lastly, I'd caution on density of VMs on physical servers.  When having to do maintenance on the server itself, the more VMs you have on it, the more of a pain (read: nightmare) it can be to actually do maintenance to that server.

If I could re-deploy our environment, I would keep CUCM and UCXN as VM's, and either put UCCX on bare metal, or at least on its own servers.  The failover path between UCCX nodes is far less graceful than failing over CUCM and UCXN, in regards to agent and customer facing impact (failing over UCCX is very disruptive to logged in agents, and the CAD/CSD applications do not handle it very reliably in our real-world environment).

View solution in original post

4 Replies 4

Paul McGurn
Frequent Contributor
Frequent Contributor

The first thing you'll want to decide is blade vs. standard chassis server.  The UC VM's themselves won't care, so this is a matter of preference on hardware deployment.

A good place to start in regards to sizing is really in looking at the requirements of the VM's themselves.  In the UCS world, CUCM, UCXN, and UCCX have VMware templates provided by Cisco that will drive the CPU, memory, and HD space requirements for each VM.  In a 1:1 redundancy deployment, you'll want two UCS servers too, so you'd have a layout of something like this:

Server1

CUCM PUB

UCXN Pub

UCCX Master

Server 2

CUCM Sub

UCXN Sub

UCCX Secondary

You'll want to think carefully about where each VM lives on each server if this is over a WAN though (CUCM Sub should be physically close to phones, as they are should register to it).  The biggest component (I think) to your referenced build will be UCCX (unless CUPS is bigger, I haven't touch CUPS yet).  In my experience, this is the most resource intensive component of the 3 I reference above, both in hard disk requirements and actual CPU/Mem demand.

In our environment, which is actually similar to what I've listed above, it's running on a pair of UCS C210 M2 servers.  It was previously on C200 servers, but Cisco recommended we resize to the C210's to ensure adequate CPU capacity.

The only thing I can't comment on are the additional requirements around your CUPS deployment.  I don't "think" that'd take you into a higher model than the C210, but you'll want to check the hardware requirements for your sizing.

The installation guides for each UC platform component are quite helpful in regards to helping to properly size the environment, and would carry over to VMware (if the guides don't specifically mention it anyways) based on your existing sizing requirements for device/user counts.

And lastly, I'd caution on density of VMs on physical servers.  When having to do maintenance on the server itself, the more VMs you have on it, the more of a pain (read: nightmare) it can be to actually do maintenance to that server.

If I could re-deploy our environment, I would keep CUCM and UCXN as VM's, and either put UCCX on bare metal, or at least on its own servers.  The failover path between UCCX nodes is far less graceful than failing over CUCM and UCXN, in regards to agent and customer facing impact (failing over UCCX is very disruptive to logged in agents, and the CAD/CSD applications do not handle it very reliably in our real-world environment).

Hi Paul,

Please allow me to thank you so much in regards to your explanation that you have given to me.

I do really appreciate your feedback. I have come to understand how many things comes into play when choosing the correct UCS Server for a deployment.

Warm regards,

Johnny Kabundi.

Glad I could help shed some light on it.  Good luck in your future projects.

Gordon Ross
Engager
Engager

If you haven't already discovered it yet, this link is your friend:

http://www.cisco.com/go/uc-virtualized

GTG

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