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Configuring Cisco UCS C-Series for Unified Communications

Overview
The Unified Computing System (UCS) is Ciscos server virtualization offering. In the early days of Cisco Voice, an MCS server was needed for each application. When combined with VMware, a single UCS server can power several UC applications. The UCS C-Series is common for small to medium deployments and comes in multiple configurations. UCS C-Series Overview http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10493/index.html UC on UCS DocWiki http://docwiki.cisco.com/wiki/Unified_Communications_in_a_Virtualized_Environment

Configuration Summary
1. Planning A. Prepare a logical layout of UC applications on UCS hardware as shown below.
UCS C-Series Server (San Francisco) CPU1 US CUCM SUB1 Core 1 Core 2 IPIVR A1 Core 3 Core 4 Support Tools Core 1 CPU2 CUEAC Core 2 SPARE Core 3 Core 4

2. Configure UCS Cisco Integrated Management Controller (CIMC) A. Attach Keyboard / Monitor and Power on UCS. B. Configure CIMC Network Information C. Web into CIMC Management Console D. Download Cisco UCS Host Upgrade Utility and update UCS firmware 3. Configure UCS RAID A. Configure WebBios with desired Virtual Drives 4. Install ESXi on UCS A. Download ESXi customized Cisco UCS ISO B. Boot UCS from ESXi ISO: Web into CIMC, launch KVM, create virtual drive mapping to ISO C. Install ESXi on the logical drive created above and reboot D. Configure ESXI Network Information E. Install ESXI Management Console 5. Configure ESXi for UC A. Configure ESXi Networking B. Upload UC ISO to ESXi Datastore C. Download OVA and create Virtual Machine D. Launch and test UC Virtual Machine

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Configuration Detail
Configure UCS CIMC 1. Attach Local Keyboard / Monitor and Power on UCS. At Cisco splash screen, Press F8 to launch CIMC Config

2. Configure CIMC Network Information (No User / Pass). The Shared LAN On Motherboard (LOM) with Active-Active redundancy allows both UCS NICs to connect into your Network Infrastructure and participate in options like EtherChannel. We have enabled VLAN Tagging to place all CIMC frames into VLAN 10. If there are Virtual Servers residing in different VLANs, enable this along with a trunk config on the switch. If all Virtual Servers are in the same VLAN, tagging is not required. The settings for NIC mode Dedicated and Redundancy None allows EtherChannel for

vmware (mgmt and vmachines) across LOM and PCI card for card level redundancy (set via vSphere later on).

3. Web into IP above for CIMC Management Console ( User: admin Pass: password)

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3. Download the Cisco UCS Host Upgrade Utility and update UCS firmware to latest revision. Web into CIMC, launch KVM, create virtual drive mapping to ISO. Boot UCS from ISO (ex: ucs-c220-huu-1.5.1b.iso). Select the upgrade all option and reboot.
Cisco UCS C220 M3 Host Upgrade Utility

http://software.cisco.com/download/release.html?mdfid=284296253&flowid=31742&softwareid=283850974

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If screen below appears, select n or no, to not update matching firmware.

Select Server > Power Policies > Power Restore Policy. Select Restore Last State.

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Configure UCS RAID

1. Configure UCS Raid with WebBios. At the Drives Screen, press Ctrl+H to enter WebBios. Create Virtual Drives and set Boot Order.

2. Create Virtual Drives and set Boot Drive. In 10 HDD system (ex c210-M2), it is recommended to have [2] drives->raid1 for ESXi and [8] drives->raid5 for VMs. This is the default configuration on C210M2-VCD2, but always verify.

Raid 10 Configuration (recommended) will use 4 physical drives to create 1 mirror set with striping, resulting in a 1.8TB Virtual Drive. For business critical data, RAID 1+0 (or Raid 10) gives the best combination of performance, availability and redundancy.

