Cisco UCS Product Family
PCI Express Cards
RAID and Hard Drives
Cisco IMC and vKVM
Hypervisors and Operating Systems
Cisco Integrated Services Routers
Cisco UCS Product Family
Q. What is similar between Cisco UCS
® E-Series Servers and Cisco UCS B-Series Blade Servers or C‑Series Rack Servers?
A. Cisco UCS E-Series Servers and Cisco UCS C-Series Rack Servers provide the same command-line interface (CLI) and GUI for hardware management. They share the same syntax, functions, and design for both interfaces, and they also now share the same baseboard management controller (BMC), the Cisco
® Integrated Management Controller (IMC), to manage a single server. In this way, the Cisco UCS E-Series differs from the previous-generation Cisco UCS Express implementation of Cisco IMC Express, which used an embedded controller located on the Cisco Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 (ISR G2) motherboard to manage multiple Cisco Services-Ready Engine (SRE) modules in a single router chassis.
Q. What are the differences between Cisco UCS E-Series Servers and the Cisco UCS B-Series and C-Series Servers?
A. Cisco UCS E-Series Servers are designed to host essential infrastructure services and business-critical applications in a lean branch office using a size-, weight-, and power-optimized form factor. Such branch offices typically require only a few physical servers with modest hardware resources. Therefore, Cisco UCS E-Series Servers do not include features such as Cisco Unified Fabric, Cisco Extended Memory Technology, Cisco VN-Link, and other hardware and large deployment management features that are relevant to data centers and not necessary for most lean branch-office environments. Additionally, the E-Series Servers are housed within the Cisco ISR G2.
Q. Is the Cisco UCS E-Series integrated into Cisco UCS Manager?
A. Although the Cisco UCS E-Series management interface is similar to that for Cisco UCS C-Series standalone management, it uses the same IMC as the Cisco UCS C-Series, and will be immediately familiar to anyone who uses the Cisco UCS C-Series management tools. E-Series management is not integrated into Cisco UCS Manager today because of the differences in features and deployment scenarios for the Cisco UCS B-Series, C-Series, and E-Series product lines. Integration into Cisco UCS Manager would imply integration into the Cisco UCS fabric interconnects, which are unlikely to be deployed in branch offices.
Q. Is the Cisco UCS E-Series integrated into Cisco UCS Director or IMC Supervisor?
A. Yes, the -E Series servers can be managed by Cisco UCS Director as well as by IMC Supervisor.
Q. What are the differences between the previous-generation Cisco SRE and Cisco UCS-E Series blades?
A. The new Cisco UCS E-Series Servers provide a significant upgrade in processing power, maximum memory capacity, and maximum hard drive capacity. In addition, the M1 double-wide blades can host PCI Express (PCIe) cards to add network interfaces.
Q. Can I upgrade the memory and hard drives myself?
Q. What is the maximum power drawn by the Cisco USB ports?
A. The USB ports are designed for 500 milliamps (mA) maximum power draw (2.5W). Devices that require more power will need an external power source.
Q. What are the CPU speeds of the processors?
Q. Where can I configure the power restore policy in the ISR G2 and 4000 Series ISRs?
A. In the ISR G2, the power restore policy is a BIOS setting. In the 4000 Series ISRs, you can configure it in the Cisco IMC.
PCI Express Cards
Q. Can I add a PCIe card myself?
A. No. PCIe is available as a factory-integrated option only.
Q. Can all Cisco UCS E-Series Servers host a PCIe card?
A. No, only the M1 double-wide blades with the “P” in the product name can do so. The PCIe card has been discontinued and is not available in the M2 or later series.
Q. What PCIe cards are supported?
A. Two PCIe cards are supported in the Cisco UCS E-Series double-wide servers: a 4-port 1 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe card and a 1-port Enhanced Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP+) 10 Gigabit Ethernet card with Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) support. Table 2 lists the PCIe cards that are supported.
Table 1. Supported PCIe Cards
4-port Gigabit Ethernet PCIe card, RJ-45, for double-wide Cisco UCS E-Series
1-port SFP+ PCIe card, with 10 Gigabit Ethernet FCoE support, for double-wide Cisco UCS E-Series
Q. Are PCIe cards hot-swappable?
A. No. PCIe cards are not hot-swappable.
RAID and Hard Drives
Q. What RAID modes are supported?
A. Hardware RAID 0 and 1 are supported on the single-wide blades and double-wide blades with PCIe cards, and RAID 0, 1, and 5 are supported on the double-wide blades without PCIe cards. A minimum of three drives are required for RAID 5 support.
