Brand new Cisco UCS M5 C-Series

This is the second and last part of a small blog series about Cisco’s brand new UCS M5 series. In this blog: C-Series and GPUs.

Cisco UCS C220 M5 Rack Server


Record-breaking performance in a dense 1RU form factor for a wide range of workloads including virtualization, web, collaboration, cloud, and bare metal applications

What’s new

  • Support for Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors
  • Support for 2666 MHz DDR4 DIMMS with new capacity point of 128GB
  • GPU support (max 1 per server) – post-FCS
  • Increased storage density – up to 10 SFF per 1RU
  • 10GbE Embedded LOM
  • Modular Internal FlexStorage Option: Mirrored SD Card or M.2 SATA @ FCS with SW RAID
  • New SSD and NVMe Options
  • Post FCS: 3D XPoint Memory, M.2 NVMe 

Cisco UCS C240 M5 Rack Server


Unrivaled performance for a wide range of enterprise workloads including big data analytics, collaboration, databases, virtualization, and high performance applications

What’s new

  • Support for Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors
  • Support for 2666 MHz DDR4 DIMMS with new capacity point of 128GB
  • Hot-swap rear SFF drives with centralized RAID
  • 10GbE Embedded LOM
  • Modular Internal FlexStorage Option: Mirrored SD Card or M.2 SATA @ FCS with SW RAID
  • New SSD and NVMe Options
  • Post FCS: 3D XPoint Memory, M.2 NVMe 

Cisco UCS C480 M5 4S Rack Server

Designed for the most demanding server workloads such as in-memory database, EDA, Machine Learning, Data Analytics, and CPU / GPU rendering

  • Stand-alone or UCS-managed operations
  • Ultimate scale-up platform

New Drive Sleds for C-Series M5 Rack Servers

  • Smaller 2.5-in sled design enables better density (up to 10 drives) in the 1U server
  • Older M4 generation drive PIDs will not work with new M5 chassis
  • M5 blade servers will continue to use the older generation PIDs
  • 3.5-in sled will be redesigned to match the 2.5-inch brand identity

M4 – M5 comparison

GPUs

  • Manageability: UCS Manager and CIMC integration – Firmware, vBios, Service Profiles
  • Performance: Run at PCIe Gen 3 speed –Cisco + NVIDIA engineering collaboration fixed issues
  • Flexibility/Performance: Supported with all high-bin CPUs – significant mechanical/thermal work done by Cisco to overcome these limitations
  • Performance: Test up to 35c in Heat chambers with all max configs. Ensure no GPU throttling (requires fan algorithm integration and for some servers, custom baffling).

Brand new Cisco UCS M5 B-Series

Last week, Cisco announced the brand new Cisco M5 blades and services. In this post a brief summary about the technical details.

New Technologies and features

  • Support for the new Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors and later, drop- in compatible follow-on processor
  • Support for 2666-MHz (and future faster) DDR4 memory and 3D XPoint DIMMs (when available from Intel CY18)
  • Support for additional PCIe NVMe storage offerings
  • Additional GPU support
  • Support for 1400 series VIC when available
  • Support for M.2 (“gum stick” form factor) bootable mirrored SATA drives (post-FCS PCIe NVMe)

What about M4??

There is a overlap between selling and supporting M4 and M5, this overlap is at least 12 months. End of Sale of UCS M4 is not before calender year 2023:

And now… Specs and pictures!

Cisco UCS B200 M5 Blade Server

  • Support for Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors
  • Support for 2666 MHz DDR4 DIMMS with new capacity point of 128GB
  • Up to 2 NVIDIA® P6 GPU
  • Modular Internal FlexStorage Option: Mirrored SD Card or M.2 SATA with SW RAID
  • New SSD and NVMe Options
  • Post FCS: 3D XPoint Memory, M.2 NVMe

Cisco B480 M5 4S Blade Server

  • Designed for a wide range of compute-intensive and memory-intensive enterprise workloads
    including virtualization and database applications
  • Balanced high performance platform with industry leading compute density, I/O bandwidth, and memory footprint

In the next blog post, everything new about the UCS M5 C series (rack servers) and GPU’s!

 

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MAC addresses in a VSS cluster

As you might know, creating a VSS on Cisco Catalyst 4500-X switches is pretty easy and there are many many guides with information how to do this. I think THIS guide is one of the best to do this.

However, there is one additional note which is not mentioned on that (and other) blogs if you are planning to use multiple Catalyst 4500-X VSS clusters. This is related to the switch MAC address.

By default, all MAC addresses used by the Catalyst 4500-X VSS cluster is automatically generated and is based on the VSS domain ID. But what does this mean?

If you’re planning to use multiple VSS clusters in the same network and in the same VLAN(s), you’ll end up with duplicate MAC addresses. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that this is something you don’t want: it brakes a lot of things in your network.

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Cisco Champion 2017

The Cisco Champions for 2016 are announced and I am proud an very honoured to be selected as a Cisco Champion for the 4th year in a row!

For more information about the Cisco Champion program, click here.

As another bonus this year, my colleague Rob Heygele is selected as Cisco Champion for the 3th year in a row! Congrats to him and offcourse to all other fellow Champions of 2017! See you soon!

Cisco Firepower Chassis Manager Radius Configuration

There are many configuration guides on the Cisco website with details about configuring RADIUS and TACACS+ on a Cisco Firepower Chassis Manager. See this link for the configuration guide for 2.0(1).

In this document, you can read the following comment:

Remote User Role Policy Controls what happens when a user attempts to log in and the remote authentication provider does not supply a user role with the authentication information:

  • Assign Default Role—The user is allowed to log in with a read-only user role.
  • No-Login—The user is not allowed to log in to the system, even if the username and password are correct.

But… it’s very hard to find what attributes are needed to assign a user the administrator role.

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