Tag Archives: ucs

Cisco UCS Director: Key Concepts Illustrated In Big Pictures

During the last few months, I worked a lot with Cisco UCS Director on daily basis. As I wrote before, UCS Director is a powerful platform for you to manage and orchestrate infrastructures from VMware, Hyper-V, KVM, to the public clouds like Amazon, Azure.

Just like any other management platform, it abstracts the underlying infrastructure and operations using its own concepts and workflows. By exploring its Flex GUI, one can gradually get familiar with these concepts. It takes time to master a product, and no exception for UCS Director. Understanding key concepts and their relationships can help speed up the process significantly.

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Cisco UCS Director REST APIs: Step By Step Tutorial

As I introduced in last article, there are two sets of APIs in UCS Director: north bound APIs, and south bound APIs. The north bound APIs are REST styled, allowing other applications to invoke UCS Director functionalities, or simply retrieve information from UCS Director. We’ll go through the REST APIs in details so that you can quickly get started with it.

Preparation

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Cisco UCS Director: An Overview of APIs

I just went through a two day training course on Cisco UCS Director APIs that covers both the REST APIs and Open Automation SDK. For people who don’t know UCS Director yet, it’s the orchestration engine Cisco acquired from a start-up company Cloupia more than one year ago. If you know VMware vCenter Orchestrator, UCS Director is something very similar but with more features on various hardware components for converged infrastructure. To fit into its unified data center strategy, Cisco re-branded it as UCS Director.

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Virtualization Matters Except When It Doesn’t

In my previous post “Physical is New Virtual,” I mentioned that I would talk about when you will need virtualization and when you don’t. This topic could be a little controversial as we at virtualization community all assume that virtualization is the way to go, which is true in general.

There are however use cases in which virtualization doesn’t make much sense. In the following, I will detail some of these use cases and explain why it doesn’t make much sense to use virtualization. Like everything else, virtualization doesn’t fit all.

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Physical is New Virtual

I went to EMC office at Milford, MA last week for a 5 day training class on Vblock Administration. As you may have known, VCE Vblock is the industry’s first and leading converged infrastructure with compute, network, and storage from industry leaders. For the compute, it uses Cisco UCS. If you have followed my blog, you should know that I have blogged about the UCS emulator and XML management APIs.

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Cisco UCS Management APIs

After installing the UCS emulator, I started to read and try UCS management APIs. I found the following two documents very helpful: Cisco UCS Manager API Management Information Model, and Cisco UCS Manager XML API Programmer’s Guide.

Key Concepts

The key concepts of the APIs are pretty similar to VMware vSphere API. For example, it has managed objects which represent UCS resources like chassis, blades, fabric interconnects, etc. They contain administrative states and operational state.

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Cisco UCS Emulator

Recently I started to learn Cisco UCS because VCE uses it in Vblock. I thought I would need a real server like Vblock, but to my surprise Cisco has a pretty nice emulator there, meaning anyone can play with it without a real physical server in place.

Here is the download link for the emulator. You will be asked for Cisco.com user id. Just fill an online form if you don’t have it yet. It’s fairly straightforward and quick, and I got mine within one minute.

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