Enabling Site Recovery and Planning

Introduction

 

Enabling VMware Site Recovery

VMware Site Recovery is managed service offering on VMware Cloud on AWS. To start consuming VMware Site Recovery Service we need to activate the same from the VMware cloud on AWS console. To enable the Site Recovery service, you must have a Software-Defined Data center on VMware Cloud on AWS.

Site Pairing

Choosing a target vCenter for a failover SDDC is simple; each SDDC contains a single vCenter instance. All source vCenters which contain VMs and are protected by the selected group(s) can be mapped to a target vCenter on VMware Cloud on AWS as the selected recovery site.

Pairing sites is a simple process.

  1. Enter the Platform Services Controller details for the vCenter Server with port number and credentials for the secondary site.
  2. Choose the vCenter and its services.
  3. Review and complete.

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Planning

After the site pairing is configured, you must perform the additional mapping between sites. The mapping wizard has two options to create mappings for Network, Folder and Storage Policy Mapping.

  • Automatically prepare mappings with matching names - Here the system automatically prepares mappings for networks with matching names under the selected network containers.
  • Prepare mappings manually - Choose this option to manually select which networks to map

Note: Access to manage the Site Recovery Manager site pair and replications are possible only via the private IP of SDDC or when connected via a VPN or direct connect.

The following figure is the Summary page that shows all the required information regarding the paired sites. Ignore the certificate expiry message in the below image.

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To create a DR plan, you must configure several parameters to be run during a recovery. These parameters include the creation of a protection group, replicated VM datastore, inventory mapping (network, resource pool, folder), and more.

Network Mapping

Network mapping consists of three configuration options.

  • Recovery Network - used to map the site 1 network labels to site 2 network labels.
  • Reverse mapping - flag available to choose if the mapping is also needed to configured bi-directionally as per config in recovery network.  
  • Test Networks - This option helps determine how the test network needs to be created. This test network is used when test recovery is executed. You can choose to auto-create an isolated network or choose from an existing pre-defined test network.

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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceIf you choose option 1, the network used for Management nodes is excluded and only workload network mapping is performed. This is done to ensure we do not map the SDDC management network.

IP Customization

You can customize IP settings for virtual machines for the protected site and the recovery site. Customizing the IP properties of a virtual machine overrides the default IP settings when the recovered virtual machine starts at the destination site.

If you do not customize the IP properties of a virtual machine, Site Recovery Manager uses the IP settings for the recovery site during recovery or test from the protection site to the recovery site. Site Recovery Manager uses the IP settings for the protection site after reprotect during the recovery or a test from the original recovery site to the original protection site.

IP customization is applied on a network mapping level here, this can also be applied at the virtual machine level which is detailed in the later section in this document. Select the network mapping created and click more options(... in the UI) to add the IP range, Gateway, and DNS information to be used during customization for this mapping on applicable virtual machines.

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Folder Mapping

The Folder mapping page on the Site pair wizard displays a subset of the vCenter object inventory for both the source and target vCenters. The mapping here corresponds to VM and template view on the SDDC. The flags available in this wizard are:

  • Configure recovery folder mappings for one or more folders.
  • Select configured mappings for which to automatically create reverse mappings. This might overwrite existing mappings (manually configured in any other mapping created).

Resource Mapping

Mapping of clusters and resource pools can be configured using the resource mapping options. This wizard ensures the mapping is done by manually choosing the resources on either site. The flag for Reverse mappings is available mapping is easier to configure with once click for both sites.

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Storage Policy Mapping

Since the supported storage on VMware Cloud on AWS is vSAN, we also need to perform Storage Policy Mappings. Mapping creations can be automatic (based on names) or manual. Additional flags included along with mapping is Reverse Mapping.

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Placeholder Datastores

A placeholder virtual machine is a subset of virtual machine files. Site Recovery Manager uses that subset of files to register a virtual machine with vCenter Server on the recovery site.

The files of the placeholder virtual machines are very small, and do not represent full copies of the protected virtual machines. The placeholder virtual machine does not have any disks attached to it. The placeholder virtual machine reserves compute resources on the recovery site, and provides the location in the vCenter Server inventory to which the protected virtual machine recovers when you run recovery.

The presence of placeholder virtual machines on the recovery site inventory provides a visual indication to vCenter Server administrators that the virtual machines are protected by Site Recovery Manager. The placeholders also indicate to vCenter Server administrators that the virtual machines can power on and start consuming local resources when Site Recovery Manager runs tests or runs a recovery plan.

When you recover a protected virtual machine by testing or running a recovery plan, Site Recovery Manager replaces the placeholder with the recovered virtual machine and powers it on according to the settings of the recovery plan. After a recovery plan test is executed/completed, Site Recovery Manager restores the placeholders and powers off the recovered virtual machines as part of the clean up process.

This is per vCenter configuration which must be configured by clicking on each tab.

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