How to configure Fibre Channel uplink ports on Cisco UCS 6248 fabric interconnects

I recently had the opportunity to configure my first set of Cisco 6248 fabric interconnects for Cisco UCS. These are a bit different from the 6100 series FI’s that Cisco has been using since it’s release. The 6120 and 6140 fabric interconnects required an expansion module to be purchased and installed in the FI’s to achieve Fibre Channel (FC) connections. This made configuring pretty straight forward in the UCS Manager (UCSM). It was clear which ports were for FC and it just took a right click to configure them.

With the 6248 fabric interconnects they follow the path that the Nexus 5K series from Cisco have gone with all the ports being Unified Ports. Meaning they can do 1/10GigE or Fibre Channel. I like this direction because it offers more ports and greater flexibility for the FI’s and customers. But when it comes to configuring the FC uplink ports it’s not as clear as it was in the past. You would think that if you right clicked any of the ports you would be presented with an option to make the port an FC port but that’s not the case.

Below I am outlining the steps it takes to enable ports for FC uplink status.

Step 1: You will make sure you are on the equipment tab, then click on the first Fabric Interconnect. In the window to the right you will see the following options in the Actions area. You will need to click on the Configure Unified Ports option.

Step 2: You are going to see a window open that matches the one in Image 2 below. This shows a visual presentation of the ports in your fabric interconnect. The most important thing here is the somewhat obscure white slider bar that is just below the image. I have pointed an arrow to it. When you first arrive at this screen the slider will be all the way to the right, I have slide it 2 rows to the left. This will allow me to configure the last 4 ports as FC uplinks. You can adjust for what you require for your UCS design.

Image 2

Step 3: In image 3 below I have placed a box around the ports that I intend on changing to be FC Uplink ports to make sure it’s clear.

Image 3

Step 4: The last thing to do in this part of the config is to right click on each port and choose Configure as FC Uplink Port. This will allow you to connect to your switching fabric.

Image 4

Step 5: After doing this on the first FI it will tell you that it needs to reboot. Once the FI has rebooted you will need to do this same config change on the 2nd FI.

Step 6: Now when you look in the tree and find the section for FC Uplinks you will see the ports that we configured. Now make sure the proper VSAN is enabled for each port and you should be ready to proceed with the rest of your install.

I want to say thanks to my coworker “Mr UCS” Steve Pantol for the heads up on this saving me time trying to figure this out.

 

 

 

 

 

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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My experience with 642-982 Cisco Data Center Unified Computing Design Specialist exam

I recently took and passed the Cisco UCS Design Specialist exam 642-982. There was not a lot of information out there on this exam so I thought that I would write a short summary of my thoughts. To start off I was not sure what to expect out of the exam because there is very little information to tell you what you should study and there are no books targeted towards this exam.

I am not surprised by the lack of prep material since it’s a design based exam. In my opinion this is one of the exams that you just need the real world experience of working with the product over time to be confident that you have the knowledge to pass the test.

Of course I’m not going to spit out a bunch of questions that you should study. The test does present a bunch of different design scenarios that might cover things like environmental variables, security questions or technical requirements. You then must make your choice based upon the given parameters. The part that I was least happy with was how little content there was about actual UCS design decisions. Sure there were things like converged networking and cabling, but actual questions that required you to build a design were somewhat limited. The exam seemed to focus more on the overall Cisco data center methodology rather than just UCS as you would think.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Voting for Top Virtualization blogs is now open

This has become a tradition now for the last couple of years. Eric over at vsphere-land.com has opened up the voting for top virtualization blogs. This year brings the idea of special categories for blogs that focus on certain topics like scripting, VDI or something else.

I would appreciate your votes if you have the time please fill out the survey. I am listed in the full blog list and in the VDI category. So remember to cast a vote for VirtualizeTips.com. You can vote HERE

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/786135/Top-VMware-virtualization-blogs-2012

 

Thanks,

Brian

 

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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First look at new VMware View Client with PCoIP for Linux

Recently VMware released a preview copy of the new View 5 client for Linux that now supports PCoIP. This has been a long time coming, along with the Linux version the Apple version now includes PCoIP support also. I don’t plan on boring you with the install details as most of you are probably more advanced at installing applications on Linux then I am.

To start off after open the View Client you will see a screen that looks like the one below in Image 1. Looks pretty much like all other View Clients, you enter the View Connection Server URL and connect.

Linux VMware View Client PCoIP

Image 1

Once you have tried to connect to the connection server you will be prompted for your login credentials as shown in Image 2 below. The screen shows you what connection server URL you are trying to connect to, mine is blocked out in the image. You can also see to the left of the server URL a warning sign with an unlocked paddle is shown, this is letting me know there is not Certs installed on my connection server. Other than those items its user name, password and domain.

