Thursday, 9 July 2015

Setting up vSphere Replication with vSphere 6.0

You should firstly think about your overall vision of what you wish to achieve and ensure that your current licensing is compatible with what you wish to achieve. For example if you wish to perform multi-site replication - both containing an instance of vCenter with the commonly used vSphere Essentials Plus kit you should be aware that you are unable to add additional vCenter licenses to your Essentails Plus Kit (at time of writing) and you would require to either upgrade to the "VMware vSphere with Operations Management Standard Acceleration Kit" or purchase an additional vSphere Essentials kit and have separate SSO domains. If in doubt contact a VMware specialist as it can be a bit of a mine field.

In this scenerio I will be setting up single site replication i.e. perform replication between different ESXI hosts / datastores in a single *logical* site. VMware replication has several options availabe at present:

- Local site replication: Replication between ESXI hosts / datastores within a single site. In this instance you only require a single instance of vCenter and a single instance of a VR Instance.

- Multisite replication: Replication between two differnt sites - reffered to as the "primary" and "secondary" site. In this scenerio you require an instance of vCenter on both sites, as well as a VR Appliance on each site to perform the replication.

- Cloud Replication: This option performs replication between an on-premis host and VMware's vCloud.

*** Before proceeding: You must have SSO configured on your vCenter in order to use vSphere Replication ***

Once the vCenter has been setup you will need to download the VR Appliance (VMware-vSphere_Replication-6.0.0.1-2718739.zip) and install the VMware Client integration plugin for the web client:

http://vsphereclient.vmware.com/vsphereclient/VMware-ClientIntegrationPlugin-6.0.0.exe

* I couldn't get this to work with Firefox and ended up having to use IE *

Unzip VMware-vSphere_Replication-6.0.0.1-2718739.zip

Proceed by logging into the vCenter and right-hand clicking on a datacenter and selecting "Deploy OVF Template" and selecting "vSphere_Replication_OVF10.ovf" from the extracted archive. Assign the relevent IP, hostname, misc settings and finally power on the VAppliance.

Once the vAppliance has booted you should see a login screen on the console telling you to go to the management web page e.g.:

"To manage this VM browse to: https://x.x.x.x/:5480"

Head to this page, logging in with the credentials you supplied during the OVF deployment.

Proceed by going to the "Configuration" caption and entering in the SSO details and also ensure that the vCenter and the VR appliance can resolve each oithers FQDN! Finally click on the "Save and restart service" button.

Now logout and login again to the vSphere Web Client and you should now see a new option under the Navigator entitled "vSphere Replication" where you can check the status of the replication service.

To setup replication simply right-hand click on a VM and select "All vSphere Replication Actions" >> "Configure Replication" and follow on the on-screen wizard.

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