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  • Microsoft Azure
  • Virtual Machine Manager

Category: UCS

Distinguished Judges for the UCS Power Scripting Contest

Cisco UCS PowerShell Scripting Contest

In the Microsoft world PowerShell is the tool to automate everything especially in your datacenter. I already mentioned that Cisco offers some great enhancements for the Microsoft Datacenter stack. If you are using a Cisco UCS solution you can integrate System Center Virtual Machine Manager, Orchestrator and others. But Cisco does also offer a PowerShell module for the UCS called Cisco UCS PowerTool. The UCS PowerTool allows you to automate management and deployment tasks very easily via Windows PowerShell. By the way, one of the coolest features in the Cisco UCS PowerTool is the ConvertTo-UCScmdlet.

Cisco announced the UCS Power Scripting Contest

Everyone is invited to share their scripts and possibly win some prizes by entering the UCS Power Scripting Contest on the Cisco Communities.  The contest will run until May 11th.  A distinguished panel of judges (Jeffery Snover, Rob Willis, Don Jones, Hal Rottenberg and Thomas Maurer) along with other members of the community will select the grand prize winner from a set of five finalists.

Distinguished Judges for the UCS Power Scripting Contest

I am proud to be one of the Distinguished Judges for the UCS Power Scripting Contest and I hope we will see some great solutions. To get more information about the contest check out the Cisco Blog from Bill Shields and the UCS Power Scripting Contest website.



Savision Cloud Advisor VMM Tuning Tips

Cloud Advisor for System Center Virtual Machine Manager

As you may know I do a lot of work around Hyper-V, System Center and Windows Azure Pack. One of the most critical parts of the Microsoft Cloud is System Center Virtual Machine Manager. VMM is the component where mostly everything comes together in some way. From the Fabric resource such as Storage, Compute and Networking up to the Virtual Machines and Services running on top of the Fabric layer. Virtual Machine Manager basically allows you to pool resources and offer them to tenants which can than deploy services and virtual machines to the pools.

This means VMM manages not only your Virtual Machines, Virtual Machine Manager also manages your network environment, your storage and a lot more. So wouldn’t it be great to use the data Virtual Machine Manager collects to review your environment and get some tips you can optimize it? This is exactly what Savision did with their Virtual Machine Manager Add-in called Cloud Advisor which includes tuning and optimization recommendations.

Savision’s Cloud Advisor looks for problems like:

  • “Virtual Machine Appears to be Unused”
  • “Prediction: All Available Memory Will Be Consumed By…”
  • “Virtual Guest Services Are Not Installed”
  • “Starting Memory Is Too High”
  • “Low Disk Space On Cluster Shared Volume”
  • “Dynamic Memory is not enabled”
  • and a lot more…

Most of you will think okay, this sounds great but how much will this thing cost. Well that’s the great part, the Savision Cloud Advisor for System Center Virtual Machine Manager is absolutely free. So there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t deploy the Savision Cloud Advisor in your Virtual Machine Manager environment.

Simply go the Savision homepage, download the Cloud Advisor and import it to VMM.

Import Cloud Advisor Addin into VMM

After that you will have to connect to the VMM database and to let the Savision Cloud Advisor his job, showing you tips and recommendations for your environment.

Savision Cloud Advisor VMM Tuning Tips

By the way there are other cool VMM Add-in from Cisco for their UCS Bladecenter and 5Nine for the Virtual Firewall Appliance.



Sort Network Adapter via PowerShell

Sort Windows Network Adapter by PCI Slot via PowerShell

If you work with Windows, Windows Server or Hyper-V you know that before Windows Server 2012 Windows named the network adapters randomly. This was a huge deal if you were trying to automate deployment of servers with multiple network adapters. And of course Hyper-V Servers normally have multiple network adapters. In Windows Server 2012 Microsoft had some different ways how this was fixed. First there is CDN (Consistent Device Naming) which allows hardware vendors to integrate the names so the OS can pick them up and the second one being the possibility of Hyper-V Converged Fabric which is basically making our lives easier by having less network adapters.

Well a lot of vendors have not integrated CDN or you have some old servers without CDN support. Back in May 2012 before the release of Windows Server 2012 I wrote a little Windows PowerShell script to sort network adapters in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 by using WMI (Configure Hyper-V Host Network Adapters Like A Boss). Now for a Cisco UCS project I rewrote some parts of the script to use Windows PowerShell in for Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Hyper-V.

First lets have a look how you can get the PCI slot information for network adapters, luckily there is now a PowerShell cmdlet for this.

Now lets see how you can sort network adapters via Windows PowerShell.

This will get you a output like this:

Sort Network Adapter via PowerShell

Lets do a little loop to automatically name them:

So this names all the network adapters to NIC1, NIC2, NIC3,…

So lets do a PowerShell function for this:

Now you can run this by using Sort-NetworkAdapter for exmaple:

or

You can also get this script from the Microsoft Technet Gallery or Script Center.



