Metacloud Controller Bundle Design and Implementation Guide

The Cisco Metacloud Controller Bundle is a converged infrastructure solution based on Cisco UCS, Nexus, and Aggregation Services Routers that provide a convenient, consistent, pre-configured hardware and network architecture that has been validated for Cisco Metacloud usage. The extensive validation and documentation provided in this Cisco Validated Design clearly explain the steps involved in the installation of the Controller Bundle solution.

The Cisco Metacloud solution contains the following key components:

  • Cisco Metacloud service subscription
  • Cisco Metacloud Controller Bundle
    • Cisco UCS C-Series servers for cloud orchestration
    • Cisco Nexus 93180 Series Switches
    • Cisco Aggregation Services Router (ASR)
  • Cisco 2901 Integrated Services Router (ISR)

Cisco UCS or other servers that meet the minimum requirements for Cisco Metacloud.

Components

The Cisco Metacloud Controller Bundle for Cisco Metacloud offers 3 different configurations options and includes the following components:

  • Three UCS C220 M4 Servers—Provide a 3-node control plane cluster to ensure high availability of key private cloud services.
  • Two ASR1000 Series Routers—Provide up to 20Gb/s network throughput from the cloud’s network to the customer’s data center and represents the north/south demarcation of the cloud. South of these devices is managed by Cisco, north is the customer’s network.
  • Two Nexus 93180YC-EX Switches—Provide top of rack (ToR) and aggregation switching, including providing a path for future compatibility with Cisco ACI. Additional pairs of Nexus 9000 Series switches can be added to these to expand server capacity.
  • One 2901 Integrated Services Router—Provides out of band (OOB) access to all the servers and networking components of the Metacloud Controller Bundle.

Note
You can download the Device and Port Locations spreadsheet to keep track of the hardware for your Metacloud Installation.

Architecture Overview

The Cisco Metacloud Controller Bundle for Cisco Metacloud offers 3 configuration options and the following diagram details the physical architecture of the Controller Bundle.

Architecture Overview

Starter Configuration

The Starter configuration supports up to 40 compute servers and offers up to 2.5Gbps of bandwidth throughput. The throughput of a configuration includes the total amount of network traffic coming into and out of the ASR. This includes traffic to the cloud from an external customer network or from the cloud to an upstream gateway (north/south traffic), and traffic between subnets within the Availability Zone (east/west traffic). This configuration uses the Cisco ASR1001-X Services router and uses 2 of the 6 onboard 1G ports.

Note
The Cisco ASR1001-X Services router comes with two 10G ports, the 2.5G license does not enable these ports and they are inactive until an appropriate license is purchased.

General Purpose Configuration

The General Purpose configuration supports up to 100 compute servers and up to 10Gbps of bandwidth throughput. The throughput of a configuration includes the total amount of network traffic coming into and out of the ASR. This includes traffic to the cloud from an external customer network or from the cloud to an upstream gateway (north/south traffic), and traffic between subnets within the Availability Zone (east/west traffic). This configuration uses the Cisco ASR1001-X Services router and uses one of the two onboard 10G ports.

Note
The Cisco ASR1001-X Services router comes with two 10G ports, the 10G license only enables one of these ports with the other being inactive until an appropriate license is purchased.

High-performance Configuration

The High-performance configuration supports up to 400 servers and up to 20Gbps of bandwidth throughput. The throughput of a configuration includes the total amount of network traffic coming into and out of the ASR. This includes traffic to the cloud from an external customer network or from the cloud to an upstream gateway (north/south traffic), and traffic between subnets within the Availability Zone (east/west traffic. This configuration uses the Cisco ASR1002-X Services router and uses two 10G SPA ports as well as two 10G XFP transceivers.

Installing the Metacloud Controller Bundle

One of the main advantages and key differentiators of the Cisco Metacloud is the ease with which it is operationalized. The high-level steps in deploying and configuring the Controller Bundle are listed below. For detailed instructions for your configuration, see Starter Bundle Installation, General Purpose Installation without 9332 Switches, General Purpose Installation with 9332 Switches, High Performance Installation without 9332 Switches or High Performance Installation with 9332 Switches.

Installation Checklist

Use the following checklist to ensure all steps are completed:

After these steps are completed, the Metacloud Support Team will perform the following:

  • Verify network connectivity.
  • Validate equipment is wired as required.
  • Remote installation, monitoring, and operation of the Cisco Metacloud service.

Important
You must follow the instructions in this guide to configure the hardware as specified.

Configure the BIOS/CIMC setting on the UCS servers, for example: enable DHCP, enable and set VLAN ID to 1000. Ensure the BIOS setting is correct for all servers, factory-shipped configurations may not be correct.

ISR 2901 Configuration script and specifications for the slot number for placement of modules must be exact. The script will fail if the specifications are not met. For example, Async module must be in slot 0.

Follow the wiring/connecting instructions exactly. Connect devices to specified ports as indicated, the installation scripts are written according to what is connected to specific ports ON ISR, ASR, Nexus. The script will fail if the specifications are not met. Contact Metacloud Support for any questions during your installation.

Data Center Requirements

The following are requirements and recommendations for the environment the Controller Bundle configuration is deployed in:

  • The ASR1000 Series routers require network access from all sources that need to access instances in the cloud and should be redundantly connected to two independent network paths.
  • The 2901 ISR requires either a public or private IP address and the ability to initiate a VPN connection to the Metacloud Operations Center. Direct access through SSH or console to the 2901 router is also required. This may require changes to the outbound firewall rules and routes.
  • All servers and networking equipment in both the Controller Bundle and the cloud compute capacity should be connected to redundant power sources within the data center rack.
  • A local computer with a console cable appropriate for configuring Cisco devices is required for the initial software configuration of the 2901 ISR.
  • A monitor and keyboard are required to update BIOS settings.

You can avoid potential problems with your environment by verifying which firmware versions are compatible with Metacloud. For more information, see the Firmware Matrix.

Important
You must also complete the cabling and configuration steps in Rack and cable the Capacity Servers to complete your installation.

Deployments Beyond 40 Servers

Cisco Metacloud can support up to 400 physical servers in one pod using Nexus 93180YC-EX switches and a pair of Nexus 9332PQ switches. By introducing the Nexus 9332PQ switches, Metacloud can aggregate up to 10 pairs of Nexus 93180YC-EX switches and connect up to 400 individual servers. If you plan on expanding past 40 servers at any time, it is highly recommended that you install the Nexus 9332PQ switches during the initial installation of Metacloud to mitigate downtime during future expansions.