One of the exciting new updates from Cisco recently is the 2nd generation UCS hardware.
UCS gen 2 hardware included updated:
- Fabric Interconnect – 6248s
- Fabric Extender – 2208
- Mezzanine Adapter – VIC 1280
For details on the new hardware check out Sean McGee’s post – http://www.mseanmcgee.com/2011/07/ucs-2-0-cisco-stacks-the-deck-in-las-vegas/
This post will focus on configuration of Unified Ports that are part of the 6248 hardware. As with most hardware/software capabilities of the Fabric Interconnects, Unified Ports came from the Cisco Nexus 5500 line that has been around for about a year now.
Unified Ports, or UP, gives the ability to configure any of the 32 fixed ports or 16 ports on the expansion module as either 1G, 10G Ethernet or 4G, 8G Fiber Channel. All that it is required is that you have the correct SFP needed for the specific port type.
When I first heard about Unified Ports I thought that the port type was automatically configured based on the SFP that was inserted. After some research I realized that this is not the case.
When I first rebuilt our UCS lab with 6248s they were still on beta code as the new hardware and firmware 2.0 had not been release yet. The configuration guides were not available so it took me a while to figure out how to configure a port to be an uplink FC port.
I finally found the new Unified Ports wizard that is located on the Fabric Interconnect General tab. Here is a screen shot with the “Configure Unified Ports” action highlighted.
When you click the Configure Unified Ports action this message pops up
I guess this is why the ports are not automatically configured based on the type of SFP inserted. That would be dangerous.
When you click Yes the Configure Unified Ports window appears.
At first this interface was very confusing and it is hard to read the key at the bottom due to the light green color of the port type. I didn’t even see the slider bar so I was trying to right-click on the ports to configure them.
When I did finally see the slider I understood how to configure the ports.
The window has 2 buttons at the bottom for configuring the 32 fixed ports and another for configuring the 16 expansion ports.
By default the slider is in the right most position. In this position all of the ports are in the Unconfigured Ethernet mode.
In my environment I wanted ports 9-16 on the expansion module to be FC and the rest to be Ethernet.
To accomplish this I went to the expansion module page and dragged the slider to the middle.
WARNING****If there is a change to the port mode of any of the ports on the fixed module (first 32 ports) and you click finish the Fabric Interconnect will reboot. If there is a change to just the expansion module only that module is reset.
It is best if you can decide up front which ports you want as Ethernet and which ports you want as FC so that you do not have a disruption.
I recommend start Ethernet from left to right and FC from right to left. This usually means that you only need to change the expansion module configuration.