Deploying Cisco UCS Platform Emulator 2.0 on vSphere

As part of a dual-purpose task of a production UCS system and research & development of UCS workflows using Orchestrator, I have deployed the recently released Cisco UCS Platform Emulator v2.0. Released on 18th November, the platform emulator is available for download here, with document here.

The platform is downloadable as a 7zip archive, and needs a (free) Cisco Developer Network account.

Deployment considerations:

– The 7zip archive contains VMDK files that can be used with Workstation or Fusion, but need some additional steps to get it to work in a vSphere environment.

– To install in vSphere, the VMDK files need to be processed with VMware Converter Standalone, then deployed to vCenter directly.

Note: For this post, we will be installing to a vSphere 5 deployment, and assume you have VMware Converter installed on your vCenter server. If your environment differs from this, this guide might need changing slightly.

Deployment Process:

1. Download the appliance from Cisco Developer Community here. Prerequisites listed are:

– 1GB free RAM

– 8GB disk space

– 1.8GBz single CPU

…and one of the following:

– VMware Player

– VMware Workstation

– VMware Fusion

– VMware ESX(i)

…plus the following:

– Firefox browser (or other Mozilla-compatible browser)

– Java JRE 1.6 or later

– Suitable location for VM storage

2. Once downloaded, extract the files using your archive tool of choice. (7zip, WinRAR etc all will work). In my case, I downloaded the file from Cisco on my workstation then copied the extracted files to C:\temp on my VC server.

3. Fire up VMware Standalone Converter on your vCenter Server.

4. Select ‘Convert Machine’ from either the viewer pane or from the Converter toolbar.

5. Set the source type as ‘VMware Workstation or other virtual machine’.

6. Select ‘UCSPE.vmx’ from C:\temp\<extracted file location>. Click Next.

7. Enter the destination information for the vCenter Server. Note the username and password must be an Administrator level user.

8. Give the VM a new name (if desired) and choose a location for the VM to be imported to.

9. Select a destination cluster resource, suitable datastore and Virtual machine ‘Version 8’ for the new VM.

10. At ‘Conversion Options’:

– Edit the Data to copy section and set the disk formats to ‘Thick’ or ‘Thin’ as needed.

– Edit the Network section to change or confirm the desired destination network the emulation will reside on.

11. Confirm the selected options from the Summary, then click Finish. The Converter job will then be processed and it’s status can be watched within the Converter window. When completed, the VM will appear in the vCenter inventory with the name and configuration specified above.

12. Power-on the VM, and if there is DHCP available on the destination network, the emulator will collect an IP from the DHCP server and boot using this. Once booted, the emulator will be available to HTTP requests on the DHCP IP address, and via the vClient console.

Part 2 of this post concentrates on networking and configuring the UCS Platform Emulator in vSphere.

Jeremy loves all things technology! Has been in IT for years, loves Macs (but doesn't preach to others about their virtues), loves virtualization (and does shout about it's virtues), and sometimes skis, bikes and directs amateur plays!

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