Save 50% off Your Network Virtualization Certification Exam through June 30

The future of networking is virtual. Keep your skills relevant and future-proof your career by earning yourVMware Certified Professional – Network Virtualization (VCP-NV) certification for half price through June 30, 2015.

Plus, if you have certain Cisco certification*, we will waive the course requirement in recognition of your previous certification through January 31, 2016. Visit the VCP-NV certification requirements page for complete details.

Whether you are earning your first VMware certification or seeking recertification this is a terrific opportunity to discover cutting-edge NSX technology and save on your exam.

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You must complete your exam by June 30, 2015 to save 50%…Enjoy 🙂

For more information visit :- https://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=63030&ui=www_edu

MY VCAP-DCA (VDCA550) EXPERIENCE

vcap-dca-Image

Dear All,

Happy to share that yesterday cleared my VCAP-DCA (VDCA550) Certification. Yesterday finished writing my exam around 6:00 PM Singapore Time and waiting for my Score Report to see this below wonderful lines –

“Congratulations on passing the VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Data Center Administration exam! You will receive an email notification from certification@vmware.com once your certification status has been confirmed and added to your VMware Education Transcript (allow one week).”

After completing my VCAP5-DCD certification last year on 21st August started preparing for my VCAP5-DCA exam but because of hectic schedule could not get enough time to finish this. But Finally achieved this.

Overview:-

The VCAP5-DCA (VDCA550) Exam consists of 23 live lab activities and a short pre-exam survey consisting of 9 questions. The total time for this exam is 180 minutes but as i was writing this exam in Singapore where English is not a primary language so an additional 30 minutes added to the exam time to 210 minutes. Plus 15 minutes for short pre-exam survey so total time was 225 minutes.

The passing score for this exam is 300 out of 500.

Exam Experience

Although i have been working on VMware products for long but for the VCAP-DCA on 5.5 exam, I knew I had to brush up and practice at least once in my lab all the areas in the blueprint. VCAP5-DCA-VDCA550-Exam-Blueprint-v3_3.

I started practicing through the blueprint. Going through the blueprint is compulsory as the exam covers all the topics discussed in the blueprint. Second best source was go through the various blogs sharing experience and tips provided for VCAP-DCA exam.

There are lot of blog posts which you should go through which has study notes which will certainly help with great deal. Here are few blogs which  i followed:-

http://thinkingloudoncloud.com/

http://stretch-cloud.info/

http://longwhiteclouds.com/

vSphere Optimize & Scale Course on Trainsignal by Jason Nash: Official recommended course for VCAP5-DCA and Jason Nash one of the most excellent instructors and he deep dives through each point in the blueprint.

The ProfessionalVMware #vBrownBag sessions on Youtube.com.

Exam Environment

The format has changed significantly from the 510 exams from my research and in asking others of their experience…The exam consists of a number of tasks that are performed using an environment consisting of five ESXi 5.5 hosts, two vCenter 5.5 Servers, vCenter Orchestrator 5.5 and vSphere Replication 5.5 appliances plus an Active Directory domain controller and shared storage. A number of pre-configured virtual machines will also be present for use with certain tasks.Throughout the exam you are repeatedly warned to not change anything but what actions are stated in the question…

I solved 22 questions and was left with 7 minutes time for a question I had no idea where to begin with. So after 5 minutes of desperate clicking around vSphere Client and in provided documentations, I gave up and finished my examination session.

Final Thoughts

I am so happy to clear my VCAP-DCA (VDCA550) exam. I was relieved and fairly happy that the plan had worked and all the hard work of the months had paid off.

Good luck to all those taking the VCAP-DCA in the future 🙂

Deploying VMware ESXi 5.5. with vSphere Auto Deploy 5.5 – Part 2

We have discussed Install and Configure vCenter Server, Auto Deploy Server, TFTP Server and DHCP Server configuration in Deploying VMware ESXi 5.5. with vSphere Auto Deploy 5.5 – Part 1

Let’s discuss remaining parts here –

  • Download Offline Bundle for ESXi 5.5 with all other VIBs.
  • Install VMware PowerCLI 5.5.
  • Create Software Depot / Image Profile / Deploy Rule / Create Host profiles / Update Rules with Host Profile.

Download Offline Bundle for ESXi 5.5 with all other VIBs.

1. To download ESXi 5.5 Offline Bundle Go To https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/info/slug/datacenter_cloud_infrastructure/vmware_vsphere/5_5

Offline22. Under Product type (Enterprise Plus) –> VMware ESXi 5.5.0 Update 2 and Click on Go to Downloads

Offline33. Under Product Downloads –> ESXi 5.5 Update 2 Offline Bundle –> Click on Download Now

Offline14. Enter My VMware Log In credentials and Click on Log In

Offline45. Tick the check box to Agree VMware End User Licence Agreement and Click Accept.

Offline56. It will start downloading ESXi 5.5 offline bundle Zip file and will take few minutes to download.

Offline67. Download others Agents / Drivers / VIBs as per your requirements to customize with bundle.

——————————————————————————————————

Now let’s Install VMware PowerCLI 5.5

1. Download VMware PowerCLI 5.5 from here https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/info/slug/datacenter_cloud_infrastructure/vmware_vsphere_with_operations_management/5_5?productId=352#drivers_tools

Offline72. Start the Installation by double Clicking VMware-PowerCLI-5.5.0-1295336.exe

Offline83. VMware vSphere PowerCLI installation will start and will give Security Warning for PowerShell Execution policy is not set to “RemoteSigned”

PCLI24. Open Windows PowerShell and Run Set-ExecutionPolicy remotesigned command to change the execution policy. And Click Continue to continue Installation.

PCLI35. On Welcome to the VMware vSphere PowerCLI Installation screen Click Next to continue.

PCLI46. Check radio button to Accept the License Agreement and Click Next to Continue.

PCLI57. Select vSphere PowerCLI program and change the Installation location (If required) and click Next to continue.

PCLI68. On Ready to Install the Program screen click Install to begin Installation.

PCLI79. This will take few minutes to install VMware vSphere PowerCLI on the machine.

PCLI810. On InstallShield Wizard Completed screen click Finish to exit the wizard.

PCLI911. Launch VMware vSphere PowerCLI by clicking VMware vSphere PowerCLI.

Offline912. We are all set with VMware vSphere PowerCLI Installation.

Offline10We have fulfilled all other requirements for Auto Deploy. Now will discuss how to Create Software Depot / Image Profile / Deploy Rule / Create Host profiles / Update Rules with Host Profile.

1.  Connect to vCenter server :- Connect-VIServer vc.dca.com.                                       It will ask for login Credential for vCenter Server. Provide User Name and                 Password click Ok to connect to vCenter Server.

AD1.12. As you can see connected to vCenter Server with provided User Name.

AD1.23. First Thing we need to do is create Software Depot, but before creating Software Depot we can check any existing Depot by command :- Get-EsxSoftwareDepot. 

AD14. To Create Software Depot use below command :-                                                                Add-EsxSoftwareDepot “C:\data\update-from-esxi5.5-5.5_update02-2068190.zip”   

AD25. Run again Get-EsxSoftwareDepot to see the Software Depot.

AD36. Next thing we need to do is create Image Profile.                                                                 New-EsxImageProfile -CloneProfile “ESXi-5.5.0-20140902001-stan*” -Name “Roshtestprofile”

AD47.  Use Get-EsxImageProfile to verify that Image Profile got created.

AD58. After Creating Image Profile we need to create DeplyRule                                             New-DeployRule -Name “PreHostProfile” -Item Roshtestprofile -Pattern “ipv4=192.168.174.206-192.168.174.220”                                                                 (Pattern can be IP Range, MAC Address, Make, etc.)

AD69. It has created Deploy Rule (PreHostProfile) for Pattern (IP Range) with Item (Image Profile) RoshtestProfile.

AD810. After Creating Deploy Rule we need to Add/Active Deploy Rule :-                                                    Add-DeployRule -DeployRule “PreHostProfile”

AD911. As you can see there is only one ESXi Host (esxi1.dca.com) is connected to this vCenter Server.

AD1012. We have created Rule with Pattern for IP Range, We’ll have to create Reservation for hosts with those IP Addresses. As you can see below i have created Virtual Machine (Auto_ESXi1) and reserved 192.168.174.210 IP address for host.

