The continued adventures of UCS Central in UCS Director!

It’s now been roughly 15 months since I first started working with Cisco UCS Director.  While I love what the product brings to the table, there are times where it just frustrates me like no end.  My current point in example is my continued adventures with UCS Central in UCS Director.  Here’s a quick breakdown of some of my issues I’m trying to resolve:

  • UCS b-Series and c-Series M4 Windows 2012 R2 SAN Booting – It appears that the WinPE image provided on the Bare Metal Agent will not allow for you to format the boot LUN.  I have a current Cisco TAC case open, related to this issue.  The strange thing on this one, is that I can use the base Windows 2012 R2 DVD and it’ll boot without an issue.  I also confirmed that the WinPE image works fine on a b-Series M3
  • UCS c-Series and the “Associate Global Service Profile” task – This task is completely unaware that c-Series (or rack servers) exist in UCS Central.  Any attempt to use this task on a c-Series server will result in Java exception errors.  I’m working on resolving this with custom PowerShell code (thank goodness UCS Central has a PowerTool created for it!).  It appears there’s APIs that distinguish between blade servers (b-series) and rack servers (c-series).  So far, I’ve been able to create a quick and dirty IF…ELSE block of code to get by.  Also, I was informed by Cisco TAC that rack servers are “new to UCS Central” and that if I wanted support for them in UCS Director, I’d have to log enhancement requests to get it.  Lovely answer (not).
  • Losing the “Associate Global Service Profile” task – What actually resulted from having to get away from this task because of the previous issue, was having to figure out a good way to pass PowerShell variables to and from UCS Director.  I was pointed to a couple of really cool community written custom tasks to allow for this to happen.  It took a little elbow grease, but I was able to finally get to where I could generate the UCS Manager object string to allow for the Generic SAN Zoning task to be able to pull WWN information from the profile.  I’ll likely write up more on this in the future…

Don’t let an obvious negative tone here distract from the fact that I really do enjoy using both of these tools.  UCS Central is a wonderful tool for managing multiple UCS Manager instances across multiple geographical locations.  It makes my life easier managing UCS profiles from top level global pools for everything that goes into a UCS profile.  Also, I do really enjoy solving operational problems with UCS Director.  I just wish those two teams would get together and get some nearly equivalent tasks updated/created for UCS Central like there is for UCS Manager in Director.  As stated before, my one saving grace in all of this has been that UCS Central had a PowerShell PowerTool created for it.  I have no idea where I’d be without that piece!

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About snoopj

vExpert 2014/2015/2016/2017, Cisco Champion 2015/2016/2017, NetApp United 2017. Virtualization and data center enthusiast. Working too long and too hard in the technology field since college graduation in 2000.
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