So, you’ve probably heard about many of the cool features in our “Capitola” project (aka UCS Manager 2.0) that my colleague and good friend, Sean McGee, blogged about here: http://www.mseanmcgee.com/2011/07/ucs-2-0-cisco-stacks-the-deck-in-las-vegas/ . Sean covers many of the new hardware and software features in our 2.0 launch, and it is certainly worth the read. But what you may not know about are some of the small enhancements we make with each release that are handy when you find them and you think “hey, that wasn’t there before…”. I meant to do this article for the “Balboa” release (aka 1.4.x), but just failed to get it done in time. So, I thought now would be a good opportunity to cover both Balboa and Capitola in a single article. Keep in mind that the enhancements we do in each release, whether they be minor or major, are almost completely demand-driven. My team visits customers often and we try to get a better understanding of how they are using UCS and where it falls short in meeting their needs. We provide that feedback to our engineers, and they turn it into products and features. The direct customer interaction also allows us to share our upcoming ideas and concepts with customers before we build them to make sure we are hitting the mark.
So let’s take a look at some of those handy features you may not have seen that we added in the last 2 releases:
- You can download tech-support and core files from the Admin tab in the GUI now. No more command line when you need to send a file to TAC.
- You can upload firmware images from your local filesystem via the GUI (no more FTP/TFTP/SCP, etc).
- We added visual guidance (graphics) to the Memory tab in Server Inventory screens to more easily identify dimm faults.
- Nested groups in MS AD
CLI: set traversal recursive
- “Impact Analysis”
Added the ability to show which Service Profiles use which Policies (Show Policy Usage) before a change is made.
- Server Power Monitor
UCS Manager now lets you see in real-time what your power usage looks like for a given server. The graph is constantly updating to match actual server power usage.
- Login Banner (Capitola)
Anyone that’s been in IT for a while knows of some mythical lawsuit where a company got hacked and the hacker got off because the login screen said “Welcome” on it. So companies all around the world started adding “If you don’t work here, back off!” messages to the company login screens. Microsoft even has one for a Windows login. UCS Manager now includes this option as well. You’ll find it on the Admin tab under User Services:
- Virtual Media Windows Enhancement (Capitola)
This one is pretty slick. If you have ever used Virtual Media to install an OS (admit it, you have), you know how annoying the Virtual Media applet can be. It has to remain open the entire time and if you open two blades at once with Virtual Media things start to get confusing. So we have made Virtual Media part of the KVM Console window itself.
In addition to the features above, Capitola also includes some major enhancements like iSCSI boot, VMDirectPath with vMotion, support for disjoint L2 upstream connections, Port Channel support for the Fabric Interconnect-to-chassis connections, and VM-FEX support for RedHat KVM. You can read more about the new software features in our latest release in our UCS GUI Configuration Guide at: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/unified_computing/ucs/sw/gui/config/guide/2.0/b_UCSM_GUI_Configuration_Guide_2_0.pdf
If you found a new feature that you like and I didn’t mention, I’d love to hear about it.
Thanks for stopping by!