Disaster Recovery with vCloud Air

Why you need DR solution?

Business continuity and disaster recovery are paramount for ensuring your business critical environment, data, and online presence are available with minimal downtime. The availability services offered on vCloud Air help ensure that your data is protected, recoverable, and accessible by you and your customers.

What is VMware vCloud Air Disaster Recovery Solution?

VMware vCloud Air Disaster Recovery is a recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) offering. It provides simple, affordable protection in the cloud for your vSphere environment. It leverages vSphere Replication to provide powerful, asynchronous replication capabilities at the hypervisor layer.

Some of the advantages of using DR with vcloud Air can be summarized as below:

  1. Allows virtual machines in vSphere to be easily configured for disaster recovery
  2. Removes traditional dependencies on underlying infrastructure hardware or data center mirroring
  3. Provides per-virtual-machine replication and restore granularity
  4. Uses vCloud Air as a scalable platform for compute infrastructure and storage capacity

What vCloud Air Disaster Recovery Does?

Self-Service Protection
Protect up to 500 virtual machines per subscription, on an as-needed basis.

Custom Recovery Point Objectives
Set a unique recovery point objective (RPO) value per virtual machine from 15 minutes to 24 hours.

Flexible Failover Testing
Test various failover scenarios as often as necessary during the service period.

Elastic Cloud Compute and Storage
Flexible subscription options can be expanded as needed. One-time compute capacity can be added for short-term failover and recovery requirements.

In this post we are going to see how to setup DR to Vcloud Air.

Pre-requisites for setting DR

1: You must have subscription to vCloud Air DR service. If you have subscription to vCloud Air DR service and when you login to vCloud Air portal (vca.vmware.com)  you will see a subscription tile labelled DR as shown below:

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2: You must have an Org vDC created in your vCloud Air DR subscription.

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3: Your Org vDC must be enabled for replication. (By default when you purchase a DR subscription, this is done in backend for you by the operations team)

4: You must have networks created for recovery in your Org vDC.

You need 2 networks, one for testing the DR functionality and other one for VM communication when you recover a VM in vcloud Air at the time of disaster in your on-prem datacenter.

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5: vSphere Replication Appliance deployed in your on-prem datacenter and registered to your vCenter Server.

Also you must have internet running on your vCenter Server, Esxi host and your vSphere Replication Appliance.

Suppose you have everything ready in place, let’s see how to configure your on-prem to Cloud DR.

6: vSphere Replication can be used for Site to Site Replication or for replicating VM’s to cloud provider. in this post I am going to demonstrate how to configure vCloud Air as endpoint in vSphere Replication.

Login to web-client of your on-prem vCenter Server and navigate to Home > vSphere Replication and click on Manage tab. Click on the Icon marked in yellow in below screenshot to add a cloud endpoint.

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7: A new wizard will be launched where you have to define the URL of the cloud provider. Name of your organization, and credentials to authenticate against vCloud Air portal. The credentials which you use must have access to your Org in vcloud Air.

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8: Accept the SSL certificate present by clicking yes.

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9: Select the Org vDC where you want to replicate your VM’s.

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10: On ready to Complete page hit finish to complete your configuration.

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11: You will see a task triggered in recent tasks pane indicating your configuration is completed.

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12: Now under your target sites in vSphere Replication, you will see your Org vDC added as endpoint (target) and also a warning “Missing network settings”. Dont worry about this warning.

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13: Right click on “Missing Target Network” and select configure target networks option.

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14: Select the Recovery and Test Network and hit Next.

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15: Map the recovery network in your cloud to network in your on-prem network and click on Add mappings.

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16: Do the same for the test network and hit next.

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17: On Ready to complete page, review your settings and hit finish.

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18: Now you are ready to replicate workloads from your on-prem datacenter to vCloud Air

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