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Cisco unified computing system ucs manager simulator overview
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Cisco unified computing system ucs manager simulator overview


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  • 1. Cisco Unified Computing System-UCS Manager Simulator OverviewFor those looking to gain experience with the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS)platform without access to a UCS lab, Cisco has developed the UCS PlatformEmulator (UCSPE). Because the UCS platform requires a large investment to deploy ina lab, the UCSPE offers a perfect low cost solution. The UCSPE is a packaged VMwarevirtual machine and offers most of the capabilities of the latest UCS platform; thiscan be used by candidates looking to gain experience or for experienced engineerslooking to test a configuration. This article takes a look at the simulator installationprerequisites, basic setup configuration and UCSPE limitations.UCSPE PrerequisitesBefore UCSPE can be used, the physical system slated to be used for installation mustmeet some minimum requirements, including: 1 GB of free RAM 8 GB of free HD space At least a 1.8 GHz single-core processorAlong with these physical system requirements, the machine must also have aVMware product installed that will run the UCSPE virtual machine; these productsinclude one of the following: VMware player VMware Workstation (on Windows OS) VMware Fusion (on MAC OS) VMware ESX hypervisorTo run the UCS Manager GUI, the Firefox browser is required, along with aninstallation of the Java Runtime Environment 1.6 or higher.UCSPE Setup and ConfigurationThe UCSPE package that is retrieved from Cisco is typically delivered in the 7ziparchive format and is about 300 MB; once uncompressed, the UCSPE virtual machinefiles are about 1 GB in size. Once uncompressed, a file with the extension .vmx willexist with a filename that reflects the version of UCSPE; click on this file to begin theUCSPE emulator.The UCSPE will start up and when first run, will completely unpack and install itself;this is shown in Figure 1:
  • 2. Figure 1 - Starting Up UCSPEOnce completely unpacked and installed, UCSPE will take up about 4 GB of HD spaceand will show a login screen; this is shown in Figure 2:Figure 2 - UCSPE CLI LoginThis screen will also show the IP address that will be used to access the UCSPEmanagement web page and is shown in Figure 3:
  • 3. Figure 3 - UCSPE Control PanelBefore going forward and running the UCS Manager, it is a good idea to check outthe existing inventory that will be used by the emulator; this configuration can bechanged to meet the requirements of the user and the specific environment they aretrying to emulate. For those with no specific environment in mind, the emulatorcomes configured with a full chassis of servers. The configuration process forchanging these settings is not very user friendly but can be figured out by anyonewith a little bit of effort.The hardware inventory screen is shown in Figure 4 below:
  • 4. Figure 4 - UCSPE Start-up InventoryFrom this page, it is also possible to change other specific emulator configurationsettings; the screens for these are shown in Figure 5:Figure 5 - Emulator SettingsAs is shown in Figure 5, it is possible to change a number of the emulator settings tomeet additional requirements of the environment, including changing whether High
  • 5. Availability is used and what the management IP settings will be used.Once all the settings have been configured, it is then time to run the UCS Manageron the emulation; this is done at the main screen by clicking the “Launch UCSManager” button (This is shown in Figure 3 above). Once clicked, Java will be run tostart the UCS manager as shown in Figure 6:Figure 6 - Running JavaIt is possible during this time to see a number of Java windows, including one thatasks for permission to run the UCS manager; Figure 7 shows an example of one ofthese screens:Figure 7 - Java Signature CheckWhen prompted with these screens, just select the “Run” button. The UCS Managerwill then prompt for a username and password; by default, this is set to config/config.Figure 8 shows the login screen:
  • 6. Figure 8 - UCS Manager Login ScreenWhen successfully run, the UCS Manager screen will be displayed and is ready forconfiguration; the main UCS Manager screen is shown in Figure 9:Figure 9 - UCS Manager Main ScreenWhen trying to learn about many different types of unified systems, it is hard if notimpossible to get any real amount of hands-on experience without actually workingwith a company that has it already installed. The Cisco UCSPE offers these individualsa chance to interact with the product and gain experience on the equipment,without having to work at one of the companies; this experience will greatly add to
  • 7. the ability of a new unified system engineers chances of gaining employment.The UCSPE advantages do not stop there; it is possible for it to be used by moreexperienced engineers to test potential configurations before trying them on liveequipment. This ability can be very useful to ensure all contingencies are accountedfor, and that the expected result from the configuration changes are achieved.More Cisco Network Tips:Cisco Unified Computing System: UCS ComponentsCisco UCS Manager Overview