This is a conversation that gets asked a lot when discussing the platforms with customers. Can you explain to my why Cisco UCS is easier to manage and what tools do I need to use on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The answer is really easy with Cisco UCS, you just need to use UCS manager. For HP the conversation becomes more splintered, sure you can do pretty much anything on HP blades that you can do on UCS. But how many tools or management points do you have to touch to accomplish these same things. Below I have attempted to list common tasks that you would need to do for setup and on going management of a blade enclosure and blades within.
Cisco UCS Manager – Does all the following in one tool
- Blade Chassis mgmt
- CIMC console connections
- Hardware Monitoring
- Firmware updates – chassis, FEX modules, blades and adapters
- Network Mgmt
- Service profiles for blade identities
- SAN connection setup
Roll Based Access Controls – Can assign ID’s access to all or just allow server, network or SAN access
HP Blades – using Virtual Connect modules of any flavor
- Blade Chassis mgmt. – Onboard Administrators (OA)
- iLO console connections – OA
- Hardware Monitoring – HP SIM
- Firmware updates – HP SIM, FDT or currently used tool
- Network Mgmt – Virtual Connect Manager (VCM)
- Server profiles – Virtual Connect Manager (VCM)
- SAN connection setup – Virtual Connect Manager
- Roll Based Access Controls (RBAC) – need to configure logins per Tool
If you elected to use the new Cisco FEX modules for HP Blade chassis then the following would be affected.
- Network Mgmt / profiles – no profiles, would use physical address from Blades. Port configs done at 5K level. Blades auto map to ports on FEX similar to pass through connections.
- SAN connection setup – Would be done vid FCoE through the 5K switches
- Network QOS – Done on 5K switches and tagged if possible in Operating Systems (ESXi 5 does support 802.1p)
If you have anything that I left off of this list drop me a note in the comments and I will update to keep accurate.
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