Learning HCX-Part 11: Testing DR With HCX

By | 07/07/2018

In last post of this series we performed a reverse migration and brought a VM back to on-prem from cloud. Now we have tested all migration method and have basic understanding of how they work, lets move forward to explore Disaster Recovery capabilities provided by HCX.

If you are not following along this series, then I recommend reading earlier posts of this series from below links:

1: Introduction to HCX

2: HCX Enterprise Deployment & Configuration

3: HCX Cloud Deployment & Configuration

4: HCX Site Pairing

5: Configuring Interconnect Networks

6: Deploying Fleet Appliances

7: HCX Migration Methods

8: Testing HCX Cross Cloud Migration

9: Testing HCX Bulk Migration

10: HCX Reverse Migration

About HCX Disaster Recovery

HCX Disaster Recovery is a service intended to protect virtual workloads managed by VMware vSphere that are either deployed in a private or a public cloud.

HCX DR offers following benefits:

  • Simple and easy to use management platform that allows secure (enterprise to cloud and cloud to cloud) asynchronous replication and recovery of virtual machines.
  • RPO settings from 5 minutes to 24 hours per virtual machine.
  • Multiple point in time recovery snapshots that allows you to recover back up to 24
    previous replication point in time.
  • Support for reverse failover of virtual machines.
  • You can route your replication traffic through a direct connect network (if you have).

Lets jump into lab now and explore HCX DR options.

Enabling Protection for a Virtual machine

Login to vSphere Web Client and click on HCX plugin and navigate to Disaster Recovery tab.


To configure replication for VM’s, click on Protect VMs option and select the VM’s you want to protect. 

Settings specified in Default replication section is applied automatically on all selected vm’s for protection but you can override this at per virtual machine level.

On top right side corner you get option to configure RPO settings, snapshot interval and how many snapshot HCX can take for a vm within the specified snapshot interval.

If you have vSphere 6.0 running in both on-prem and cloud side, you can take advantage of compression and Queisce feature. 

Hit next post selecting the vm’s that you want to protect.


If validation is successful, hit finish to start the protection process.


Following events take place during the protection process.

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Once VM’s are protected, expand any of the VM to see the protection related information. 


same can be viewed from cloud side as well by logging to HCX Cloud portal.

Test Recovery of Protected VM

To perform test recovery of a protected vm, select the vm from list and from Actions tab select Test Recover VM.


Map the Target network for the vm and click on Test.


And the Test recovery process will start.



At cloud side, vm will be registered in vSphere inventory and will be powered on.


You can check various details such as Snapshot info, Last transfer, DR history for the vm etc. 

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Test Cleanup of Recovered VM

Once we are done with test recovering a protected vm and verifying that it is recoverable in cloud side, we have to test cleanup it so as to revert any changes made during test recovery.

Select the test recovered vm from the list and from Actions tab, select ‘Test Recovery Cleanup’


Click on cleanup button to initiate the process.


It takes 2-3 minutes for test cleanup process to complete.



Full Recovery of a Protected VM

To perform full recovery of a protected vm, select the vm from list and from Actions tab, select Recover VMs.


You can chose to recover vm using the latest snapshot or any previous snapshot from the list. Map the target network and hit Recover button to initiate recovery process.


Following events take place during the recovery process.

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Configuring Reverse Protection for a VM

Reverse protection changes the direction of the replication. If a vm was previously replicating from on-prem to cloud and in past you recovered the vm in cloud, you can then reverse the direction of replication so that the vm in cloud becomes the live vm and your on-prem vm becomes a replica. 

To do a reverse protection, select the recovered vm from the list and from Actions tab, click on Reverse.


Click on reverse button to initiate the process.


Following events take place during the reverse protection process.

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Note: If actual disaster has not struck your on-prem and you are just simulating the reverse protection, then ensure that on-prem vm is in powered off state else you will get below error when you initiate the process.

Removing replication for a Protected VM

To remove replication of a protected vm, select the vm from the list and from Actions tab, click on Remove.


Hit remove button to initiate the process.


Following events take place during the replication removal process.

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And the vm finally disappears from the list of protected vm’s.


And that’s it for this post.

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