When I was shadowing and learning the Cisco Unified Computer System (UCS) one thing my mentor kept commenting on was how clean the cabling was and how much of it was reduced. I am typically implementing the UCS Chassis with a VMware deployment and cabling is a top priority.
Before working with the UCS Chassis a typical VMware deployment would be a 3 to 5 physical host cluster.
Now, let’s just take a step back and do quick check list on what the physical components might look like.
5 Physical Hosts, each host has the following:
• 2 Power Cords
• 6 or 4 Ethernet Cables for (management, vMotion, VM Network and Storage)
• 1 for DRAC, iLO, CICM or similar remote management
That totals up a possible of 9 cables and this would be the minimum, some instances call for more. Remember that is only 1 host. We still need to cable 4 more hosts! Now your cable total is at 45.
45 CABLES! Are you kidding me?!?!
Take a look at a UCS Chassis with 5 blades. Let’s assume we are using a Cisco UCS 5108 Chassis and 2 Cisco 6248 Fabric Interconnects with 1GB Ethernet Uplinks to the core switching and direct connect to the storage device.
• 8 Power Cords (2 for each Fabric Interconnect & 4 for the UCS Blade Chassis)
• 8 (Twinax) Server Uplinks from the Chassis to the Fabric Interconnects
• 8, 1GB Ethernet (4 from each Fabric Interconnect) to the core
• 4, Fiber (2 from each Fabric Interconnect) to the Storage device
That totals up to 28 cables for the entire environment that is almost half of the physical servers. Plus you still have three slots available on the UCS Chassis to add 3 more blades and you don’t have to add any more cables.
Another beauty of the Cisco UCS Chassis is that if you need to add more network adapters to your hosts there are no additional cabling required. Just a few simple changes on your blades and you’re done.
Photo by Lacrymosa