Getting Started Guide for Cisco UCS E-Series Servers, Release 2.x
Cisco UCS E-Series Servers Overview
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Cisco UCS E-Series Servers Overview

This chapter includes the following sections:

Cisco UCS E-Series Servers Overview

The Cisco UCS E-Series Servers (E-Series Servers) are the next generation of Cisco UCS Express servers. E-Series Servers are a family of size, weight, and power-efficient blade servers that are housed within the Generation 2 Cisco Integrated Services Routers (ISR G2) and the Cisco 4451-X Integrated Services Router (Cisco ISR 4451-X). These servers provide a general purpose compute platform for branch-office applications deployed either as bare-metal on operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows or Linux, or as virtual machines on hypervisors, such as VMware vSphere Hypervisor™, Microsoft Hyper-V, or Citrix XenServer.

The following figure shows an example of an E-Series Server Hypervisor deployment.

Figure 1. Example of an E-Series Server Hypervisor Deployment



1

Client Devices

4

Virtual Machines Hosted on the E-Series Server (applicable only if Hypervisor is running on the E-Series Server)

2

E-Series Server Management Console

5

Enterprise Storage Device

3

Cisco ISR G2 Router with E-Series Server running a Hypervisor or Bare-Metal Operating System

   

Note


For information about the supported E-Series Servers and the maximum number of E-Series Servers that can be installed per ISR, see the "Hardware Requirements" section in the Release Notes for Cisco UCS E-Series Servers.


Server Software

E-Series Servers require three major software systems:

  • CIMC Firmware
  • BIOS Firmware
  • Operating System or Hypervisor

The following figure shows how the software interacts with the E-Series Server.

Figure 2. Server Software



CIMC Firmware

Cisco Integrated Management Controller (CIMC) is a separate management module built into the motherboard of the E-Series Server. A dedicated ARM-based processor, separate from the main server CPU, runs the CIMC firmware. The system ships with a running version of the CIMC firmware. You can update the CIMC firmware, but no initial installation is needed.

CIMC is the management service for the E-Series Servers. You can use a web-based GUI or SSH-based CLI to access, configure, administer, and monitor the server.

BIOS Firmware

BIOS initializes the hardware in the system, discovers bootable devices, and boots them in the provided sequence. It boots the operating system and configures the hardware for the operating system to use. BIOS manageability features allow you to interact with the hardware and use it. In addition, BIOS provides options to configure the system, manage firmware, and create BIOS error reports.

The system ships with a running version of the BIOS firmware. You can update the BIOS firmware, but no initial installation is needed.

Operating System or Hypervisor

The main server CPU runs on an operating system, such as Microsoft Windows or Linux; or on a Hypervisor. You can purchase an E-Series Server with pre-installed Microsoft Windows Server or VMware vSphere Hypervisor™, or you can install your own platform.


Note


For information about the platforms that have been tested on the E-Series Servers, see the "Software Requirements" section in the Release Notes for Cisco UCS E-Series Servers.


Managing E-Series Servers

The following table lists the management interfaces used by the E-Series Server.

Table 1 E-Series Server Management Interfaces

Management Interface

Description

Cisco IOS CLI

Configures the host router and the E-Series Server.

CIMC GUI

Web-based GUI used to access, configure, administer, and monitor the E-Series Server.

CIMC CLI

SSH-based CLI used to access, configure, administer, and monitor the E-Series Server.

SNMP

Allows you to view server configuration and status, and send fault and alert information through Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) traps.

E-Series Server Options

E-Series Servers are available in the following options:

  • Option 1—E-Series Server without a preinstalled operating system or hypervisor
  • Option 2—E-Series Server with a preinstalled Microsoft Windows Server At the time of purchase, you can choose the appropriate RAID option that you want enabled on the E-Series Server.

    Note


    If you purchase this option, the Microsoft Windows Server license is preactivated.


  • Option 3—E-Series Server with a preinstalled VMware vSphere Hypervisor™
    At the time of purchase, you can choose the appropriate RAID option that you want enabled on the E-Series Server.

    Note


    The default username for the preinstalled VMware vSphere Hypervisor™ is root, which cannot be changed, and the default password is password. After you log in, we recommend that you change the password.


The following figure shows the E-Series Server options.

