Cisco UCS and SolidFire ISCSI Boot

Note: At the time of writing Cisco has not certified booting UCS blades from Solidfire ISCSI boot disks.

In order to successfully boot a Cisco UCS B Series blade from a SolidFire ISCSI array you will need to create a custom ESXi ISO that includes a firewall rule to open ports 3261-3264.

Explanation :

It seems that Solidfire arrays will present volumes on ports 3260-3264, so you may get one server to see it’s boot disk without issue but the next one will not work.  The ESXi firewall by default is opened on port 3260 only, there is no rule for 3261,3262,3263 and 3264 so traffic coming back from the Solidfire array is blocked and as a result you will not see the bootdisk.

Workaround

1. Create a custom VIB that opens firewall ports, you will find a good guide here, alternatively PM me for 5.1 firewall bundle.

2. Create a custom ISO using powercli

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot  d:\temp\firewall3261-offline-bundle.zip

Get-EsxImageProfile | Sort-Object “ModifiedTime” -Descending | format-table -property Name,CreationTime 

New-EsxImageProfile -CloneProfile ESXi-5.1.0-20130402001-standard -Name SFBoot-ESXi-5.1.0-20130402001-standard -AcceptanceLevel CommunitySupported

Add-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile SFBoot-ESXi-5.1.0-20130402001-standard -SoftwarePackage firewallrule

Export-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile SFBoot-ESXi-5.1.0-20130402001-standard -ExportToISO -FilePath d:\temp\SFBoot-ESXi-5.1.0-20130402001-standard.iso

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