Our VMware Site Recovery Manager Troubleshooting Tools, Tips and Tricks webcast last August was another popular one in our series of free webcasts designed around questions and cases from our support teams. James Doyle, a Staff Technical Support Training Specialist with the VMware Technical Support University (vTSU), answered many questions during the event, and we picked some of the most interesting ones here. You can read them all and/or watch the full webcast replay.

Do you have to install the PSC before the install of SRM Server?
Yes. You do. In fact, the Platform Services Controller needs to be installed before vCenter if you plan on using an external PSC. If using Embedded mode, the PSC is installed with vCenter.

Before installing SRM should we be using either CA certs or 3rd party certs on the VCS so that we are using non-local VM certs for the process?
Check out this post about using custom certificates in what is called Hybrid mode, where only the MACHINE_SSL_CERT uses a custom cert. Otherwise, using the default certs will suffice. They are also issued by a CA, albeit the one built in to the PSC.

Do we have the option to pair datastores and initiate array replication using GUI instead of depending on storage commands?
No. The replication of LUNs/storage devices must be configured on the array or the replication software first. SRM simply sits on top of the replication software and adds the automation and failover workflows. SRM doesn’t perform any replication itself. It interacts with other replication technologies, such as vSphere Replication or 3rd party products.

If you have a test network configured but the SRM is still creating an isolated network (srm-ID port group). At which log should I find some hint why the configured test network isn’t been used?
You would need to look at your Network mappings first of all and ensure they are properly configured to use the Test network during test failovers, and a real network during actual failovers. However, if for some reason SRM is failing to use a properly configured portgroup during a test failover, you should look at the DR site’s vmware-dr.log first. Then it would be necessary to dig into the host’s vmkernel.log if further troubleshooting is required.

Can the solution user name be renamed?
No, the solution user cannot be renamed. It is named by SRM during the installer process and the name is included in the SSL cert. Changing the name would invalidate the certificate.

If we are doing a clean v6.5 vCenter install, can SRM be ported across and upgraded or is it also required to be a clean install?
Depends on whether the original SRM instance is a version that can be directly upgraded to SRM 6.5. Check the Upgrade Matrix to confirm.

VMware tools time out 300 sec, how can we change it for test failovers?
Go to the Recovery Plan settings and choose your VM from the list. Right-click on the VM and you can modify the settings there.

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