After enabling the dedicated VMware vSphere Clouds as a replication destination with the previous release, now we are pleased to present the major improvements that we did in VMware Cloud Director Availability 4.5.
The new features cover several aspects – deployment, operability, and scalability.
When vSphere DR and Migration was first introduced in VMware Cloud Director Availability 4.4, to pair between on-premises and cloud, both sites needed to have a public endpoint available.
This requirement is no longer needed in VMware Cloud Director Availability 4.5, as the pairing mechanism has been redesigned to use a reverse tunnel and authentication.
Now it is just a single-step process performed by the tenant through the On-premises to Cloud vCenter Replication Appliance UI, meaning only the cloud site needs to have a public endpoint accessible and the on-premises site does not. This makes it much simpler for tenants and reduces the security concerns they might have about exposing their on-premises data center publicly.
Also, pairing requires authentication to the vSphere cloud. It can be done using a fully privileged user (firstname.lastname@example.org, for example) but also a less privileged user (member of the VrUsers group) can do the job. It is a group created by the VMware Cloud Director Availability appliance during its initial setup.
To facilitate managing the replication process, VMware Cloud Director Availability 4.5 now supports configuring the Recovery settings of each replication prior to running it (the behavior in 4.4). You can now set the destination VM folder, Compute Resource, and Network Mappings, which can be different for testing and failover/migration.
Additionally, as part of the replication configuration, it is also possible to select a VM Storage Policy and not just the Datastore as it was with the previous version.
This permits choosing encryption policies too, which allows support for replicating encrypted VMs. It is clearly indicated in the UI whether a VM is encrypted and only the relevant VM Storage Policies are available for selection.
Even though there is no significant architecture change in the destination vSphere Cloud (vCenter Replication Management) and it remains a single appliance, with VMware Cloud Director Availability 4.5, it is now possible to scale out the deployment by supplementing additional Cloud Replicator appliances. This results in an increased overall number of replications that the dedicated vSphere cloud can accommodate.
After the Cloud Replicator appliance is deployed at the cloud site, it only takes a single wizard to register it. When it is registered, there is no need to perform any repair operations.
If needed, already paired appliances can be deleted too.
Note: Adding extra Cloud Replicators is supported only for the cloud site (vCenter Replication Management Appliance).
A direct upgrade is possible from VMware Cloud Director Availability 4.4 by following the steps listed in the documentation.
Due to the new pairing, please keep in mind that both the Cloud (vCenter Replication Management) and On-Premises (On-premises to Cloud vCenter Replication) appliances should be upgraded to 4.5. If the On-premises to Cloud vCenter Replication remains running 4.4, all the currently configured replications will remain active and will function properly, but no new replications can be configured.
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