How to download the latest version of the EMC VNX Simulator (VSA): Here’s a quick guide that shows you how to get hold of and download the latest EMC VNX Simulator (VSA). For those of you who are not familiar with it, the physical EMC VNX is a unified storage appliance with both file and block storage capabilities, can contain Flash and SAS based storage, and provides connectivity either via Fiber and/or Ethernet (NAS). It also harnesses some pretty useful and powerful technologies such as Fast Cache and Fast auto-tiering. For more information head on over to the EMC VNX webpage here.
The VNX Simulator (VSA) is a highly useful addition to your VMware vSphere lab as it provides you with a real-world type VNX experience, from the management (Unisphere web interface) right through to providing you with the ability to copy and run virtual machines off of it. The VNX simulator offers file (NAS) connectivity to/from your ESXi hosts. As you can imagine this is ideal for training, product familarisation or if you just want to play around with some pretty cool shared storage in your lab. I run a VNX simulator in my own home vSphere lab for some shared storage and can normally comfortably run 3-5 VMs off of it (low workloads).
Before we continue however I want to point out the following “must-know” points regarding the EMC VNX Simulator (VSA):
– This is a non-commercial product and as such isn’t intended for production use.
– It doesn’t come with any “official” EMC support, though check out the EMC community forums as this is a great source of any EMC related information & community support.
– This simulates the File only version of the VNX, ie: no block level storage.
– Don’t expect a publically available Block version of the VNX Simulator, this is due to licensing restrictions.
– As the name suggests, it is a simulator and although it acts and behaves like a physical VNX don’t expect the same blazingly fast IO disk speeds from it.
– It is ideal for a lab environment where high performance isn’t required, more the ability to get hands on time with the product.
I’ve written a few other blog posts here and here, on the EMC VNX VSA and how to get it up and running though these are based on an earlier code release (UBER version). However if you are after the latest publically available version of the VNX Simulator then simply follow these six basic steps.
Open a web browser and navigate to the URL: http://support.emc.com *Note: this now replaces EMC PowerLink for your go-to place for any EMC related downloads.
If you already have an EMC account logon then enter in these credentials and click the ‘’Log In” button. If you don’t already have an account then no problem, simply click the “Register Now” and enter in the relevant details to have an account set up for you (this is free as you’d expect).
If registering for the first time, when you receive your logon credentials then enter them in to the login fields and click the “Log In” button.
Once you have successfully logged in you will then be presented with the EMC Online Support page, as you want to download your own copy of the VNX Simulator (VSA) then click the “Downloads” link indicated below.
With you now being at the Downloads page we want to perform a search for the VNX Simulator downloadable file.
In the “Find a Product” field type in “VNX/VNXe Series”, this will bring up everything relating to the VNX (both series, ie: 1 & 2)and VNXe. Simply scroll down and select “VNX/VNXe Series” and then click the blue arrow button (3 – see below) to kick off the search.
Once the search results are returned you will see a large number of VNX related downloads, to make things easier we want to sort this long list of files by the “Title”. Click the “Title” Sort by field as shown below.
With the list of VNX files now sorted by Title, scroll down until you get to the files called “VNX File Simulator”. You will notice that there are a few different versions of these files, go for the latest. At the time of writing this post the latest downloadable version was OE 188.8.131.52 (Q1 2013). Check back from time to time for any new releases.
You will notice that there is a “Single Data Mover” and a “Two Data Movers” version, what one you download is up to you. As the name suggests one version has a single data mover and the other two (ie: the part of the appliance that handles the “data” as it “moves” in and out of the VNX – in this case via Ethernet connetivity). If you want to learn more about the various parts that make up a VNX or Celerra then check out my earlier post here on the EMC Celerra VSA. *Note: the post is on the earlier EMC unified model the Celerra, though much of the fundamentals still applies to the VNX.
In most lab instances you’ll probably only want the single data mover, though if you are studying or want more to configure (ie: dual data movers) then the two data mover version may be a more attractive option to you.
As you can see from the image above, the downloads aren’t small and average about 2.2GB in size, so unless you are on a very fast internet connection now may be a good time to go and put the kettle on.
I hope you found this brief download guide of use, I will be producing a couple of posts and a video on the next steps, ie: installing and configuring the EMC VNX simulator so check back soon for these posts. Though in the meantime here is a link to one of my blog posts which contains links to a PPT presentation I did a while back which provides a summary on how to install and run the VNX VSA. *Note: Unfortunately the webcast has since expired and been removed (not by me), though a link to download a copy of the presentation is still available.