Category: Cisco UCS

Vendor and Cloud lock-in; Good? Bad? Indifferent?

Vendor lock-in, also known as proprietary lock-in or customer lock-in, is when a customer becomes dependent on a vendor for products and services. Thus, the customer is unable to use another vendor without substantial switching costs.

The evolving complexity of data center architectures makes migrating from one product to another difficult and painful regardless of the level of “lock-in.” As with applications, the more integrated an infrastructure solution, architecture and business processes, the less likely it is to be replaced.

The expression “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” is commonplace in IT.

I have always touted the anti-vendor lock-in motto. Everything should be Open Source and the End User should have the ability to participate, contribute, consume and modify solutions to fit their specific needs. However is this always the right solution?

Some companies are more limited when it comes to resources. Others are incredibly large and complex making the adoption of Open Source (without support) complicated. Perhaps a customer requires a stable and validated platform to satisfy legal or compliance requirements. If the Vendor they select has a roadmap that matches the companies there might be synergy between the two and thus, Vendor lock-in might be avoided. However, what happens when a Company or Vendor suddenly changes their roadmap?

Most organizations cannot move rapidly between architectures and platform investments (CAPEX) which typically only occur every 3-5 years. If the roadmap deviates there could be problems.

For instance, again let’s assume the customer needs a stable and validated platform to satisfy legal, government or compliance requirements. Would Open Source be a good fit for them or are they better using a Closed Source solution? Do they have the necessary staff to support a truly Open Source solution internally without relying on a Vendor? Would it make sense for them to do this when CAPEX vs OPEXi s compared

The recent trend is for Vendors to develop Open Source solutions; using this as a means to market their Company as “Open” which has become a buzzword. Such terms like Distributed, Cloud, Scale Out, and Pets vs Cattle have also become commonplace in the IT industry.

If a Company or individual makes something Open Source but there is no community adoption or involvement is it really an open Source project? In my opinion, just because I post source code to GitHub doesn’t truthfully translate into a community project. There must be adoption and contribution to add features, fixes, and evolve the solution.

In my experience, the Open Source model works for some and not for others. It all depends on what you are building, who the End User is, regulatory compliance requirements and setting expectations in what you are hoping to achieve. Without setting expectations, milestones and goals it is difficult to guarantee success.

Then comes the other major discussion surrounding Public Cloud and how some also considered it to be the next evolution of Vendor lock-in.

For example, if I deploy my infrastructure in Amazon and then choose to move to Google, Microsoft or Rackspace, is the incompatibility between different Public Clouds then considered lock-in? What about Hybrid Cloud? Where does that fit into this mix?

While there have been some standards put in place such as OVF formats the fact is getting locked into a Public Cloud provider can be just as bad or even worse than being locked into an on-premise architecture or Hybrid Cloud architecture, but it all depends on how the implementation is designed. Moving forward as Public Cloud grows in adoption I think we will see more companies distribute their applications across multiple Public Cloud endpoints and will use common software to manage the various environments. Thus, being a “single pane of glass” view into their infrastructure. Solutions like Cloudforms are trying to help solve these current and frustrating limitations.

Recently, I spoke with someone who mentioned their Company selected OpenStack to prevent Vendor lock-in as it’s truly an Open Source solution. While this is somewhat true, the reality is moving from one OpenStack distribution to another is far from simple. While the API level components and architecture are mostly the same across different distributions the underlying infrastructure can be substantially different. Is that not a type of Vendor lock-in? I believe the term could qualify as “Open Source solution lock-in.”

The next time someone mentions lock-in ask them what they truly mean and what they are honestly afraid of. Is it that they want to participate in the evolution of a solution or product or that they are terrified to admit they have been locked-in to a single Vendor for the foreseeable future?

Is it that they want to participate in the evolution of a solution or product or that they are terrified to admit they have been locked-in to a single Vendor for the foreseeable future?

The future is definitely headed towards Open Source solutions and I think companies such as Red Hat and others will guide the way, providing support and validating these Open Source solutions helping to make them effortless to implement, maintain, and scale.

