Part 1 – Configuring Site Recovery Manager (SRM) With HP StoreVirtual VSA

This is going to be a short series on configuring Site Recovery Manager, SRM from here on in and HP StoreVirtual VSA, from here on in VSA.

SRM, like VSA is pure awesomeness, it allows us to facilitate a full site failover and more importantly failback with ease.  In fact we can even go as far as only failing over mission critical services such as Exchange, SQL and File, whilst leaving everything else in the Production site.  Other pretty cool things we can do with SRM are:

  • Perform ‘test’ failovers in a isolated bubble, allowing you to report to management that everything is ready to rock ‘n’ roll if you ever have a DR scenario.
  • Change the IP Address of virtual servers on failover and failback.
  • Start VM’s in priority order, ensuring that subsequent VM’s do not start until the higher priority VM’s VMTools have started.
  • Pause workflows to allow for manual user intervention.
  • Run custom scripts or executable during failover or failback.

So how are we going to facilitate SRM in a lab environment? Well we are going to use the following:

HP StoreVirtual VSA We are going to use four of these, two clustered at Production and two clustered at DR.#

ESXi Hosts We are going to have two of these, one at Production and one at DR.

Domain Controllers Again we are going to have two of these, one at Production and one at DR.

vCenter Servers You guessed it, we are going to have two of these, one at Production and one at DR.

Test Servers We are going to have two of these in Production which will be replicated into DR site and then failed over and back using SRM.

If you are like me, then a picture speaks a thousands words.

I’m going to assume you have setup and configured your HP StoreVirtual VSA already, if you haven’t I would suggest reading the following blog articles:

I’m also going to assume the same for the VLAN’s and networking, if you need a reminder, they can be found under the following blog articles:

As we are going to be working with alot of VLAN’s, subnets and IP Address’s, I always find it best to put together a table with everything on it.

So how is this represented in networking in the Production Site?  Well, I’m glad you asked as below is a couple of screen grabs of the Production Site vSwitches and the DR Site vSwitches.

(ESXi02) Production Site vSwitches

(ESXi03) DR vSwitches

So one last recap, with what’s in each site before we move on.

Production Site

  • ESXi02
  • 2 x HP StoreVirtual VSA’s named SATAVSA01 and SATAVSA02
  • VMF-DC01 (Domain Controller)
  • VMF-ADMIN01 (vCenter and SQL 2008 R2 Express)
  • VMF-TEST01 (server we can failover to DR)
  • VMF-TEST02 (server we can failover to DR)
  • LAN Subnet 192.168.37.0/24

Note that ESXi02 holds the FOM and DRFOM for HP StoreVirtual VSA’s however these are held on the local internal hard drive.

DR Site

  • ESXi03
  • 2 x HP StoreVirtual VSA’s named SSDVSA01 and SSDVSA02
  • VMF-DC02 (Domain Controller)
  • VMF-ADMIN02 (vCenter and SQL 2008 R2 Express)
  • DR LAN Subnet 192.168.38.0/24

Off Topic – Real World

In the real world you have a couple of choices when it comes to SRM, you can either use vSphere Replication or SAN based replication.  vSphere Replication comes with SRM and you can choose to replicate individual VM’s, however if you want synchronous replication it isn’t the product for you as it only works a synchronously.  Most enterprise SAN vendors support SRM, but always check the VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager Compatibility Matrix.

The licenses are pretty straight forward, it comes in 25 packs and you only have to license the protected site.  The only gotcha is that the Standard Edition will scale to 75 virtual machines being protected, whilst the Enterprise Edition is unlimited.

Ah you say, but with the word Enterprise in the licensing, I must get something more? Nope, you get zip more, just the ability to protect unlimited virtual machines.

Design

When it comes to SRM design, you really need to think about your infrastructure.  Why’s that Craig? Well when you use SRM with a SAN, you fail over on a per volume basis.  So if for example, you have one big volume which you dump all your virtual machines into, you will need to failover every single VM to the DR site.

Most of the designs, require different replication time frames. Commonly, these are often broken down into different service area e.g.

  • Email volume replicating Exchange servers every 15 minutes
  • Database volume replicating SQL servers every 15 minutes
  • VDI volume replicating Citrix servers once per data

You get the idea, think about what Recovery Point Objectives you want for each of your services and design SRM based around this.

