UCSM 1.3(1c) Released!

Cisco has released UCS Manager version 1.3(1c).   This is the first public release in the 1.3 line, also known as “Aptos+”.

Release notes are here: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/unified_computing/ucs/release/notes/ucs_22863.html

Haven’t gotten a chance to play with the new version yet, but there are some significant enhancements.    Among them…

  • 1 GE support on UCS6120 and UCS6140 Fabric Interconnects
    • On the 6120, you can now use 1GE transceivers in the first 8 physical ports.
    • On the 6140, you can now use 1GE transceivers in the first 16 physical ports.
    • Watch for a post soon on why I think this is a bad idea.  🙂
  • Support for the new, 2nd generation mezzanine cards
    • Both Emulex and Qlogic have produced a 2nd generation mezzanine card, using a single-chip design which should lower power consumption
      • Be warned that these new mezzanine cards won’t support the “Fabric Failover” feature as supported by the first generation CNAs, or by the VIC (Palo) adapter
      • These aren’t shipping quite yet, but will be soon
    • A Broadcom BCM57711 mezzanine adapter
      • This will compete with the Intel based, 10GE mezzanine adapters that UCS has had until now
      • The Broadcom card supports TOE (TCP Offload Engine) and iSCSI Offload, but not iSCSI boot
    • An updated Intel mezzanine adapter, based on the Niantic chipset
  • Support for the B440-M1 blade
    • The B440 blade will be available in a 2 or 4 processor configuration, using the Intel Xeon 7500 processors
    • Up to 4 SFFP hard drives
    • 32 DIMM slots, for up to 256GB of memory
    • 2 Mezzanine slots
    • Full-width form factor
  • SSD hard drive support in B200-M2, B250-M2, and B440-M1 blades
    • First drive available is a Samsung 100GB SSD
  • Improved SNMP support
  • Ability to configure more BIOS options, such as virtualization options, through the service profiles
    • This is a big step towards making UCS blades honestly and truly stateless
    • Previously, I’d recommended that UCS customers configure each blade’s BIOS options to support virtualization when they received them, whether or not they were going to use ESX/etc on all of the blades.  This way they didn’t have to worry about setting them again when moving service profiles
  • Support for heterogeneous mezzanine adapters in full-width blades
  • Increased the supported limit of chassis to 14.
  • Increased the limit of VLANs in UCSM to 512
    • There’s been some discussion around this lately, particular in the service provider space.   Many service providers need many more VLANs than this for their architectures.
    • I’ve seen reference to a workaround using ESX, Nexus 1000V, private VLANs, and a promiscuous VLAN through the Fabric Interconnect into an upstream switch, but I’m still trying to get my head around that one.  🙂
  • Ability to cap power levels per blade
    • Will have to wait until I get a chance to test out the code level to see what kinds of options are available here

Looking forward to seeing customer reaction to the new features.

8 thoughts on “UCSM 1.3(1c) Released!”

  1. Dave, I am looking forward to testing the new firmware in our lab. One other big update was a new fnic driver for ESX to support PowerPath with the Palo. I did a blog post on this bug a while back – http://jeremywaldrop.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/cisco-ucs-palo-and-emc-powerpath-ve-incompatibility/

    Wonder why they removed the fabric failover support on the 2nd gen mezzanine cards? Seems like step backwards.
    My coworker Jeremiah Cook did a nice post on why 1GB uplink support is bad. Check it out here – http://jeremiahcook.varrowblogs.com/?p=24

  2. Jeremiah Cook’s post was great – I re-tweeted it when I first saw it.

    The reason that 2nd generation don’t support fabric failover is that they don’t have a “Menlo” chip on them. The Cisco-developed and manufactured Menlo chip was the piece providing the fabric failover support. Now that Emulex and QLogic are producing their own single-chip designs, without a Menlo, there’s no longer a chip to handle the failover. Emulex and QLogic could have built that kind of support into their chips, of course, but didn’t – I’m guessing because they want to use the same chipset for all of their CNAs, not just UCS.

    In any case, moving forward, if you want the fabric failover capability, stick with the Gen1 CNA or go to the VIC (Palo) adapter.

  3. ugh, Samsung SSDs? we have those a few Dells and they’re not that great. suprised that y’all went that route when Intel and other in the industry have comperable (if not better) SSDs.

    otherwise, good news all around. 😉


  4. Who are you calling ‘y’all’? 🙂 I don’t work for Cisco.

    I’m actually not all that familiar with the SSD offerings in the marketplace… what’s wrong with the Samsungs?

  5. Dave great post. I definitely prefer your update to the release notes. Fantastic set of additions in this release, the product is definitely moving in leaps and bounds.

    I’d have to have the same warning on using SSD as I would with the 1GE uplink capability, don’t do it. Both limit your UCS implementation. SSD drives like any other drive make the blade more statefull.

  6. Don’t have the list price for 2nd gen mezzanine cards but I know menlo was same list as palo so perhaps it was a move to lower cost of CNA adapter?

    Pricing aside, with iom pinning to fi behavior on failure, I would not want to go the gen2 option

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