UCS Director Infrastructure Setup

UCS Director Infrastructure Setup

UCS Director is a cloud management platform and thus requires some infrastructure to deploy the orchestrated workloads. In many cases UCS Director can also orchestrate the configuration and deployment of bare metal or hardware as well, such as configuring new VLANs on switches, deploying operating systems on blades and setting hardware profiles etc. This post focuses on getting those devices to show up in UCS Director so that additional automation can be performed.

Create Pods

A Pod is a logical grouping of infrastructure objects. For instance, a pod may include vCenters, UCS Blades, Nexus switches and a storage array. This could be a packaged pod like a Vblock or Flexpod, or it could be a generic pod meaning that the equipment is put together on your own. By default, a pod is created out of the box and is considered the default pod but you can create your own pods by navigating to the Administration drop down and select “Physical Accounts”. From here select the “Pods” tab.

 

Click Add and give the pod a name, type and select a site that was previously created. Fill out the rest of the information and select “Add”. If you’re not working with a pre-packaged pod like a Vblock, select “Generic” for the type.

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Repeat this step for any additional pods that should be created.

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Credential Policies

Before adding accounts that will grant UCS Director access to physical and virtual infrastructure solutions, it’s beneficial to create a credential policy which saves the accounts as a template. To setup these credential policies go to the Policies drop down and select “Physical Infrastructure Policies” –> “Credentials Policies”.

Click “Add” to add a new policy.

The credential policy setup screen will be different depending on which type of account is getting a new policy. The example below shows a VMware credential policy and requires a username/password combination as well as a port and access URL. A credential policy for a network switch may look vastly different.

 

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Once the Credential Policy information has been created click “Submit” and then continue to add additional policies for any other technologies that will be in use. This could include firewalls, UCS Manager credentials, VMAX, VNX and other storage devices.

Create Virtual Accounts

Virtual Accounts are the method in which UCSD communicates with vCenter, AWS or Microsoft Virtual Machine Managers. These “Virtual Accounts” are the connections used between UCSD and these endpoints. Once created, these virtual endpoints will be known as a “Cloud”.

To create a Virtual Account go to the Administration drop down and select “Virtual Accounts”. Click “Add” to add a virtual account. Select the cloud type and based on that decision different requirements will be asked of you. This example uses VMware.

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Enter a name for the cloud that is created here and fill out any information about connecting to that endpoint. Since credential policies were created earlier, you may select that check box to not have to type in any user ID or passwords.

Once you get down to the Datacenters and Clusters, you’ll notice a checkbox that says “Discover Datacenters/Clusters”. If you click this, you’ll see a list of datacenters and clusters discovered by UCS Director. This is also a good way to test the connectivity between UCSD and the Cloud Endpoint.

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After selecting the correct information be sure to assign this cloud to one of the pods that you created earlier so that it’s associated with your equipment correctly.

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When finished click “Add”. Then add any additional vCenters, AWS endpoints and any other virtual endpoints in the design.

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Create Physical Accounts

In the same manner that virtual accounts are created, a physical account should be setup for each of the physical devices that will be managed with UCS Director. To add a physical account go to the Administration drop down and select “Physical Accounts”, then select the Physical Accounts tab.

Click the “Add” button and enter in the Pod in which the equipment should be assigned, the category of the account (either Computing or Storage) and the account type. The example below assumes a Cisco UCS Manager.

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Once you enter the basic information about the account, additional questions will be asked such as the login methods, and which pieces of the equipment should be managed by UCS Director. The questions about the account may be different depending on the type of account being setup. The example below uses a a UCS Manager configuration setup.

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Once done repeat this process with any additional physical accounts.

Managed Network Elements

A managed network element is similar to a physical account. A managed network element needs to be created and added to a pod just like the computing and storage elements. To add a new networking switch, F5, firewall or storage switch go to the Administration drop down and select “Physical Accounts”. From there select the “Managed Network Element” tab.

Click the “Add Network Element” tab. Enter in the IP addressing, category and port information before clicking “Submit”. Be sure to place the Managed network Element in your correct pod.

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After creating the first device, repeat this process for any other network devices.

Summary

Once you’ve completed all your credential policies, account setup and pods, you’ll likely have a pod that looks similar to the screenshot below. Not every piece of your environment needs to be part of a pod, but anything that is to be automated should be in here. Remember that if you want to change your sites, you can select the side drop down and show different pods by your site definitions.

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