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Cisco HyperFlex Installation via Intersight

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Beginner

Hi,

I have deployed Hypeflex using installer VM in past with no issues. However, this time I need to deploy new Hyperflex cluster with 4 HX nodes in entirely different infrastructure using Cisco Intersight and I am following below CVD for this.

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/unified_computing/ucs/UCS_CVDs/hx_4_vsi_vmware_esxi.html#_Toc24465144

As this is the first time, I'll be deploying it from Cisco Intersight so have some below queries that are still not clear. Kindly suggest.

1) As per Cisco, IP address for the storage data traffic will be derived from the MAC addresses and IPs assigned will be from range 169.254.0.0/16 where 3rd octet will be assigned from the MAC address. If Intersight assign IP based on the MAC address field, then how do I know the subnet/VLAN ID that I need to create on upstream switches for storage traffic ?

2) In my Infra, Jumbo frames cannot be enabled at this moment now and may be in future it will be enabled. However, are there any specific settings (Except MTU size in UCS Polices & disabling jumbo frames  during installation)that I need to consider if I don't enable Jumbo Frames ?

3) Also, during Hyperflex configuration using Intersight which option (VDI Otimization,Logical Availability Zones)should I select for storage configuration ? I am not deploying this hyperflex for VDI as it will be simple VMware environment and as far as I know for LAZ we need minimum 8 Nodes.

4) During Installation, I don't see option to name the Controller VMs. Is there a way we can name the controller VM or Intersight installation will just assign random names ?

5) Which Replication factor can be used in cluster of 4 nodes ? I believe RF3 can be used only in setup where atleast 5 nodes are available.

13 Comments
Beginner

@Kirk J @RedNectar 

Could you please suggest your thoughts on the Hyperflex configuration as mentioned in the post.

Engager

Hi @IC2317 ,


I have deployed Hypeflex using installer VM in past with no issues. However, this time I need to deploy new Hyperflex cluster with 4 HX nodes in entirely different infrastructure using Cisco Intersight and I am following below CVD for this.

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/unified_computing/ucs/UCS_CVDs/hx_4_vsi_vmware_esxi.html#_Toc24465144

As this is the first time, I'll be deploying it from Cisco Intersight so have some below queries that are still not clear. Kindly suggest.

1) As per Cisco, IP address for the storage data traffic will be derived from the MAC addresses and IPs assigned will be from range 169.254.0.0/16 where 3rd octet will be assigned from the MAC address. If Intersight assign IP based on the MAC address field, then how do I know the subnet/VLAN ID that I need to create on upstream switches for storage traffic ?

You don't need to know the subnet as it will be Layer 2 only. I know this is hard for some people to understand (I had one customer that insisted that an IP subnet had to be allocated before he could allocate a VLAN ID because of the VLAN/Subnet policy they had set in place)

  • So - you DO need to allocate a VLAN ID and configure it on the upstream switches.
  • You DON'T need to know what IP addresses/subet is used - but  if you assume the subnet is 169.254.0.0/16, you'll be fine.
2) In my Infra, Jumbo frames cannot be enabled at this moment now and may be in future it will be enabled. However, are there any specific settings (Except MTU size in UCS Polices & disabling jumbo frames  during installation)that I need to consider if I don't enable Jumbo Frames ?

If you can't configure jumbo frames upstream, then definately disable jumbo frames during the install. The MTU will be set to 1500 and the data VLAN will be slightly less efficient, but not a big deal.

3) Also, during Hyperflex configuration using Intersight which option (VDI Otimization,Logical Availability Zones)should I select for storage configuration ? I am not deploying this hyperflex for VDI as it will be simple VMware environment and as far as I know for LAZ we need minimum 8 Nodes.

You have this worked out I think - DON'T optimise for VDI and DON'T worry about LAZ

4) During Installation, I don't see option to name the Controller VMs. Is there a way we can name the controller VM or Intersight installation will just assign random names ?

The Contoller VMs ALWAYS get the name STCVMxxxxxxxx where xxxxxxxx is the serial number. You are stuck with it - sorry.

5) Which Replication factor can be used in cluster of 4 nodes ? I believe RF3 can be used only in setup where atleast 5 nodes are available.

You can use RF3 on a cluster of 4 nodes unless it is Hyperflex Edge, in which case you are restricted to RF2

I hope this helps

 



Don't forget to mark answers as correct if it solves your problem. This helps others find the correct answer if they search for the same problem

 


Beginner

@RedNectar 

That's awesome, thanks once again for your valuable suggestion. Regarding storage configuration, does that mean in my case I do not need to select any of the options (VDI, LAZ) ?

Also, sorry I forgot to ask this in orginal post. After logging to Intersight, I do not see Hyperflex Cluster profile. Will that come after I claim new FIs ? I already have other UCS domain (Not used for Hyperflex) claimed on intersight, so was wondering when does I see the Hyperflex cluster profile option, so that I can do the installation.Do we need certain kind of license for that ?

