Cisco UCS 1.4 Post Upgrade Warnings

After upgrading our UCS lab to 1.4 all of my Service Profiles and Service Profile Templates were in a warning state with blue boxes around them. There wasn’t an outage and all of our blades were still functioning.

The warnings were due to they way Cisco changed the Serial over LAN Policy. My current Service Profile Template had the Serial over LAN Policy set to <Not Set> but in 1.4 that isn’t a valid option. I changed the Serial over LAN Policy to “No Serial over LAN Policy” and all of the warnings disappeared.

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Cisco UCS Firmware 1.4

I have to say now that I have had a chance to implement Cisco UCS firmware 1.4 and look at the new features I am blown away. Cisco should have made this version 2.0.

Here is a list of my favorite new features included in 1.4:

SAN Port Channeling:

This allows you to bundle all of the FC connections on a 6120 so that there is 1 logical uplink to the northbound FC switch. Port channels provide faster convergence when there is link failure because a server vHBA doesn’t have to get re-pinned to another uplink.

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Maintenance Policies:

Remember when making a change on a Service Profile rebooted the server without asking? Or even worse making a change on an updating Service Profile template caused all of the Service Profiles bound to that template to reboot?
Well Maintenance Policies prevent these unplanned reboots by forcing the user to acknowledge the reboot or you can even schedule it to happen after hours.

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Policy Usage Reporting:

Ever wondered what Service Profiles and Service Profile templates were using one of the many UCS policies? Well wonder no more there is now a Show Policy Usage report on every policy in UCSM. I wish there was a similar feature for templates, I am guessing that will be included in a future update.

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Enhanced Active Directory Support:

You no longer have to extend the Active Directory schema and you can map UCS roles to Active Directory groups.

Multiple Authentication Sources:

Pre-1.4 you could only have one authentication source at a time. Now you can create authentication domains and have the option to login to all of them.

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Local File System Download Option:

A remote SCP, SFTP server is no longer required for downloading new firmware or saving backups.

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There are lots of other new features in 1.4 that I didn’t mention here, these were just some of my favorites.