Cisco UCS/FlexPod with Hyper-V 2012 R2
Over the past week or so I’ve had the pleasure of working on a green-field Hyper-V 2012 R2 installation on the Cisco UCS/FlexPod platform. This consists of:
- Cisco UCS with B200-M3 Blades (24 of those)
- Cisco Nexus 5500 switches (2 of)
- NetApp FAS3250 (2 controllers)
Fundamentally it’s blade architecture but with added steroids.
The UCS platform makes applying service profiles to the blades very easy and most of all consistent. The biggest problem we had was temporarily disabling the multiple storage paths so when we doing bare metal deployment with Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 , WinPE would only see a single instance of each LUN.
Still that aside it worked very well an best of all we could use PowerShell to speak to the UCS to name the NICs in the Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V host to match the names of the NICs in the service profile. No more having to figure out which one was which!
The main thing the platform is missing is consistent device naming (CDN), with that the deployments of the hosts would’ve been super quick. There’s a rumour that the CDN that would be presented would be the name of the NIC in the service profile that the host has, so for example if your service profile had a NIC called “HyperVMgmt” then that is what would be presented to WinPE during the deployment phase… That would certainly make things a lot easier!
It would be very useful if other manufacturers were to follow suit so you had the option to change the CDN that comes through from the hardware. Whilst in large deployments that may not make any sense but in a smaller environment where hosts are not deployed very often it could be very useful…