Q. Can I use the server without any RAID option?
A. Yes, the drives can also operate in “Just a Bunch of Disks” (JBOD) mode.
Q. What types and sizes of disks are available for the Cisco UCS E-Series Servers?
Q. What are the various ways to interface with the Cisco IMC?
Q. What boot devices are supported?
A. The supported boot devices include hard disk drives (HDDs); SAN devices; USB devices (DVD/CD drives, flash drives, and HDDs); and virtual devices through the keyboard, video, and mouse (KVM) device (such as DVD drives, USB devices, and ISO files).It is also possible to boot off the SD cards (M1 and M2) or eMMC flash (M3). However, due to the limited read/write operations of these drives, it is not recommended to use this media as a boot drive.
Q. Can I plug in external CD/DVD and hard drives?
A. Yes. You can plug in these drives using the USB connector or a dongle.
Q. Can I remove SD cards in both single-wide and double-wide M1and M2 blades?
A. Yes. The single-wide blades require removal of the blade to access the SD card, whereas the double-wide blades have the SD cards accessible in the front.
Q. Why are there two SD cards on the M1 and M2 servers?
A. One SD card is used by Cisco IMC as a boot device and is also used for host image mapping. The second SD card can be mapped into the operating system.
Q. What is the difference between the E100S and E100D hard disks?
A. The E100S drives are used in the single-wide modules, whereas the E100D drives are used in the double-wide servers. The drives are identical, but they come with different carrier cards that fit only in the respective module type.
Q. Can I manually change a carrier card and therefore transform an E100S to an E100D drive?
Q. Why is the E100S-HDD-SAS18T(=) not supported in the UCS-E160S-M3/K9(=)?
A. The E100S-HDD-SAS18T operates in a 512-byte emulated mode, which does not give it any speed benefits compared to E100S-HDD-SATA2T (2TB SATA). The 4K native sector size equivalent of a 1.8TB disk will be launched later in CY17, as soon as VMware 7.x announces support for 4K native sector size. Until then, we recommend using 2-TB SATA disks on the UCS-E160S.
Q. I have a hard disk but can’t tell which exact model it is. How can I figure that out?
A. Figure 1 shows some pictures of hard disk logos and their respective product IDs.
Figure 1. Hard Disks and Associated Product IDs
Q. I have two of the same hard disks, but they have different labels. Why?
A. Our hard disk suppliers update their products on a regular basis, and they sometimes change the label and their internal model number. The newer hard disk is always fully compatible with the previous one and performs equally as well as or better than the predecessor. For example, the Seagate “HDSASED600G” first shipped as version “K4”, then “K5,” and afterwards was superseded by a “K6” version of the same drive.
Q. How big is the performance difference between the different RAID modes?
A. RAID 5 is the slowest, RAID 1 and JBOD are both about 20 percent faster, and RAID 0 is the fastest, with an additional 20% performance gain.
Q. How much faster are the SSDs in comparison to the spinning disks (SAS or SATA)?
A. In internal tests, the SSDs have performed 20 to 50 times better in all perspectives (read speed, write speed, IO latency).
Q. Does Cisco provide detailed I/O operations per second (IOPS) tests?
A. No. The Cisco UCS E-Series Servers are not storage appliances but always host the hypervisor and operating systems locally, which makes the performance extremely dependent on the actual deployment.
Q. I am generally concerned about the IOPS of the system. What does Cisco recommend?
A. Space is easy to estimate, RAID mode is determined by redundancy requirements, and in the end performance guidance is:
● For simple RAID 0 deployments with no chatty OS, go with SATA (lowest price).
● For RAID 1 or RAID 5 deployments with a somewhat chatty OS, go with SAS (price/performance balance).
● For RAID1 or RAID 5 deployments with a chatty OS and apps requiring low latency, go with SSD (best performance).
Q. Why is it not recommended to mix different memory module sizes?
A. Mixing different sizes of RAM bars makes the CPU cycle asymmetric, which can cause delay in the CPU’s data fetching that could become a bottleneck. However, this would not cause a problem of compatibility.
Q. What clock rate is the memory running at?
A. All M1 and M2 servers use DDR3-1333 memory, which runs at 667MHz. The M3 modules use DDR4-2133 or DDR-2400, which run at 1066 and 1200 MHz, respectively. Only if both modules on the 160S-M3 module are populated with DDR4-2400 modules can the memory run at 1200 MHz.
Q. Why do M1 and M2 single-wide servers have a different memory type from the M1 and M2 double-wide servers?
A. Due to the physical size restrictions of the single-wide servers, only Very Low Profile (VLP) DIMMs can fit. The double-wide servers have more space available and can therefore use bigger memory modules.
Q. Is Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) supported?
A. Yes. FCoE is supported on a double-wide blade with a 10 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe card.
Q. What management capabilities are built into the Cisco UCS E-Series blades?
A. The blades support Simple Network Management Protocol version 2 (SNMPv2) and Intelligent Platform Management Interface version 2 (IPMIv2), along with Cisco IMC. For OS and hypervisor management, any standard tool can be used.
