Cisco Workload Optimization Manager 2.2 Released!

The Turbonomic and Cisco teams have released our next Cisco Workload Optimization Manager platform with the most recent update to version 2.2, packed with much more cloudy goodness and also with the addition of new targets and more features in the cloud for both planning and real-time optimization.

One of my favorite parts of building out what I love to call the Cisco Stack is that the integration from the application (Cisco AppDynamics), down to the containers (Cisco Container Platform), into the virtualization layer (VMware, Hyper-V, OpenStack), and down to the metal (Cisco UCS, Cisco HyperFlex) including the network (Cisco Nexus, Cisco ACI, Cisco Tetration).

What’s Inside CWOM 2.2?

Big updates in this one also include cloud pricing enhancements, custom pricing (any cloud), Azure CSP rate cards, and the ability to do future planning for reserved capacity purchases on AWS which is not available in any platform to-date.

The release aligns with Turbonomic version 6.3 for the feature set so you can get a quick view of what’s inside the latest in my sizzle reel here:

You can visit the main solution page here:

Full User Guide for CWOM 2.2 here:

Download the latest edition here:

Full list of Turbonomic and Cisco partner resources here:

Cisco UCS Grand Slam and Tech Field Day

There is so much happening with the events this year in the technology world and I’m very proud to announce I’ll be representing Tech Field Day at a special Cisco UCS Grand Slam event in New York City on September 4, 2014. This is going to be a great Tech Field Day round table and I am very pleased to be a part of it.


As you know, Cisco has become a juggernaut in the server industry for x86 blades and much more, and we have seen lots of happenings around their ACI platform launch recently also. Cisco’s John Chambers has made it clear that this is a sign of things to come also, and not just something that happened which will be sat back on.

You will be able to follow the Tech Field Day activitiy through and using the Twitter hashtag search for #CUCS14 plus on my Twitter @DiscoPosse on event day.

Cisco has a blog post here to give some leads as to the content of the event, and there is also a registration page for you to watch yourself online by clicking on the image below:


Triple F – Five Friday Favorites: good reads for the week!

There are always a lot of great blogs, tweets, posts, and more happening each and every day. This week I wanted to share out a few tidbits that I have favorited during the week that I recommend for you to take a look at.

1. NSX Compendium by Cisco Inferno (Anthony Burke)

Knowledge is key, and understanding the general workings of VMware NSX is a requirement in my opinion if you are working in virtualization and networking.

2. VMware vExpert list for 2014

A phenomenal group of people have been highlighted for their contribution to the VMware community, and I am humbled and proud to be a part of the list of VMware vExperts for 2014! Take a look at the list and be sure to take a look at the great content that all of these folks are putting out.

3. Public cloud instance pricing war

Adrian Cockroft put together a great article which talks about the pricing war that is happening in the public cloud space. With the recent drop in pricing by Google for their public cloud offering, there was an immediate response by Amazon (AWS) and Microsoft (Azure) to put a shot across the each other’s bow as a reminder that the battle for cloud customers is heating up in a good way! The race to zero seems to be on 🙂 

4. Cisco introduces OpFlex

Do you like open technologies and networking? I sure do! Cisco debuted their freshly minted RFC for OfFlex this week at Cisco Live. The push to bring ACI to the fore as a leading, open architecture is a great move by the networking giant, and I look forward to seeing this ecosystem strengthen.

5. CloudCareer by Cloud Academy

Cloud Academy is a great site that provides a way to increase your knowledge of cloud platforms and technologies. We just saw the release of the CloudCareer path which will help to give you the fundamentals you need to work towards your AWS certification.

BONUS: Microsoft approved image for Vagrant! 

This was an interesting release that happened yesterday from Microsoft. The first legally sanctioned demo images for Windows Server 2012 R2 which are provided in Box format to allow for deployment using the wildly popular Vagrant platform. The image is 8.3 GB, so get your download on now and I look forward to seeing lots of cool stuff coming for this. NOTE: This is a relatively beta release but it is a clear sign that Microsoft is taking note of the power of this type of deployment platform so bravo Microsoft!



Cisco UCS Platform Emulator on VMware Workstation

For those who want to try out the Cisco UCS Platform in a test system, you have a great option available to you which is the Cisco UCS Platform Emulator. This can be downloaded and run using VMware as your host. You can use VMware vSphere, or you can also run this on the very popular and powerful VMware Workstation.

Not only can you test out the UI and run through configuration scenarios, but you can actually import and export configuration files to and from your existing UCS environment. How cool is that, right?

Even with the existing features supported with the previous version, you have a number of fresh new features in the new version 2.2 (1bPE1).

The download of the UCS Platform Emulator is available in OVA format, or as a set of VM files. For our example here, I have used the VM files download which is appropriate for VMware Workstation. If you wish to use on VMware vSphere, you can download the OVA instead and use the Deploy OVF Template… option in the vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client.

Getting the Cisco UCS Platform Emulator

As new versions have become available, Cisco has kindly updated the platform emulator to match the currently supported version that ships with their versatile UCS environment. I’ve been running the emulator for a while with the previous version, but now is the right time to provide a quick ground-up walk through of deploying the new version.

