A couple of weeks ago I was working on a project together with a consultant from PQR, Herco aka Brugh. He told me about a Virtual Appliance he created called “EDA”. It took a couple of minutes before I knew what he was talking about… ESX Deployment Appliance. I’ve played around with it for a while about half a year ago but because we were actively using UDA(ultimate deployment appliance) I didn’t had much time to actually get used to it and introduce it to my colleagues.
During the project Herco showed me what he had actually created and how easy it was to deploy ESX with his appliance. I don’t think there’s a reason to tell you guys again why you need to do a scripted install. EDA is a PXE Boot Virtual Appliance build on JeOS. In other words, boot your ESX installer / iso via the PXE appliance. So no need for burning modified iso’s or hosting your scripts on a random webserver. EDA does all of that for you. Because JeOS was used the appliance is small and doesn’t contain any slack.
The cool thing about EDA compared to UDA is that EDA is specifically created for ESX. It contains a lot of sample code which will make your life a lot easier when creating scripts. EDA also works a lot more intuitive than UDA in my opinion, the GUI looks solid. Besides that, EDA is actively being developed and UDA seems to have died.
If you want to have a better understanding of what EDA is take a look at this video that Herco made:
Herco also started a topic on the VMTN forums, if you’ve got any questions contact him via the forums. He usually responds very quick. And if you’ve got good tips / scripts / modification he will look into it and might integrate it with the new upcoming version. For a short guide on howto install and using the appliance check Herco’s blog. Herco told me that there’s a new version coming up soon. Add his blog to your favorites and keep checking it.