vSphere Data Protection-Part 2: Installation & Configuration

In last post of this series we discussed about VDP and its capabilities. We also discussed about VDP architecture and different deployment options available. In this post we will learn how to install and configure VDP. Lets get started.

Requirements for installing VDP

Make sure your infrastructure meets following requiremnts met before deploying VDP:

  • A static IP address is required for the VDP appliance and any additional proxy appliances.
  • DNS entries created ahead of time for forward and reverse lookup.
  • Ensure enough capacity is available on the datastore where backups will reside.
  • Editions of vSphere Essentials Plus and above (or vSphere with Operations Management / vCloud Suite) include licensing for vSphere Data Protection.
  • The vCenter Server and attached ESXi hosts must be configured with an NTP server. 
  • vCenter Server 5.5 or higher. If you are using vCenter 5.5 U3 and want to deploy VDP 6.1, 6.1.1, or 6.1.2, then see VMWare KB-2146825
  • Esxi host v5.1 or higher. Esxi v 6.0 is recommended. 
  • VM’s that needs to be backed up should have VMware Tools installed and hardware v7 or above to support Change Block Tracking (CBT).
  • The VDP appliance connects to a vSphere host using port 902. If there is a firewall between the VDP appliance and the vSphere Host, port 902 must be open.

Lets jump into lab now and deploy VDP appliance. You can download the VDP appliance from here

VDP appliance is available in OVA format and can be deployed by following below steps:

  • Login to vSphere web client and naviagte to Host and Cluster.
  • Select any Host where you have to Deploy VDP appliance. Right click on host and select “Deploy OVF Template“.
  • Browse to the location where you have downloaded the VDP appliance OVA file and select it. Click Next and review the template details.
  • Accept EULA, and Click Next.
  • On the Select name and folder screen, type the name for the VDP appliance. Use fully qualified domain name (FQDN). Click Next.
  • Select Datastore. Make sure to follow Vmware best practices to choose datastore. Recommended this appliance to not be in same datastores where other virtual machines are running.
  • On the Setup Network Screen, specify IP address, DNS, Gateway, and Netmask. Please note that DHCP is not supported, only static IP required.
  • Click on Finish to complete the Installation of VDP.

Once the appliance has been booted up, the splash screen will give you URL to configure the VDP applaince. Typically this is https://VDP-FQDN_OR_IP:8453/vdp-configure

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Open the URL in browser of your choice. Login to appliance using root and changeme as password. 

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Click Next on welcome page to continue configuring the wizard.

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Review/Modify and network settings if you want and hit next to continue.

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Select appropriate timezone as per your location and hit next.

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Set the new password for VDP appliance access. 

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Provide vCenter server details and credentials via which VDP will communicate with vCenter. Its always a best practice to use dedicated service account for this. 

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Click on Test connection post entering relevant details. Don’t proceed until connection test is successful.

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On create storage page, select the appropriate size as per your environment requirements. We have already discussed about various deployment option that is available with VDP in last post of this series.   

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Select the storage to use and the provisioning type, click Next.

Note: Leave the “Store with Appliance” option enabled if you want to keep in same datastore where appliance exists. 

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Accept the default CPU and memory allocations and click Next.

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Join or leave CEIP if you wish to. 

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On the Ready to Complete page, be sure to check the box that says “Run performance analysis on storage configuration” to validate that the storage on which vSphere Data Protection is running meets or exceeds recommended performance levels.

Upon successful completion of these tasks, the appliance must be rebooted, which will take several minutes (30 minutes or so) as the appliance automatically finalizes its initial configuration.

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Click Yes on the warning presented to start the storage performance test

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You can monitor the progress of the performance test.

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Same can be observed under recent tasks pane in vCenter server.

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Once the test is completed and appliance is rebooted (if that option was selected), log back in to vdp appliance using root and new password set during deployment. You will see a nice status page which will list status of all running services, status of internal proxy etc. 

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Once the initial configuration is completed, VDP is managed via a plugin which gets registered to vCenter Web Client and all VDP related tasks are managed via that plugin.

Logout and login to web client so that you can see the newly registered VDP plugin.

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Clicking on plugin will bring you to the page from where you can connect the applaince in order to manage it. If you have deployed more than one VDP appliance, you can select the one you want to manage from the drop down list 

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Once the VDP appliance is conencted, you can perform scheduling backups, verifying a backup and restoring backup jobs etc. We will cover this in next post of this series. 

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

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