Tested Reference Configurations (TRC)

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Contents

Introduction

This web page describes supported compute, storage and network hardware for Virtualization of Cisco Unified Communications using Tested Reference Configurations (TRCs). If you want to use different hardware configurations, follow the "Specs-based VMware Support" Policy here.

For more details on Cisco UCS servers in general, see the Related Hardware Documentation section below.

Ensure your deployment follows all the design and procurement rules here.

See procurement considerations here for hardware purchase options. Cisco part numbers are described here

What does a Tested Reference Configuration (TRC) cover?

TRCs are intended for these types of customers:

  • lower levels of virtualization proficiency
  • require guaranteed UC app virtual machine performance when the solution elements under Cisco UC's control are configured correctly per UC support policy
  • desire Cisco to handle hardware sizing, determining hardware specs and translating those specs into a hardware parts list to ensure the above guarantee
  • are willing to accept as tradeoffs for the guarantee less choices for hardware and less choices for virtual machine deployment options.

If a customer requires more flexibility AND they are highly virtualization-proficient AND they are comfortable owning hardware sizing/specs/parts determination AND they are comfortable owning performance assurance, they can instead follow the "Specs-based VMware Support" Policy here.

TRCs do cover the following:

  • Definition of hardware specs down to the UCS part number level
  • DAS/RAID options to use when DAS is part of the definition
  • Expectations for supportable virtual machine quantity / size mix, with virtual machines at full load, based on UC sizing rules and co-residency support policy

TRCs do not cover the following:

  • Configuration of solution elements outside Cisco UC's control, such as SAN/NAS-attached storage arrays.
  • Configuration settings or step by step procedures for hardware BIOS, firmware, drivers, RAID options
  • Configuration settings, patch recommendations or step by step procedures for VMware (use UCS and VMware best practices subject to UC support policy rules)
  • Configuration settings or step by step procedures for QoS parameters, virtual-to-physical network mapping or adapters (these will vary by deployment - use UCS and VMware best practices subject to UC support policy rules)

Hardware Requirements for Tested Reference Configurations (TRCs)


To be considered a Tested Reference Configuration (TRC) for support purposes, follow the policy below. NOTE: any deviation from policy below is no longer a Tested Reference Configuration and you must follow the "Specs-based VMware Support" Policy here.

  • Server model and generation must exactly match table below.
  • Physical CPU quantity, CPU model and physical cores per CPU must exactly match table below.
  • Total physical Memory/RAM must be same or higher than in table below. Must follow Cisco UCS best practices for memory module density, quantity and speed - no UC-specific requirements on memory configuration other than total RAM.
  • Physical/Local/DAS Storage
    • Disk quantity must exactly match table below.
    • Disk size (e.g. 146GB) must be same or higher than table below for UCS C-Series. For UCS B-series, any disk size may be used.
    • Disk speed (e.g. 10k RPM vs. 15k RPM) must be same or higher than table below for UCS C-Series. For UCS B-Series, any disk speed may be used.
    • Disk technology (e.g. SAS) must exactly match table below.
    • RAID Controller Card and battery backup must exactly match table below and parts lists here.
    • RAID configuration, including physical-to-logical volume mapping, must exactly match table below and RAID instructions in the document Installing CUCM on Virtual Servers here.
  • Shared Storage (SAN)
    • SAN transport must be Fibre Channel. Tested Reference Configurations are not provided for other shared storage options (iSCSI, FCoE, NFS). To use these other options, follow the "Specs-based VMware Support" Policy here.
    • Local disks on UCS B-Series are only used to host/boot VMware. UC apps must host/boot from Fibre Channel SAN. Certain UC apps also support diskless servers for boot from FC SAN.
    • Local disks on UCS C-Series DAS-only TRCs are used to host/boot VMware and UC apps.
    • Local disks on UCS C-Series TRCs with HBA are only used to host/boot VMware. UC apps must host/boot from Fibre Channel SAN. Certain UC apps also support diskless TRC's for boot from FC SAN.
  • Adapters for network and storage access (NIC, HBA, CNA, VIC)
    • UCS B-Series may use the mezzanine adapter in table below, or any other supported mezzanine adapter. Which adapter "should" be used is dependent on deployment, design and UC apps.
    • UCS C-Series NIC and HBA must exactly match adapters in table below. Other NIC, HBA, CNA or VIC options are not included in Tested Reference Configurations - follow "Specs-based VMware Support" Policy here.
  • Redundant Power supplies on UCS C210 TRCs are highly recommended. UCS C200 TRCs for Business Edition 6000 only ship with one, but a second can be added as separate spare if desired.
  • Rack-mounting hardware on UCS C-Series: It is strongly recommended that you keep the Cisco default rail kit, unless you have different rack types such as telco racks or racks proprietary to another server vendor. The Cisco default cable management hardware does not ship with TRCs but can be added as a separate spare. Cisco does not sell any other types of rack-mounting hardware; you must purchase such hardware from a third party.
  • Local DVD drive on UCS C-Series: It is strongly recommended that you keep a local DVD drive when the server model supports it and the TRC includes it; otherwise certain customer procedure options for installation and upgrading cannot be supported.


