In first part of this series vSphere Replication Introduction we have discussed what is vSphere Replication and how it works. We also discussed the architecture and components involved and saw the possible use cases where vSphere Replication can be used.

In this post we will look on how to setup lab for deployment of vSphere Replication and what pieces of infrastructure should be ready before we start using vSphere Replication.

I am going to use cross site replication in my lab so here is my lab components:

Hardware Component

I have a Dell M4800 Mobile workstation laptop with 32 GB of RAM and i7 Quad Core processor. I am running all the lab components inside VMware Workstation.

My Lab Components

  1. I installed Server 2012 R2 Datacenter edition as my base OS. This machine will act as my Domain Controller as well as DNS Server (AD Integrated DNS).
  2. I have another Server 2012 R2 Datacenter edition installed in VMware Workstation. This VM is acting as vCenter Server (v6)with Embedded vPostgres Database. This VM has 2 vCPU, 8 GB of RAM and 50 GB hard disk. Host name of this vcenter Server is vcentersrv01.alex.local. This will act as vCenter for my primary site.
  3. I installed one more vCenter Server (v6) for creating a DR site. Hostname of this vCenter Server is vcentersrv02.alex.local. This vCenter Server is pointing to PSC of my vcentersrv01 and using Embedded vPostgres Database and has 2 vCPU, 8 GB of RAM and 50 GB hard disk
  4. I installed openfiler version 2.99 as virtual machine. The resources allocated to this VM are 2 vCPU and 3 GB RAM. Also I have added 2 additional disks which are presented as iSCSI LUN’s to my ESXi Hosts.
  5. I have 2 ESXi host (v6) installed inside VMware Workstation each with 8 GB RAM and 2 vCPU. Both Esxi host has been added to vcentersrv01.alex.local
  6. I also have 2 more Esxi hosts (v6) installed and configured and added to vcentersrv02.alex.local. These will be the destination hosts where replicated VM’s will go.
  7. I have download vSphere Replication v6 appliance iso from

DNS Configuration

I have my DNS Server configured at very first place before start building any component in my Home Lab. My DNS server (AD included) is running on Server 2012 datacenter edition. I have configured my domain as “alex.local” and created both forward and reverse lookup zone in my DNS.



Also I tested name resolution using nslookup and it went fine without any issues:


Active Directory Configuration

I am using dedicated user accounts for my lab. I have created following user accounts created in my AD

1: svcadhelper: This account will be used by ESXi hosts and other vSphere components to authenticate themselves against AD

2: svcvcenter: Service Account for vCenter Server. This account has been added to administrators group.

3: vcadmin: This account has Domain Admin privileges and will be used for doing all administration and configuration things in lab.

4: svcsql: This account will be used by vCenter Server to connect to database

5: svcreplication: This is the service account that will be used by replication appliances to communicate with vCenter Server.

vSphere Components:

A: 2 Esxi hosts at primary site running version 6.0. Each host having 8 GB RAM and 2 vCPU. Also each Esxi host is equipped with 2 NICS and both of them connected to different VMNet adapters having different IP address range.

B: 2 Esxi hosts at DR site running version 6.0. Each host having 8 GB RAM and 2 vCPU. Also each Esxi host is equipped with 2 NICS and both of them connected to different VMNet adapters having different IP address range.

c: 2 vCenter Server version 6.0 installed on Server 2012 R2 with embedded vPostgres database and PSC + vCenter installed on same machine. One vCenter is for source site and another one is for DR site.

vCenter Server Configuration:

1: Datacenter created and cluster configured. HA and DRS is enabled on the cluster and all my 3 Esxi hosts are added to this cluster. DRS is in fully automated mode.

2: All Esxi hosts are mounting the 2 LUN’s which I created on openfiler. I am using iSCSI software adapter to connect to my storage.

3: I have vDS created and port-groups configured. There are 3 port-groups which I created on my vDS: Lab-Mgmt, VM_NW and vMotion_NW and Replication_PG. Pretty clear from name what is the purpose of these port-groups.

VMware Workstation Network Configuration

In VMware Workstation I have 2 different network configured:

NAT: VMNet8 is using NAT IP addressing scheme and is on 192.168.0.x Subnet. All my Esxi host Management IP, DNS Server IP, Openfiler IP and vCenter Server IP is on this subnet.


Host-Only: VMNet1 is using Host-Only IP addressing scheme and is on 172.18.0.x Subnet. This network is used for vMotion Network on my Esxi host. Also this network will be used for vSphere Replication Traffic.


I hope this post will be helpful for you to build your lab environment. Your environment might contain different version of softwares and may be a different software all together but intention of this post was to give an overview of how a lab can be setup.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Feel free to share this on social media if it is worth sharing. Be sociable