All one needs to do is look at the largest Software Company in the world, Microsoft, and see how they are aggressively adopting Open Source and Linux. This is a far cry from the Microsoft v1.0 which solely invested in their own Operating System and neglected others such as Linux and Unix.

So, what do you think? Is Vendor lock-in, whether software related, hardware related, Private or Public Cloud, truly a bad thing for companies and End Users or is it a case by case basis?

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The day the systems administrators was eliminated from the Earth… fact or fiction?

As software becomes more complex and demands scalability of the cloud, IT’s mechanics of today, the systems administrator, will disappear. Tomorrow’s systems administrator will be entirely unlike anything we have today.

For as long as there have been computer systems, there has always been a group of individuals managing them and monitoring them named system administrators. These individuals were the glue of data centers,  responsible for provisioning and managing systems. From the monolithic platforms of the old ages to todays mixed bag approach of hardware, storage, operating systems, middleware, and software.

The typical System Administrator usually possessed super human diagnostic skills and repair capabilities to keep a complex mix of various disparate systems humming along happily. The best system administrators have always been the “Full Stack” individuals who were armed with all skills needed to keep systems up and running but these individuals were few and far between.

Data centers have become more complex over the past decade as systems have been broken down, deconstructed into functional components and segregated into groupings. Storage has been migrated to centralized blocks like a SAN and NAS thus inevitably forcing personnel to become specialized in specific tasks and skills.

Over the years, this same trend has happened with Systems Infrastructure Engineers/Administrators, Network Engineers/Administrators and Application Engineers/Administrators.

Everywhere you look intelligence is being built directly into products.I was browsing the aisle at Lowe’s this past weekend and noted that clothes washers, dryers, and refrigerators are now being shipped equipped with WIFI and NFC to assist with troubleshooting problems, collecting error logs and opening problem service tickets. No longer do we need to pour over those thousand pages long manuals looking for error code EC2F to tell us that the water filter has failed, the software can do it for us! Thus is has become immediately apparent that if tech such as this has made its way into low-level basic consumer items things must be changing even more rapidly at the top.

I obviously work in the tech industry and would like to think of myself as a technologist and someone who is very intrigued by emerging technologies. Electric cars, drones, remotely operated vehicles, smartphones, laptops that can last 12+ hours daily while fitting in your jeans pocket and the amazing ability to order items from around the globe and have them shipped to your door. These things astound me.

The modern car was invented in 1886 and in 1903, we invented the airplane. The first commercial air flight was not until 1914 but to see how far we have come in such a short time is astounding. It almost makes you think we were asleep for the last Century prior.

As technology has evolved there has been a need for software to also evolve at a similarly rapid pace. In many ways, we have outpaced software with hardware engineering over the last Score and now software is slowly catching up and surpassing hardware engineering.

Calm down, I know I am rambling again. I will digress and get to the point.

The fact is, the Systems Administrator as we know it is a dying breed. Like the dinosaur, the caveman and the wooly mammoth. All of these were great at some things but never enough to stay alive and thus were wiped out.

So what happens next? Do we all lose our jobs? Does the stock fall into a free fall and we all start drinking Brawndo the Thirst Mutilator (if you havent seen Idiocracy I feel for you.) The fact is, it’s going to be a long, slow and painful death.

Companies are going to embrace cloud at a rapid rate and as this happens people will either adapt or cling to their current ways. Not every company is going to be “cloudy”.

Stop. Let me state something. I absolutely HATE the word Cloud. It sounds so stupid. Cloud. Cloud. Cloud. Just say it. How about we all instead embrace the term share nothing scalable distributed computing. That sounds better.

So, is this the end of the world? No, but it does mean “The Times They Are a Changin” to quote Mr. Dylan.

A fact is, change is inevitable. If things didn’t change we would still be living in huts, hunting with our bare hands and using horses as our primary methods of transportation. We wouldn’t have indoor toilets, governments, rules, regulations, or protection from others as there would be no law system.

Sometimes change is good and sometimes its bad. In this case, I see many good things coming down the road but I think we all need to see the signs posted along the highway.

Burying ones head in the dirt like an Ostrich is not going to protect you.