Q. How do I extend local storage?
A. You can extend external storage using the Network File System (NFS) or Small Computer System Interface over IP (iSCSI). You can use internal or external Ethernet ports or 10 Gigabit Ethernet FCoE SFP+ (PCIe card).
Cisco IMC and vKVM
Q. What are the default username and password?
A. The default username is “admin.” The default password is “password.”
Q. What is the difference between vDVD and vHDD?
A. The vDVD can mount a standard .ISO file, whereas the vHDD can mount a file system dump. The vDVD is most commonly used for OS installation, and the vHDD is used for diagnostics.
Q. Are the Cisco UCS C-Series IMC and E-Series IMC features identical?
A. New IMC features that are applicable to the C-Series and E-Series are first released on the C-Series and follow in the next release on the E-Series. There are some features that are available only on either platform, due to the different hardware.
Q. Why do I get a “permission denied” error after downloading the .jnlp Java launcher for the vKVM?
A. The downloaded file contains a temporary username and password. The easiest way to solve this issue is to edit the .jnlp file in a text editor and replace the “Username:” and “Password:” values with the actual credentials.
Q. I can’t use Network Address Translation (NAT) for the vKVM connection. Which ports do I need to use for NAT?
A. The KVM connection uses ports 443 and 2068. Once both are set up for NAT, the KVM should work.
Hypervisors and Operating Systems
Q. What software and application options do I have when I order the Cisco UCSE-Series?
A. The Cisco UCS E-Series blade supports a wide range of hypervisors and operating systems. No software is required to be ordered with the Cisco UCS E-Series.
Q. What are the methods for interfacing with the host?
A. You can interface with the host in several ways. You can access the host using the front-panel support for the monitor and keyboard, serial console redirection through the router console, or the virtual KVM.
Q. How many virtual servers can I run on the Cisco UCS E-Series Server blades?
A. There are no specific limits on the number of virtual servers that can be hosted on the E-Series blades. The maximum number of virtual servers is determined by the resources assigned to each virtual server and the total hardware resources available on the specific E-Series blade server. The Cisco UCS E-Series Server blades can comfortably support multiple virtual machines on both the double-wide and single-wide servers.
Q. What operating systems are supported by the Cisco UCS E-Series Servers?
A. Cisco UCS E-Series Servers are designed to support multiple bare-metal operating systems and hypervisors. As these servers are standard x86 servers, almost all operating systems work straight away, Cisco goes through the process of officially certifying the most popular operating systems and hypervisors. The latest list of officially certified and therefore supported operating systems can be found in the datasheet for the Cisco UCSE-Series Servers.
Q. What VMware licenses are sold with the Cisco UCS E-Series Servers?
Q. Can I run Microsoft Windows natively on Cisco UCS E-Series Servers?
Q. Where can I find drivers for operating systems?
Cisco Integrated Services Routers
Q. How do I access the internal network interfaces?
A. Both internal interfaces can be accessed through the router.
Q. What happens to the Cisco UCS E-Series blade server when the router is power cycled or when the Cisco IOS
® Software is reloaded?
A. When the Cisco ISR G2 is power cycled, the power to the Cisco UCS E-Series blade server is cut off and therefore automatically power cycled also. When the Cisco IOS Software is reloaded, the E-Series blade server is unaffected and continues to operate normally. However, while the Cisco IOS Software is reloading, the router may not be able to communicate with the application on the blade server through the internal network interfaces. The Ethernet front-panel port on the E-Series blade server will continue to provide network connectivity when the server is wired to an external host or switch.
Q. Does the router need to be shut down to insert or remove a Cisco UCS E-Series blade server?
A. The Cisco 3900 Series ISRs support online insertion and removal (OIR), which enables Cisco UCS E-Series blade servers to be hot-plugged into the chassis. The Cisco 2900 Series ISRs do not support OIR and therefore require the router to be shut down to insert or remove a Cisco UCS E-Series blade server. All 4000 Series ISRs support OIR.
Q. Which Cisco EtherSwitch service modules work with the multigigabit fabric (MGF) backplane switch?
A. All Cisco EtherSwitch service modules and Cisco EtherSwitch enhanced high-speed WAN interface cards (EHWICs) provide Layer 2 and 3 connectivity through MGF. Older Cisco EtherSwitch enhanced network modules (NMEs) and high-speed WAN interface card (HWIC) modules do not support the MGF backplane switch. The traffic flow between these modules and the Cisco UCS E-Series is either Layer 3 routed or Layer 2 switched, depending on whether the network interfaces are in the same VLAN segment or in different VLAN segments.
Q. What Cisco IOS Software release is required to support the M1 modules for the Cisco UCSE-Series?
A. Cisco IOS Software Release 15.2(4)M is required for the Cisco 2911, 2921, 2951, 3925, 3925E, 3945, and 3945E ISRs. For the 4451-X ISR, Cisco IOS XE 3.10 is required.
Q. Where can I get more information about the Cisco UCS E-Series servers?