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How long does it take to add to UCS?

We started UCS with 2 chassis’ and 16 blade servers, however, even before that shipped we ordered an additional chassis and 2 more blades.

My 3rd chassis arrived on the dock today all packaged up nicely with the blades, power cords, etc.  I decided to time us to see how long it would take 2 people to get to a point where I can load an OS on the new blade servers.

Myself and another engineer (who was not involved with the racking of the first 2 chassis) took on the task with a camera running (once I figure out how to condense the video into something that looks good I will post it on YouTube). 

It took just under 17 minutes for us to unbox, rack, power and cable up the 10 G FCoE connections.  Remember there are only 4 cables to install from the chassis fabric extenders to the 6120 fabric interconnect, yes only 4!

Next we went into the UCS manager to enable 2 ports on each fabric interconnect to be used as server ports by the chassis and acknowledge the new chassis.  This took all of 2 minutes.  At this point we could install an OS on the servers blades, however, I wanted to make sure my firmware versions would be consistant with my first 2 chassis’.

This took us to the update firmware process.  My UCS system is currently running version 1.0(2d) and the new chassis items came with version 1.0(1e).  The items in the new chassis that contain firmware are the blade server interface cards (CNA), the BMC controller (KVM function, etc.) and the fabric extenders (updates performed in that order).  The interface cards and the fabric extenders required a reboot for the new firmware to take effect, the BMC controller did not require a reboot.  This process took us 35 minutes to complete.

Note:  there is no chassis management card because it is all managed from the 6120 fabric interconnect.

Overall, it took only 54 minutes to go from a box arriving from the dock to 2 new servers ready for an OS!  Now that is a cool system.


November 25, 2009 - Posted by | Cisco UCS | , ,


  1. This is awesome! 4 cables, no zoning to do, no trunking to do, no spanning tree to configure. Great stuff. And on top of that, if you had your service profiles already built and those service profiles were set for boot from san, and the luns were already preconfigured with an OS. It would probably only take you another 5 minutes to have both machines up and running. So in under an hour you could have the thing racked and 8 blades in production if you really wanted to I bet. That is incredible.

    Comment by Jeremiah Cook | November 25, 2009 | Reply

  2. Good read. Thanks for the share.


    Comment by Aben | December 2, 2009 | Reply

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