AD1113. Let’s Power ON the Virtual Machine Now.                                                                         (Note :- This is Stateless VM as have not allocated Hard Disk to VM)

AD1214. Host booted and get 192.168.174.210 IP Address from DHCP Server as per Reservation and trying to connect to TFTP Server to get Boot Image …

AD1315. Walla… Connected to Auto Deploy Server and loading Image into Memory….

AD1416. Installation is in Process…

AD1517. Once Installation finished host will be added to vCenter Server by Auto Deploy.

AD1718. Next thing we need to do to Create Host profile, Edit Host Profile and Update Deploy Rule to apply Host profile after deploying the ESXi host.

To create Host Profile Go To Home –> Management –> Host Profile

HP119. In Create Profile Wizard select Create Profile from existing Host and Click Next to continue..

HP220. Name the Host Profile and Click Next to continue ..

HP421. On the ready to complete the Profile Window Review and Click Finish to Create Host profile.

HP522. After creating Host Profile we need to edit the Profile to configure all the things want to deploy on hosts. (e.g. Syslog Server, Coredump collector, Stateless chashing , NTP settings, DNS configuration etc.)

HP6 HP7 HP823. Once profile is created and edited as per requirements. We need to Create New DeployRule with Host Profile and Cluster Name to Deploy host with Specific requirement and Add to specific Cluster. And Add/Active new created Deploy Rule.

AD1824. Again i have created one more VM with Name Auto_ESXi2 and reserved IP address 192.168.174.211. Now let’s reboot this VM to deploy with new created Rule.

AD2025. As you can see in below screen that Host Profile is being applied on the host.

AD2126. Once all done host has been added to mentioned Cluster DCA.

AD23That’s all. Hope this will help you all.

Cheers….Roshan Jha 🙂

Deploying VMware ESXi 5.5. with vSphere Auto Deploy 5.5 – Part 1

Auto Deploy allows rapid deployment and configuration of a large number of ESXi hosts. vSphere Auto deploy can be configured with one of the three modes:

  • Stateless
  • Stateless Caching
  • Stateful Install

Stateless :-  You Deploy ESXi using Auto Deploy are not installing ESXi onto a Local disk, or a SAN boot LUN. ESXi is directly loaded into memory on a host as it boots.

Stateless Caching :- You deploy ESXi using Auto Deploy just as with Stateless, but the Image is cached on the server’s local disk or SAN boot LUN. In the event that Auto Deploy infrastructure is not available, the hosts boots from a local cache of the Image.

Stateful Install :- You can provision a host with Auto Deploy and set up the host to store the image to disk. On subsequent boots, the host boots from disk. This process is similar to performing a scripted installation. With a scripted installation, the script provisions a host and the host then boots from disk. In this case, Auto Deploy provisions a host and the host then boots from disk.

Auto Deploy Requirements:-

1.  vCenter Server 5.5 (Install/Upgrade vCenter Server 5.5)

2. Install Auto Deploy Server 5.5.

3. Install TFTP server (SolarWinds).

4. Configure TFTP Server and Boot Loader Data.

5. Configure DHCP server with 66 and 67 Options.

6. Install VMware PowerCLI 5.5.

7. Download Offline Bundle 5.5 with all other VIBs

8. Create Software Depot / Image Profile / Deploy Rule / Create Host profiles / Update Rules

How to Install Auto Deploy server

You can install vSphere Auto Deploy on the same system as vCenter Server or on a separate Windows based system. If you are installing Auto Deploy on a system separate from vCenter Server, Specify the IP Address or Name of the vCenter Server with which this Auto Deploy server should register.

1. Launch the VMware vCenter Installer media and Select vSphere Auto Deploy and then click Install to start the installer.

AD12. Select the appropriate language and Click OK.

AD23. Installer will prepare setup process.

AD34. From the vSphere Auto Deploy installer Welcome Screen, Click Next to Continue.

AD45. Select Radio button to accept End User License Agreement and Click Next.

AD56. Select the vSphere Auto Deploy Installer and Repository Directory and Size of the Repository and Click Next to continue.

AD67. Provide vCenter Server details and Credentials to register Auto Deploy with vCenter Server and click Next to continue.

AD78. Select the default Auto Deploy Server and Management Port and Click Next.                   (Do not change unless there is conflicts with port numbers)

AD89. The Next screen allows to choose how the vSphere Auto Deploy Server will be identified on the network. It Will detect host name on which we are installing Auto Deploy choose default name name Click Next.

AD910. On Ready to Install screen click Install to begin the installation.

AD1011. Ignore the Security Warning and Click Finish to Complete the Installation.

AD1112. Once Installation Completed Connect to vCenter Server –> Home –> Administration –> Auto Deploy. See below screenshot.

AD1413. Click on Auto Deploy to open.

AD15We have completed Auto Deploy Installation, Now let’s Install and Configure TFTP server.

=============================================================

Install and Configure TFTP Server

There are so many TFTP server available but i am going to use here Solarwinds TFTP Server.

1. Download the SolarWinds TFTP server Software and Double Click SolarWindsTFTPServer.exe to launch the TFTP installer.

TFTP62. On the Open File – Security Warning page Click Run to start the installation.

TFTP13. On Welcome to the SolarWinds TFTP Server Setup screen and click Next to continue.

TFTP24. Click tick box to Accept End-User License Agreement and Click Next to Continue.

TFTP35. On Ready to Install screen click Install to begin the installation.

TFTP46. once Installation completed click Finish to exit setup wizard.

TFTP5

We have Installed TFTP server now Let’s configure TFTP Server.

1. Open the TFTP Server by going Start –> All Programs –> SolarWinds TFTP Server –> TFTP Server.

TFTP102. We need to download TFTP Boot ZIP from Auto Deploy Server. Let’s connect to vCenter Server and open Auto Deploy Server.

AD153. Click On Download TFTP Boot Zip and Save Deploy-TFTP.Zip to Local Drive.

TFTP83. Choose the location and Click Save to save on the specified location.

TFTP94. Open the Deploy-tftp.zip folder, Extract and copy all files inside this folder to TFTP Server Root location.

TFTP135. In my case TFTP Root is C:\TFTP-Root, So Paste copied files here.

PCLI246. Now we have to Configure C:\TFTP-Root as Root Directory for TFTP Server. So choose File –> Configure.

TFTP117. Under the Storage –> TFTP Server Root Directory –> Click Browse and choose C:\TFTP-Root and Click OK.

PCLI258. After Setting Up Root Directory Stop and Start the TFTP Server Service and Click OK to close the configuration window.

PCLI269. TFTP Server Configuration Completed and TFTP Server Service is Up and Running fine now.

PCLI27

We have installed and Configured Auto Deploy Server and TFTP Server, Now will Configure DHCP server ( Reservation and Configure Options 66 and 67 )

Configure DHCP Server

1. Open DHCP Server, Right Click on Reservation and choose New Reservation.

DHCP12. We need to specify MAC Address of the server for which reserving IP Address. And Also you can see have not assigned disk to this Virtual Machine (Stateless Host)

DHCP23. Provide Reservation Name same as Host Name, IP Address want to reserved for this host and MAC Address of the host.(Replace Colon (:) with Dash (-)) and Click Add to add reservation.

DHCP34. Now need to Configure Options for reservation with 66 (TFTP Server Name) and            67 (BootFile Name). Right Click Reservation and choose Configure Options.

DHCP45. Scroll Down to Options 66. Tick the check box 66 and Specify TFTP Server Name in Data Entry –> String value and Click Apply.

DHCP56.  Tick the check box 67 (Bootfile Name) and in the String Value enter Name of the Bootfile from TFTP Server Root Directory.

DHCP6

DHCP7

Done.

So far we have discussed Install and Configure vCenter Server, Auto Deploy Server, TFTP Server and DHCP Scope.

We’ll discuss Download Offline Bundle for ESXi 5.5 with all other VIBsInstall VMware PowerCLI 5.5, and Create Software Depot / Image Profile / Deploy Rule / Create Host profiles / Update Rules with Host Profile in the Deploying VMware ESXi 5.5. with vSphere Auto Deploy 5.5 – Part 2.

Click Here for Part 2 – Deploying VMware ESXi 5.5. with vSphere Auto Deploy 5.5

Thank You!