Base Server Model and Generation Tested Reference Configuration (TRC) CPU RAM Storage Adapters Notes
UCS B230 M2 Blade Server TRC #1 Dual E7-2870 (2.4 GHz, 20 total physical cores available to apps) 96GB (12x8GB, after ESXi 94 GB total physical RAM available to apps) Diskless - FC SAN for VMware and UC apps Cisco VIC UCS-B230M2-VCDL1
UCS B440 M2 Blade Server (full-width) TRC #1 Quad E7-4870 (2.4 GHz, 40 total physical cores available to apps) 256GB (16x16GB, after ESXi 254 GB total physical RAM available to apps) Diskless - FC SAN for VMware and UC apps Cisco VIC UCS-B440M2-VCDL1
UCS B200 M2 Blade Server TRC #1 Dual E5640 (2.66 GHz, 8 total physical cores available to apps) 48GB (12x4GB, after ESXi 46 GB total physical RAM available to apps)
  • DAS (RAID1) for VMware
  • FC SAN for UC apps
Cisco VIC UCS-B200M2-VCS1
TRC #2 Dual E5640 (2.66 GHz, 8 total physical cores available to apps) 48GB (12x4GB, after ESXi 46 GB total physical RAM available to apps) Diskless - FC SAN for VMware and UC apps Cisco VIC Sold as Cisco Data Center SKUs only
UCS B200 M1 Blade Server TRC #1 Dual E5540 (2.53 GHz, 8 total physical cores available to apps) 36GB (6x2GB+6x4GB, after ESXi 34 GB total physical RAM available to apps)
  • DAS (RAID1) for VMware
  • FC SAN for UC apps
3rd-party CNA UCS-B200M1-VCS1
TRC #2 Dual E5540 (2.53 GHz, 8 total physical cores available to apps) 36GB (6x2GB+6x4GB, after ESXi 34 GB total physical RAM available to apps) Diskless - FC SAN for VMware and UC apps 3rd-party CNA Sold as Cisco Data Center SKUs only
UCS C210 M2 General-Purpose Rack-Mount Server TRC #1 Dual E5640 (2.53 GHz, 8 total physical cores available to apps) 48GB (12x4GB, after ESXi 46 GB total physical RAM available to apps)
  • DAS (2 disks RAID1) for VMware
  • DAS (8 disks RAID5) for UC apps
  • 947 GB available to apps after RAID/VMFS overhead, not counting VM overhead
1GbE NIC UCS-C210M2-VCD2
TRC #2 Dual E5640 (2.66 GHz, 8 total physical cores available to apps) 48GB (12x4GB, after ESXi 46 GB total physical RAM available to apps)
  • DAS (2 disks RAID1) for VMware
  • FC SAN for UC apps
1GbE NIC and 4G FC HBA Sold as Cisco Data Center SKUs only
TRC #3 Dual E5640 (2.66 GHz, 8 total physical cores available to apps) 48GB (12x4GB, after ESXi 46 GB total physical RAM available to apps) Diskless - FC SAN for VMware and UC apps 1GbE NIC and 4G FC HBA Sold as Cisco Data Center SKUs only
UCS C210 M1 General-Purpose Rack-Mount Server TRC #1 Dual E5540 (2.53 GHz, 8 total physical cores available to apps) 12GB (6x2GB, after ESXi 10 GB total physical RAM available to apps)
  • DAS (2 disks RAID1) for VMware
  • DAS (4 disks RAID5) for UC apps
1GbE NIC UCS-C210M1-VCD1 (note: only supports a single Virtual Machine)
TRC #2 Dual E5540 (2.53 GHz, 8 total physical cores available to apps) 36GB (6x2GB+6x4GB, after ESXi 34 GB total physical RAM available to apps)
  • DAS (2 disks RAID1) for VMware
  • DAS (8 disks RAID5) for UC apps
  • 947 GB available to apps after RAID/VMFS overhead, not counting VM overhead
1GbE NIC UCS-C210M1-VCD2
TRC #3 Dual E5540 (2.53 GHz, 8 total physical cores available to apps) 36GB (6x2GB+6x4GB, after ESXi 34 GB total physical RAM available to apps)
  • DAS (2 disks RAID1) for VMware
  • FC SAN for UC apps
1GbE NIC and 4G FC HBA Sold as Cisco Data Center SKUs only
TRC #4 Dual E5540 (2.53 GHz, 8 total physical cores available to apps) 36GB (6x2GB+6x4GB, after ESXi 34 GB total physical RAM available to apps) Diskless - FC SAN for VMware and UC apps 1GbE NIC and 4G FC HBA Sold as Cisco Data Center SKUs only
UCS C200 M2 General-Purpose Rack-Mount Server TRC #1 Dual E5506 (2.13 GHz, 8 total physical cores available to apps) 24GB (6x4GB, after ESXi 22 GB total physical RAM available to apps)
  • DAS (4 disks RAID10) for VMware + UC apps
  • 1.8 TB available to apps after RAID/VMFS overhead, not counting VM overhead
1GbE NIC UCS-C200M2-VCD2/BE6K/WL8/VCD2BE (note: only scaled for <1K users depending on UC app)

Related Hardware Documentation

BIOS, Firmware, Drivers and UCS Software versions

There are no direct support requirements for particular versions of any of these items for Cisco UC apps.

Cisco UC apps will specify supported VMware versions and supported server models. Customers should use latest recommended BIOS, firmware, drivers and UCS / UCS Manager Software versions that are compatible with the UC-supported VMware version on the server model being used.


Monitoring and Alarming for Cisco UCS

At this time on Cisco UCS, certain types of serviceability monitoring and alarming (such as hard drive failure) are only available via OS instrumentation. For UC on TRCs or UCS specs-based hardware, this means alerts are generated by VMware in CIM format, and require VMware vCenter or equivalent CIM-compliant console. Refer to the UCS RAID Controller SMI-S Reference Guide for detailed information on this topic.

Related Hardware Documentation

For installation and configuration information on UCS servers, refer to the documentation roadmap for either the B-Series or C-Series servers:



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