Figure 3. E-Series Server Options



Basic Workflow for Option 1—E-Series Server without a Preinstalled Operating System or Hypervisor

The following figure shows the basic workflow for Option 1—E-Series Server without a preinstalled operating system or hypervisor.

Figure 4. Basic Workflow—Option 1

The following procedure provides the references for the tasks that you must perform when you purchase Option 1—hardware only (E-Series Server without a preinstalled operating system or hypervisor).

Procedure
      Command or Action Purpose
    Step 1 Install the E-Series Server into the router.  

    See Installing the E-Series Server into the Router.

     
    Step 2 Configure the CIMC IP address for CIMC access. 

    See Configuring CIMC Access.

     
    Step 3 Access CIMC. 

    See Accessing CIMC.

     
    Step 4 Configure RAID and make the disk drive bootable.   See Managing RAID
    Step 5 Install the operating system and if needed, install the drivers.   See Installing the Operating System or Hypervisor
    Step 6 Configure an internal connection between the router and the E-Series Server.  

    Depending on whether you want the traffic to flow through the router or not, do one of the following:

    • If you do not want the traffic to your application or operating system to flow through the router, use the server’s host operating system to configure the E-Series Server’s external GE2 or GE3 interface.
    • If you want the traffic to your application or operating system to flow through the router, use the Cisco IOS CLI to configure an internal connection between the router and the E-Series Server. See Configuring a Connection Between the Router and the E-Series Server.
     

    Basic Workflow for Option 2—E-Series Server with a Preinstalled Microsoft Windows Server

    The following procedure provides the references for the tasks that you must perform when you purchase Option 2—E-Series Server with a preinstalled Microsoft Windows Server.

    Procedure
        Command or Action Purpose
      Step 1 Install the E-Series Server into the router.  

      See Installing the E-Series Server into the Router.

       
      Step 2 Configure the CIMC IP address for CIMC access.  

      See Configuring CIMC Access.

       
      Step 3 Configure an internal connection between the router and the E-Series Server.  

      Depending on whether you want the traffic to flow through the router or not, do one of the following:

      • If you do not want the traffic to your application or operating system to flow through the router, use the server’s host operating system to configure the E-Series Server’s external GE2 or GE3 interface.
      • If you want the traffic to your application or operating system to flow through the router, use the Cisco IOS CLI to configure an internal connection between the router and the E-Series Server. See Configuring a Connection Between the Router and the E-Series Server.
       
      Step 4 Access CIMC, and then access the Microsoft Windows Server from CIMC. 

      See Accessing CIMC.

       

      Basic Workflow for Option 3—E-Series Server with a Preinstalled VMware vSphere Hypervisor

      The following procedure provides the references for the tasks that you must perform when you purchase Option 3—E-Series Server with a preinstalled VMware vSphere Hypervisor™.

      Procedure
          Command or Action Purpose
        Step 1 Install the E-Series Server into the router.  

        See Installing the E-Series Server into the Router.

         
        Step 2 Configure the CIMC IP address for CIMC access.  

        See Configuring CIMC Access.

         
        Step 3 Configure an internal connection between the router and the E-Series Server.  

        Depending on whether you want the traffic to flow through the router or not, do one of the following:

        • If you do not want the traffic to your application or operating system to flow through the router, use the server’s host operating system to configure the E-Series Server’s external GE2 or GE3 interface.
        • If you want the traffic to your application or operating system to flow through the router, use the Cisco IOS CLI to configure an internal connection between the router and the E-Series Server. See Configuring a Connection Between the Router and the E-Series Server.
         
        Step 4 Access CIMC, and then access the VMware vSphere Hypervisor™ from CIMC. 

        See Accessing CIMC.

         

        Common Terms Used in This Guide

        The following table provides the common terms used in this guide.

        Table 2 Common Terms

        Terms

        Description

        CIMC

        Cisco Integrated Management Controller.

        CIMC is the management service for the E-Series Server. CIMC runs within the server. You can use CIMC to access, configure, administer, and monitor the server.

        CLI

        Command-Line Interface.

        IMC

        Integrated Management Controller.

        IMC is used in the Cisco IOS commands to configure CIMC.

        BMC

        Board Management Controller.

        LOM

        LAN on Motherboard.

        Shared LOM interfaces are used to configure CIMC access.

        RAID

        Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks.

        RAID is used to store E-Series Server data files.