Roshan Jha 

vSphere Syslog Collector 5.5 – Install and Configure

Syslog Collector

Syslog is a way for network devices to send event messages to a logging server – usually known as a Syslog server. The Syslog protocol is supported by a wide range of devices and can be used to log different types of events. An ESXi host will by defaults save its log files locally. This is particularly important for hosts deployed without a persistent scratch Partition, Such as a Stateless host provisioned by Auto Deploy. Syslog Collector also addresses the issue of an Auto Deployed host not having a local disk.  With no local disk the log files are stored on a Ramdisk, which means each time the server boots the logs are lost.   Not having persistent logs can complicate troubleshooting.  Use the syslog collector to capture the ESXi host’s log on a network server.

Syslog Collector on VCSA

A Syslog Collector is bundled with the the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) and requires no extra setup. By default logs are saved in /var/log/remote/<HostName>. Just configure the hosts to send their logs to the Syslog collector.

Syslog Collector on a Windows Server

Syslog Collector can be installed on vCenter Server or on a standalone Windows Server.

1. From VMware vCenter Installer media choose vSphere Syslog Collector and Click Install to start the installation process.

SLS12. Select the appropriate language for the Syslog Collector and Click OK.

SLS23. Installer will prepare setup process to guide and install Syslog Collector.

SLS34. On the Welcome screen Click Next to continue.

SLS45. Select Radio button to accept End User License Agreement and Click Next.

SLS56. Select where to install the application and where to stored the logs and also Size of the log file before Rotation and Number of Logs to keep on the Syslog Collector Server. Unless you have specific requirements select default settings and Click Next.

SLS67. Setup Type screen allows to register the Syslog Collector instance with vCenter Server instance. Select VMware vCenter Server Installation and Click Next.

SLS78. On VMware vCenter Server Information screen provide the vCenter Server Name, Port, and Appropriate account credentials to Register Syslog Collector to vCenter Server and Click Next.

SLS8.19. Accept the default ports settings and Click Next.

SLS810. The Next screen allows to choose how the Syslog Collector will be identified on the networks and by the ESXi hosts. It Will detect host name on which we are installing Syslog collector choose default name and Click Next.

SLS911. On Ready to Install screen click Install to begin the installation.

SLS1012. On Installation Completed screen click Finish to complete the Installation.

SLS1613. Once Installation completed connect to vCenter Server –> Home –> Administration –> VMware Syslog Collector–> Double Click to open Syslog Collector.

SLS12

SLS13===========================================================

Configuring ESXi Hosts to Redirect to a Syslog Collector

There are several ways to Configure ESXi hosts to redirect logs to a Syslog Collector.

  • Advanced Configuration Options on the ESXi host
  • Via Host’s command Line
  • Host Profile

Configuring ESXi Hosts using the Advanced Configuration Options

1. Connect to vCenter Server using vSphere Client or Web Client –> Home –> Select Host and Clusters.

2. Select the ESXi Host –> Configuration –> Under Software Advanced Settings.

SLS143. Under Advanced Settings –> Syslog –> Global –> Syslog.global.loghost enter Syslog Collector host name and Click OK to complete the configuration.

SLS15===============================================================

Configuring ESXi Hosts using Host’s Command Line

1. Connect ESXi host using putty.

SLS172. Enter the Root credentials to log into to host.

SLS183. Review the existing Syslog Collector Configuration using below command –                                 esxcli system syslog config get

SLS194. If you do not remember the configuration parameters/options use below commands to get the help – esxcli system syslog config set –help

SLS205. To configure the remote log host server and enable syslog collector server on host use this command –

esxcli system syslog set –loghost=vum.dca.com –logdir-unique=true                    

esxcli system syslog reload

SLS216. Verify configuration using below command – esxcli system syslog config get

SLS22=============================================================

Configuring ESXi Hosts using Host Profile.

1. Edit the Host profile with below settings.

Advanced Configuration Option –> syslog.global.loghost –> Enter the syslog Collector host name and click OK. Apply this Host Profile on other hosts and compliant.

SLS23

Done. We are all set now 🙂

 

Cheers..Roshan Jha

Setting up the ESXi 5.5 Dump Collector

The ESXi Dump Collector is a centralized service that can receive and store Memory dumps from ESXi servers when they crashed unexpectedly. These Memory Dumps occurs when an ESXi hosts crashed with PSOD (Purple Screen of death). The Kernel grabs the contents of Memory and dumps them to nonvolatile disk storage before the server reboots. By default, a core dump is saved to the local disk.  In the case where there may not be a local disk the core dump will be saved to a ramdisk in memory, which is a problem because the core dumps will be lost when the host reboots.

To solve this vSphere 5.0 includes a new feature called the ESXi Dump Collector.  The Dump Collector enables you redirect ESXi host core dumps onto a network server.

The dump collector is included as part of the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) and requires no extra setup.

CDC1

How to Install ESXi Dump Collector on Windows.

1. To install the dump collector on Windows simply load the VMware vCenter installation media, launch autorun.exe and from the main install menu choose “vSphere ESXi Dump Collector”.

DC12. Select the appropriate language for ESXi Dump Collector and Click OK.

DC23. Installer will prepare setup process for ESXi Dump Collector.

DC34. On the Welcome screen Click Next to start installation process.

DC45. Select Radio button to accept End User License Agreement and click Next.

DC56. Select where to install the ESXi Dump Collector and Where to store the Dump (Repository Directory), If desired change the location and Repository Size and Click Next.

DC67. Setup Type screen allows to register the ESXi Dump Collector instance with vCenter Server instance. Select VMware vCenter Server Installation and Click Next.

DC78. On VMware vCenter Server Information screen provide the vCenter Server Name, Port, and Appropriate account credentials to Register ESXi Dump Collector to vCenter Server and Click Next.

DC89. Accept default port 6500 and Click Next.

DC910. The Next screen allows to choose how the ESXi Dump Collector will be identified on the networks and by the ESXi hosts. It Will detect host name on which we are installing Dump collector choose default name name Click Next.

DC1011. On Ready to Install screen click Install to begin the installation.

DC1112. On Installation Completed screen click Finish to complete the Installation.

DC1213. Once Installation completed connect to vCenter Server –> Home –> Administration –> VMware ESXi Dump Collector–> Double Click to open ESXi Dump Collector.

DC13You can see Dump Collector’s details and Port Number.

DC14=============================================================

Now we need to configure ESXi host to Redirect their Core Dumps

There are 2 methods to configure ESXi Hosts to redirects Core Dumps to ESXi Dump Collector server.

  • Using ESXCLI command-line Tools
  • Using Host Profile.

1. Log into ESXi host via SSH.

DC152. Enter the Root credentials to log into to host.

DC163. Review the existing Dump Collector Configuration using below command –                                 esxcli system coredump network get

DC174. If you do not remember the configuration parameters/options use below commands to get the help – esxcli system coredump network set –help

DC195. Use below command to configure the host’s dump redirection settings                             esxcli system coredump network set -v vmk0 -i 192.168.174.204 -o 6500

6. Turn On / enable Dump Collector using below command                                                     esxcli system coredump network set -e true

DC207. At the end verify Dump Collector service status with this command.                                             esxcli system coredump network check

DC21

Done!

===========================================================

Now will configure ESXi Dump Collector on hosts using Host Profile

1. Create Host Profile and Edit Host Profile with Below settings to enable and configuration Network Coredump Settings. Once done apply this Profile on the rest of Hosts to make complaint with hosts.

DC22

We are all set now.

 

Thank You!

Roshan Jha

Upgrade vCenter Server 4.1 to 5.5

Last night upgraded my home lab from vSphere 4.1 to vSphere 5.5.

The vCenter upgrade process is actually fairly simple, (all things considered). You basically just backup your existing database (SQL or Oracle), snapshot (or clone) your existing vCenter (if virtual), mount the ISO and start the upgrade process.

There are Prerequisites for vCenter Server 5.1 and Later (vCenter Single Sign-On and vCenter Inventory Service) which does not include in vCenter Server 5.0 and earlier so we need to install these 2 components before starting upgrade from 4.1 to 5.5.

up1You can install vCenter Single Sign-On, the vSphere Web Client, vCenter Inventory Service, and vCenter Server on the same host machine (as with vCenter Simple Install) or on different machines as Custom Install.

Let’s start to Install vCenter Single Sign-On

1. Download or Copy Installation Media VMware VMware-VIMSetup-all-5.5.0-2105955-20140901-update02 on the server where want to install vCenter Single Sign-On and Double-click autorun.exe to Start the Installer Media.

up22. From the VMware vCenter Installer, Select vCenter Single Sign-On and then Click Install button to start vCenter Single Sign-On installation.

up33. On Welcome vCenter Single Sign-On Setup screen click Next to continue..