How to build a large scale multi-tenant cloud solution

It’s not terribly difficult to design and build a turnkey integrated pre-configured SDDC ready to use solution. However building one that completely abstracts the compute, storage and network physical resources and provides multiple tenants a pool of logical resources along with all the necessary management, operational and application level services and allows to scale resources with seamless addition of new rack units.

The architecture should be a vendor agnostic solution with limited software tie-in to hardware vendor specifics but expandable to support various vendor hardware needs with plug-n-play architecture.

Decisions should be made early if the solution will come in various forms and factors from appliances, quarter, half and full racks providing different levels of capacity, performance, redundancy HA, SLA’s. Building a ground-up architecture to expand to mega rack scale architecture in future with distributed infrastructure resources without impacting the customer experience and usage.

The design should contain more than one physical rack with each rack unit composing of: Compute Servers with direct attached storage (software defined) a Top of the Rack and Management Switches hardware Data Plane, Control Plane and Management Plane software Management plane software Platform level Operations, Management and Monitoring software Application-centric workload Services.

Most companies have a solution based on a number of existing technologies, architectures, products, and processes that have been part of the legacy application hosting and IT operations environments. These environment can usually be repurposed for some of the scalable cloud components which saves time, cost and the result is a stable environment that operations can still manage/operate with existing processes and solutions.

In order to evolve the platform to provide not only for stability and supportability but additional features such as elasticity and improved time to market companies should begin immediately initiating a project to investigate and redesign the underlying platform.

In scope for this effort are assessments of the network physical and logical architecture, the server physical and logical architecture, the storage physical and logical architecture, the server virtualization technology, and the platform-as-a-service technology.

The approach to this effort will include building a mini proof of concept based on a hypothesized preferred architecture and benchmarking it against alternative designs. This proof of concept then should be able to scale to a production sized system.

Implement a scalable elastic IaaS – PaaS leveraging self-service automation and orchestration that enables end users the ability to self-service provision applications within the cloud itself.

Suggested phases of the project would be as follows:

Phase Description:

  • Phase I Implementation of POC platforms
  • Phase II Implementation of logical resources
  • Phase III Validation of physical and logical resources
  • Phase II Implementation of platform as a service components
  • Phase IV Validation of platform as a service components
  • Phase V Platform as a service testing begins
  • Phase VI Review, document complete knowledge transfer
  • Phase VII Present fact findings to executive management

Typically there are four fundamental components to cloud design; infrastructure, platform, applications, and business process.

The infrastructure and platform as a service components are typically the ideal starting place to drive new revenue opportunities, whether by reselling or enabling greater agility within the business.

With industries embracing cloud design at a record pace and technology corporations focusing on automation this allows the benefit of moving towards a cloud data infrastructure design.

Cloud Data infrastructure allows the ability to provide services, servers, storage, and networking on-demand at any time with minimal limits helping to create new opportunities and drive new revenue.

The “Elastic” pay-as-you-go data center infrastructure should provide a managed services platform allowing application owner groups the ability to operate individually while sharing a stable common platform.

Having a common platform and infrastructure model will allow applications to mature while minimizing code changes and revisions due to hardware, drivers, software dependencies and infrastructure lifecycle changes.

This will provide a stable scalable solution that can be deployed at any location regardless of geography.

Today’s data centers are migrating away from the client-server distributed model of the past towards the more virtualized model of the future.

Storage: As business applications grow in complexity, the need for larger more reliable storage becomes a data center imperative. Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity: Data centers must maintain business processes for the overall business to remain competitive. Dense server racks make it very difficult to keep data centers cool and keep costs down. Cabling: Many of today’s data centers have evolved into a complex mass of interconnected cables that further increase rack density and further reduce data center ventilation.

These virtualization strategies introduce their own unique set of problems, such as security vulnerabilities, limited management capabilities, and many of the same proprietary limitations encountered with the previous generation of data center components.

When taken together, these limitations serve as barriers against the promise of application agility that the virtualized data center was intended to provide.

