Recap: Management Pack for Cisco UCS Overview Video

by bluemedora_editor on May 14, 2015

The vROps Management Pack for Cisco UCS extends vRealize Operations Manager, allowing administrators to manage, monitor, and troubleshoot their VMware and Cisco UCS environments. Our overview video from March 2015 demonstrates the powerful feature set available in this management pack.

This post will outline the features discussed in the video.

Support Information

First, some housekeeping. The Management Pack for Cisco UCS supports both vCOps 5.8.x and vROps 6.xCisco UCS Manager 2.2+ as well as both B-Series and C-Series Rack. You will need a Cisco UCSM username and password and vROps or vCOps username and password to use the management pack.

Environment View

We will start with the power-user features and work our way out to the at-a-glance dashboards. By opening theEnvironment view from the left navigation pane, selecting All Objects and expanding Cisco UCS, you are able to view the environment from a drill-down vantage point. All resource kinds provided by the UCS adapter instance are accessible from here.

Relationships

Here we expand Cisco UCS – Chassis, double-click a chassis and select the Environment tab. This tab gives you a helpful overview of the relationships in your system. You not only access the relationships within Cisco UCS, but connections to ESXi hosts and virtual machines are automatically discovered.

Related resources are also highlighted, identifying which resources would be affected by an outage and move critical systems based on this information. By examining the health of related resources, you can rapidly narrow down potential causes for the health condition of the chassis.

Metrics

Sometimes you need to dive deep into individual metrics; the Management Pack for Cisco UCS provides over 100. As an example, we will look at the metrics for a UCS Blade. To access them, we’ll select a blade then Troubleshooting → All Metrics. Network Bandwidth exposes metrics on received and sent operations and throughput for each ethernet port. The management pack also provides added value with Port Utilization (%), combining the sent and received metrics. Further, we aggregate the individual port metrics into metrics for the entire blade.

Double-clicking a metric produces an adjustable time series graph. In the image, we are comparing the aggregate port utilization for blade 1 with that of blade 2. Both blades appear to have minimal utilization here. However, if we saw that one blade was throttled while the other was idle, we could act on that data and do some load balancing.

Reports

The Management Pack for Cisco UCS provides reports for Blade Port Utilization and System Health. These are available from the Reports tab. Reports give a snapshot in time. They can be generated on demand or scheduled and emailed in PDF and CSV format. An excellent application for reports is to schedule them for known peak times.

Dashboards

To view dashboards, click the Home icon and select from the Dashboard List dropdown menu.

UCS Relationships Dashboard

The UCS Relationships dashboard is a high level entry point into the Management Pack for Cisco UCS. This dashboard underscores the interdependency of your Cisco UCS environment. The thirty-thousand feet view begins at the top-left of the Relationships dashboard with the simply named Cisco UCS widget.

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The colorful badges in the Cisco UCS widget represent instances of the various resource kinds available in your environment. When you click any of the badges, connected resources are highlighted and unrelated ones are greyed. The page reloads and the surrounding widgets refresh with metrics specific to the resource selected in the Cisco UCS widget. The Health widget gives an overall health score for the selected resource. The Performance widget shows key performance indicators (KPIs) over time. Key statuses are highlighted in the Status widget. Finally, theRelationships widget illustrates the resource’s connections to parent and child resources.

UCS Chassis Overview Dashboard

The Management Pack provides dashboards focused on three primary resource kinds: Chassis, Blade, and Fabric Interconnect. Each of these provides lower-level details for its respective resource, while showing relationships throughout the Cisco UCS environment. Here we will detail the UCS Chassis Overview.

The UCS Chassis Overview reprises some widgets found in UCS Relationships: Health, Performance, Status andRelationships, but adds Alerts, Children, and KPI widgets for child resource metrics: Blades, IO Modules, Power Supply Units and Fans. The Alerts widget shows all faults pulled in from Cisco UCS for the selected chassis and its children. The Children widget gives an overview of all the chassis’s dependent resources, including names and alert counts. The various child metric widgets, meanwhile, show KPIs across the blades, IO modules, PSUs and fans associated with this chassis.

UCS Events Dashboard

In contrast to the broad overview provided by UCS Relationships, the UCS Events dashboard has a single purpose: show all alerts generated by the Cisco UCS Environment.

Selecting a fault shows key metrics associated with the fault. Double-clicking under Alert Info navigates you to theAlert Details for that fault. The management pack provides over 200 troubleshooting recommendations drawn directly from Cisco’s own UCS documentation. This enables the Cisco UCS administrator to move from diagnosis to addressing an issue without looking up a fault code or even leaving the vRealize environment.

For more information, visit the Cisco UCS Management Pack product page.

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