Cisco UCS – BIOS policy recommendations

Workload type
Windows Server 2012 (or higher) VMware host (VSI) VMware host (db-cluster) VDI
Basic settings
Reboot on BIOS Settings change Enabled Enabled Enabled Enabled
Serial port A Disabled Disabled Disabled Disabled
Quiet Boot Disabled Disabled Disabled Disabled
Post Error Pause Disabled Disabled Disabled Disabled
Front Panel Lockout Disabled Disabled Disabled Disabled
Consistent Device Naming (CDN) Enabled Disabled Disabled Disabled
Resume AC On Power Loss last state last state last state last state
QuickPath Interconnect (QPI) link frequency auto auto auto auto
QuickPath Interconnect (QPI) Snoop Mode with LCC: Early snoop; with MCC/HCC: Home snoop  Home snoop Cluster-on-die  Home snoop
Trusted Platform Module (TPM) (and TPM module is present) Enabled Enabled Enabled Enabled
Intel trusted Execution Technology (TXT) Enabled Enabled Enabled Enabled
Processor Basic
Execute Disabled Bit Enabled Enabled Enabled Enabled
Direct Cache Acess Enabled Enabled Enabled Enabled
Local X2APIC Auto Auto Auto Auto
Frequency Floor Override Disabled Disabled Disabled Enabled
P-State Coordination -ignored- -ignored- -ignored- -ignored-
DRAM Clock Throttling Auto Auto Auto Auto
Channel Interleaving Auto Auto Auto Auto
Rank Interleaving Auto Auto Auto Auto
Altitude Auto Auto Auto Auto
CPU Hardware Power Management (Broadwell CPUs only) Native Mode Native Mode Native Mode Native Mode
Processor Prefetchers
Hardware Prefetcher -ignored- -ignored- -ignored- -ignored-
Adjacent Cache Line Prefetcher -ignored- -ignored- -ignored- -ignored-
Data Cache Unit (DCU) Streamer Prefetcher -ignored- -ignored- -ignored- -ignored-
Data Cache Unit (DCU) IP Prefetcher -ignored- -ignored- -ignored- -ignored-
Processor Prefetchers
Turbo Boost Enabled Enabled Enabled Disabled
Enhanced Intel Speed Step Enabled Enabled Enabled Disabled
Hyper Threading Enabled Enabled Enabled Enabled
Core Multi-Processing All All All All
Virtualization Technology (VT) Enabled Enabled Enabled Enabled
Processor Power
Power Management Performance Performance Performance Custom
Energy Performance -ignored- -ignored- -ignored- -ignored-
Processor C State Enabled Enabled Enabled Enabled
Processor C1E Enabled Enabled Enabled Enabled
CPU Performance Enterprise Enterprise Enterprise Enterprise
Package C State Limit C1-state C1-state C1-state C1-state
Processor Power
Processor C3 Report -ignored- -ignored- -ignored- -ignored-
Processor C6 Report -ignored- -ignored- -ignored- -ignored-
Processor C7 Report -ignored- -ignored- -ignored- -ignored-
Max. Variable MTRR Auto-Max Auto-Max Auto-Max Auto-Max
Demand Scrub Enabled Enabled Enabled Enabled
Patrol Scrub Enabled Enabled Enabled Enabled
Virtualization Technology (VT) for Directed I/O Enabled Enabled Enabled Enabled
Interrup Re-map
Coherency Support
Address Translation Services (ATS) Support
Pass Through DMA Support
RAS Memory
NUMA Enabled Enabled Enabled Enabled
LV DDR mode Performance mode Performance mode Performance mode Performance mode
DRAM Refresh Rate Auto Auto Auto Auto
Memory RAS Configuration Mode Maximum performance Maximum performance Maximum performance Maximum performance
DDR3 Voltage Selection 1350 MV 1350 MV 1350 MV 1350 MV


  1. […] Cisco UCS – BIOS policy recommendation […]

  2. AlphenIT
    February 22, 2018

    He Dennis,
    Very nice overview! Do you know if the VDI settings are also valid for an ESXi host that is used for RDS workloads?

    1. VirtualDennisch
      February 22, 2018

      VDI or RDS are the same type of workload (serving desktops), so you could use those settings.

      1. AlphenIT
        February 27, 2018

        Thanks Dennis!
        One more question:
        In the table above you recommend to set Power Management on “Performance” for the VDI use-case while in part 3 you write that it is best to put Power Management on “custom” in order to disable EIST:

        Enhanced Intel Speedstep (EIST)
        EIST is a technology whereby the frequency of processor cores can be lowered (through P-states) by software to reduce power consumption. It works in conjunction with P-states.
        When the ability of using EIST is disabled, Turbo Boost is also disabled!
        My recommendation is to let the Power Management setting control this setting.
        For VDI environments whereby the changes between P-state give a small delay in the desktop experience: my recommendation is to Disable EIST for VDI/TS.

        The Power Management option must be set to CUSTOM otherwise this setting is ignored!

        Can you please explain?

  3. VirtualDennisch
    March 5, 2018

    HI AlphenIT, you’re correct! Power Management should be set to Custom otherwise those 2 settings (EIST/Turbo Boost) will be ignored.


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