7 Replies Latest reply on Jul 31, 2015 7:30 AM by usa_kwilliamson

    UCS C240 M4s on HCL

    spsuser Novice

      Does anyone have any insight on when the Cisco C240 M4's with the 9300-8i array controllers will come onto the HCL?  I'm guessing at this point we should stick with the M3s if we can still get them.

        • 1. Re: UCS C240 M4s on HCL
          JohnNicholson Enthusiast

          Best bet is going to be buy a HCL controller from LSI directly and bypass Cisco.

          If you buy the controller from Cisco LSI will NOT allow escalations from VMware for driver/firmware issues (even if Cisco is using stock firmware/drivers).

          You loose Smartnet parts swapping, and Cisco's simple firmware updating but getting LSI to actually respond to support issues and not leave VMware hanging is honestly more important in this case.


          Hopefully VMware can get a direct support relationship with LSI on these issues in the future.

          Honestly I don't understand why the driver is listed as "VMware supported" instead of "Partner Supported".  Technically VMware by their own policies shouldn't ship a driver they can't open tickets with the vendor directly (and so LSI drivers should have to be side loaded).

          • 2. Re: UCS C240 M4s on HCL
            usa_kwilliamson Novice

            I wish Cisco would get the UCS 240 M4 on the HCL list too.   I want to buy a current C Series to try out Virtual VSAN, instead of last year's or the year before model and have it only be supported for VMWare and firmware updates for 3 more years.

            • 3. Re: UCS C240 M4s on HCL
              InfiniVirt Novice

              This is really beginning to be a thorn in my side. It would be great to hear some news relating the HCL and the M4s. As a consultant I am finding it increasingly difficult to propose VSAN solutions on UCS for the simple fact that the M3s sooner or later be announced EOS, and Cisco still does not have the M4s certified. A VSAN solution built on the Cisco UCS "ready" nodes could become very inflexible, and not ready.


              Does anyone have any news relating to this?



              • 4. Re: UCS C240 M4s on HCL
                JohnNicholson Enthusiast

                The UCS C240M4 supports the "Cisco 12G SAS Modular Raid Controller" which is on the VMware HCL as a passthrough device, and the rest of the server components are on the vSphere HCL so this server "will work" with VSAN from what I can tell.


                Curious why you want to use Ready Nodes over just using the HCL.  The ready nodes are solutions proposed by the server OEM's (IE not VMware) and just validated by VMware has having HCL components.  VMware supports non-ready nodes just fine (I've logged plenty of tickets on Dell/SuperMicro configs that were HCL compliant, and at no point has anyone ever asked me "is this a ready node?".  The ready node was simply a program to give people some references to look at, nothing more.  As a consultant who works with VSAN I spend plenty of time checking the HCL and helping build out solutions.  I find the "ready nodes" prescriptions for specific drive configurations, memory etc less than ideal and like to spec it from scratch around what they need (Although not a bad place to see what controller people are using with a specific server).


                Honestly if your wanting a flexible solution with clear support and good drive choice I'm a bigger fan of Dell R730XD's or if you want wider drive choice SuperMicro Twin servers.  Cisco's lack of DAS support, limited drive choice, significantly higher drive pricing has pushed most of our VSAN builds away to other OEM's.  I know some people really like the whole UCS management, but Dell's new open manage works fairly well, and most of the automated provisioning can be done using a mix of host profiles and distributed switching in vSphere.



                • 5. Re: UCS C240 M4s on HCL
                  zdickinson Expert

                  Or even in more simply go with and EVO Rail solution.  I like EMC and Dell's implementations.  Thank you, Zach.

                  • 6. Re: UCS C240 M4s on HCL
                    jonretting Enthusiast

                    This and your last post are outstanding. Couldn't agree with you more, and i know how to try.  Your post regarding ticket escalation is beyond spot on. Thank you.


                    The Supermicro Twins have been stellar performers. For my lab build I went with zero-ready abstracted nodes. The only caveat would be the the four 1u Supermicro chassis. Everything down to using HDPLEX mini 160W PS, load-sharing internal AC adapters, and the disk storage. Continuing the line of thought, i find myself seriously pondering removing the rack configuration, and building a skeletal structure to fit the purpose. Hyper Convergence really brings interesting things to the table when designing self-contained cabinets.




                    • 7. Re: UCS C240 M4s on HCL
                      usa_kwilliamson Novice

                      We went ahead and bought some C240M4s with items that were on HCL list.  Didn't buy the drives yet, but did get the Cisco 12G SAS Modular Raid Controller Card.  We did buy them with the NVidia K1 cards and will test them out on View 6.1.  To answer the question about the ready nodes,  It is just easier to pick a single SKU.