Engager

H1 @IC2317 ,

 

Regarding storage configuration, does that mean in my case I do not need to select any of the options (VDI, LAZ) ?

Correct. You don't need to configure either. I can't remember exactly what the screen looks like, but default values should be fine.

After logging to Intersight, I do not see Hyperflex Cluster profile. Will that come after I claim new FIs ?

Yes. You need to claim the FIs in Intersight before you can begin a HX Install. Also, make sure you have full admin rights to Intersight because Hyperflex Installer won't get you access to the FIs.

Do we need certain kind of license for that ?

No, the Basic Licence is all you need to coplete an Intersight HX Install.

 

Beginner

Hi,

Below is the screenshot of storage configuration page and I am not sure if I will be able to proceed further if none of these options is selected ?

Hyperflexstorageconfiguration.jpg

I already have 2 FIs claimed(Not used for Hyperflex as new FIs will be claimed for Hyperflex) and have Device/Server Administrator role on Cisco Intersight. I was wondering why I am not seeing Hyperflex Option if 2 FIs are already claimed ? I think this can also be used for Hyperflex in future.

Engager

That will be fine for your storage configuration. But you will need to claim those two Hyperflex FIs before deploying Hyperflex, other wise it will try and deploy it to the existing FIs

 

Engager

@IC2317 ,

Just a heads up about why this discussion has had so little response - I didn't even see your original post and would never have responded if you hadn't done the @mention for me.

This is because you wrote a blog post - and as a blog post, people searching for "Cisco HyperFlex Installation via Intersight" are likely to find this, but not the people (like me) that subscribe to discussions - feel free to complain to the team that looks after this board if you like.

As a tip, next time use the "Create Discussion" button to ask a question - many more people will see it and you'll likely get a faster response.

 

Untitled 2.png

Beginner

@RedNectar

Thanks for mentioning that,I'll take care of that. I thought I have created Discussion but may be by mistake I clicked on Blog, so not sure.

Regarding, multiple FIs claimed in Intersight I have below queries.

1) How do I ensure that when I install Hyperflex, it gets configured on correct pair of FIs ?

2) Also, as I already mentioned that I have 1 pair of FIs already registered in Intersight, so why I could not see Hyperflex option. Is it due to permissions ? I have Server and Device Administrator role assigned.

Engager

Hi @IC2317 ,

1) How do I ensure that when I install Hyperflex, it gets configured on correct pair of FIs ?

You will get to choose the FIs during the install

2) Also, as I already mentioned that I have 1 pair of FIs already registered in Intersight, so why I could not see Hyperflex option. Is it due to permissions ? I have Server and Device Administrator role assigned.

Without a fresh install for me to play with - I can't quite imagine what the problem is.

What might be worth doing is doing a run on a dCloud lab in particular the Cisco HyperFlex 4.0 in Action v2 lab where there is a Intersight demo - Im not sure if you can modify it enough to try an intersight install, but it might be worth a try. I think this link will take you there: [If you don't have access to dcloud, let me know and I'll schedule a lab for you and share it]

 

Beginner

@RedNectar 

Many thanks.I can access dCloud lab, however when I try to schedule for 3 days then I am getting error "Can't schedule instance of demo 332940. We simply don't have the resources at present".

If you could schedule one, that would be really great.

Engager

@IC2317 ,

You used to be able to schedule for 5 days, but since Covid-19, I aslo have noticed this has been reduced to two days.  I have simply assumed the two day limit is to conserve resources.  I've started a lab for you (for two days) so if you tell me your actual cisco username (send me a PM if you like) I'll share it with you.

Your username is the name shown here in your profile.

 

Beginner

Hi,

Thanks,I have done PM. Also, Sorry to bother you again, I forgot to ask regarding one more configuration on this. As I mentioned, earlier we cannot enable jumbo frames now, however in future it will be enabled. Can you please confirm if enable jumbo frames later with running production load on Hyperflex will cause any impact or downtime to the systems?

I can create new discussion for this if you would like me one to create for this one.

Engager

Hi @IC2317 ,

To be honest I'm not so sure about the jumbo frames question. My suspicion is that it is a bit of a process because you don't want one ControllerVM sending Jumbo frames before all Controller VMs are ready to receive jumbo frames.

I *THINK* the processs is:

Go to each ESXi host and make sure jumbo frames are enabled on the Storage vSwitch

Bring down the entire cluster

Go to each controller VM and change the MTU settings for the storage interface are set for jumbo frames

Bring the cluster up again.

 

Not sure about:

Possibly jumbo frames also have to be  enabled on the ESXi vmnic

Possibly jumbo frames have to be enabled on the VNIC template in UCS Manager

 

This may be worth asking in the forum - fresh eyes may find more!

Chris

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