Introduction to Vblock Systems Compute 2014 VCE Company LLC, All rights reserved.
Vblock System Foundations Introduction to Vblock Systems Compute
Introduction to Vblock System Compute
Welcome to the Introduction to Vblock System Compute section of the Vblock Foundations course.
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Vblock System Components
Recall that Vblock Systems contain Compute, Network, Storage, Virtualization, and Management technologies. In this section youll learn about the basics of the Vblock System Compute technology.
The objectives for this section are listed on this page. Upon completion of this training you will be able to explain the function of the Compute technology within the Vblock System. List and explain the purpose of each of the components of the Vblock System Compute. And describe how the components of the Vblock System Compute are connected.
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Function of the Vblock System Computing
Function of the Vblock System Computing
In this section you will learn about the functions performed by the Vblock System Compute technology. But lets begin with some interesting computer facts!
Trivia Question: Computers
Computers continue to evolve and they are very different today then they were even 5 years ago. These changes are having a dramatic affect on companies and how they manage theyre IT capabilities. Take a moment and see if you can answer this trivia question correctly.
This is an important trend in the computer industry. The increase in mobile computing challenges data centers by demanding greater technology flexibility, ability to react to faster to changing trends, and requiring secure data management. As you will learn in this training, Vblock Systems address all these current data center demands!
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Computers Run Software Applications
The primary function of a computer is to run applications that perform specific tasks and activities that are valuable to an individual user or to an organization. Without application software, computers dont offer much benefit. Software helps people perform lots of tasks and activities including communicating and collaborating, managing customer relationships, transacting or processing business activities, managing data and information, performing accounting and finance, managing projects, managing human resources, automating tasks and activities, and managing manufacturing operations.
Computers You May Use
Youve probably used at least one of these types of computersmore likely, you probably rely on more than one of these in your work and personal life every day. You may not realize it, but you have probably used server computers as well. Unlike the other types of computers, typical users dont sit at or hold a server to interact with it like a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smart phone. Servers are accessed through a network usually from another computer or device. They are made for high capacity computing, performance and speed, and for reliability. A server can be as small as a laptop computer or as large as building. The Vblock
Systems Compute technology uses server computers exclusively.
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Computers - Hardware and Software
Computers consist of hardware and software. The hardware components include a central processing unit (CPU), memory, storage, and various input/output devices used to communicate with the computer. Software includes the computer operating system and application software.
If youre unsure what any of these hardware or software components are, click on the links in blue underlined type for more information.
Vblock System Compute
The purpose of the Vblock System Compute is to run the applications that a customer needs. Think of the applications that your organization depends on. Things like email, file sharing, operations management, accounting and finance systems, enterprise management applications, and others. These applications and more are representative of the types of applications that run on Vblock Systems.
Vblock Systems contain multiple servers, and some contain many-many servers. Each server consists of hardware and software mentioned on the previous slide. However, a distinction between a regular desktop
or laptop computer, and servers in a Vblock Systems is that the servers are network based. All user interaction with the Vblock System servers occurs over a network. You dont sit at and interact directly with the Vblock System like you do with a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smart phone. Users access the Vblock Systems through another computer (i.e. desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc.) that is connected to the same network.
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Components of the Vblock System Compute
Components of the Vblock System Compute
Having discussed the basics about the Vblock System Compute function, lets go deeper and discuss Compute components and the roles that each plays.
Lets start with another trivia question. You have already learned what a server Computer is, and that a Vblock System can contain multiple servers. How many servers do you think a single Vblock System can contain?
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Now lets talk about the components of the Vblock System Compute. Vblock Systems utilize the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) in the Compute technology. Its components provide all that is necessary to load and run applications, and connect to the other parts of the Vblock System. Vblock System that utilize blade technology compute components include compute servers, server chasses, and Fabric interconnects (or FIs). Rack mount servers are singular units and do not use a chasses, fabric extenders, of fabric interconnects.
Click on and review the content of each box to the left to learn more about each of the components of the Cisco UCS.
There are two categories of Cisco UCS servers used in the Vblock System models. They include blade servers and rack mount servers. Cisco UCS Blade Servers are use in Vblock System 320 (and soon to be released Vblock System 340) and Vblock System 720 which are the two more powerful higher capacity Vblock Systems. A blade server connects to a power supply and network when it is inserted into a blade server chassis. Power cords and network cables are attached to the blade chassis, not the individual blade servers. Connections are made to a blade server when it is appropriately inserted into the chassis slot. Blade
servers in the Vblock Systems are stateless servers, which will be define in a moment.
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Cisco UCS rack mounted servers are used in Vblock System 100 and Vblock System 200 which are the two lower capacity lower budget Vblock System alternatives. Rack mounted servers are secured with screws in a computer system rack and require a power cord and network cables, and therefore are more labor intensive to install and maintain than blade servers. And while the blade servers are stateless servers, the rack mounted servers are statefull servers. Lets discuss what these are and why they are significant.
Each of the Cisco UCS blades used in a Vblock System has a Virtual Interface Card or VIC. Some people refer to these as a mezzanine card. The VIC is a network interface device which is used to connect the server to a LAN or SAN. The VIC provides the connectivity so that the blade can communicate with other components of the Vblock System as well as with networks outside of the Vblock System. Later, youll learn more about the features of the VIC that are specifically designed for virtualization. Generally speaking, stateless blade servers are easier to configure and maintain, while statefull rack mounted servers are less expense. Stateless
blade servers do not have a Media Access Control (MAC) addresses or World Wide Names (WWN) assigned to their VICs or network interface devices. MAC addresses and WWNs are used to identify network interface devices on LANs (Ethernet networks) and SANs respectively. Typically, MAC addresses and WWNs have to be manually assigned during the process of configuring a device. But with blades servers, the MAC addresses and WWNs are assigned to the blade automatically when it is inserted into a blade chassis. Another factor that makes these servers easier to manage is that all of the blades that reside in a blade chassis are managed by the same instance of the UCS manager. Also, replacing a blade is as easy as sliding out the old blade and inserting the replacement into the blade chassis. No power cord or network cables are required.
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Statefull rack mounted servers have the MAC addresses and WWNs burned onto the VIC network interface cards on each server. Because of this, network configuration is required when the server is added. While these servers are less expensive, they are more labor intensive to confi