Unified Communications Virtualization Sizing Guidelines

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This article provides specifics and examples to aid in sizing Unified Communications applications for the UCS B-series and C-series servers.

Application Co-residency Support and Server/Storage Selection

All UCS tested reference configurations are sized for co-residency except for C210 M1 Tested Reference Configuration #1 (which is only sized to host a single VM of 7500 user capacity). Note that the tested reference configuration for UCS C200 M2 is sized for co-residency at a lower capacity per VM than UCS B200 or C210 so only supports a subset of Virtual Machine templates.

The max number of virtual machines supported per physical server depends on the hardware selected and the quantity and resource usage of selected virtual machine OVAs.

To determine which applications may share a physical server, use the following guidelines:

  • Supported co-resident applications are "UC with UC only".
  • All applications must use a supported virtual machine OVA template.
    • All applications require a 1:1 mapping of VM vCPU cores to physical CPU cores. Cisco Unity VMs also require VMware CPU Affinity.
    • If there is at least one live Unity Connection VM on the server, then one CPU core per physical server must be idle/unused (it is actually being used by ESXi scheduler).
    • The sum of virtual machines' vCPU cores may not exceed the total physical CPU cores on the physical server (less one if hosting at least one live Unity Connection VM).
    • The sum of virtual machines' vRAM (plus 2GB for VMware overhead) may not exceed the total physical memory on the physical server.
    • For supported DAS deployments, the sum of virtual machines' vDisk may not exceed the physical disk space of the physical servers' logical volume(s) (based on RAID configuration).
  • For UCS B200 and C210, you may otherwise mix and match applications, versions and OVAs (of any size) in any quantity as long as you do not oversubscribe any physical server resources as described above.
  • For UCS C200, you must align with these rules:
    • The only supported virtual machine OVA templates are:
      • CUCM - Unified Communications Manager 1000 users
      • CUC or UCxn - Unity Connection 500 users, 1000 users and 5000 users
      • CUP - Unified Presence 1000 users
      • CUCCX - Unified Contact Center Express 100 agents
      • Other unlisted OVA templates are not supported on C200 as they are sized too big.
    • If C200 is used for Unified Communications Manager Business Edition 6000 then you must follow its co-residency rules.
    • Otherwise at this time the following co-residency scenarios are supported:
      • Four VMs: CUCM 1000 users + CUC 1000 users + CUP 1000 users + CUCCX 100 users (the scenario used by Unified Communications Manager Business Edition 6000 )
      • Up to four VMs: 1 to 4 CUC of various user sizes provided you don't over-subscribe any physical server resources as described previously.
      • Four VMs: 4 CUP 1000 users
      • Three VMs: 3 CUCM 1000 users
      • Three VMs: 3 CUCCX 100 users

See the Sizing Examples at the bottom of this page for examples of using these guidelines.

Redundancy and Failover Considerations

Application-layer considerations (such as Unified CM Cluster over WAN or Unified CCE Remote Redundancy) are the same for virtualized (UC on UCS) or non-virtualized (MCS 7800) deployments.

However, since there is no longer a 1:1 relationship between hardware and application instances, "placement logic" must be taken into account to minimize the impact of hardware unavailability or unreachability:

  • Avoid placing a primary VM and a backup VM on the same server, chassis or site
  • For failover groups, avoid placing all actives on the same server, chassis or site
  • Avoid placing all VMs of the same role on the same server, chassis or site

Shared Storage Considerations

Note that Fibre Channel SAN is currently mandatory for UC on UCS B200, optional for UC on UCS C210 and not supported for UC on UCS C200.

To get the IOPS per virtual machine OVA and other information required to properly design SAN connectivity and array, see IOPS.

For more information on supported storage arrays, see the UCS page at http://www.cisco.com/go/swonly.

Sizing Examples

The figure below illustrates a sample system configuration based on the guidelines in this article and in the topics listed under Related Documentation. This sample has the following characteristics:

  • General Characteristics
  • Eight blades in system with two to four Unified Communications applications per blade
  • Blade 7 used for non-Cisco applications and services
  • Blade 8 reserved as a spare to be used in case of blade failure
  • Two cores on Blade 6 are unused and available for future expansion or as a spare
  • Unified Communications Manager
  • Up to 7500 users
  • One Publisher, five Subscribers
  • DHCP, TFTP, MOH, and DNS
  • 7500 User
  • Unity Connection
  • Up to 10,000 users
  • Two Servers in Active/Active configuration
  • 10,000 User
  • Unified Intelligence Center
  • Up to 1200 users
  • One Publisher, Seven Subscribers , database replicated among all 8 nodes
  • 200 Users
  • Unified Presence
  • Up to 10,000 users
  • Two servers supporting 5000 users each
  • 5000 Users
  • Unified Contact Center Express
  • Up to 300 agents
  • Two servers supporting 300 agents each; active/standby redundancy
  • 300 Agent
  • Nexus 1000v
  • Virtual machine access switch
  • Refer to cisco.com/go/nexus1000v for detailed information on Cisco Nexus 1000V Series Switches

Note one CPU has been reserved on Blade 1 and Blade 3 to satisfy the Unity Connection resource requirement.

UCS Blade Layout.JPG

Sizing and Ordering Tools

The suite of tools listed below can assist you with the sizing, configuring and quoting of Cisco Unified Communications solutions on the Unified Computing System.

Cisco Solution Expert

Cisco Solution Expert assists Cisco field and Cisco Unified Communications specialized channel partners in designing and quoting UC on UCS solutions using the Cisco Unified Workspace Licensing or the traditional design model. Solution Expert delivers a Bill of Materials for the Unified Communications software and the UCS B-series Blade Servers and VMWare ordered as Collaboration SKUS.

Netformx DesignXpert

Netformx DesignXpert is a third party application used to design and quote the Cisco Unified Computing System B-series. DesignXpert has two advisor modules that can be used to quote a Unified Communications solution with the Unified Computing System:

  • UC Advisor – a designing and quoting solution used to quote Unified Communications software and the UCS B-series Blade Servers and VMWare ordered as Collaboration SKUs. Other UCS B-series components must be configured via UCS Advisor below.
  • UCS Advisor - a designing and quoting solution for all UCS B-series components ordered as Data Center SKUs, including Blade Servers, UCS 5100 Blade Server Chassis, UCS 2100 Fabric Extender and UCS 6100 Fabric Interconnect Switch.

Cisco Unified Communications Sizing Tool

Cisco Unified Communications Sizing Tool delivers hardware sizing for complex Enterprise Unified Communications solutions, including Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise. The Sizing Tool delivers the virtual machine requirements for Unified Communications applications on the Unified Computing System platform.

Cisco Configuration Tool

Cisco Configuration Tool(need link here) is part of the suite of Internet Commerce Tools for managing online ordering of Cisco products. It enables you to configure products and view lead times and prices for each selection. The Cisco Configuration Tool, also known as the Dynamic Configuration Tool, is used to configure the Unified Communications products and the B series SKU and VMWare ordered as Collaboration SKUs.

Ordering Guides

Ordering Guides for Unified Communications System 8.x releases are available for Cisco sales, partners, and customers.

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