We are pleased to announce the release of UCS Manager 2.2(2c) codenamed “El Capitan MR1”. The release is now available for download on Cisco.com: release 2.2(2c). Links to download this release are as follows: Infrastructure software bundle: Click here to download B-series and C-series software bundles for this release are available at the above link, under “Related Software”. Relevant documentation for the UCS Manager 2.2(2c) release can be accessed as follows: Release notes for UCS Manager 2.2: Click here Install & Upgrade Guides: Click here Configuration Guides for GUI & CLI: Click here Release Bundle Contents for UCS Manager 2.2(2c): Click here The UCS Manager 2.2(2) release enables support for new Intel Ivy Bridge server platforms, and delivers key features and enhancements in the Fabric and Operational areas. The following is a complete overview of the new hardware platforms and software enhancements in UCS Manager 2.2(2): Hardware Support: B260-M4 & B460-M4 (Scalable 2S-EX & 4S-EX blade servers) B420-M3 (4S-EP Ivy Bridge blade server refresh) B22-M3 (2S-EN Ivy Bridge blade server refresh) C460-M4 (4S-EX rack server) C22-M3 & C24-M3 (2S-EN Ivy Bridge rack server refreshes) High Voltage PSU (380v) Support Note: New SAP HANA solutions are based on the M4 server platforms, B260-M4, B460-M4 and C460-M4. Operational Enhancements: Scriptable vMedia Scriptable vMedia provides the ability to programmatically mount an image on a remote server directly to CIMC (without requiring KVM). A new vMedia Policy allows the user to define the vMedia mapping and specify the remote NFS/CIFS/HTTP/HTTPS share. The vMedia mount can be referenced as the boot device in the Boot Policy. Scriptable vMedia enables key use cases such as scripting OS driver updates, security updates, and “PXE-less” automated OS provisioning. Pre-Upgrade Validation Checks Provide pre-upgrade checks to enhance the firmware auto-install process and ensure a smooth and successful upgrade process Prior to an upgrade, the complete UCSM domain will be audited and warnings will be shown based on the configuration state, in case of: Outdated configuration backup Any critical/major faults exist Management interface monitoring policy is disabled FI reboot is pending NTP configuration is not available Also, an error will be shown in case the available Bootflash space is less than 20% A new “Backup Config Reminder” option is added to the Backup Policy GPU Firmware Management UCSM Firmware bundles now contain GPU firmware UCSM Host Firmware Policies can now designate desired firmware versions for supported Nvidia GPU Adapters Wear-Level Monitoring for Flash Adapters UCSM Monitoring for the Flash status and remaining Flash Life of Fusion IO Flash Adapters KVM/vMedia Client Enhancements Support the next gen KVM/vMedia client on UCS servers for better server management experience vMedia tab replaced with a menu option, allowing continuous access to the KVM console while creating a vMedia mapping, as well as caching of previous vMedia mappings for faster remapping. Other enhancements include a Chat option across multiple users of KVM sessions, Video Scaling allowing the KVM window to be resized according to the client resolution, and Auto-Reconnect allowing the client to automatically re-establish the session in case of connectivity loss. Fabric Enhancements: PVLAN Enhancements Enhances the current implementation of PVLAN extending support to Community VLANs, Promiscuous mode, and PVLAN trunking on the host side Support both physical and virtual environment, enhancing the support and interoperability with ESXi and N1Kv Netflow Support Enable high scale flow record collection with minimal overheard on the FI by distributing the NetFlow processing to the Cisco VIC adapters on the servers Enhances the visibility required to detect traffic anomalies, ensure efficient bandwidth allocation and improve capacity planning UCS Manager will create and manage Netflow policies, which can be applied to static and dynamic vNICs (VM-FEX) to capture VM to VM traffic within the same host Cisco VIC Driver Enhancements – Adaptive Interrupt Coalescing (AIC) Enables self tuning of the CPU interrupt for packet processing, by interrupting the host only once for multiple packets received, based on a defined coalescing timer Improves the CPU efficiency and throughput, reducing the number of kernel context switches required to service the interrupts generated by the adapter AIC relies on the eNIC driver to learn the