Linux VMware View Client PCoIP

Image 2

Now that we have authenticated we are presented with a list of pools within View that our user ID is entitled to as show in Image 3 below.

Image 3

On Image 4 below you can see that I’ve clicked on the “All Monitors” option that shows me what options I have for monitors and screen sizes for my View Client window.

Image 4

The next option to look at was the display protocol, you can see in the previous image that PCoIP was the default protocol for the pool. In Image 5 below I click on PCoIP and was presented with the option to choose between PCoIP and RDP. This was because this action is allowed on the pool that I was trying to connect to.

Image 5

The final step was to click on the Pool name and I was connected to my View desktop. This is the first I have really had the time to test the Linux View client. I’m pretty happy with what I saw and adding PCoIP support to the Linux platform client is a pretty big deal. In my opinion this gives companies another option of what OS they can now place on their PC endpoints if they do not want to pay for a Windows License. Of course the licensing question is much large depending on if you pay for SA or you purchased a license with the endpoint. But there are plenty of companies out there that could benefit from this approach.

 

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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How to configure user persona management in View 5 – User Profiles

I was upgrading the lab at work a while back to View 5 and getting familiar with the new Persona Management features. So I thought it would be a good idea to put some of this in writing to share with others. Because I did not see much detailed information around this. In this post I will show you how easy it is to get user persona working in View 5 and how these features are setup and configured. This might be some what of a lengthy post but should be worth the read.

With the release of VMware View 5 came a new feature for persona management or the ability to capture / virtualize the user profile. This is very huge in VDI and is something that VMware has been working towards for awhile now. If you remember they purchased RTO software and have been working on incorporating those features into View. This is the first release with the RTO profile software built in. I do think that VMware will continue to improve and expand these features in upcoming releases.

But all things said I think that View 5 has a lot to offer around user profiles. If you are looking at deploying View 5 give these features a serious look before selecting any 3rd part tool for profile management. Depending on what you user needs are and your admin requirements, View 5 might have everything you need built in.

The persona management features in View 5 are built to work alone or in unison with Windows roaming profiles. The profile is redirected most commonly to a network share. This network share can be backed up via your normal methods and will give you the option of restoring profiles from backups in case of corruption or security concerns. View 5 persona’s are an improvement over roaming profiles because the profile is not copied down on log in or back up at log out. This speeds the process up greatly. The View GPO’s allow for more granular control over the profile’s behavior.

From the image below you can see that enabling the persona management for a pool or group of users is driving off of modifying the group policy for the OU that the desktops or users are located in. To turn on the base features all that is need is to enabled the highlighted key from the image.

VMware View Persona Management

Enabeling VMware View Persona Management

In the next image I am showing the option to enable persona management. It’s really an on or off selection, the only other setting is the upload interval in minutes. This controls the upload of any parts of the profile that are download into the VDI desktop while the user is logged in.

VMware View Persona Management

How to enable VMware View Persona Management

The next GPO object that I am showing is how to specify the location of the users profile. This is the network share that you want the profile to be stored on. There is the option of specifying the location yourself or using the location that is entered in the users AD account.

VMware View Persona Management

Select location to store View Persona profile

The next image is showing an entire GPO folder dedicated to Folder Redirection. This is included when you load the View ADM files that allow for persona management. These allow for easy redirection of specific folders within a users profile that you might want to redirect to a location rather than capture them in the profile. I won’t bore you with the reasons for this because this is nothing new or specific to View persona mgmt. If you are using roaming profiles or a 3rd party profile mgmt tool you will also be considering redirecting some folders.

VMware View Persona Management

VMware View Persona Management folder redirection

The image below is showing how I was redirection the users Desktop folder within the profile. I am pointing it to a network share and using the %username% variable just as like the previous steps. To redirect a folder is as simple as enabling the option and providing the location to store it.

VMware View Persona Management

VMware View Persona Management desktop folder redirection

The next image below shows a few options that allow you to control the visibility of the profile being redirected. Things like showing a progress window for profile downloads in the background or if icons are displayed in the tray.

VMware View Persona Management

VMware View Persona Management

 

This last image is showing the options are logging.

  • Logging File name: The full path name of the local View Persona Management log file.  This path should include the file name, and cannot be a UNC path.
  • Logging Destination: Specifies where log message will be sent. Log message can be sent to a local log file and also the debug port.
  • Logging Flags: Specifies the type of log messages that are generated. (Log error messages or Informational messages)
  • Debug flags: Specifies the type of debug messages that are generated. Debug messages are handled the same as log messages.
VMware View Persona Management

VMware View Persona Management

 

 

 

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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