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Raid 1 Configuration (optional) will use 4 physical drives to create 2 mirror sets, each 931GB in size

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Configure UCS Boot Order

1. At the CIMC splash screen, Press F2 to enter BIOS. Under Boot Options tab, select the PCI Raid Adapter first.

2. Under the Advanced tab, go to Mass Storage Controller Configuration > SATA Mode to enable SW RAID. When done, press F10 to save and reset.

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Install Vmware ESXi on UCS Cisco UCS C-Series Servers VMware Installation Guide http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/unified_computing/ucs/c/sw/os/vmware/install/VMWARE-esxi-install.html 1. Download ESXi customized Cisco UCS ISO VMware ESXI 5.1 U1 Installable Cisco Customized ISO Image
https://my.vmware.com/group/vmware/details?downloadGroup=CISCO-ESXI-5.1.0U1-MAY2013&productId=285#product_downloads

2. Boot UCS from ESXi ISO: Web into CIMC, launch KVM, create virtual drive mapping to ISO

3. Install ESXi on the logical drive created above and reboot. Ensure you are installing on LUN 0 or server will not boot. During logical drive selection, press F1 to determine the LUN ID. This should be set to 0 as we saw in WebBios.

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Press Enter to Reboot. After the ESXI installation, and server reboot, the ESXI server will take 2-3 minutes to boot. During this time, the server screen will display PXE boot and other boot notification messages. Page 9 of 17

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4. Configure ESXI Network Information. Ensure both adapters are selected and assign network information. The initial login is (User: root Pass: none).

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Select Configure Management Network

5. Install VMware Vsphere Management Console. The default password is the same as above, unless you have edited this field (User: root Pass: none). Download and install the Vmware Vsphere Client by accessing the IP of your ESXi host from a browser or by using the links below.

VMware vSphere Client 5.1 Update 1 (VMware-viclient-all-5.1.0-1064113.exe)


https://my.vmware.com/group/vmware/details?downloadGroup=VCL-VSP510-VC-51U1&productId=285

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Configure ESXi Networking Configure Networking to support EtherChannel. This can be done in trunk mode or in access mode as shown below. http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1004048 1. Configure Load Balancing on ESX Host: Select Configuration > Networking > Properties. Select the virtual switch in the Ports tab and click Edit. Click the NIC Teaming tab. From the Load Balancing dropdown, choose Route based on ip hash. Ensure that standby adapters are

moved up into Active Adapters section. Repeat these steps for Management network as it does not inherit settings.

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2. After ESXi Load balancing is complete, configure EtherChannel on your Cisco Switch. interface Port-channel1 switchport access vlan 100 switchport mode access ! interface GigabitEthernet1/1 switchport access vlan 100 switchport mode access channel-group 1 mode on

3. After installing the ESXi host, you may experience slow TCP performance on VMs. You can address this situation by disabling Large Receive Offload (LRO) on the ESXi host. a. b. c. d. Log into the ESXi host or its vCenter with vSphere Client. Select the host > Configuration > Software:Advanced Settings. Select Net and scroll down slightly more than half way. Set the following parameters from 1 to 0. Net.Vmxnet2HwLRO Net.Vmxnet2SwLRO Net.Vmxnet3SwLRO Net.Vmxnet3HwLRO Net.VmxnetSwLROSL Reboot the ESXi host to activate these changes.

Deploy Virtual Machines 1. Upload the UC ISOs to ESXi Datastore. From within the vSphere Client, select your ESXi Host and the configuration tab. Right-click the Datastore you wish to use for storage of UC ISOs, and select Browse Datastore. Later we will mount these to appear as local DVD source media.

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From within the Datastore Browser, we can create folders and upload files. Below we have created an ISO folder and uploaded a few ISOs.