nature of the traffic flowing through it and tune the interrupt coalescing timer to improve the CPU utilization without negatively impacting the traffic latency. Cisco VIC Driver Enhancements – Accelerated Receive Flow Steering (ARFS) ARFS is a hardware-assisted receive flow steering, with the goal of increasing data cache hit rate by steering kernel processing of packets to the CPU where the application thread consuming the packet is running ARFS helps improve CPU efficiency and reduce traffic latency ARFS is disabled by default and can be enabled from the Adapter Policy in UCSM Cisco VIC Driver Enhancements – NetQueue Support Enables support for VMware NetQueue on the Cisco VIC adapter Allows a network adapter to dedicate a transmit and receive queue pair to a virtual machine NIC Improves network throughput by distributing processing of network traffic for multiple VMs among multiple CPUs Reduces CPU utilization by offloading receive packet filtering to the network adapter
... View more
We are pleased to announce the release of UCS Manager 2.2(1b) codenamed “El Capitan”. The release is now available for download on Cisco.com: release 2.2(1b). Links to download this release are as follows: Infrastructure software bundle: Click here to download B-series and C-series software bundles for this release are available at the above link, under “Related Software”. UCS Platform Emulator 2.2(1b): Click here to download NOTE: From UCS PE 2.2(1bPE1) onwards, UCS PE supports uploading the B-Series and C-Series server firmware bundles. Because of the large file sizes of the firmware bundles, UCS PE only supports uploading of only the stripped-down versions (attached to this document), which includes only the firmware metadata but not the actual firmware itself in the binaries. The stripped-down version of the firmware bundles which contain metadata only of the B-series and C-series server firmware is reduced to approximately 50 kB in size. Download UCSPE Firmware Bundles: UCS Platform Emulator Firmware Bundles (includes firmware meta-data only) Relevant documentation for the 2.2(1) release can be accessed as follows: Release notes for UCS Manager 2.2(1): Click here Install & Upgrade Guides: Click here Configuration Guides for GUI & CLI: Click here Release Bundle Contents for UCS Manager 2.2(1): Click here El Capitan delivers several key features and major enhancements in the Fabric, Compute, and Operational areas. The following is a complete overview of the features in El Capitan: Fabric Enhancements: Fabric scaling El Capitan supports new underlying NxOS switch code, which enables UCS to increase the scale numbers on the 6200 Fabric Interconnects, supporting up to 2000 VLANs, 2750 VIFs, 4000 IGMP Groups, 240 vHBAs, and 240 Network Adapter Endpoints. IPv6 Management Support Allow management of UCS Manager and UCS servers using IPv6 addresses Allow access to external services (e.g. NTP, DNS) over IPv6 External facing client applications (e.g. scp, ftp, tftp) and external facing services (e.g. sshd, httpd, snmpd) are now accessible over IPv6 addresses Uni-Directional Link Detection (UDLD) Support Uni-Directional Link Detection (UDLD) is Cisco’s data link layer protocol that detects and optionally disables broken bidirectional links Supported in FI End-Host and Switching mode A global policy and per-port policy are added to configure UDLD parameters including: mode, msg interval, admin state, recovery action User Space NIC (usNIC) for Low Latency UCS will support High Performance Computing (HPC) applications through a common low-latency technology based on the usNIC capability of the Cisco VICs usNIC allows latency sensitive MPI applications running on bare-metal host OSes to bypass the kernel Supported for Sereno-based adapters only (VIC 1240, VIC 1280, VIC 1225) Support for Virtual Machine Queue (VMQ) Enables support for MS Windows VMQs on the Cisco VIC adapter Allows a network adapter to dedicate a transmit and receive queue pair to a Hyper-V VM NIC Improves network throughput by distributing processing of network traffic for multiple VMs among multiple CPUs Reduces CPU utilization by offloading receive packet filtering to the network adapter Operational Enhancements: Direct Connect C-Series to FI without FEX Support direct connections of C-Series rack servers to the Fabric Interconnect without having to invest in a 2232PP FEX Supported for the following rack servers connected with Single Wire Management and Cisco VIC 1225 adapter: C260 M2, C460 