The fundamental building block of an elastic infrastructure is the workload. Workloads should be thought of as the amount of work that a single server or ‘application gear/container/instance’ can provide given the amount of resources allocated to it

Those resources encompass compute (CPU & RAM), data (disk latency & throughput), and networking (latency & throughput). A workload is an application, part of an application, or a group of application that’s work together. There are two general types of workload that the most customers need to address: those running within a Platform-as-a-Service construct and those running on a hypervisor construct. Sometimes bare metal should also be considered where applicable but this is in rare circumstances.

Much like database sharding, the design should be limited by fundamental sizing limitations which will allow a subset of resources to be configured at maximum size hosting multiple copies of virtual machines, applications group and distributed load balanced across a cluster of hypervisors that share a common persistent storage back end.

This is similar to load balancing but not exactly the same as a customer or specific application will only be placed in particular ‘Cradles’. A distribution system will be developed to determine where tenants will be placed upon login to and direct them to the Cradle they were assigned.

In order to aggregate as many workloads as possible in each availability zone or region, a specific reference architecture design should be made to determine the ratio virtual servers per physical server.

The size will be driven by a variety of factors including oversubscription models, technology partners, and network limitations.The initial offering will result in a prototype and help determine scalability & capacity and this design should scale in a linear predictable fashion.

The cloud control system and its associated implementations will be comprised of Regions or Availability Zones. Similar in many ways to what Amazon AWS does currently.

The availability zone model allows the ability to isolates one fault domain from another. Each availability zone has isolation and redundancy in management, hardware, network, power, and facilities. If power is lost in a given availability zone tenants in another availability zone are not impacted. Each availability zone resides in a single datacenter facility and is relatively independent. Availability zones are then aggregated into a regions and regions into the global resource pool.

The basic components would be as follows:

· Hypervisor and container management control plane
· Cloud orchestration
· Cloud blueprints/templates
· Automation
· Operating system and application provisioning
· Continuous application delivery
· Utilization monitoring, capacity planning, and reporting

hardware considerations should be as follows:

· Compute scalability
· Compute performance
· Storage scalability
· Storage performance
· Network scalability
· Network performance
· Network architecture limitations
· Oversubscription rates & capacity planning
· Solid-state flash leveraged to increase performance and decrease deployment times

Business concerns would be:

· Cost-basis requirements
· Margins
· Calculating cost VS profits to show ROI (chargeback/show back)
· Licensing costs

The extensibility of the solution dictates the ability to use third party tools for authentication, monitoring, and legacy applications. The best cloud control system should allow the ability to integrate legacy systems and software with relative ease. Its my own personal preference to lead with Open Source software but that decision is left to the user to decide.

Monitoring,  capacity planning, and resource optimization should consider the following:

· Reactive – Break-Fix monitoring where systems and nodes are monitored for availability and service is manually restored
· Proactive – Collect metrics data to maintain availability, performance, and meet SLA requirements
Forecasting – Use proactive metric data to perform capacity planning and optimize capital usage

Because cloud computing is a fundamental paradigm shift in how Information Technology services are usually delivered it will cause significant disruption inside most of the current organizations. Helping each of these organizations embrace the change will be key.

While final impacts are currently impossible to measure it’s clear that a self-service model is clearly the future and integral to delivering customer satisfaction, both from an internal or external user perspective.

Some proof of concept initiatives would be as follows:

· Determine a go-forward architecture for the IaaS and PaaS offering inclusive of a software defined network
· Benchmark competing architecture options against one another from a price, performance, and manageability perspective
· Establish a “mini-cradle” that can be maintained and used for future infrastructure design initiatives and tests
· Determine how application deployment can be fully or partially automated
· Determine a cloud control system to facilitate provisioning of Operating Systems and multi-tiered applications
· Complete the delivery of FAC to generate metrics and provide statistics
· Show the value of self-service to internal organizations
· Measure the ROI based on cost of the cloud service delivery combined with the business value
· Don’t build complex for the initial offering
· Avoid spending large amounts of capital expenses on the initial design

After implementing a proof of concept testing encompassing the following(and more) should be done:

