I am pleased to announce the Cisco has released UCS Manager version 3.1(3), with significant user productivity improvements as well as support for new hardware. It is available for download from Cisco.com. The included video also has a summary of the new features.

 

UCS Manager 3.1(3) brings a number of key enhancements that will improve the productivity of UCS users and administrators.

 

First, there is a HTML 5 KVM client for M3 and M4 generation servers. This provides customers an option to have a Java-free environment, although the Java KVM client is still available for older M2 generation servers.

 

A second major enhancement in UCS Manager 3.1(3) is the Light Weight Upgrades functionality. This will provide customers the option of deploying security updates via UCS Manager Service Packs. Service Packs will only update impacted components rather than all of the software components at the same time. This provides smaller downloads, faster installation, and in many cases, Infrastructure Firmware service packs may be applied without rebooting the UCS Fabric Interconnects, reducing maintenance windows.

 

UCS Manager 3.1(3) also integrates UCS Server Diagnostics into UCS Manager for B-Series servers. This is a UCS Manager integrated replacement of the standalone UCS Blade Server Diagnostics. It allows offline diagnostics to be run on one or more systems directly from UCS Manager without needing to manually boot an ISO through the KVM client on each system. In addition, the diagnostics results are available in a central location. The integrated Server Diagnostics also provides enhanced memory diagnostics to better identify memory errors and speed up the troubleshooting process.

 

From a security perspective, UCS Manager already supports Secure Encrypted Drives (SED) to provide data encryption at rest. UCS Manager 3.1(3) introduces Key Management for Secure Encrypted Drives. UCS Manager 3.1(3) can provide local key management through UCS Manager. In addition, UCS Manager 3.1(3) supports industry-standard key management servers (KMIP) to allow integration with 3rd party key management.

 

Cisco UCS continues to provide additional GPU support in UCS Manager 3.1(3). For NVIDIA GPUs, it introduces a new policy to set the graphics mode on the NVIDIA GPUs in addition to the integrated GPU firmware management that was previously released. In addition to this new policy, UCS Manager 3.1(3) introduces support for the NVIDIA M10 and P100 GPUs.

 

UCS Manager 3.1(3) also introduces support for additional hardware options. For the S3260 server, it provides support for dual RAID controllers as well as dual HBA controllers. In addition, the S3260 now supports connecting a single integrated server to dual SIOCs, providing additional redundancy. There is also support for additional Fibre Channel cards up to 32Gb and Ethernet adaptors.

 

On the network side, there are network scale enhancements. This includes supporting 3000 VLANs on the UCS 6332 and 6332-16UP Fabric Interconnects. The number of supported appliance ports increased to 16 ports for the UCS 6248, 6296, 6332, and 6332-16UP Fabric Interconnects. Finally, the number of primary VLANs in a PVLAN domain was increased to 150, and the ratio of primary VLANs to secondary VLANs was increased to 200:1, for the UCS 6248 and 6296 Fabric Interconnects.

 

There are a number of additional features and defect fixes that are listed in the UCS Manager 3.1 Release Notes. Please see them for additional details.

 

Lastly, UCS Manager 3.1(3) will be the final release for the UCS Manager 3.1 code train, with a new version of UCS Manager expected later this year. This means that UCS Manager 3.1(3) will be the primary patch point for the UCS Manager 3.1 code train. We encourage customers who are looking to upgrade to the UCS Manager 3.1 code train to strongly consider moving to UCS Manager 3.1(3) for the new features, the latest defect fixes, and ongoing patches.