vSphere Replication w/SolidFire VVols

I just realized I had written up a quick ‘how to’ on configuring vSphere replication 6 with SolidFire VVols and then forgot to ever publish it. So yeah… without further ado…

Initial Install and Configuration for vSphere Replication

This link has a fairly detailed walkthrough for deploying the vSphere replication appliances.


If the VMware self-signed certificates are being replaced by new certificates from a CA then the following KB article should be followed to ensure the correct SSL certificates are being used by the VMware Solutions


Configure a SPBM Policy for Replicated VMs

1. Connect to the vCenter that will host the replicated VM

2. Navigate to Home -> Policies and Profiles -> VM Storage Policies

3. Create a new storage policy as follows

a. Step 1 Name and Description -> Select the target vCenter server and enter a name for the policy

b. Step 2a Rule-Set 1 -> Select ‘com.solidfire.vasa.capabilities’ from the Rule based on data services drop down box. Set the data VVol minimum, maximum and burst IOPS to 1000/100000/100000

c. Step 3 Storage Compatibility -> Ensure the VVol datastore to be used for replication shows as compatible and then click Finish.

Configuring a VM for Replication with PIT Instances

1. Right click the VM to be replicated and select All vSphere Replication Actions -> Configure Replication

2. In the Configure Replication for <VM Name> wizard that appears configure as follows

a. Step 1 Replication Type -> Select Replicate to a vCenter Server

b. Step 2 Target Site -> Select the target vCenter instance

c. Step 3 Replication Server -> Select “Auto-assign vSphere Replication server”

d. Step 4 Target Location -> Click the ‘Edit’ link and choose the target VVol datastore

e. Step 5 Replication Options -> Enable Guest OS quiescing and Network Compression if desired.

f. Step 6 Recovery Settings -> Set the desired RPO for the virtual machine and enable Point in time instances with the desired number of instances to keep for the VM. These will be converted to snapshots during recovery of the virtual machine. The maximum number of PIT copies for a VM is 24.

g. Click Next and then Finish to complete configuration of replication

3. The replication will now start an initial sync after a couple minutes. After the initial sync the replication status should show a status of OK.

4. Navigate to Home -> vSphere Replication -> and select the target vCenter server. Click ‘Monitor’

5. Select ‘Incoming Replications’ and then select the virtual machine. Select Replication Details tab to verify details of the replication relationship for the VM.

6. Select the Point in Time tab to show PIT instances of the VM on the replicated site

Recovering a VM at the Replication Target Site

1. On the recovery vCenter navigate to Home -> vSphere Replication. Highlight the target vCenter instance and then click the monitor tab.

2. Highlight the VM to recover under “Incoming Replications” and then click the red ‘play’ button to start the recovery process

3. In the recovery wizard perform the following actions

a. Step 1 Recovery Options -> Select ‘Synchronize recent changes’ if the source VM is unavailable or shut down. If the source VM is still powered on and reachable this will not be an option. In this case, select “Use latest available data” and click Next. clip_image022

b. Step 2 Folder -> Select a folder on the target vCenter to receive the recovered VM

c. Step 3 Resource -> Select a host or cluster to host the restored VM. Click Next then Finish to complete the recovery of the VM.

4. The Recover Virtual Machine task will now run and register the restored VM on the target vCenter server. After a successful recovery the status of the VM will be ‘Recovered’. clip_image024

5. The recovered VM will be powered on with no network connectivity to avoid potential IP conflicts. clip_image026

6. If the VM needs to be restored to a previous PIT instance, right click the VM and navigate to Snapshots -> Manage Snapshots to select the PIT image to restore

7. To restore networking for the recovered VM (assuming the primary VM is offline), edit the settings of the VM and check the ‘Connected’ box for the network adapter for the VM.

Re-protecting a Recovered VM

1. Right click the recovered VM and select Configure vSphere Replication.

a. Step 1 Replication Type -> Select Replicate to a vCenter Server

b. Step 2 Target Site -> Select the vCenter to restore the VM to

c. Step 3 Replication Server -> Accept the default unless there are more than one replication appliances deployed

d. Step 4 Target Location -> Ensure the source VM is powered off. Then click the Edit link and select the original storage location for the VMclip_image031

i. Click OK. This will bring up a pop-up stating the target folder already exists. Click Use Existing button to replace the original VM with the contents of the recovered VMclip_image032

ii. Select the “Use all seeds” link to tell vSphere Replication to use the old VMDK files as a seed for the reverse replication to save on bandwidth during the recovery and click Nextclip_image034

e. Step 5 Replication Options -> Select replication options that fit the requirements for re-seeding the original production VM

f. Step 6 Recovery Settings -> Set the RPO and PIT options as required. Then click Finish to start the re-seeding of the recovered VM to the production vCenter.

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