Cisco UCS firmware 1.3 was released last week. There are lots of new features in this latest update and Dave Alexander (ucs_dave) outlined most of those in his blog post – http://www.unifiedcomputingblog.com/?p=151
What I will be covering here are the features that Dave didn’t cover nor were they mentioned in the release notes for 1.3 – http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/unified_computing/ucs/release/notes/ucs_22863.html
The feature I was most excited about was the advanced BIOS settings control from the Service Profile.
I updated our UCS lab this morning and on the the first login to UCSM after I finished the update I was surprised to see the Fabric Interconnects now have listed in their name what their current cluster role is. Before you had to drill down into each one to see this.
The next change I noticed was that the BMC had been renamed to CIMC (Cisco Integrated Management Controller). I personally like the new name better because I think it makes more since than BMC.
I was then looking around in the Admin tab and noticed a new section labeled Capability Catalog. The UCSM GUI Configuration Guide for 1.3 states this about the catalog
“The capability catalog is a set of tunable parameters, strings, and rules. Cisco UCS Manager uses the catalog to update the display and configurability of components such as newly qualified DIMMs and disk drives for servers.”
The catalog also has an Update Catalog function that can be used to update as Cisco updates it.
On the VM tab there is a new “Configure VMware Integration” wizard to assist in configuring VN-Link in hardware. (this requires the VIC adapter in the server blades and VEM installed on the ESX hosts)
Here are a few screen shots of the new BIOS settings that can be configured. These new settings are implemented via a BIOS Policy that is then tied to a Service Profile or Service Profile Template.
I am sure there may be a few more hidden gems in here but these are the ones I have noticed so far.