SSO14. Select the tick box to Accept the Licence Agreement and Click NEXT..

SS)25. It will Auto check Prerequisites for vCenter Single Sign-On (e.g. Host Name, FQDN name of the Host, IP Address of the host, Machine is part of the Domain or not, and DNS is able to resolve the host name or Not). As you can see in below screen. If you want to add this Domain as identity Source in SSO check the tick box and Click NEXT..

SSO36. As this is First vCenter Server so choose Standalone vCenter Single Sign-On Server and click NEXT (For more details on all these please refer http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-55/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-55-upgrade-guide.pdf)

SSO47. Installation will create default SSO Domain. Choose a password for the SSO administrator – the “Master SSO Password” (administrator@vsphere.local).Enter Password and the click Next

SSO58. Choose an appropriate Site Name for this Installation and then Click NEXT..

SSO69. On the SSO Port settings page enter the port number and then Click NEXT..                   ( Unless there is conflict in the environment, recommend not to change default      Port Number)

SSO710. Change the Directory for installation if desired and Click NEXT..

SSO811. Finally, Review the installation options and click Install to start the installation.

SSO912. It will take few minutes to install. Once the installation is complete, Click Finish to close the Installer.

SSO10==========================================================

Installing vCenter Inventory Service

The second prerequisite for vCenter Server installation is the vCenter Inventory Service:

1. From the VMware vCenter Installer, Select vCenter Inventory Service and then click Install to start the installer.

IC12. Select the language for the installation and Click OK.

IC23. VMware vCenter Inventory Service installer will start..

IC34. From the vCenter Inventory Service installer Welcome Screen, Click Next to Continue..

IC45. Select the radio button to accept the End User License Agreement and Click Next.

IC56. Change the directory for installation if desired and click Next to continue.

IC67. Enter the vCenter Inventory Service local system name or select default and Click Next.

IC78. On the Configure Port settings page enter the port number and then Click NEXT..           ( Unless there is conflict in the environment, recommend not to change default      Port Number)

IC89. On the JVM Memory screen asks how big your vCenter Inventory will be once it’s fully configured. Select the desired option depending on your requirement and click Next.

IC910. On the vCenter Single Sign-On Information Screen enter the “Master Password” you choosed during SSO installation. Enter the Password (changed port number in the Lookup Service URL if you changed in SSO installation) and click Next to Continue..

IC1011. Because this is the first installation of vCenter Server, So default security certificates need to be accepted. These can be changed to “self-Signed” at a later time. Click Yes to accept and Click Install Certificates to install default certificates.

IC11

 

IC1212. Finally Click Install to commence the Installation and start the services.

IC1313. It will take few minutes to install and register with SSO.

IC1414. Once the installation is complete, Click Finish to Close the installer.

IC15=============================================================

 Installing vCenter Server

We have installed both prerequisites for vCenter Server now ready to upgrade vCenter Server 4.1 to 5.5.

Logged on as Administrative user (Administrator or Service Account) to the computer that will run vCenter Server.

1. Start the vCenter Server installation process by selecting vCenter Server and then Click Install.

VC32. As you can see that minimum RAM required is 4GB and i was started installation on host with 2GB So got failed with NOT ENOUGH SYSTEM RAM. Increased RAM to 4 GB on this VM and restarted installation process.

VC23. Select the language for the installation and click OK.

VC44. Setup will Prepare the InstallSheild Wizard to guide through the setup process…

VC55. On the Welcome screen you can see that An earlier version of vCenter Server is already installed on this computer and will be upgraded to vCenter Server 5.5.warning message. Click Next to continue upgrade process.

VC66. Select the Radio Button to Accept End User License Agreement and click Next.

VC77. Enter vCenter Server license key or leave it blank to install in evaluation mode for 60 days trail click Next to continue.

VC88. At this point you must select whether to use SQL Server 2008 Express Edition or a Separate Database server. I am using embedded database for my Home lab.

UP49. You will get Database Upgrade Warning choose as per your requirement and click Next.

VC1110.  By default the vCenter Server service use Windows Local System Account, if you are using another administrative user service account, provide the credentials and click Next to continue.

VC1311. On the vCenter Agent Upgrade screen choose how do you want to upgrade vCenter Agent on connected ESXi Host and Click Next.

VC1212. The next screen provides the option to change the default TCP and UDP ports on which vCenter server communicates. (Unless there is conflict in the environment, recommend not to change default Port Numbers)

VC1413. On the JVM Memory screen asks how big your vCenter Server will be once it’s fully configured. Select the desired option depending on your requirement and click Next.

VC1514. On the vCenter Single Sign-On Information Screen enter the “Master Password” you choosed during SSO installation. Enter the Password (changed port number in the Lookup Service URL if you changed in SSO installation) and click Next to Continue..

VC1615. Click Yes to accept Certificates and continue.

VC1716. Change the Inventory service address and Port if required and Click Next to continue.

VC1817. As we are upgrading the earlier version so can not change installation directory Click next to accept the location and continue.

VC1918. On the Ready to Install screen Click Install to start the Installation Process ( If you want to Participate in Customer Experience Improvement Program Tick the Enable Data Collection Box – by enabling this we are agreeing to send technical data weekly to VMware)

VC2019. As you can see on Installing VMware vCenter Server Screen it will take 15-20 minutes (depending on how big your environment is) to complete the upgrade.

VC2120. It is being installed as per options/features selected..

VC2221. Once Installation completed click Finish to close the Wizard.

VC23===============================================================

Installing vSphere Web Client

There are 2 different clients that can be used to administer a vCenter Server.

  • vSphere C# Client
  • vSphere Web Client

From vSphere 5.1 onward, VMware stated that it was no longer adding features to the .NET vSphere client: only the vSphere Web Client would gain new feature capabilities.

Any few features that are part of the vSphere 5.5 release are not available from the vSphere Client.

1. From the VMware vCenter Installer, Select vSphere Web Client and then Click Install to start process.

WC12. Select the appropriate language and click OK.

WC23. Installer will prepare the setup process..

WC34. On the Welcome screen click Next to continue.

WC45. Select radio button to accept End User License Agreement and click Next to continue.

WC56. Change the Installation Directory if required and Click Next to continue.

WC67. The next screen provides the option to change or accept the default ports for HTTP and HTTPS on which vSphere Web Client will communicate. (Unless there is conflict in the environment, recommend not to change default Port Numbers)

WC78. On the vCenter Single Sign-On Information Screen enter the “Master Password” you choosed during SSO installation. Enter the Password (changed port number in the Lookup Service URL if you changed in SSO installation) and click Next to Continue..

WC89. Click Yes to accept the certificate.

WC910. On the Ready to Install screen click Install to start the installation.

WC1011. It will take few minutes to install.

WC1112. Once Installation completed click Finish to exit the Wizard.

WC12Done!

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VMware Released: VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.8 and vSphere Data Protection 5.8

srm5.8

VMware announces vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.8 and vSphere Data Protection (VDP) 5.8 at VMworld 2014 at San Francisco.

This new release of SRM aims to deliver next-generation Disaster Recovery capabilities for vSphere environments.

Here is list of new capabilities included with SRM 5.8 :-

  • 5x the scale of protection – IT organizations can set up recovery plans scalable up to 5,000 virtual machines per vCenter Server using array-based replication to enable enterprise-level protection–five times larger than with previous limits.
  • Enhanced self-service – New integrations will offer customers self-service access to provision predefined disaster recovery protection tiers to new VMs via blueprints in vCloud Automation Center when using array-based replication.

Here is updated VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.8 Datasheet!

VMware also announces vSphere Data Protection Advanced 5.8. Powered by EMC Avamar technology, vSphere Data Protection Advanced offers simple, efficient, and robust backup capabilities for vSphere environments.

The new release delivers:

  • Enhanced support for business-critical apps – customers can now perform backups for Microsoft SQL Server clusters as well as Microsoft Exchange DAGs (Database Availability Groups).
  • Customizable Proxies and Backup Work Streams – customers now have the flexibility of choosing the number of parallel backup workstreams to satisfy Service Level Agreements (SLAs) helping them to increase backup scalability and performance.
  • Enhanced Replication – customers can now restore replicated backups at either primary or disaster recovery site.

To see more on vSphere Data Protection 5.8 click here

Thank You !!

