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Exploring Cisco UCS Emulator Internals

Cisco UCS (Unified Computing System, codenamed Project California during development) was introduced in 2009. It was originally developed as a data center server technology optimized for VMware virtualization workloads, but nowadays is used in many mid-size and large enterprises. One of the key advantages of UCS from a system administration perspective is the radical reduction in system management points to a single management point called the UCS Manager (UCSM) which is implemented as an NX-OS kernel module in a Cisco Nexus 6000 series Fabric Interconnect (FI) switch. A FI is essentially a Top-Of-Rack switch as far as UCS is concerned.

UCSM Emulator Updated

Cisco UCS Platform Emulator, Release 2.2 (2cPE1), a minor point release, was announced June 4th 2014. The emulator, by the way, is based on CentOS. It adds support for the following new hardware: B260-M4 and B460-M4 blade servers C460-M4 rack server UCSB-F-LSI-400S, UCSB-F-LSI-800M, UCSB-F-FIO-785M, UCSB-F-FIO-365M storage accelerators The default configuration is changed from Mark 2 to Mark 3 blade and rack-mounted servers. All in all a solid point release which installs without a problem in VMware Workstation or Oracle Virtual Box.

Minimum FlexPod Configuration

FlexPod was NetApp‘s response to the Cisco, EMC, VMware joint partnership announced in November 2009 to develop cloud computing platforms called Vblock Infrastructure Packages. The partnership was originally called the VMware-Cisco-EMC Alliance but the name was later shortened to VCE (Virtual Computing Environment) coalition. VCE sells products it calls Vblock systems as converged infrastructure that combine VMware vSphere, Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus switches, and EMC Symmetrix storage. It sells into VMware-specific markets. Vblocks are engineered systems whereas FlexPod is a reference architecture rather than a fixed hardware and software package. There are reference architectures, called solution configurations, for both virtualized