Proof of Functionality

  • The solution system runs in our datacenter; on our hardware
  • The solution system can be implemented with multi-network configuration
  • The solution system can be implemented with as few manual steps as possible (automated installation)
  • The solution systems have the ability to drive implementation via API
  • The solution system provides a single point of management for all components
  • The solution system enables dynamic application mobility by decoupling the definition of an application from the underlying hardware and software
  • The solution system can support FAC production operating systems
  • The solution system Hypervisor and guest OS are installed and fully functional
  • The solution systems support internal and external authentication against existing authentication infrastructure.
  • The solution system functions as designed and tested

Proof of Resiliency

  • The solution system components are designed for high availability
  • The solution system provides multi-zone (inter-DC,inter-region, etc.) management
  • The solution system provides multi Data Center management

Integration Testing

  • The solution system is compatible with legacy, current, and future systems integration

Complexity Testing

  • The solution system has the ability to manage both simple and complex configurations

Metric Creation

  • The solution systems have metrics that can be monitored

How to configure MDS Port-Channels for Cisco UCS

First, enable the fibre-port-channel feature:

conf t
feature fport-channel-trunk

Next we need to configure the SAN port channel first before adding ports to it

interface san-port-channel 100
channel mode active
switchport trunk mode off

We set the channel mode to auto, SAN port channel only supports on or active, active negotiates an FC port channel but on forces it to be on. We then set trunking mode to be off, this might be different for you if your using both npiv and trunking multiple VSANs.

Next, configure the actual ports to be members of the port channel:

interface fc1/29
switchport trunk mode off
channel-group 100 force

interface fc1/30
switchport trunk mode off
channel-group 100 force

Once you have done this if your VSAN was not vsan 1 you would need to bind this interface:

vsan database
vsan XYZ interface san-port-channel-100

You can now no shut this:

interface fc1/29
no shut
interface fc1/30
no shut

interface san-port-channel-100
no shut

Once this is done you need to configure the UCS to support this connectivity.

Troubleshooting vSphere Auto Deploy with the vCenter Appliance

I was pulled into an issue the other day where some ESXi Hosts were failing to boot via Auto Deploy. Now, this shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone but I absolutely HATE the Auto Deploy product as I feel its flakey and doesn’t work properly and can be cumbersome to manage if one is not comfortable using command line. I personally am not a GUI person and feel right at home in the command line but have seen enough random issues with Auto Deploy over the years that I rarely ever recommend using it for large scale deployment unless the environment has a requirement to be stateless and boot from SAN is not an option.

So. Lets dig in and discuss Auto Deploy, how it works, find the issue and sold the problem! Below we have a diagram that shows the typical chain of events when an server boots and is directed to use Auto Deploy via PXE.

So, obviously the first thing we need to check is if there is an error on the console output. This environment is using Cisco UCS which is a stateless computing platform. UCS allows hardware to migrate between chassis or domains and the logical design of the server follows. The logical design contains everything that would make up a normal whitebox server but the hardware details are specifically abstracted. This allows for administrators to provision nearly an infinite of logical design. If you want to know more about UCS you can find details here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/bradhedlund/videos

So, when we open the KVM console of the UCS blade we see the following:

error

Right off the bat we know that DHCP seems to be working and we can see what device is handing out the IP addresses. Looking into the DHCP device I was able to determine that it was a Windows Server OS responsible for the DHCP configurations:

DHCP

A quick look at the DHCP configuration looks correct and we can see that the DHCP server is sending the TFTP request to 10.40.80.7 which is our vCenter Appliance. So lets go and check whats going on there! Opening a web browser to the vCenter Appliance admin page we see that Auto Deploy is running though looks can be deceiving.

VCSA

 

The best way to determine if Auto Deploy TFTP is working is to login and check so I logged in via SSH and elected to take a look. Immediately after logging in I noticed the TFTP daemon was not running. Further, when I checked the chkconfig it was also not enabled to run at boot. So, I decided to check the TFTPD config file and thats when I saw the issue.

2015-03-28 12_28_22-bnpappvcs611.corp.fairisaac.com - PuTTY

Someone had modified the config file to run the ATFTPD service under root. This was preventing the service from starting as it didnt have the proper runtime. I made a quick change using VI and saved the file.