Roshan Jha

vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 7

Now we are going to discuss Recovery Plan, Testing and Performing a Failover and Failback

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Recovery Plan

Recovery Plans are created at the recovery site so that they are accessible and can be run from the recovery site when there is a disaster at the protected site. A Recovery Plan is executed to Failover the virtual machine workload that was running at the protected site to the recovery site. It can also be used to perform Planned Migrations. A Recovery Plan is a series of configuration steps that has to be performed to Failover the protected virtual machines to the recovery site.

Note :- A Recovery Plan should be associated with at least one  Protection Group.

Creating a Recovery Plan

Once you have Protection Groups created, the next step would be to create a Recovery Plan for these Protection Groups. The Recovery Plan should be created at the recovery site SRM. This is because, in the event of a disaster, the protected site may become inaccessible. Hence, for very obvious reasons, a Recovery Plan is always created at the recovery site.

In other words, a recovery plan is like a runbook which is based on a protection group. The SRM recovery plan consists of the following:

  • List of protected VMs included in the protection group
  • Startup order for the VMs
  • Custom steps if applicable

The following steps show you how to create a Recovery Plan:

1. Navigate to the vCenter Server’s inventory home and click on Site Recovery.

2. Click on Recovery Plans on the left pane and Click on Create Recovery Plan to bring up the Create Recovery Plan wizard

RP13. In the Create Recovery Plan wizard, select the Recovery Site and click on Next to continue. If the Recovery Plan wizard is initiated at a site, then the wizard will select the other site in the site pair as the recovery site. For example, if you were to initiate the Recovery Plan wizard at SITE-A, then the wizard will auto select SITE-B as the recovery site and vice versa.

RP24. As shown in the following screenshot, select the Protection Group that you would like to use and click on Next to continue:

RP35. In the next wizard screen, click on Test Networks. The test networks are set to Auto by default. The Auto networks are isolated bubble networks and don’t connect to any physical network. So unless you have manually created an isolated test network port group at the recovery site, you can leave it at the Auto setting. Click on Next to continue:

RP46. In the next screen, enter a Recovery Plan Name and an optional Description and click on Next to continue. The Recovery Plan name can be any name of your choice.

RP57. In the Ready to Complete window, click on Finish to create the Recovery Plan.

RP68. You should see the Create Recovery Plan task completed successfully in the Recent Tasks pane.

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Modify Recovery Plan

Our basic recovery plan is now created, we can now configure some advanced features and properties of the recovery plan. These steps are not mandatory but take a look and play around with the settings to get a better understanding of the product.

1. Select the recovery plan created in the previous step. Notice that the action bar above will now display some additional actions like Test, Cleanup, Recovery, Reprotect and Cancel.

RP72. Select the Virtual Machines tab. Select a random VM and click Configure Recovery.

RP83. In the properties window you can modify the settings for this particular VM like IP settings on the Protected Site and the Recovery Site, the priority group this VM belongs, dependencies of other VMs, shutdown actions, and startup actions, pre-power on steps and post-power on steps.

RP94. Take a look at the recovery steps under the Recovery Steps tab and review the recovery steps that will be executed during a recovery. You can view the Test , Cleanup, Recovery and Reprotect steps from the View drop down menu.

RP10

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Testing and Performing a Failover and Failback

In the previous section, we learned how to create Protection Groups and Recovery Plans. Now we will learn how to test Recovery Plans that are already created, how to use them to perform a Failover, Planned migration, Reprotect, and Failback.

Testing a Recovery Plan

A Recovery Plan should be tested for its readiness to make sure that it would work as expected in the event of a real disaster. Most organizations periodically review and update their recovery runbook to make sure that they have an optimized, working plan for a recovery. With SRM, the testing of a Recovery Plan can now be automated.

1. Navigate to the vCenter Server’s inventory home page and click on Site Recovery.

2. Click on Recovery Plans on the left pane and Click on the Recovery Plan that you want to test and click on the Test toolbar item to bring up the Test wizard, as shown in the following screenshot:

TP13. As shown in the following screenshot, the first screen of the wizard will indicate which of the sites have been designated as the protected and recovery sites, the site connection status, and the number of VMs protected:

TP3By default, the storage option Replicate the recent changes to the recovery site is selected. I would recommend not deselecting this option because we replicate the recent changes during a Planned Migration. So, it is important  that the ability of the array to respond to a nonscheduled replication request is tested. However, we might not need to do this if the replication is synchronous. Click on Next to continue.

5. The next screen will summarize the selected options as shown in the following screenshot. Review them and click on Start to initiate the test:

TP26. You should now see a Test Recovery Plan task in the Recent Tasks pane. Navigate to the Recovery Steps tab to watch the progress of the test as shown in the following screenshot: TP46. Once the test completes successfully, you will see the following Test Complete banner appear in the Summary tab of the Recovery Plan:

CP1

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Performing the Cleanup after a test

We know from the previous section that during the course of the testing of a Recovery Plan, SRM executes the creation of certain elements to enact a disaster recovery in a manner that will not affect the running environment. Hence, the changes made and the objects created are temporary and have to be cleaned up after a successful test. Fortunately, this is not a manual process either. SRM provides an automated method to perform a cleanup.

The following actions will occur during a cleanup:

• The ESXi hosts will be put back into the DPM standby mode

• The Recovery VMs will be powered off

• The Suspended noncritical VMs will be powered on

• The inventory entries of the Recovery VMs will be replaced with their corresponding Shadow VM entries

• The VMFS volume will be unmounted

• The LUN device will be detached

• The storage initiators and Refresh Storage System will be rescanned

• The writable snapshot that was created will be deleted

• The Port Group and the vSwitch that were created for the bubble network will be removed

The following procedure will guide you through the steps required for the cleanup:

1. Navigate to the vCenter Server’s inventory home page and click on  Site Recovery.

2. Click on Recovery Plans on the left pane and Select the Recovery Plan with the status Test Complete.

3. Click on the Cleanup item in the toolbar to bring up the cleanup wizard:

CP24. In the cleanup wizard, the details regarding the current protected and recovery sites, their connection status, and the number of protected VMs are displayed. Note that the Force Cleanup option is grayed out. This option will only be available if the cleanup operation attempt has failed during the previous attempt. Click on Next to continue.

5. The next screen will summarize the cleanup options selected. Click on Start to initiate the cleanup.

7. The Recent Tasks pane should show the Cleanup Test Recovery task as successfully completed.

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Performing a Planned Migration

VMware SRM can be used to migrate your workload from one site to another. A Planned Migration is done when the protected site is available and is running the virtual machine workload.

There are many use cases, of which the following two are prominent:

• When migrating your infrastructure to a new hardware

• When migrating your virtual machine storage from one array to another

Note :- A Planned Migration will replicate the most recent changes with the help of storage replication. This is not optional.

The following procedure will guide you through the steps required to perform  a Planned Migration:

1. Navigate to the vCenter Server’s inventory home page and click on  Site Recovery.

2. Click on Recovery Plans on the left pane and Select the Recovery Plan that was created for the Planned Migration and click on the Recovery toolbar item, as shown in the following screenshot, to bring up the recovery wizard:

RP13. Read the info in the Recovery Confirmation window, check the “I understand that this process will permanently alter the virtual machine and infrastructure of both the protected and recovery datacenters.” box and make sure that Planned Migration is selected under the Recovery Type. Click Next to continue.

PM14. The next screen will summarize the wizard options that were selected.  Click on Start to initiate the migration.

5. The Recent Tasks pane should now show the Failover Recovery Plan task  as successfully completed.

PM26. When the recovery process completes, you should see a message as depicted in the screenshot below.

PM37. Notice that the VMs on the Protected Site are powered off and on the Recovery Site, powered on.

PM4The Planned Migration will not proceed further if any of the recovery steps fail. However, when you re-attempt the Planned Migration, it would resume the operation from the step at which it failed. This enables you to fix the problem  and resume from where it failed, saving a considerable amount of time.

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Performing a disaster recovery (Failover)

A Failover is performed when the protected site becomes fully or partially unavailable. We use a Recovery Plan that is already created and tested to perform the Failover. Keep in mind that SRM does not automatically determine the occurrence of a disaster at the protected site; hence, a recovery is always to be manually initiated.

The following steps show how to perform a Failover:

1. Navigate to the vCenter Server’s inventory home page and click on Site Recovery.

2. Click on Recovery Plans on the left pane and Select the Recovery Plan that was created for the disaster recovery and click on the Recovery toolbar item to bring up the recovery wizard.

