Cisco UCS Service Profile Coolness

Last week I did a Cisco UCS project that included building out a new VMware vSphere ESXi 4.1 cluster using the new UCS blades. Now that ESXi boot from SAN is supported we used 5GB boot LUNs for the install.

During the course of the install the customer stated that in a few weeks they will be purchasing another chassis of blades and will be using these for additional ESXi 4.1 hosts. To demonstrate the power of the UCS stateless model I went ahead and provisioned all 8 of the new ESXi hosts even though the hardware did not exist.

Sounds like a magic trick right? Well sort of, but using the power of UCS Service Profiles and boot from SAN here is how we accomplished this:

  1. Built out the UCS Service Profiles for the hosts from the Service Profile template.
  2. Put 4 of the new ESXi hosts into maintenance mode and powered them down.
  3. Disassociated the service profiles from those 4 blades.
  4. Using these 4 free blades we associated them with 4 of the Service Profiles for the hardware that did not yet exist.
  5. Created the boot LUNs
  6. Installed ESXi 4.1.
  7. Added the hosts to vCenter.
  8. Applied our vSphere Host Profile to configure the new hosts.
  9. Powered down the 4 new servers.
  10. Pre-built the next 4 the same way.
  11. Powered those down and associated the original service profiles with the 4 blades.

Now when the customers gets the new chassis and blades all they have to do is associate the service profiles and they are done.