Getting Everything Ready

I know you are itching to crack on, but I try and work in a logical order, let’s get everything we are going to need ready and downloaded so that we haven’t got to mess around trying to find it.

  • Site Recovery Manager can be downloaded from here on a 60 day free trial
  • The Storage Replication Adapter for the VSA can be found here it’s the ‘HP P4000 SRA 2.0 for VMware SRM 5.0 (AX696-10540.exe) you need.
  • If you are using SQL Server 2008 R2 Express as your database, then you will need the SQL Server 2008 R2 RTM – Management Studio Express

SQL Configuration

The first thing, I advise you do is get your databases ready to rock and roll.  So let’s fire up SQL Server Management Studio.

TOP TIP: If you are using the SQL 2008 R2 Express, jump into services.msc and check what database was created automatically as you will need this to login.

In my case it’s VIM_SQL

So for me to login it’s LOCALHOST\VIM_SQL then click Connect

Once in we are going to Right Click > Database and then select New Database

We need to give the Database a name, I’m going to go for PR_SRM and the Database Owner is going to be VMFOCUS\Vmware.Service (this is a service account that most of my vSphere installs run under).  Then hit OK.

That was pretty straight forward, that’s the SQL database created.  You can check your database is there, if you feel that way inclined.

Let’s close down SQL Management Studio and install SRM.

Installing SRM

Hopefully on your desktop or other random location, you have an icon called SRM-5.1.0-820150

Hit this bad boy to launch the installer, select your language and click OK.

Now this bit takes a while, well on my test lab it does, so I suggest you go make yourself a cup of tea!

Once it finally pops up you will get the Welcome to the installation wizard for VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager, click Next

I’m not going to insult your intellect, as I’m sure you can Click Next, Accept the License Agreement and Click Next.

The next screen is the installation folder, as with nearly all installs these days you can change the destination folder.  I would recommend accepting the defaults unless you have a specific reason not too.

As we are going to use the HP StoreVirtual VSA, we will select ‘Do no install vSphere Replication’

Now we need to enter the vCenter Server Address and a Username and Password with rights to vCenter.  You guessed it I’m going to use VMware.Service

If your credentials are correct then you will see a certificate warning unless you have a PKI infrastructure in place.  We are going to accept the SHA1 thumbprint by clicking Yes

Select Automatically generate a certificate and hit Next

Enter an Origination and an Organization Unit and click Next

Now we are cooking on gas, enter your Local Site Name, in my case this is Production, email address details and select your Local Host.  You can also change default ports if you need to.

Now it’s time to hook into the SQL Database.  To do this we need to select ODBC DSN Setup.  Note I have already populated the Username & Password Fields

Select the System DSN Tab and Click Add

Select SQL Server Native Client 10.0 and click Finish

We now need to create the data source, give the data source a Name and Description.  I’m rolling with PR_SRM and Production Site Recovery Manager.  In Server enter the same details you used to login to SQL Server Management Studio and then hit Next.

Click Next again until you come to the ‘Change the default  database to’ screen place a tick in this and select PR_SRM Cick Next then Finish

If all has gone according to the ‘A Team’ plan, when you click ‘Test Data Source, you should get a TESTS COMPLETED SUCCESSFULLY!

Boom! Hit OK three times and we then get a pop up about ‘Newly added Data Source Names’ Hit OK.  In the Data Source Name type PR_SRM and Click Next

If all has gone well we should get the install screen.  Click install and twiddle your thumbs for a while SRM finally cracks on and installs.  Time for another brew will SRM does it’s thing.

Boom, we have gotten the Finish screen and after clicking it, amazing things happen? Err no, we get nothing.

Installing HP StoreVirtual SRA

Well I’m pleased to say that installing the HP StoreVirtual SRA is pretty easy, it’s just a case of double clicking your HP_P4000_SRA_2.0_for_Vmware_SRM_5.0_AX696-10540 icon.

Pretty much it’s a next, accept the EULA and click next.  Once done, you should see the following screen.

Awesome job.

DR Site

Now that’s the Production Site installed, we need to repeat the process at DR.  It’s exactly the same, just remember to name it DR rather than Production! You may laugh but I have done this before.

Stay tuned for Part 2 when we start configuring.

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