In the past year that I’ve been working on UCS Central, I’ve seen the software take several big steps forward. Today, I’m happy to announce that UCS Central 1.1(2a) has been released and is available on Cisco.com.
In the past year, I’ve received a lot of feedback from customers using UCS Central and much of that feedback is reflected in this release. The first thing that most customers asked about was importing policies from existing UCS Manager instances. UCS Central 1.1(2a) can import policies and service profile templates from UCS Manager version 2.2(1b) and newer. It can find and browse policies and service profile templates in a read only manner from UCS Manager 2.1(2a) and UCS Manager 2.1(3a) releases. While this sounds like a simple thing to implement - you just need a search function to find the policy and then import the XML, our goal was to make sure that there were no unintended consequences, and performing an estimate impact on a service profile template and all of its dependent policies across multiple domains is a little more challenging. However, the team has delivered something that is very powerful along with the guidance to use the feature safely.
Another UCS feature that I found was being used by many customers was the scheduled backups of UCS Central and the registered UCS Manager instances. We’ve enhanced this functionality to back up the files to UCS Central and then put a copy of that file on a remote file share, a key request from customers using this functionality.
The statistics collection and reporting in UCS Central 1.1(2a) has been greatly enhanced. UCS Central now supports Microsoft SQL as an external statistics database in addition to PostgreSQL and Oracle. UCS Central has collected bandwidth, power, temperature, and fan speed statistics through UCS Manager since the last release and stores the statistics for 14 days with the internal database or for a year or more with an external database. UCS Central 1.1(2a) now has built in reports for power, temperature, and fan speed in addition to the existing reports available for bandwidth. All of these reports can be viewed for the individual server, the chassis, the domain, or even compared across domains as appropriate. It will be of great help for customers trying to size and monitor their environment.
Also based on customer feedback, we’ve enhanced UCS Central to include remote actions such as server power on/off/reset, locator LED on/off, and chassis acknowledgements and decommissions. The ID allocation in UCS Central is now sequential instead of the UCS default mechanism which was difficult to predict. And, based on customer input around security, UCS Central 1.1(2a) can now work with 3rd party certificates.
In addition to the many features added based on customer feedback, there are some other enhancements in this release of UCS Central. They include:
- VLAN and VSAN localization
- A separate tab for UCS Central policies
- Authentication Domain selection
UCS Central 1.1(2a) supports all versions of UCS Manager from 2.1(2a) and later. However, some functionality, such as policy import, might only be available when UCS Central is working with domains that have newer versions of UCS Manager.
If you already have UCS Central up and running, the easiest way to upgrade is to download the ISO image from Cisco.com, reboot the UCS Central virtual machine and boot from the ISO, run the upgrade option, and it will be back up and running in about 5 to 10 minutes. If you are doing a new deployment of UCS Central, it might be easier to download the OVA file and import the UCS Central virtual machine.
For more information, you can take a look at the UCS Central web page or view the content here on Communities, including the UCS Tech Talk on UCS Central 1.1(2a). Let us know how you are using UCS Central in your environment and what features or enhancements you would like to see.
Jacob Van Ewyk
UCS Management product manager