Main download page:

Docs and VM download page: (Requires username)

The download files show right on the page, and once you log in with your credentials, you will see the VM file link:

Make sure that you download the User Guide while you are there to keep handy for reference. As mentioned above, you can also download the OVA file using the link at the bottom of the file selection.

UPDATED: Chris Wahl (@ChrisWahl) did a great video to show the download process. The video is shown below and the original post is here:

Installing the Cisco UCS Platform Emulator with VMware Workstation

You will get your VM files once you unpack your ZIP file which include everything you need to load into your VMware platform.

For our VMware Workstation deployment, you can simply copy your VMware Workstation folder which is usually c:usersyour-usernameDocumentsVirtual Machines.

Just copy the root folder (UCSPE) to the appropriate destination:

Now, you can open the folder and right-click on the UCSPE.VMX file, then select Open with VMware Workstation:

Now you will see your newly added machine in your VMware Workstation console:

It’s almost too easy 🙂

Next you have to just power on the machine and you will see the console show the progress as it boots up. NOTE: When the machine is first powered on, you will see a “press any key to continue” in the console. Just click into the console and press a key to trigger the boot up.

The first boot will take some time as the emulator unpacks and installs. Don’t worry, it will come up in due time and future boot ups will be much quicker.

Once the boot process is completed, you will see the console at the login prompt:


You will see the login information on the screen. Write that down just in case, or take a screen shot (or just bookmark this page) and you will also see the all important UCS UI address at the top of the console, which in this case is in my instance.

Using your internet browser, you can open up the web UI at the address provided:

Using the links in the web UI, you can launch the UCS Manager or the KVM Manager now using these buttons, and you can also click on the left hand pane to the Emulator Settings option to display the configuration screen for the overall UCS Platform Emulator environment:

Adding virtual devices to your UCS is as simple as dragging and dropping from the catalog of products below up to the Stash and you will then see them in your overall configuration platform.

With this kind of flexibility, you can see all of the features, functions, and limitations of each of the physical components of a UCS system without having to have bare metal hardware in the data center.

If you click through the various links on the left hand pane, you will see a significant number of configuration options. There are as many options for our virtual UCS as there are in a physical UCS platform with every possible configuration.

Fabric Interconnect

Database Persistence

This option lets us choose if we have our UCS Platform Emulator go to factory reset on each boot up, or to preserve the configuration for multiple boots for longer term use:

High Availability

You can even configure the HA options:

Single Wire Management

Direct Connect Rack

Startup Config URL

You can set up the startup configuration URL to an existing, or the local URL:

Hardware Catalog

How would you like to have an unlimited shopping cart of Cisco hardware for the UCS platform at your fingertips? Guest what comes with the UCS Platform Emulator? 🙂

UCS Manager

The UCS Manager will require Java to be installed (boooooo!), as will the KVM Manager. For users of Google Chrome, the UCS Manager will launch a download of the Java launcher and you can initiate it by clicking the downloaded file.

The usual array of Java warnings has to be accepted to get into the interface of course:

Once you are presented with the login screen, you can use the username of config and a password of config which is the default administrative user:

Once you’re logged in, you will be in the UCS Manager interface:

Inside the UCS Manager screen you can click around to your heart’s content and fully manage your virtual UCS platform

KVM Manager

The KVM Manager will be accessed right in the UCS web UI and the login screen will need us to use the same credentials which are username config and password config but we also need to select the domain of {native} from the drop list:

After you are logged in, you will see the main KVM Manager screen:

It’s rather unexciting because we are seeing after the first launch with nothing in our UCS platform.

More Tools and Help

In the left hand pane of the web UI there are a number of links to tools and help files for the UCS environment.

Accessing with the PuTTY SSH Client

Rather than using your virtual console in VMware Workstation, you can also launch a remote shell session over SSH. I’m a fan of PuTTY myself, and the configuration is super easy. Just launch PuTTY and type in the IP address that your UCS Platform Emulator is on:

Remember from your virtual console that there are two users provided for console login. The importance of this is that one user (User: config, Password: config) is only for console access, and the second (User: clisuser, Password: cliuser) can be used locally on the console and through the SSH session.

Once you accept the SSH fingerprint in PuTTY (only happens at the first connection) you will be able to log in using the cliuser account:

You’re all set now for remote management of your UCS Platform Emulator just as if it was a real UCS environment.

Powering Down and Restarting the UCS Platform Emulator

The links to manage the power state of your virtual UCS environment are in the web UI by clicking the Restart tab in the left hand pane:

Each of the options has a button to ensure that you confirm the restart, plus there are settings options to save the configuration.

Go forth and be awesome!

Now it’s up to you how you would like to configure and test drive your system. We can use VMware Workstation snapshots to protect the machine just like any other virtual machine which adds some extra safety as you drill around to manage the virtual UCS system, however with the ability to do factory reset and configuration export, you may never need to use the native VMware Workstation protection.

Even if you aren’t running on Cisco UCS today, this is a great way to take a look at the logical configuration of the system and how you can administer it via the CLI and the web UI.

Happy UCSing!