Cisco Fabric Manager Install Walkthrough

Security:  a necessity for all the right reasons.  But it can play hell with the installation of those much-needed applications.  Recently, during the implementation for a customer, a number of Cisco Nexus series switches have been deployed into fresh new environments, ready to allow for connectivity into new virtualized environments.  During the Fabric Manager install, we ran into a number of challenges during the install and I thought it would be helpful to capture the steps that we took.  These steps should work in just about any environment.

The Windows 2008 x64 image being used for the basis of the install for the application servers (vCenter, Fabric Manager and Netapp utilities server, etc) is very security focused, and as such, can be a real pain for application installs.  In this case, for Fabric Manager (version 5.0.4b), we did the following:

1)      Unzip Fabric Manager, and double click your way into the software folder

2)      Install Java from jre-1_5_0_11-windows-i586-p.exe by right clicking and choosing Run as Administrator.  One thing of note:  this was a fresh install and did not have an existing install of Java.  As I’m sure we all know how fussy Java can be, I would recommend this being installed in a location that does not require any additional Java-oriented applications

3)      Once installed, I had to put the java bin folder into the PATH for the server, else I could not get the Fabric Manager installer to run correctly.  (this is the path: C:Program Files (x86)Javajre1.5.0_11bin)

4)      Next, head into the postres folder (located in the software folder, same as the java installer), then the Windows folder and run postgresql-8.2.msi. This will install the Postgres database that will be used for Fabric Manager.  During the install, we accepted the default components, then set the password for the service that it would run as (you can choose the name, the default is postgres).  This will also create the account for you as part of this process:

5)      Next you will be able to give the superuser account for Postgres a password, and remain the account should you want to.  You should also set the locale (English, United States in our case):

6)      The procedural languages selection is fairly straightforward, as only PL/pgsql is available as a choice.

7)      For the enable contrib modules, I leave the default selected (Adminpack.)

8)      The install should continue and complete.  When it is done, we need to now create the database that will be used for Fabric Manager

9)      Launch pgAdmin III from the start menu:

10)   On initial launch, you will see it the admin gui is disconnected from the default postgres instance.  Right click and choose Connect, then enter your password you created during install:

11)   To create a database for Fabric Manager, right click on the default instance and select New Database:

12)   You can name the database whatever you prefer, but make sure to set the Owner to the user postgres:

13)   Now it’s time to launch the fabric manager installer (finally, right?).  You can do so from the start.html .  Don’t worry if you get an unsupported environment pop up, just hit okay and choose a Custom install

14)   We went with the Standalone install, and when the Database Options appears, make sure to select Use Existing DB, set the DB superuser account (postgres by default) and the password that you set during the install for Postgressql, and set the DB URL to have the name of the database you created in place of “dcmdb”

15)   Set the local fabric manager user (defaults to admin, we used fmadmin) and set the password:

16)   For the Authentication Options, since these are standalone installs, the mode we are using is Local

17)   And for Configuration Options, we check both the “Use FC Alias as fabric default” and “Require SNMPv3 and disable SNMPv2c for increased security”.

At this point, you should get the Fabric Manager and Device Manager icons on your desktop, and you should be all ready to go.  Hopefully this will help should you try the Express install and run afoul of the many issues of security that can come up during application installs.

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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Initial setup of Brocade DCX SAN fabric switches

This week I have been working on setting up the SAN Fabric in a new part of a clients Datacenter. Within the last week new HP EVA and HP XP storage arrays were delivered and cabled up along with several HP C7000 Blade chassis. Now that some of the core network switching has been completed I can now reach the new Brocade DCX switches that are installed. I am new to Brocade SAN switches so I will probably be writing a few posts to help me get up to speed with the setup and basic management of them.

The first that that had to be done was to assign an IP to each of the mgmt ports. Each DCX chassis has 2 mgmt ports which are CP0 and CP1 along with a Virtual IP. The virtual IP is also servers as a load balancer kind of because it allows you to point DCFM or your browser to this one IP for the Brocade switch and no matter which of the mgmt ports is active it will allow you to connect. Below I have taken a couple of basic screen shots of the IP setup and console, these were taken by using a web browser to connect directly to the switch and the Java based console opens up.

In the image below is the main console screen that gives you a lot of details about the switch. You can see the DCX series of Brocade switches is a Chassis based series and from the visual below you will see which modules are in different blade slots. This switch has 2 management cards and 2 ICL cards for linking to other chassis. From what I was told by the Brocade engineer is that to use the ICL links it requires extra licensing and is quite expensive, this client has elected to not use them at this time and we will be connecting the switches via ISL links.

The next screen is from the switch admin section. During this initial phase we are setting the Virtual IP and the two mgmt IP addresses. Along with the IP setup we also are setting the unique Domain ID for each switch. There are sure to be other settings but these were the minimum settings to get them on the network and get DCFM talking to the switches. From the image below the the IP #1 is the Virtual IP and the #2 and #3 are for the two management ports. Be sure to setup the proper gateway and subnet mask settings or you will loose network connectivity to the switch.

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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