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Arista and VMware

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While Cisco is the big boy on the block when it comes to networking gear, competitor Arista has some nice offerings that give one reason to look at a look at its products.

One interesting thing their devices have is “native support for VMware Virtualization” (1). With Vmware endorsing NSX for it’s vision of the software defined datacenter (SDDC), and a partner like Arista providing the physical components, it could make deploying software defined networking (SDN) much easier. In fact, Vmware and Arista have entered a “Strategic Relationship to Advance Adoption of Network Virtualization”. At the moment it’s a 4 year agreement ot work together, but as with any relationship, if it is fruitful it will continue to grow.

One of my concerns with NSX when it first came out was vendor support. At a VMUG conference 2 years ago when asked what steps and hardware vendor support there would be for network issues, the answer was they were working on it. In the meantime use wireshark. At that time, only bleeding edge cases would have likley gotten the most out of NSX. Today with strategic partnerships in place, it’s a different story.

At the moment it appears the targets for their combined solutions are large enterprise datacenters and cloud providers

but for smaller and midsized firms, gaining an understanding of what is available can always lead to a future edge competitively.

This topic needs further research by myself, and I am interested in learning more

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VSA : vSphere Storage Appliance : Review

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VSA : vSphere Storage Appliance


What is it?

The precursor to VSAN, the VSA enabled hosts to have software based shared storage without the need for a dedicated storage platform .


“this appliance is aimed at our SMB (Small and Mid-size Business) customers who may not be in a position to purchase a physical SAN or NAS array for their virtual infrastructure, and as a result, these customers do not have shared storage”

Vpshere Blog


Current status:

As of April 1, 2014. all VSA has entered end of life and can no longer be purchased.


How does it work?

The software would divide up the disk allocation in such a way that a volume from one host is mirrored on another.

The selling point is that you can use a minimal set of hardware, or even an existing one, to take advantage of the great features vSphere offered while having to forgo unneeded expenditures that a company ,may not be willing to make.


A company can use high availability and DRS with a smaller investment rather than using tens of thousands to potentially hundreds of thousands on shared storage.



Why replaced?

VSAN is a MUCH better product than VSA.

Where VSA was aimed at small to medium business, VSAN is focused on the enterprise market, moving away from what Duncan Epping likes to call “San Huggers”.

VSAN is built into the vSphere kernel, it has SSD caching, scalable and ready for the prime time.


Here is a nice comparison thanks to vSphere blog



VMWARE VSAN vs VSA comparison
VMWARE VSAN vs VSA comparison



end notes:

Vmware ended a product line that, while an interesting concept at the time, has fulfilled its need. Its features have been placed into the kernel itself, integrating the best, while adding new fatures. So VSA isnt gone in a way, just renamed. Like a lot of other Vmware products.


Project Onyx : Capture click, make code

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Project Onyx: A nice Vmware fling developed by vmware to turn mouse clicks in to command text.

How does it work?

It’s a proxy between your thick client and your vcenter server.

You connect to vcenter via Onyx. Then you use the thick client to connect to the Onyx proxy server

Of importance:

Onyx makes use of direct api calls, rather than powercli.

In the example from the vmware blog, rather than using start-vm to power on a virtual machine,

Onyx will use the API PoweronMultiVM_Task.

So why use it?

True there may be a lot of things that are easier to do using some powercli commands, but if there is something that can’t be automated, you are curious, or just need a hint, at what calls to make, it is still a good tool to have in the tool kit.

Where to get it?

Is there support?

There is (inactive) community driven support

Does it work with Vcenter6?

I haven’t test that yet.


Here is a nice introduction video by Carter Shanklin:

What type of output?

Raw Soap messages 2.0

vCO javascript

How to connect?

Press the connect button

Enter your vcenter server name

Open viclient

once connected you will see the listening port on the pc where you ran onyx

Connect to that port

In this case

The vi client interface is a little slow since it has to run though the onyx proxy:

Here in the client we can see that I changed the network of one of my vms to not connect on poweron