TUTORIAL: Disaster Recovery using VMWare VCloud Air

Marcelo Soares explaines 'How to use Disaster Recovery with VMWare VCloud Air Thursday, 23 June 2016 Data Center and Cloud Computing

Enabled since version 5.8 on vSphere Replication (if you are using vSphere 5.5), the public cloud DR option is very useful for quick and low cost solutions for disaster recovery.

The vSphere Replication tool available on all vSphere editions (excluding Essentials) and, if you have already used the most recent versions of it, every time you start a new replication, you have the following options:




Natively, vSphere Replication only accepted another vCenter as target, but actually we can include vCloud (Air or other vCloud Director enabled provider) as a target site. This means you already have the feature, and you only need to purchase resources from a provider. You can check pricing for vCloud air here: http://vcloud.vmware.com/service-offering/pricing-guide


But let’s check the hands-on operation. After you have registered for a DR solution on your provider, you will have the chance to get the information needed to connect and start the replications. Assuming you already have a vSphere Replication appliance in place (you can check how to deploy it here:

https://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vsphere-replication-pubs.html , you can go, on the vSphere Web Client, to vSphere Replication > Manage > Target sites.





You will need to provide your vCloud Air VDC information, and you can check that on your Account Management section.





After this configuration, the vCloud Air VDC will show up as a possible target site for replication. It is necessary also to create test and production networks, but we can cover this on other blog post. After this initial configuration, it is possible to configure replication for any VM on vCenter:




After the replication starts, you can monitor the process on the vCloud Air interface. Note that there is a “Recovery” button on the top of the VM list – is kind of like if you have a VMware SRM available for failover, per VM:






And also on the vSphere Web Client:




In a case of a disaster, you can log into vCloud Air and recover your VMs there, manually, VM by VM. You may need to perform some configuration steps, but the power of the solution is that you have your VMs secure and available promptly as needed. Important detail: there is no Failback, you need to perform this manually copying your data from the DR site to production site in a maintenance window, but at least you were not down due to a problem. VMware allows you to have your VMs up a running on a DR event up to 30 days with no additional charge.


You can check by yourself how this works and test it running the HOL from VMware:





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