M2, C22 M3, C24 M3, C220 M3, C240 M3, C420 M3 Two-factor Authentication for UCS Manager Logins Support for strengthened UCSM authentication, requiring a generated token along with username/password to authenticate UCSM or KVM logins UCSM uses single authentication request which combines (token and password) in the password field of the authentication request VM-FEX for Hyper-V Management with Microsoft SCVMM UCSM will support full integration with SCVMM for VM-FEX configuration A Cisco provider plugin is installed in SCVMM, fetches all network definitions from UCSM and periodically polls for configuration updates Supported for SCVMM 2012 SP1, Windows Hyper-V 2012 SP1 & Windows Server 2012 CIMC In-band Management CIMC management traffic takes the same path as data traffic via the FI uplink ports Separate CIMC management traffic from UCSM management traffic increases bandwidth for FI management port Support In-band CIMC access over IPv4/IPv6 (IPv6 access not supported Out-of-band due to NAT limitations) Direct KVM Access Direct KVM access launches KVM via URL: http://<IP_address of CIMC> or https://<IP_address of CIMC System admins allow server admins to access the KVM console without requiring the UCSM IP address The CIMC IP URLs are hosted on the Fabric Interconnect Supported over out-of-band only Server Firmware Auto Sync Server Firmware gets automatically synchronized and updated to version configured in ‘Default Host Firmware Package’ Global policy allows user to configure options: Auto Acknowledge (default) User Acknowledge No Action (feature turned off) Guarantee server firmware consistency and compatibility when adding a new or RMA’ed server to a UCS domain Compute Enhancements: Secure Boot Establish a chain of trust on the secure boot enabled platform to protect it from executing unauthorized BIOS images Secure Boot utilizes the UEFI BIOS to authenticate UEFI images before executing them Standard implementation based on the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) UEFI 2.3.1 specification Enhanced Local Storage Monitoring Enhance monitoring capabilities for local storage, providing more granular status of RAID controllers and physical/logical drive configurations and settings New Out-of-Band communication channel developed between CIMC and the RAID Controller allows for near real-time monitoring of local storage without the need for host-based utilities or additional server reboot/re-acknowledgement Support monitoring the progress and state of long-running operations (e.g. RAID Rebuild, Consistency Check) Precision Boot Order Control Support creating UCSM Boot Policies with multiple instances of Boot Devices (FlexFlash, Local LUN, USB, Local/Remote vMedia, LAN, SAN, and iSCSI) Provides precision and full control over the actual boot order for all devices in the system: Multiple Local Boot Devices (RAID LUN/SD Card/Internal USB/External USB) and SAN Local & Remote vMedia devices PXE/SAN boot in multipath environments FlexFlash (Local SD card) Support UCSM provides inventory and monitoring of the FlexFlash controller and SD cards Local Disk Policy contains settings to enable ‘FlexFlash RAID Reporting’ Number of FlexFlash SD cards is added as a qualifier for server pools Flash Adapters & HDD Firmware Management UCSM Firmware bundles now contain Flash Adapter firmware and Local Disks firmware. UCSM Host Firmware Policies can now designate desired firmware versions for Flash Adapters and Local Disks Trusted Platform Module (TPM) Inventory Allow access to the inventory and state of the TPM module from UCSM (without having to access the BIOS via KVM) DIMM Blacklisting and Correctable Error Reporting Improved accuracy at identifying “Degraded” DIMMs DIMM Blacklisting will forcefully map-out a DIMM that hits an uncorrectable error during host CPU execution Opt-in feature enabled through an optional Global Policy (Disabled by default) The El Capitan features enable several UCS Solutions including: VM-FEX with SCVMM for MS Private Cloud Direct Connect C-Series for Smaller Big Data Clusters Direct Connect C-Series for Smaller VDI Deployments Direct Connect C-Series for FlexPod Reference Architecture with ESX 5.5 Enhanced Local Storage Monitoring for Improved System Management Integration and SMB VDI Solutions PCIe Flash Cards Support for Non-Persistent VDI usNIC-based HPC Solutions on Cisco UCS B-Series Ubuntu Support for OpenStack Please stay tuned for more feature demo videos to be added to this blog post.
... View more