Create service profiles for Cisco UCS B-Series blade servers

In this Cisco UCS tutorial, Lauren Malhoit describes how to start creating service profiles, which dictate how many BIOS and security settings and more apply to a blade server.


In the previous installment of my series about configuring the Cisco UCS B-Series blade servers and chassis, we finally got to configure the necessary pools in order to start creating service profiles, which is what I'll cover in this article.

You can think of a service profile as the personality that gets assigned to the server. It will dictate how many vNICs or vHBAs a server gets, BIOS settings, security settings, and essentially anything you can think of that would apply to a server. Read a full description of service profiles in the Cisco UCS documentation.

We'll spend most of our time in the Servers tab. We'll start with creating a service profile template.

Create a service profile template name

1. Right-click Service Profile Templates under the Servers tab.

2. Click Create Service Profile.

3. Give it a name (e.g., ESXi_Hosts).

4. Select Updating Template so that when you update the template it will also update the Service Profiles if you need to make any changes.

5. Select the UUID pool you created earlier.

6. Click Next to configure the Networking.

Configure Networking

1. Next to the "How would you like to configure LAN connectivity?" question choose Expert.

2. Click Add.

3. In the Create a vNIC screen click the Create A vNIC Template.

4. Give it a name such as vNIC_FAB_A.

5. Choose Fabric A as the Fabric ID.

6. Choose Adapter as the Target.

7. Select Updating Template.

8. If you have VLANs, select the Create VLAN link and input your VLAN information.

9. Select your Fabric A MAC pool.

10. Click OK (Figure A).

Figure A


11. Repeat steps 3-10 to create a vNIC template for Fabric B.

12. Back in the Create vNIC screen give it a name like vNIC0.

13. Put a checkmark in the Use vNIC Template box.

14. Choose vNIC_FAB_A.

15. Select VMware for your Adapter Policy (if these are going to be VMware servers).

16. Click OK.

17. Repeat steps 12-16 for the number of vNICs you'd like on each server. Remember to put half of them on Fabric A and half of them on Fabric B to build in redundancy.

18. Click Next to configure Storage.

Configure storage

I'm assuming there's no local storage within the servers. I will be configuring the servers to boot from SAN again to utilize this whole idea of stateless servers.

1. Select the Expert option for the SAN connectivity.

2. Select your WWNN pool for the WWNN assignment.

3. Click the Add button.

4. Click the Create vHBA Template link.

5. Configure this using Fabric A and Fabric B just like we did for the vNICs (Figure B).

Figure B


6. Create two vHBA templates, one for each fabric.

7. Click OK.

8. In the create vHBA screen give your first vHBA a name (e.g., vHBA0).

9. Put a check next to Use vHBA Template.

10. Select the template for Fabric A.

11. Select VMware for your Adapter Policy.

12. Click OK.

13. Repeat for vHBA1 on Fabric B. This will assign each server two vHBAs, which will later be used for fibre channel connectivity to the storage array.

14. Click Next.

We won't be configuring zoning in this example because that will be done through the fibre channel switches, which is outside the scope of this article. Click Next to move on to vNIC/vHBA Placement. I'll also be clicking through this section. You can specify manually, but it's not necessary.

Configure Server Boot Order

1. Select the Create Boot Policy link.

2. Give the Policy a name such as ESXi_Boot_Policy.

3. There won't be any local storage, but you may want to configure it to boot from CD. Click Local Devices.

4. Select Add Local CD/DVD.

5. Since we'll be booting from SAN, click vHBAs and select Add SAN Boot.

6. In Add SAN Boot, specify vHBA0 and leave Primary selected. Click OK.

7. Click Add SAN Boot Target on the left.

8. Leave Boot Target LUN as 0 and enter the WWPN from the storage array.

9. Leave Primary selected and click OK.

10. Repeat to create Secondary.

11. Click OK.

12. Select your new Boot Policy and click Next (Figure C).

Figure C


You may want to create a Maintenance Policy to specify that any restart requires user acknowledgement -- just give the Maintenance Policy a name and select User Ack. You can click through the Server Assignment section to complete later. As far as the Operational Policies go, you can configure your BIOS settings and select your Management IP Address pool. See the Cisco documentation for UCS to configure the rest of the policies if you desire, but they're not necessary for the blades to work. You can click Finish, and you now have a service profile template. We can finally create service profiles and assign them to servers.

Create a service profile

1. Right-click Service Profiles while still under the Servers tab.

2. Select Create Service Profiles From Template.

3. Give it a Naming Prefix such as ESXi_Host.

4. Select 1 as your Starting Number.

5. Select the number of instances you'd like to create (e.g., if you're going to put this service profile on four blades, select 4).

6. Choose the Service Profile Template you just created.

7. Click OK (Figure D).

Figure D


Assign service profile to a server

1. Click the Equipment tab.

2. Right-click one of your servers.

3. Select one of your Unassociated Service Profiles and click OK (Figure E).

Figure E


If you have your storage array and your fibre channel switches created properly, you'll be able to install ESXi on a boot lun from the array.

Your UCS setup is complete. There are a ton of other features and configurable options that are outside the scope of this article. Again, I highly recommend reading the official Cisco documentation. If you have any questions or comments about this tutorial, please post them in the discussion.

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By Lauren Malhoit

Lauren Malhoit has been in the IT field for over 10 years and has acquired several data center certifications. She's currently a Technology Evangelist for Cisco focusing on ACI and Nexus 9000. She has been writing for a few years for TechRepublic, Te...