Readers of the Building Clouds blog probably know me as the “PowerShell Deployment Toolkit” guy.  PDT is all about deploying the management stack – System Center and Windows Azure Pack.  PDT will even create the VMs needed to deploy that management stack to – as long as you are using Hyper-V, of course.  What PDT does not address is provisioning the underlying platform – all the networking, servers, and storage has to be in place before PDT can do it’s thing.  Although automation at that layer is becoming more standardized, today you still typically need to use vendor specific tools – and they all have them to varying degrees.

One company that has really interesting capabilities in this space is Cisco, specifically their UCS PowerTool which is a PowerShell module to help automate aspects of Cisco UCS Servers using XML APIs.  Sounds a lot like PDT, doesn’t it?

Cisco are holding a contest – the “Cisco UCS Power Scripting Contest” – for which they have asked me to be one of a panel of “celebrity” judges.  Needless to say, that word has never been used in context to me before, and I am more than a little amused by it’s use now – but some of the other judges on the panel certainly warrant the use of the word.

Details of the contest can be found here –> https://communities.cisco.com/groups/ucs-scripting-games.  I’m looking forward to checking out the entries… and am curious to see if anyone combines PowerTool and PDT for a complete end-to-end deployment.  That one would very likely get my vote…