4. In the recovery wizard, as shown in the following screenshot, agree to the Recovery Confirmation, set the Recovery Type as Disaster Recovery, and click on Next to continue:

PM75. The next screen will summarize the selected wizard options. Click on Start to perform the recovery.

6. The Recovery Steps tab of the Recovery Plan will show the progress of each of the steps involved.

7. Once the Failover is complete, the status of the Recovery Plan should read Recovery Complete.

The recovery steps involved in a disaster recovery (Failover) is the same as in that of a Planned Migration, except for the fact that SRM ignores any unsuccessful attempts to pre-synchronize the storage or shut down the protected virtual machines.

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Initiate Unplanned Failover

This process is very similar to the one performed with the Planned Migration but in this case the Protection Site is not available.

1. On the Protected Site, simulate a disaster by powering off the vCenter Server and the ESXi hosts containing the protected VMs.

2. On the Recovery Site, open the Site Recovery Manager, navigate to Recovery Plans and press the red Recovery button, just like in the previous step.

3. By now you should get a warning stating that the connection to the vCenter Server at the Protected Site has been lost.

4. In the Recovery Confirmation window, notice that the Planned Migration is now grayed out. Select the “I understand that this process will permanently alter the virtual machine and infrastructure of both the protected and recovery datacenters.” option and click Next to proceed.

PM55. Review the settings and press Start to begin the recovery process.

6. Switch over to the Recovery Steps tab and monitor the progress. Notice the errors stating that the connection to the remote server is down. Despite the failure the recovery process continues. The VMs should be up and running in couple of minutes.

PM6If the failover and unplanned migration process both complete successfully, your SRM implementation is properly configured.

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Forced Recovery

Forced Recovery is used when the protected site is no longer operational enough to allow SRM to perform its tasks at the protected site before the Failover.

For instance, there is an unexpected power outage at the protected site causing not just the ESXi hosts but also the storage array to become unavailable. In this scenario, SRM cannot perform any of its tasks, such as shutting down the protected VMs or replicating the most recent storage changes (if the replication is asynchronous), at the protected site.

Enabling Forced Recovery for a site

Forced Recovery is not enabled by default, but it can be enabled at the site’s advanced settings.

To do so, perform the following steps:

1. Navigate to the vCenter Server’s inventory home page and click on Site Recovery.

2. Click on Sites on the left pane.

3. Right-click on the site and click on Advanced Settings.

PM84. In the Advanced Settings windows, select the category recovery from the  left pane.

5. Select the checkbox against the recovery.forceRecovery setting, as shown in the following screenshot, and click on OK to enable Forced Recovery:

PM9

Running Forced Recovery

Running Forced Recovery will skip all the steps that otherwise should have been performed against the protected site. You should use Forced Recovery only during circumstances where the protected site is completely down, leaving no connectivity to either the ESXi hosts or the storage array.

The following steps show how Forced Recovery is executed:

1. Navigate to the vCenter Server’s inventory home page and click on  Site Recovery.

2. Click on Recovery Plans on the left pane and Right-click on the Recovery Plan that you want to run and click on Recovery.

3. In the recovery wizard, select the I understand that this process will permanently alter the virtual machines and infrastructure of both the protected and recovery datacenters checkbox.

4. Select the Recovery Type as Disaster Recovery, select the checkbox Forced Recovery – recovery site operations only, and click on Next:

PM105. You will be prompted to confirm the Forced Recovery. Click on Yes to confirm.

PM116. Review the operation summary and click on Start to initiate the Forced Recovery.

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Reprotecting a site

After you Failover the workload from a protected site to the recovery site, the recovery site has no protection enabled for the new workload that it has begun hosting. SRM provides a method to enable protection of the recovery site. This method is called Reprotect.

A Reprotect operation will reverse the direction of the replication, thus designating the recovery site as the new protected site. The Reprotect operation can only be done on a Recovery Plan with the Recovery Complete status. Also, keep in mind that a Reprotect operation can only be executed when you have repaired the failed site  and made it available to become a recovery site.

For instance, let’s assume that SITE-A and SITE-B are the protected and recovery sites, respectively. If workload at SITE-A were failed over to SITE-B, then to Reprotect SITE-B, SITE-A should be made accessible. This would mean fixing  the problems that caused the failure at SITE-A.

The following steps show how to perform the Reprotect operation:

1. Navigate to the vCenter Server’s inventory home page and click on  Site Recovery.

2. Click on Recovery Plans in the left pane and Select the Recovery Plan with the Recovery Complete status, as shown  in the following screenshot, and click on the toolbar item Reprotect:

PM123. In the Reprotect wizard screen, agree to the Reprotect Confirmation and click on Next to continue:

PM134. In the next screen, click on Start to begin the Reprotect operation.

5. You should see a progressing Reprotect Recovery Plan task in the Recent Tasks pane. Also, the Recovery Steps tab will show the progress of every step involved in the Reprotect operation.

6. The status of the Recovery Plan after a successful Reprotect operation  should read Ready.

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Failback to the protected site

In a scenario where, after a Failover, the original protected site is fixed and is  made available to host the virtual machine workload, you can use SRM to  automate a Failback.

The Failback, although automated, is a two-step process, which is as follows:

1. Step 1 we need to perform a Reprotect operation.

2. Step 2 will be to perform a Failover.

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This concludes the series about implementing and configuring the VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5. I hope you enjoyed the series  🙂 

Cheers…..Roshan Jha!

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 1

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 2

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 3

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 4

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 5

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 6

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 7

Note :- I have used pictures in this post from SRM book written by Abhilash GB and from blog (http://defaultreasoning.com) by Marek.Z and would like to Thank both of them 🙂

vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 6

First we are going to discuss Replication With VR and then will cover Array-based Replication.

To protect a single virtual machine or a group of virtual machines, the virtual machine files need to be replicated from the Protected Site to the Recovery Site. Since we have already set up a VR infrastructure we will proceed using this mechanism. Here we will skip the replication configuration of a single VM and concentrate on configuring replication of multiple VMs since it’s the most common setup in a virtual infrastructure.

Configure Replication for multiple VMs

1). Open the vSphere Client and from the Home page go to VMs and Templates.

2). Select a folder in the left pane and select the Virtual Machines tab. Select All the VMs you want to configure Replication. Right-Click the selected VMs and choose vSphere Replication from Drop Down..

VRR13). In the Configure Replication wizard, select desired Recovery Point Objective (RPO – Minimum 15 min and Max 24 hr), and lease the “Initial copies of .vmdk files have been placed on the target datastoresun-checked since we didn’t copy the files to the Recovery Site. Click Next.

VRR24). Select the appropriate VR Server (If you have multiple VR Servers) at the Recovery Site or leave the setting to Auto-assign VR Server. Click Next to proceed.

VRR35). Review the settings and click Finish.

VRR46). Click Close when the Configuring Replication process is completed.

VRR5============================================================

Configure Datastore Mapping

Now that the replication of VMs has been set up, we need to create the datastore mapping for the replicated VMs on the Recovery Site.

1). On the Protected Site, open the Site Recovery Manager and select vSphere Replication in the left pane. Select the Protected Site  and go to the Datastore Mappings tab.

VRR62). Select datastores under the Source Datastore and map it to the appropriate datastore at the Recovery Site by clicking on the Configure Mapping button.

VRR73). In the Datastore Mapping window, select the appropriate datastore and click OK.

VRR84). Verify the mapping under the Target Datastore column on the Datastore Mappings tab.

5). To check if the replication is running, select the Recovery Site in the vSphere Replication and select the Virtual Machines tab. You should see something similar to the screenshot below.

VRR9OK, so the files of the virtual machines are now synchronized between the Protected Site and Recovery Site. Let’s proceed now with configuration of the Protection Group.

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Now Let’s discuss and configure VMs with Array-Based Replication

Datastore Groups

A datastore group is a container that aggregates one or more replication-enabled datastores. The datastore groups are created by SRM and cannot be manually altered. A replication-enabled datastore is a datastore who’s LUN has a replication schedule enabled at the array.

DP1A datastore group will contain only a single datastore if the datastore doesn’t store files of virtual machines from other datastores. See the preceding single-datastore datastore group conceptual diagram.

A datastore group can also contain more than one datastore. SRM aggregates multiple datastores into a single group if they have virtual machines whose files are distributed onto these datastores. For example, if VM-A has two VMDKs placed on datastores Datastore-M and Datastore-N each, and then both these datastores become part of the same datastore group.