2. Download OVA and create Virtual Machine. From within the vSphere Client, select File > Deploy OVF Template. You will be prompted to browse for the OVF or OVA file.
Cisco Unified Communications Manager Virtualization Templates http://software.cisco.com/download/release.html?mdfid=284510097&flowid=37562&softwareid=283088407&release=9.1%281%29&reli nd=AVAILABLE&rellifecycle=&reltype=latest Cisco Unity Connection Virtualization Templates http://software.cisco.com/download/release.html?mdfid=283062758&softwareid=282074348&release=OVA9.1&relind=AVAILABLE&rellifecycle=&reltype=latest Cisco Unified Presence Virtualization Templates http://software.cisco.com/download/release.html?mdfid=283931705&flowid=28621&softwareid=283757588&release=8.6&relind=AVAIL ABLE&rellifecycle=&reltype=latest Cisco Unified Contact Center Express Virtualization Templates http://software.cisco.com/download/release.html?mdfid=284666782&flowid=38602&softwareid=283733053&release=2.3&relind=AVAIL ABLE&rellifecycle=&reltype=latest Cisco Unified Workforce Optimization Virtualization Templates http://software.cisco.com/download/release.html?mdfid=281160976&flowid=5225&softwareid=284077947&release=8.5%282%29_SR2 &relind=AVAILABLE&rellifecycle=&reltype=latest

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Once the Virtual Machine is created, right-click and select Edit Settings. Map the CD/DVD Drive to the ISO you uploaded earlier. Ensure you select the Connect at power on option. The server will now boot from this ISO. In some cases, the VMware BIOS is not set to boot from DVD. You may need to go under the options tab below and select Boot Options. Check the Force BIOS Setup checkbox. After powering on server, change the BIOS boot order to select the DVD first.

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2. Launch and test UC Virtual Machine. You can now launch your Virtual Machine by right-clicking the Virtual Machine and selecting Power > Power On. Next, select Open Console to have KVM access to your server. From here we follow the normal setup steps required to deploy a UC Server.

Install VMware Tools VMware Tools are specialized drivers for virtual hardware accessed by virtual servers. It is important that the Tools version be in sync with ESXi. If VMware tools status does not show "OK" from the viClient, the VMware Tools should be upgraded. 1. Mount the VMware Tools ISO
a. Launch the VSphere Client and locate the Virtual Machine on which you wish to upgrade VMware Tools. b. Right-click the Virtual Machine and choose Guest > Install/Upgrade VMware Tools. Next, choose Interactive Tools Upgrade. 2. Initiate the VMware Tools Install a. Login to the Virtual Machine Console. Enter the CLI command utils vmtools upgrade. b. The system reboots twice. Monitor the virtual machine console from the vSphere Client to see the system status. c. When the system is back up, the tools status is updated to OK from the vCenter Summary tab. 3. Remove the VMware Tools ISO a. Select and Right-click the virtual machine which you are upgrading. b. Choose VM > Edit Settings > CD/DVD drive. Choose Device Type as Client Device.

Automate Virtual Machine Startup and Shutdown Virtual Machines can be configured to start and stop automatically when powering an ESXi Server host on and off.
1. Access the Virtual Machine Startup and Shutdown settings: a. b. c. d. Select the UCS Host in vSphere. Select the Configuration tab. Select Virtual Machine Startup / Shutdown under Software. Click Properties in the upper right hand side of the window.

2. Configure the desired Startup and Shutdown options: a. b. c. In order to configure options, enable Allow virtual machines to start and stop automatically with the system . Enter a value for the Default Startup Delay, in order to delay the startup activity for a period of time after the boot process completes. Enter a value for the Default Startup Delay, in order to delay the startup activity for a period of time after the boot process completes. Select which Shutdown Action you want to occur:

o o o
d.

Guest Shutdown: shut down the guest gracefully. This requires up to date VMware Tools to be installed in the guest. Power off: abruptly stops power to the virtual machine, like pulling the power cord on a physical machine Suspend: pause the virtual machine at that moment in time, like hibernating a physical machine

To start up the virtual machines in a particular order, configure the three Startup Order categories:

o o o

Automatic: This category allows you to choose the sequence, by moving machines into this category, then arranging them in order. Any order: In this category, the machines are started in whatever sequence the host prefers (more or less randomized). Manual: In this category, the default, the machines are not automatically restarted. You must power them on manually.

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