This tip represents a set of recommendation best practices for periodically reviewing and assessing the health, setup, and best practices of an existing Cisco UCS system, it's attached networks, it's attached storage, and it's operating systems. The source for many of the recommendations come from Cisco documentation as well as extensive real-life experience.
Today's server, storage, and networking environments are more interrelated and dependent on one another than ever before. Keeping systems in proper working order is essential for maximizing availability of workloads.
The goals and objectives of a Health-Check review are often customizable to specific environments and interests may include the following:
- Help your partner and/or Cisco understand the successes and pains with your installation(s) and how to address them.
- Insure the UCS implementation is running at tip-top shape for maximum reliability and capability.
Typically I would suggest that a health-check be performed shortly after the initial setup of an initial system then ongoing on a yearly periodic basis. If the person(s) responsible are very familiar with the system and are expert and skilled at using it then less frequent check reviews be justified. If the person(s) are less familiar with the system then more frequent reviews should be done.
Typically there are three types of people involved with a UCS Health-Check review. These are the reviewer(s), the (UCS) administrator(s), and observer(s).
- Reviewers - Someone who is very familiar with best practices and with extensive experience using UCS in many different environments. This is typically a partner UCS specialist, a Cisco UCS specialist, or someone with the right experience in a customer organization who doesn't regularly interact with the system being reviewed. This is usually a single person.
- Administrators - These are the people responsible for the setup and ongoing operating of the system. This is usually two or more people.
- Observers - Someone who has an interest in the functioning of the system but does not directly interact with the system for setup and ongoing operations of the system. This might be the manager of the UCS administrators, a partner or Cisco sales specialist, or someone else that wants to learn about the system.
I recommend reviewing the following items during a periodic UCS Health-Check.
- Review the hardware health and setup for reliability and performance and advise on how to resolve concerns and issues found.
- Understanding redundancy and high availability including how to test
- Best practices for naming, sizing, and configuring UCS Manager objects
- Accessing resources and support best practices for installation, management, and problem resolution
- Use and review of LAN, SAN, and Server Policies, Service Profile templates, and service profiles for settings and firmware control
- Review installed hardware firmware versions and advise on best practices
- Global configuration settings including UCS environment backup, call home setup, and security
- Review dependent settings and driver versions on the OS's running on the servers.
- Identify and educate on best practices in these and all other areas.
- Optional: Overview of the latest hardware including infrastructure, servers, and solution bundles.
- Optional: Describe the latest UCS tools and integrations. (UCS Central, UCS Director, goUCS, UCSPE, SiMU, and others).
- Optional: Understand the latest software features including rack server integration, better monitoring, management integration, direct connect to storage, iSCSI boot, Auto-deploy VMware ESX, Saving power with VMware DPM.
Guidance and best practices on most of the UCS Health-Check items reviewed are documented at http://ciscoquicklinks.com/Tip-datacenter-ucs-setup-checklist.
No additional resources are currently associated with this article.
- 2013/07/23 - Initial article
I feel like to need to remind you that this is NOT an official cisco web site or resource. This page as with all information found on this site, http://ciscoquicklinks.com does NOT take any legal responsibility for the results of performing any of these tests in your environment. The content of this page and site including may include errors and inaccuracies and are provided for informational purposes only and should be considered "use at your own risk". Please refer to http://cisco.com/go/ucs and it's related support web sites for "official" and "legally responsible" types of information.