2015-03-28 12_28_39-bnpappvcs611.corp.fairisaac.com - PuTTY

I then adjusted the start up level  for the service

chkconfig

A quick reboot of the server was then done to make sure things were working.

2015-03-28 12_29_14-BP-UCSPERFLAB-FI _ VMWESXINF092 (Chassis - 1 Server - 6) - KVM Console(Launched

Then it was time to celebrate!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UCS 2.1 to 2.2 Upgrade Guide

Before you Begin

Knowledge

The below points should be noted prior to commencing the upgrade:

· Ensure you have the number for Cisco TAC to hand

· You should be familiar with the CLI and GUI administration of UCS

· The release notes should be read

· The Cisco UCS upgrade guide should be read and understood

· I take no responsibility if you use this guide and have issues.

Cisco Language

Cisco use a number of terms that once understood the process will make more sense.

· Most UCS components have the ability to store 2 pieces of firmware, the “Running Version” and the “Backup Version”. The running version is the version that the component booted from, the other non-active image is the backup image.

· A UCS “Update” process pushes the firmware to the backup slot in the component, the running version is not changed.

· A UCS “Activate” process sets the firmware in the backup slot as active and reboots the component, the start-up version is set as the firmware in the backup slot and the running firmware is switched between the backup slot and the running slot at the time of the reboot.

· Some components can have the start-up version changed to the backup firmware so that next time the component is rebooted it will start with the firmware in the backup slot, but will make no change until the equipment is rebooted.

· Software bundles are required for various components, the Infrastructure bundle is required for all updates then the B series (blade), and C series (rack) are also needed depending on whether the environment contains blade and rack mounted UCS servers.

Traffic Disruption

With this firmware upgrade, you should expect the following data traffic interruptions:

  • If the correct process is followed each Fabric Interconnect will be rebooted once and the attached FEX will also be rebooted at the same time, this will result in network and storage traffic disruption and the rebooted the hosts will failover to the other Fabric Interconnect provided that either failover is enabled at the NIC level in UCS or by the host failing over between the paths through FI-A and FI-B.
  • For a standalone fabric interconnect, data traffic disruption of up to one minute for the servers to reboot and approximately ten minutes for the fabric interconnect and I/O module to reboot.
  • Each server will also require a reboot, using a hypervisor the VM’s can be moved to other hosts so user facing workloads will not be affected.

Obtaining Software Bundles from Cisco

Download all the required software bundles, this will include the Infrastructure Bundle, and the B or C Series Bundle.

The software can be downloaded from: http://software.cisco.com/download/

The UCS software bundles are shown below, and the release notes can be found here also:

Downloading Firmware Images to the Fabric Interconnect from the Local File System

Procedure

1. In the Navigation pane, click the Equipment tab.

2. On the Equipment tab, click the Equipment node.

3. In the Work pane, click the Firmware Management tab.

4. Click the Installed Firmware tab.

5. Click Download Firmware.

6. In the Download Firmware dialog box, click the Local File System radio button in the Location of the Image File field.

7. Click Browse and navigate to the location of the file:

8. Click OK

9. Cisco UCS Manager GUI begins downloading the firmware bundle to the FI

10. Repeat this task until all the required firmware bundles have been downloaded to the FI

11. Before continuing it may take a few minutes for the packages to be synchronised to the subordinate FI and unpacked, the status and tasks can be viewed from the FSM tab:

Upgrading the Firmware to Cisco UCS, Release 2.2

With Cisco UCS, Release 2.1, you have the following two options for upgrading the firmware in a Cisco UCS domain:

· Upgrade with Auto Install – This upgrade path requires that the pre-upgrade level of firmware in the Cisco UCS domain be at version 2.1.

This is the easiest and preferred option.

· Upgrade manually – This upgrade path is for UCS domains on older firmware, and is more complicated and the least preferred option.

This guide will follow the Auto Install process.

Upgrading the Infrastructure Firmware

The following set of steps assumes that all service profiles still contain host firmware packages, if this has been changed any new service profiles should be modified to contain a host firmware package.

It is important the steps are completed in order, otherwise the update may fail or traffic may be disrupted.