Protection Groups

“A protection group is a group of virtual machines that fail over together to the recovery site during a test or a recovery procedure.”

Unlike vSphere Replication, SRM cannot enable protection on individual virtual machines. All the virtual machines that are hosted on the datastores in a datastore group are protected. Meaning, with SRM, protection is enabled at the datastore group level. This is because, with an array-based replication, the LUNs backing the datastores are replicated. The array doesn’t know which VMs are hosted on the datastore. It just replicates the LUN, block by block. So, at the SRM layer, the protection is enabled at the datastore level. In a way, a Protection Group is nothing but a software construct to which datastore groups are added, which in turn includes all the VMs stored on them in the Protection Group.

When creating a Protection Group, you will have to choose the datastore groups that will be included. Keep in mind that you cannot individually select the datastores in a datastore group. If it were ever allowed to do so, then you will have virtual machines with not all of its files protected. Let’s assume that you have a virtual machine, VM-A, with two disks (VMDK-1 and VMDK-2) placed on two different datastores. Let’s also say VMDK-1 is on Datastore-X and VMDK-2 is on Datastore-Y. When creating a Protection Group, if you were allowed to select the individual datastores and if you choose only one of them, then you will leave the remaining disks of the VM unprotected. Hence, SRM doesn’t allow selecting individual datastores from a datastore group as a measure to prevent such a scenario. The following diagram shows the modified conceptual structure of the datastore group:

DP2Note:- That a datastore group cannot be a part of two Protection Groups at the same time.

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Creating Protection Group Based on VR (vSphere Replication)

The protection group can be used in one or multiple recovery plans which we will create later. Protection groups can be Array-based or VR-based. In this case we will create a protection group based on vSphere Replication since it was configured in the previous part.

Create Protection Group

1). On the Protected Site, open the Site Recovery Manager and select Protection Groups in the left pane. Click on Create Protection Group to start the wizard.

CPG12). In the Create Protection Group wizard, select the Protected Site and vSphere Replication as the protection group type. Click Next.

PG23). In the Select Virtual Machines window, select the VMs you want to add to this Protection Group and click Next.

PG34). Provide a suggestive Protection Group Name and alternatively a Description for this Protection Group and click Next.

PG45). Review the settings and click on Finish when ready.

PG56). Wait until the Protection Group is configured. You can monitor the progress in the task pane.

Now that the VMs are protected we can start building a recovery plan. where we will configure a recovery plan for our VMs.

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Creating Protection Group Based on Array-based Replication

A Protection Group is created in the SRM UI at the protected site.

The following procedure will guide you through the steps required to create a Protection Group:

1. On the Protected Site, open the Site Recovery Manager and select Protection Groups in the left pane. Click on Create Protection Group to start the wizard.

CPG12).  In the Create Protection Group wizard, select the Protected Site and Array based Replication (SAN) as the protection group type and  Correct Array pair Click Next.

CPG5

CPG63). On the next screen, choose a datastore group that you would like to protect. When you select a datastore group, the bottom pane will list all the VMs hosted on the datastores in the group. You cannot individually select the VMs though. Although I have selected only a single datastore group, we can select multiple datastore groups to become part of the Protection Group. Click on Next to continue

CPG34). In the next screen, provide the Protection Group Name and an optional description, and click on Next to continue.

The Protection Group Name can be any name that you would prefer to identify the Protection Group with. The common naming convention is to indicate the type or purpose of the VMs. For instance, if you were protecting the SQL Server VMs, then you might name the Protection Group as SQL Server Protection Group; or, if it  were to be a set of hyphenate VMs, you may name it as High Priority  VMs Protection Group. 

5). On the Ready to Complete screen, Review the wizard options selected and click on Finish to create a  Protection Group:

CPG4

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So, what exactly happens when you create a Protection Group?

When you create a Protection Group, it enables protection on all the VMs in the chosen datastore group and creates shadow VMs at the recovery site. In detail, this means that at the protected site vCenter Server, you should see a Create Protection Group task complete; subsequently a Protect VM task completes successfully for each of the VMs in the Protection Group. See the following screenshot for reference:

CPG7At the recovery site of the vCenter Server, you should see the Create Protection Group, Protect VM (one for each VM), Create virtual machine (one for each VM), and Recompute Datastore Groups tasks completed successfully.

CPG8As shown in the following screenshot, the shadow VMs appear in the vCenter Server’s inventory at the recovery site:

CPG9As they are solely placeholders, you cannot perform any power operations on it. There are other operations that are possible but are not recommended. Hence, a warning will be displayed, requesting a confirmation, as shown in the following screenshot:

CPG10The placeholder datastores will only have the configuration file (.vmx), teaming configuration file (.vmxf), and a snapshot metadata file (.vmsd) for each VM.

CPG11These files will be automatically deleted when you delete the Protection Group.

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In the next part we will discuss Recovery Plan, Testing and Performing a Failover and Failback. Click here to continue to part 7.

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 1

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 2

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 3

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 4

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 5

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 6

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 7

Note :- I have used pictures in this post from SRM book written by Abhilash GB and from blog (http://defaultreasoning.com) by Marek.Z and would like to Thank both of them 🙂

vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 5

Now SRA (Array Manager) or VR infrastructure is up and running we can start to configure the inventory mappings. The Inventory Mappings provide a convenient way to specify how the resources at the Protected Site are mapped to the resources at the Recovery Site. You can create a mapping of the following objects in the vCenter Server:

  • Resources
  • VM folders
  • Networks
  • Datastores

Inventory mapping are not mandatory but highly recommend. Let Start and configure the resource mapping, folder mapping, network mapping and a placeholder datastore.

Resource Mapping

We need to provide a correlation between the compute resource containers on both the sites. The compute resource containers are cluster, resource pool, and ESXi host. This is achieved with the help of resource mappings. Resource mappings respect the presence of these containers, which means that if there is a cluster or resource pool at the site, the ESXi hosts are not made available as a selectable compute container.

This is how you configure resource mappings:

1. Navigate to vCenter Server’s inventory home page and click on Site Recovery.

2. Click on Sites in the left pane, select a site, and navigate to the Resource Mappings tab. Select the resource container (a cluster, resource pool, vAPP, or host) you want to map, and click on Configure Mapping to bring up the Mapping window.

This is example of Cluster if you want Cluster as Resource Mappings

RM1

This is example of vAPP if you want vAPP as Resource Mappings

RM73). In the Mapping window, browse the resource inventory of the recovery site, select the destination resource container (a cluster, resource pool, vAPP, or host), and click on OK to confirm.

(Select vAPP as Resource) 

RM5

 

(Select Cluster as Resource)

RM34). The selected resource should now appear as mapped in the Recovery Site Resource column on the Resource Mappings tab.

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Folder mappings

Folders are inventory containers that can only be created using vCenter Server.  They are used to group inventory objects of the same type for easier management. There are different types of folders. The folder type is determined by the  inventory-hierarchy level they are created at. The folder names are as follows:

• Datacenter folder

• Hosts and clusters folder

• Virtual machine and template folder

• Network folder

• Storage folder The vSphere Web Client

This is how you configure Folder mappings: 

1). Click on Protected Sites in the left pane and navigate to the Folder Mappings tab. Select the virtual machine folder that you want to map,  and click on Configure Mapping to bring up the Mapping window:-

RM82). In the mapping window, create or select a recovery folder and click OK.

RM93). The selected folder should now appear as mapped in the Recovery Site Resource on the Folder Mapping tab.

RM10

 

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Network mappings

Network configuration at the protected and recovery sites need not be identical. Network mappings provide a method to form a correlation between the port groups (standard or distributed) of the protected and recovery steps. Let’s say we have a port group with the name VM Network at the protected site, and it is mapped to a port group with the name Recovery Network at the recovery site.  In this case, a virtual machine that is connected to VM Network will be reconfigured to use the Recovery Network when failed over.

This is how you configure network mappings: 

1). With the Protected Site still selected, go to the Network Mappings tab, Select the Network to map and click on Configure Mapping.

RM112). In the mapping window, select the appropriate network or dvSwitch port group at the Recovery Site and click OK.

RM123). The selected network should now appear as mapped in the Recovery Site Resource on the Network Mappings tab.