Cisco UCS PowerTools

Cisco UCS PowerShell: ConvertTo-UCSCmdlet

This week I had a chance to be part of a Cisco UCS course and the trainer Walter Dey (ex Cisco Distinguished Engineer) showed me a great feature in the Cisco UCS PowerShell Module called Cisco UCS PowerTools. The Convertto-UCSCmdlet allows you to record the things you do in the UCS Manager (GUI) and converts this into Windows PowerShell cmdlets.

Thomas Maurer Walter Dey

To use this, this is pretty simple first install the UCS PowerTools and Connect to your UCS with the same user you connect to the UCS Manager. Checkout my blog post about the Cisco UCS PowerTools.

After that run the cmdlet:

After that open the UCS Manager session and do the steps you want to recored.

Cisco UCS PowerTools

I have to say, this is just great feature included in the Cisco UCS PowerTools.



Cisco UCS Microsoft Solutions

Manage your Cisco UCS with Windows PowerShell

Cisco does a really great job on supporting different management software for their blade center. For example Cisco offers a System Center Virtual Machine Manager Add-in to manage your Cisco fabric directly from the SCVMM console, a System Center Orchestrator Integration Pack for automation and a System Center Operations Manager Management Pack for monitoring. But another great thing they offer is the PowerShell module for the Cisco UCS called Cisco UCS PowerTools, which allows you to manage and automate your Cisco Blade Center via Windows PowerShell. The Cisco PowerShell module offers round 1400 PowerShell cmdlets which allows you basically to do every task from the console.

To connect to your Cisco UCS system you can use the following cmdlet:

and you can use other cmdlets to manage your Blades, VLANs or Service Profiles.

 

You can get the Cisco UCS PowerTools from the Cisco Website.



Cisco UCS Hardware

Automate your Cisco UCS with System Center Orchestrator

Some days ago I posted an article how you can manage your Cisco UCS Blade Center directly from System Center Virtual machine Manager. Cisco also offers an Integration Pack for System Center Orchestrator which allows you to automate your Cisco UCS via Orchestrator Integration Packs, which is great if you are building your own Private Cloud based on Cisco hardware.

First step you have to download the Cisco UCS PowerTool (PowerShell Module) and the Cisco UCS Microsoft System Center Orchestrator Integration Pack.

After you have installed the Cisco UCS PowerTool on your System Center Orchestrator Runbook servers you now an import the Integration Pack via the System Center Orchestrator Deployment Manager. With a right click on Integration Packs you can Register the Cisco UCS IP.

Cisco UCS Integration Pack Orchestator Deployment Manager

After that you also have to deploy the IP to the Orchestrator Runbook servers.

Cisco UCS Integration Pack Orchestator Deployment Manager Deploy

You can start to create new Orchestrator Run Books with the Runbook Designer. First open the SCO Runbook Designer and in the Options menu select Cisco UCS to added the Path to the Cisco UCS PowerTool module (PowerShell module). The default path the Cisco UCS PowerTools are installed is: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Cisco\Cisco UCS PowerTool\Modules\CiscoUcsPS\CiscoUcsPS.psd1″

Cisco UCS Integration Pack Orchestator PowerTool Path

You can now start to automate your Cisco UCS with System Center Orchestrator.

If you are interested in how you monitor your Cisco UCS system with System Center Operations Manager Stefan Roth blogged about that.



Cisco UCS C200 M2 with Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 8 #HyperV

Manage Cisco UCS via UCS Manager Add-in in System Center Virtual Machine Manager

Maybe you already know about the Cisco UCS Blade Center about I already blogged a lot especially about Microsoft Hyper-V and System Center integration. Today I had the change to integrate the Cisco UCS in many different System Center products such as Virtual Machine Manager, Operations Manager and Orchestrator. The Cisco UCS Manager Add-in for Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager allows administrators to manage the physical and virtual infrastructure on a single pane of glass right from the Virtual Machine Manager console.

Key Features of Cisco UCSM Add-in 1.0.1:

  • Mapping of the hypervisor host with UCS Manager managed server on which it is installed
  • UCS domain registration and grouping
  • Summary of both blades and rack servers in the UCS domain, including the firmware details.
  • Fault Summary
  • View of service profiles and service profile templates in the domain
  • Associate and disassociate of service profiles.
  • Modify power state
  • Launch KVM console
  • Clone a service profile or service profile template.
  • Create service profile from template

The Cisco UCS Add-in for Virtual Machine Manager supports System Center 2012 SP1 and System Center 2012 R2.

How to install:

  • First you have to download the Add-in from the Cisco Homepage.
  • Open the Virtual Machine Manager console and navigate to settings and click on “Import Console Add-in”

Select the .ZIP file, the wizard will show a waring because the add-in is  not signed by a trusted authority.

Import SCVMM Add-in

After that the Cisco UCS Manager logo will show up in the SCVMM console and you can now connect your UCS Domains.

Add UCS Domain to SCVMM

And you can now start to manage your Cisco UCS blades directly from the System Center Virtual Machine Manager console.

Control Cisco UCS Blade Center from SCVMM

And of course you have also KVM console support directly from the SCVMM console.

SCVMM UCS Manager KVM from SCVMM