Cisco ACI AVE – VMware vSphere Proactive HA

Cisco ACI AVE – VMware vSphere Proactive HA

What is Proactive HA:

You can use VMware vSphere Proactive HA to improve Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) Virtual Edge availability. Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) and VMware work together to detect a nonworking Cisco ACI Virtual Edge, isolate its host, and then use VMware vMotion to move its virtual machines (VMs) to a Cisco ACI Virtual Edge on a working host.


VMware vSphere Proactive HA is available in VMware vCenter beginning with release 6.5. You can use the feature beginning in Cisco ACI Virtual Edge 1.2(3c) and Cisco APIC 3.2(3i).

Benefits of Using vSphere Proactive HA:

Using the vSphere Proactive HA feature is how you can detect and react to a Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) Virtual Edge failure. If Cisco ACI Virtual Edge goes down, all of its virtual machines (VMs) that are connected to a VMware vCenter portgroup with AVE switching mode lose network connectivity.

What Proactive HA works:

You enable and configure vSphere Proactive HA in VMware vCenter and in Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), where the feature is called Host Availability Assurance.

  1. Cisco APIC monitors Cisco ACI Virtual Edge on VMware vCenter.

It uses the VMware vCenter inventory and OpFlex status to determine if Cisco ACI Virtual Edge is in a good or bad state. If Cisco APIC detects that Cisco ACI Virtual Edge is in a bad state, it tells VMware vCenter to put the affected host into quarantine by using the yellow level.

  • VMware vCenter puts a host in quarantine mode according to a remediation mode, which you configure for the cluster in VMware vCenter.
  • VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) moves the VMs on the nonworking host to a host with a working Cisco ACI Virtual Edge.
  • Cisco APIC watches VMware vCenter events for hosts entering maintenance mode or rebooting and powers off Cisco ACI Virtual Edge when it is the only powered-on VM left on the host.
  • Cisco APIC powers on Cisco ACI Virtual Edge when the host is rebooted or taken out of maintenance mode.

vSphere Proactive HA Configuration:

*  Enabling vSphere Proactive HA in VMware vCenter:

The feature Proactive HA assigns a health status: green, yellow, or red to every ESXi host in a Cisco ACI Virtual Edge virtual machine manager (VMM) domain. The status is green if the Cisco ACI Virtual Edge distributed virtual switch (DVS) is not added to the host or if the DVS is added and OpFlex is online. the status is yellow if the DVS is added and OpFlex is offline.

Step 1Log in to the VMware vCenter Web Client.
Step 2Choose Home > Host and Cluster > cluster Configure > Edit.
Step 3In the Edit Cluster Settings dialog box, choose vSphere Availability in the left navigation pane and then check the Turn on Proactive HA check box in the work pane.
Step 4In the left navigation pane, choose Proactive HA Failures and Responsescomplete the following steps: From the Remediation drop-down list, choose a remediation level. Choose either Quarantine, which puts hosts with yellow and red levels into quarantine mode or Mixed, which puts yellow hosts into quarantine mode and red hosts into maintenance mode. Note  Do not choose Maintenance, which puts yellow and red hosts into maintenance mode. Maintenance mode requires that Cisco ACI Virtual Edge be powered off, which prevents the host from ever returning to a healthy state Check the check box next to the vSphere Proactive HA provider to enable it. The Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC)-created provider would have “vmm-domain-name_APIC” as its name.

* Enabling vSphere Proactive HA on APIC:

Under the AVE VMM Domain:

  1. With the AVE Time Out Time (seconds) selector, choose the time period to trigger VMware vCenter to quarantine a host with a nonworking Cisco ACI Virtual Edge and move VMs from the host.

You can choose any value between 10 and 300 seconds, inclusive. The default is 30 seconds.

Check the Host Availability Assurance check box.

2. Checking the check box creates a VMware Proactive HA object in VMware vCenter. The object enables VMware vCenter to quarantine a host with a nonworking Cisco ACI Virtual Edge and move VMs from the host.


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