SRM findings in the Lab

I wanted to learn how to setup and configure SRM for a PoC for a new contract at work.  After downloading the Docs from VMware and looking over the requirements, I went right to work.

The first phase of the testing was leveraging vSphere replication where the replication of the VM(s) is done between the Host and the VR server.  We’ll get to the VR server in a minute..let’s first talk about the setup.

First, let’s get the lab out of the way.  I added an additional Host as an acting “DR” site.  This host is very basic and runs limited VM’s. It’s only for emulating a failover site.  Here is the updated diagram with the additional “DR” host representing the Recovery Site and Recovery Cluster:

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This “DR” Host runs vCenter/SRM/vSphere Replication Server/vSphere Replication Mgmt Server, and of course, the recovered VM which is just a basic XP machine used for recovery testing only.(make sure VM tools is installed)

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The “PROD” site, runs many VM’s, however this also runs vCenter, of course, SRM/vSphere Replication MGMT Server.  Since i’m only concerned about testing one way DR at this point, I do not need a vSphere Replication Server at the Prod Site.

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Now, again, this is not going to be a tutorial on setting up an SRM Lab.  You can find plenty of those on other blogs and using the SRM documentation from VMware.  I’m not one for publishing what’s already out there if I can help it.

Back to the findings.  For SRM alone, there are several DB instances that would need to be setup.  You need a DB instance for SRM at both the PROD and RECOVERY sites.  You need a DB instance for the vSphere Replication Manager Server at both the PROD and RECOVERY sites.  Along with vCenter, you could easily have 6 DB instances supporting this.

Thanks to help from some very experienced folks from some of the boards and blogs I go to, I was able to resolve  two issues I ran into when setting this up.

1.  You need to make sure that you are either using FQDN and have DNS entries, of course, for all the connectivity or you use ALL IP.  Some of the appliances such as the VRMS like to put the IP in for vCenter and it’s imperative that you either choose IP for DB/SR/vCenter or all FQDN or else you will run into issues.  I chose IP as it was quicker, most likely not the correct approach in a production envioronment, however.

2.  Pay attention to the DB requirements for all these products.  The windows based products support ODBC and Windows Authentication, while the appliances require JDBC connections and do not support Active Directory Authentication so you’ll have to use a local DB account as the owner or else you’ll run into this:

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When you go through all the steps and have it all setup, you can right click on a RUNNING VM and select vSphere Replication:

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Choose your RPO:

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Now you can watch the SYNC status within SRM/vSphere Replication Tab:

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When that is complete create your Protection Group(s) and Recovery Plan(s) and now you are ready to test:

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And now you can see the VM up at the RECOVERY Site:

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There ya have it.  Testing a simple SRM vSPhere Replication in a lab!