RM13

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Configuring Placeholder Datastores

For every virtual machine that becomes part of a Protection Group, SRM creates a shadow virtual machine. A placeholder datastore is used to store the files for the shadow virtual machines. The datastore used for this purpose should be accessible to all the hosts in the datacenter/cluster serving the role of a recovery-host. Configuring placeholder datastores is an essential step in forming an SRM environment. Assuming that each of these paired sites is geographically separated, each site will have its own placeholder datastore. The following figure shows the site and placeholder datastore relationship:

RM14This is how you configure placeholder datastores:

1). With the Protected Site still selected, go to the Placeholder Datastores tab and click on Configure Placeholder Datastore.

RM152).In the mapping window, select the appropriate datastore and click on OK.

RM163). The selected datastore should now appear under the Datastore column in the Placeholder Datastores tab.

RM17Remember to configure the Resource mapping, folder mapping, network mapping and the placeholder mapping at the Recovery Site.

The inventory mappings are now configured and ready to use. Continue to SRM-Part 6 where we will configure vSphere Replication for our VMs.

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Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 1

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 2

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 3

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 4

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 5

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 6

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 7

Note :- I have used pictures in this post from SRM book written by Abhilash GB and from blog (http://defaultreasoning.com) by Marek.Z and would like to Thank both of them 🙂

vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 4

Now we have deployed and configured VRM servers at the Protected Site and the Recovery Site, it’s time to pair both servers. Once the pairing is completed we will be able to deploy the VR Servers, one for each site. This will enable us to fail over from the Protected Site to the Recovery Site. In SRM 5, each VR Server can manage 50 replication schedules and protect a maximum of 500 VMs. Let’s start the VRM Server pairing process.

VRM Server Pairing

1). Open the Site Recovery Manager from the Solutions and Applications in the vSphere Client on the Protected Site.

2). Go to vSphere Replication, make sure that the Protected Site is selected and click on Configure VRMS Connection.

VR103). Click Yes if asked to configure VRMS Connection.

4). Click OK to accept the certificate error.

5). Provide the username and password for the Recovery Site and click OK.

6). Once again, click OK to accept the certificate error.

7). You will be presented with a configuration progress window. Click OK when the configuration of VRMS connection succeeds.

VR118). The status of the connection under the Summary tab should now display:Connected on both sites.

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Deploying VR Server

Now that the VRM Servers are connected, we can start the deployment of the VR Server.

1). From the Protected Site, select the Recovery site in the left pane and click on Deploy VR Server.

VR132). Click OK to launch the OVF wizard.

3). Click Next in the Source window and Next again in the OVF Template Details window.

4). In the Name field, provide a FQDN name for the VR Server appliance and select the location. Click on Next to proceed.

VR145). Next, select the Cluster, Host and appropriate datastore for the VR Server. Click on Next to proceed at each step.

6). Select desired disk format and click Next.

7). In the Properties window, provide a Default Gateway, DNS Server, IP address and Subnet Mask for the VR Server and click Next.

VR158). Review the settings in the Ready to Complete window and press Finish to start the deployment.

Repeat this process for the Recovery Site.

Note :-The reason to deploy it at both sites is because to replicate back to the Protected site. You can replicate only to the Recovery site but if you don’t have a VR at the Protected site, you will not be able to replicate back.

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Register VR Server

After the VR Server is deployed, it has to be registered with the vCenter Server.

1). Go back to the Site Recovery Manager and click on Register VR Server in the left pane under Commands.

VR162). Expand the Datacenter object and select the VR Server VM. Click OK to proceed.

3). Click Yes when asked if you want to register the VR Server.

4). Ignore the remote server certificate error and click on OK.

5). Click on OK to close the window when the registration completes successfully.

6). Verify that the VR Server is now visible in the left pane and the Summary tab shows the status: Connected.

VR17Repeat these steps for the Recovery Site.

OK, all done now. The VR infrastructure is now up and running. Continue to Part 5 where we will take a look at the inventory mappings between the Protected Site and the Recovery Site.

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Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 1

 Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 2

 Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 3

  Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 4

  Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 5

  Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 6

  Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 7

Note :- I have used pictures in this post from SRM book written by Abhilash GB and from blog (http://defaultreasoning.com) by Marek.Z and would like to Thank both of them 🙂

vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 3

Now that the connection between the Protected and Recovery Site is established, we have also discussed in Part – 2 How to Download SRA, Install SRA, Rescan SRA, Adding an Array Manager, and Enabling an Array Pair. Now time to discuss about deploying the vSphere Replication (VR). The VR infrastructure consists of the following components:

  • VRM Server: provides the management of the VR Servers across the ESXi hosts
  • VR Server: replicates the virtual machines between sites

vCenter Server Managed IP Address

First we need to configure the vCenter Server Managed IP address. The managed IP address will be used by VRM server to communicate with the extension service on the vCenter Server.

1. In the vSphere Client, go to the Administration menu and select vCenter Server          Settings.

2. Go to Runtime Settings and fill in the vCenter Server Managed IP address.

VR13. Click OK to save and close the window.

Repeat this step for the Recovery Site as well.

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VRM Database

Before deploying the VRM Server, a database must be created. Follow these steps to create database for VRM Server:

  1. Login and right click Databases and select New Database.
  2. Provide a suggestive name (i.e. VRMS_DB) and change the owner to i.e. srmadmin. Click OK to create the database.
  3. Close the SQL Server Management Studio and proceed to the next step.

Deploy VRM Server

Next step is the deployment of the VRM Server which is deployed as a virtual appliance from the SRM Server

1. Connect to the protected site of vCenter Server using  vSphere Client.

2. Navigate Home –> Solutions and Applications –> And Site Recovery.

3. Click vSphere Replication in the left pane and make sure the Protected Site is selected. On the left pane under Commands –> Click Deploy VRM Server.

VR24. The Deploy VRM Server wizard will be started, click on OK to begin.

5. Press Next in the Source window of the deployment wizard.

6. In the next step, review the OVF Template Details and press Next to continue.

7. Provide a FQDN name and a location for the VRM Server. Click Next.

VR38. Select the appropriate cluster and select a datastore to store the VRM Server appliance. Click Next.

VR49. Select the disk format, in this case I used the Thin Provision disk type. Click Next to proceed.

10. Provide the Password for the root account, Default Gateway, DNS server, IP Address and Subnet Mask for the appliance. Click Next when ready.

VR511. Click Next on the Configure Service Bindings window.

12. Review the settings and click Finish to start the deployment process.

13. When the deployment finishes the VRM Server VM will be powered on.

Remember to deploy a VRM Server instance on the Recovery Site as well. Wait until the VRM Server is fully started before proceeding to the next step. 

Configure VRM Server

When the VRM Server for the Protected Site is fully started, you will see the VMware Appliance Management Interface (VAMI) displayed and an URL to manage the VRM Server.

1. Next, click on Configure VRM Server under Commands pane in the Site Recovery Manger.

VR62. Ignore the certificate security warning and log in with the root account and the password entered during the deployment wizard.

3. In the Getting Started window, Go to option 1: Startup Configuration. Click on Configuration Page.

VR74. Leave the Configuration Mode to default (Manual Configuration).

5. Select SQL Server as DB Type.

6. Provide the FQDN for the DB Host, in my case the vCenter Server.

7. Leave DB Port to default (1433).

8. Enter the DB Username (i.e. srmadmin) and DB Password.

9. Provide the DB Name (i.e. VRMS_DB) created earlier.

10. Leave the VRM Host value to default.

11. Provide a name for the DB Name.

12. Enter a FQDN for the vCenter Server address and leave the vCenter Server  Port to default (80).

13. Enter the vCenter Server Username, Password and e-mail address.

14. Scroll down and click Generate and Install under the Generate a self-signed certificate. You should receive a message stating that the certificate was successfully generated and installed.

15. On the right side under the Actions menu, click the Save and Restart Service button.

16. Wait until the process completes, if successful you will see the following                     message.

VR817.Note that the status of the VRM Service is now running under the VRM Service Status section.

18. Also, you will be presented with a security warning, select Install this Certificate and click Ignore button.

19. Go back to the Site Recovery Manager and verify that the VRM Server is now configured.

VR9Next, Deploy and Configure the VRM Server at the Recovery Site by following the steps above.

Continue to part 4 where we will pair the VRM Servers between the Protected Site and the Recovery Site and we will deploy the VR Servers.

Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 1

 Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 2

 Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 3

  Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 4

  Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 5

  Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 6

  Click here to go to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.X – Part 7

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Note :- I have used pictures in this post from SRM book written by Abhilash GB and from blog (http://defaultreasoning.com) by Marek.Z and would like to Thank both of them 🙂

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