Installing Cisco UC on UCS in a Virtualized Environment (UC-UCS v4.5)

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About this Course

In the past two years, Cisco has made a concerted effort to move many of its applications from dedicated servers to a virtual environment. This five day training event is intended for individuals who are interested in learning the fundamentals of supporting UC applications in a UCS virtualized environment. The course will cover both the Unified Computing System B Series servers and the stand alone C Series servers.

The four main areas of study will be system preparation (B series and C series), ESXi deployment, Unified Communications applications in ESXi, and the Nexus 1000v virtual Ethernet switch. While this course is written with Unified Communications as its focus, anyone with a desire to learn the fundamentals of these topics would benefit from this course.

Unlike traditional server based installations, the next generation of Unified Communications applications will install in a virtualized environment (VMware ESXi) on either standalone C series servers or the integrated Cisco Unified Computing System platform. While C series servers are configured directly, Cisco UCS servers can be configured through the UCS Manager (UCSM) using Service Profiles.

This training includes a brief discussion of the changing Data Center server environment, where the Cisco UCS system fits into this environment, and LAN and storage (SAN) considerations. An overview of the UCS products will be provided, with emphasis on the advantages the UCS Manager brings to server provisioning. Server provisioning, through the use of easy-to-configure Service Profiles, will also be covered in detail, along with supporting labs. The lab exercises will include initializing both B and C series servers. This will include the Fabric Interconnects within UCS and the CIMC for C series servers.

VMware ESXi is an integral part of this installation. The various flavors of ESXi are discussed along with the features that are supported in current UC applications. The concepts and methods of virtual Ethernet traffic are covered in detail to provide a good understanding of how ESXi changes the access layer of the network and how it can be configured. The lab exercises will include installing ESXi on both UCS (B series) and C series serves. VMware vCenter, VMware networking, iSCSI SAN access and vMotion will be explored.

UC on UCS specific considerations will then be covered, including design requirements, VMware OVF templates, caveats, recommendations, etc. Unified Communications installation within ESXi and migration from MCS 7800 series servers to Virtual Machines will be covered. A troubleshooting section relating to UC application in a virtual environment will also be covered. Lab exercises will include installing a Cisco Unified Communications Manager subscriber in ESXi, database verification and vMotion.

A frequent addition to a VMware installation is the Nexus 1000v virtual switch. The Nexus 1000v allows traditional networking personnel to have Virtual Machine level network visibility using a familiar Command Line Interface (CLI) interface. An overview of the Nexus 1000v, installation and configuration are covered in this course. Practical labs include installation of the VSM and VEM, integration with vCenter and configuration of the port profiles.

Lectures will be complemented by the following hands-on labs:

  • Initial UCS (fabric InterConnect) configuration
  • Exploring UCS Manager
  • Creating Resource Pools
  • Building Service Profiles
  • Installing VMware ESXi
  • Installing vCenter and configuring ESXi networking
  • Accessing the SAN with iSCSI
  • Adding a VM and implementing vMotion
  • Installing Unified communications Manager (Subscriber)
  • Installing Nexus 1000v VSM and VEM
  • Configuring Port Profiles and migrating VMs to Nexus 1000v
  • Configuring QoS in UCS
  • Configuring and Using SPAN and ERSPAN
  • Backing up and Importing configurations in UCS

Note: Each class lab environment consists of a Unified Computing System and stand-alone C-series servers. Each pod will configure one B-series server and one C-series server. ESXi will be installed on each server and they will be controlled by VMware vCenter. All subsequent labs will build on this foundation.

Audience Profile

Individuals interested in, or responsible for, the installation, migration and management of Cisco’s Unified Communications (UC) applications on a Unified Computing System (UCS) B-Series blade server or C-Series server platform running VMware®.

Individuals seeking to learn the fundamentals of UCS, VMware ESXi and Nexus 1000v in 5 days will find this class useful.

At Course Completion

Upon completing this course, the learner will be able to meet these overall objectives:

  • Install Unified Communications applications on the Cisco UCS Servers listed below running VMware ESXi based on Guidelines specified on the Cisco UC on UCS DocWiki site. UCS Servers include:
    • B-Series Servers managed by UCS Manager using SAN boot and SAN storage.
    • C-Series standalone Servers using local hard drive boot , storage on local drive and storage on SAN using iSCSI.
  • Demonstrate VMware functions and features that complement the UC installation (e.g., vMotion)
  • Install and configure the Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch to support the UC applications


To get the most out of this course, all students are expected to be trained and experienced on Cisco’s Unified Communications products. Non-UC students can gain much from this class but they may be a little lost in the dedicated UC chapters. The UC specific content is approximately 20%. All other content also applies to non UC implementations of the UCS and C-series servers.

Course Outline

1. Cisco Unified Computing System Introduction

  • a. Data Center Computing Challenges
  • b. The Cisco Unified Computing System
  • c. Cisco UCS Servers

2. UCS Architecture

  • a. UCS Architecture and B-Series Connectivity
  • b. B-Series Installation – Configuring High Availability
  • c. Exploring the B-Series User Interfaces

3. Cisco UCS LAN and SAN Connectivity

  • a. Configuring Compute Node LAN Connectivity
  • b. Configuring Compute Node SAN Connectivity

4. Cisco UCS Service Profiles

  • a. Creating Identity and Resource Pools
  • b. Creating Service Profiles
  • c. Creating Service Profile Templates and Cloning Service Profiles

5. Virtualization and VMware

  • a. Reviewing the Virtual Infrastructure
  • b. Networking in the VMware Infrastructure
  • c. Configuring VMware Switching
  • d. Deploying Standalone C-Series Servers
  • e. Supporting VMware features for Unified Communications Applications

6. Installing Unified Communications on UCS

  • a. Deploying Virtualized Cisco Unified Communications Applications
  • b. Virtualizing Cisco Unified Communications Manager
  • c. Migrating Cisco Unified Communications Manager from a Physical to a Virtual Server
  • d. Troubleshooting Database Replication Issues

7. UC on UCS QoS Considerations

  • a. Quality of Service for UC on UCS

8. Unified Communications Update

  • a. Unified Communications 8.5 Overview

9. Nexus 1000v Switch

  • a. Evaluating the Cisco Nexus 1000v Switch
  • b. Installing and Configuring the Cisco Nexus 1000v Switch
  • c. Configuring Basic Cisco Nexus 1000v Networking
  • d. Nexus 1000v: Troubleshooting 101

10. Backup and Restore Operations

  • a. Backing Up and Restoring the Cisco UCS Manager Database

11. Appendix A1: Unified Computing System C-Series

  • a. Integrating C-Series Servers

Lab Outline

  • 1. Initial Configuration
  • 2. Exploring the UCS Manager
  • 3. Configuring Resource Pools
  • 4. Configuring Expert Service Profiles
  • 5. Installing ESXi
  • 6. Installing ESXi on C-Series Standalone Servers
  • 7. Installing vCenter and configure ESXi networking
  • 8. Adding VMs and Enabling vMotion
  • 9. Installing the UC Subscriber
  • 10.Installing Nexus 1000v VSM and VEM
  • 11. Configuring Port Profiles and Migrating VMs
  • 12. Configuring UCS QoS
  • 13. Configuring and Using SPAN and ERSPAN Ports
  • 14. Optional Lab A-1: Backing Up and Importing Configurations
  • 15. Optional LabA-2: Upgrading UCS Components