Author Archive

Ansible, Cumulus, Dell & Nutanix: One big happy family :) – Part2

The road so far…

In Part1, we covered a few things.

  • Design goals etc,
  • Where this was born out of
  • The demo itself.
  • Getting KVM running on a Dell OpenNetworking switch
  • Starting Foundation VM on the switch. (kinda the cool part, rly..)

In tonights episode.

May acts like a tiger, Richard says ‘meow‘ and the I get down with Ansible…. So now I’m depressed I’m not powersliding supercars… but lets move on shall we?

First we’ll dive into the fabric provisioning playbooks showing you a bit more detail.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ansible, Cumulus, Dell & Nutanix: One big happy family :) – Part1

Wow; that’s a lot of vendors in one sentence…

This post is basically to describe the demo I put together for a Nutanix/Cumulus webinar and presented at SF Network Automation meetup last wednesday(2/25/15). It seemed to have a good reaction, and I had fun building and presenting it. So why not share it more broadly? :)

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Thoughts on Networking@Scale event

"it's not an open registration... please send mail to to get a code.

The invite.

When I received an invite to the Networking@Scale (@netatscale on twitter) a couple of weeks ago, I remember my reaction well “Fk yeh, no way! Wow it’s cool to be right-here-right-now” (excuse the profanity). I must confess, as a techy from the middle-of-nowhere (Perth), it was hard to not be a bit star-struck… and the event did not disappoint. It happened to directly conflict w/ another cool event I was looking forward to; Network Field Day 9, which my employer (Cumulus Networks) were part of this time. That was a shame to miss, but luckily following the tweets from both events lead to much hilarity. I’ll probably watch the videos later too. Read the rest of this entry »

Routed vMotion: Why?

Recently, a customer  asked me, “What are the limitations around vMotion across an L3 Clos?”. That question prompted me to re-raise the issue via a discussion I had on Twitter. This post documents my thought process on why vMotion at the routing layer is a requirement in the modern data center. Read the rest of this entry »

ESXi, vCenter, vCloud Director, Zerto, AD….. all nested inside vCloud.

So this is basically another piece of craziness born out of necessity.

I needed to do some testing with the latest release of Zerto virtual replication suite. I didn’t want to do it in Prod (obviously!) and our existing physical lab environment is a bit-too-secure to be useful and has no ability to demo what I build in it to clients…. So, what’s a cloud architect to do….. run in the cloud of course! (OK, that’s a bit wank, but sarcasm doesn’t translate well in text…). Read the rest of this entry »

ObjectStore + vDAS = Win?

So this post start came about as a result of me fishing for some information from a fellow Engineer/Architect @ another cloud-provider, Kyle Bader (@mmgaggle). Basically, I’d seen a video about DreamObjects’ Ceph Implementation and picked up on a mention of using Coraid and was intrigued.

Kyle and I exchanged a few tweets and he questioned why I would use Coraid behind an ObjectStore platform…. so I thought I’d put my thoughts together and get some feedback. Read the rest of this entry »

Building a Multi-Tenant Veeam Replication Target


Ok, so it’s been a while, but I’ve been very busy building a few new products :) Honestly I don’t know how the other bloggers manage to get time to blog if they’re actually doing work as well, but I digress….

The task laid upon me was pretty simple in it’s definition:

“Provide one or more ways for a customers to replicate their on-premise VM’s to a cloud provider in a scalable and secure manner”

… simple, right? Not so much…. Read the rest of this entry »

New Home Lab: CniLab 1.0 (Part 1)

Well, since I’m moving on from my current workplace which has a fantastic lab environment, I thought it was probably about time to build myself a testlab at home. I’ve done a fair bit of research into what others have done, as well as looking at a variety of SMB sites. Ultimately, I want to create something that meets my own needs, not anyone elses though.

Why CniLab?
After seeing Simon Gallagher’s vTardis, I thought “damn that’s a cool name for a vm-lab”, not to mention a very nice setup in general, so being a complete geek; I set about thinking up a name for mine. Read the rest of this entry »

Time to move on…

Well after three years, I’ve decided its time to throw in the towel @ UWA. This environment has provided me with a fantastic learning platform and helped to accelerate my growth as an IT professional. I had the opportunity to work with some really talented people and hope that we keep in touch. I learned a lot, but it’s time to move on.

I have been offered and accepted a new position of Senior Virtualization Engineer @ ZettaServe. I will be working on developing the next generation hosting platform for their ZettaGrid project. I’m really excited to get started, if a little daunted by the challenge.

Moving from the ‘cruisy’ education sector to the commercial consulting world is sure to be a change, but I’m looking forward to it. :)

Virtual Distributed Switch (vDS): Clearing it up (to myself).

One of the design decisions I’m currently faced with is the network configuration for a new virtualization platform. This has led me to doing some further reading on vDS and its implications to design.

We’re in a similar position to a lot of other org’s: We’ve had a couple of iterations of virtualized resources and are now reaching a maturity point where we’re looking to improve the platform, raise its importance and market as services (PaaS, IaaS) to our internal clients. The next logical step is to improve our management processes, SLA’s etc and start moving to a Hybrid-Cloud type model, but we’re not quite there yet. Read the rest of this entry »

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I assume no liability for code posted here, use it at your own risk and always sanity-check it in your environment.