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  • FlexPod Datacenter with VMware vSphere, Cisco UCS Director, Cisco Nexus 9000, Cisco Applica-tion Centric Infrastructure (ACI) Deployment Guide for FlexPod with VMware vSphere 5.5 Update 1, Cisco UCS Director and Cisco Nexus 9000 Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)

    Last Updated: March 25, 2015

  • Cisco Validated Design2

  • About the Authorrt and contribution to the design, validation, and creation of this Cisco Validated Design, ld like to acknowledge the significant contribution and expertise that resulted in

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    rien, Cisco Systems, Inc.

    azi, Cisco Systems, Inc.

    aranasy, Cisco Systems, Inc.

    karalingam, Cisco Systems, Inc.

    l, NetApp

    math, NetAppAbout the AuthorMichael Zimmerman, Technical Marketing Engineer, UCS Director, Cisco Systems, Inc.

    Michael Zimmerman is a TME currently focused on the advancement of data center management and automation through Cisco UCS Director. Michael has worked in the IT industry for more than 10 years and prior to his current role was a TME for NetApp, responsible for collaborating with Cisco in developing, validating and evangelizing FlexPod data center solutions.

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  • 4About Cisco Validated Desig

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  • FlexPod Datacenter with VMware vSphere, Cisco UCS Director, Cisco Nexus 9000, Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)

    Overview

    Why Cisco UCS Director and the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller?

    There is a lot of excitement around the launch and availability of Cisco's Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) powered by the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC). The features and capabilities ACI enables in regards to policy-driven fabric and services automation from an application-centric perspective are paramount. Automating the configuration of resources with a detailed focus on the requirements of the application greatly changes the overall paradigm of infrastructure provisioning.

    With such policy-driven automation at the fingertips of IT, one may question the need for other automation and orchestration tools such as Cisco UCS Director. While ACI does provide superior fabric and services automation through policy as aforementioned, there are other aspects of infrastructure that are required for applications to properly exist and perform, which are outside the scope of ACI and APIC. Resources such as storage, virtual machines, physical servers and other endpoints are still very important to applications, however are not automated and configured through ACI or APIC policy. It is the automation of these other infrastructure resources or endpoints, as well as the aspect of tying all automation together into a single automation process, where Cisco UCS Director provides incredible value to IT. Cisco UCS Director is the only automation and orchestration platform with a broad scope of support including both Cisco and non-Cisco infrastructure components across ACI/APIC, storage, virtual machines, physical servers and more, creating a complete and comprehensive end-to-end application infrastructure automation solution.

  • AudienceAudienceThe intended audience includes, but is not limited to, sales engineers, field consultants, professional services, IT managers and administrators, partners and customers evaluating and deploying Cisco UCS Director on FlexPod with Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure.

    Purpose of This DocumentThis document provides useful information regarding the value Cisco UCS Director provides above and beyond the benefits of FlexPod Datacenter with VMware vSphere and Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure, as well as how to deploy and configure Cisco UCS Director to support specific real-world use-cases. The real world example use-cases in this document represent a small subset of the use-cases that can actually be supported by Cisco UCS Director. These use-cases are meant to provide the reader with the tools and knowledge to deploy and configure Cisco UCS Director to accomplish a wide array of use-cases specific to the readers' environment and requirements.

    The Cisco UCS Director workflows highlighted in this document will be published on the Cisco Communities as specifically described and detailed in this document. These workflows may be used exactly as is, or may be reconfigured or edited to fit the needs of the target environment, requirements and desired provisioning process.

    FlexPod Datacenter with VMware vSphere and Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure

    End-to-End Architecture HighlightsFlexPod is a defined set of hardware and software that serves as an integrated foundation for both virtualized and non-virtualized solutions. VMware vSphere built on FlexPod includes NetApp storage, NetApp Data ONTAP, Cisco Nexus networking, the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS), and VMware vSphere software in a single package. The design is flexible enough that networking, computing, and storage can fit in one datacenter rack or alternatively can be deployed according to a customer's data center design. Port density enables networking components to accommodate multiple configurations of this kind.

    With FlexPod architecture, you can customize or flex the environment to suit your specific requirements, and a FlexPod system can be scaled easily as requirements and demand change. A unit can be scaled both up (adding resources to a FlexPod unit) and out (adding more FlexPod units).

    Figure 1 illustrates the components for VMware vSphere built on FlexPod and the network connections for an IP-based storage configuration. This design uses the Cisco Nexus 9000, the Cisco Nexus 2232PP FEX, Cisco UCS C-Series and B-Series servers, and the NetApp FAS family of storage controllers connected in a modular, highly available design. This infrastructure is deployed to provide iSCSI-booted hosts with file-level and block-level access to shared storage. The reference architecture reinforces the wire-once strategy, because, as additional storage is added to the architecture, no recabling is required between the hosts and the Cisco UCS fabric interconnect.

    The ACI switching architecture is laid out in a leaf-and-spine topology where every leaf connects to every spine using 40Gb Ethernet interface(s). The APIC software controller is delivered as an appliance, and three or more of these appliances form a cluster for high availability and