1. Complete all prerequisite steps and considerations have been checked from sectionCautions, Guidelines, and Limitations for Firmware Upgrades on page 2.

2. Obtain the firmware images from Cisco.com and download them to the fabric interconnect.

3. (Optional) Disable Call Home – A large amount of nonsensical alarms can be generated, if this could be an issue for a monitoring solution Dimension Data recommend you disable Call Home prior to the update, and re-enable it once the update is complete.

a. In the Navigation pane, click the Admin tab.

b. On the Admin tab, expand All > Communication Management > Call Home.

c. In the Work pane, click the General tab.

d. In the Admin area, click Off in the State field.

4. Verify the Ethernet Data Path

a. SSH to both of the the FI’s

b. Connect to NXOS with the command “connect nxos”

c. The command “show int br | grep -v down | wc –l” will show the number of active Ethernet interfaces, record this to ensure it matches post upgrade, and repeat for the other FI.

d. The command “show platform fwm info hw-stm | grep ‘1.’ | wc –l” will show the number of MAC addresses, record this to ensure it matches post upgrade, and repeat for the other FI.

5. (Only on FC attached storage) Verifying the Fibre Channel End-Host Mode Data Path

a. SSH to the FI

b. Connect to NXOS with the command “connect nxos”

c. The command “show npv flogi-table” will show the number of active FC logins, record this to ensure it matches post upgrade, and repeat for the other FI.

d. The command “show npv flogi-table | grep fc | wc -l” will show the number of servers logged into the fabric interconnect, record this to ensure it matches post upgrade, and repeat for the other FI.

6. To commence the Auto Install update, In Cisco UCS Manager, choose Equipment > Firmware Management > Firmware Auto Install, click Install Infrastructure Firmware

7. Select the Version from the drop down menu, and click Upgrade Now tick box, and click OK

8. This process can take some time and the subordinate FI will be rebooted as part of this process, once complete we will be prompted to reboot the primary FI by the flashing Pending Activities box, beforehand we need to verify the Ethernet Data Path to ensure that our hosts have re-established the connection to the network on the subordinate path, to do this we run the commands we ran in Verify the Ethernet Data Path on page 6 and confirm the values match the values in Verify the Ethernet Data Path on page 6.

9. (Only on FC attached storage) Verifying the Fibre Channel End-Host Mode Data Path and confirm the values match the values in Step 5

10. Acknowledge the reboot of the primary fabric interconnect on the User Acknowledged Activities tab of the Pending Activities dialog box.

a. Click the Pending Activities icon to open the dialog box,

b. Click the User Acknowledged Activities tab

c. Click Fabric Interconnects

d. Click Reboot Now

e. Click OK. Cisco UCS Manager immediately reboots the primary fabric interconnect. You cannot stop this reboot after you click OK.

Upgrade the server firmware

1. In Cisco UCS Manager, choose Equipment > Firmware Management > Firmware Auto Install, click Install Servers Firmware.

2. Review the Prerequisites and click Next

3. Select the required firmware version for both B and C series (if in use) and click Next.

4. Click on the host firmware policy, or select the root to update all servers, including those that do not have an associated service profile.

5. On Host Firmware Package Dependencies page, review the list of servers to be updated as selected in the previous step, and click Next.

6. On the Impacted Endpoints Summary page, review the list of servers that will be reset by this upgrade.

7. Wait for all the servers in the Cisco UCS domain to complete their upgrades.

8. (Optional) Enable Call Home – If you disabled Call Home before the upgrading the firmware, enable Call Home.

How to change the IP Address of ESXi through SSH

I was recently helping with troubleshooting an Auto Deploy issue and needed to change the IP addresses of the primary host used for Host Profiles after it had booted and the reconfiguration failed.

First thing you should do is list all VMkernel NICs:

esxcli network ip interface ipv4 get

This will give you the list of all VMkernel interfaces with their details. Changing the IP address is just a matter of adding some parameters:

esxcli network ip interface ipv4 set -i vmk0 -I 10.40.93.106 -N 255.255.255.0 -t static

In your situation you will need to replace “vmko″ with the appropriate VMkernel NIC of course and change the IP details.