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vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR 1.5 Reference Architecture

Overview

The vCloud Availability Cloud-to-Cloud DR solution provides replication and failover capabilities for vCloud Director workloads at both VM and vApp level.

VMware vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR Reference Architecture (PDF format here)

This blog demonstrates the reference architecture of vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud Disaster Recovery 1.5, VMware vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR 1.5 allows tenant and service provider users to protect vApps between different virtual data centers within a vCloud Director environment and across different vCloud Director based clouds.

The architecture diagram illustrates the needed solution components between cloud provider’s two data centers which are backed by different vCloud Director cloud management platform, it also shows the network flow directions and port number required for communication among components in the vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR solution. Architecture supports symmetrical replication operations between cloud environments.

The service operates through a VMware Cloud Provider Program, and each installation provides recovery for multiple cloud environments. The vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR provides:

  • Self-service protection and failover workflows per virtual machine (VM).

  • Single installation package as a Photon-based virtual appliance.

  • The capability of each deployment to serve as both source and recovery vCloud Director instance (site). There are no dedicated source and destination sites.

  • Symmetrical replication flow that can be started from either the source or the recovery vCloud Director site.

  • Replication and recovery of vApps and VMs between vCloud Director sites.

  • Using a single-site vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR installation, you can migrate vApps and VMs between Virtual Data Centers that belong to a single vCloud Director Organization.

  • Secure Tunneling through a TCP proxy.

  • Integration with existing vSphere environments.

  • Multi-tenant support.

  • Built-in encryption or encryption and compression of replication traffic.

  • Support for multiple vCenter Server and ESXi versions.

Architecture Explained

When you implement this solution from the ova file in your production environment, make sure you are not choosing the “Combined” configuration type, instead you need to choose the “Manager node with vCloud Director Support’ configuration (icon # 6 in the RA), you’ll see the configuration description showing “The H4 Management Node. Deploy one of these if you need to configure replications to/from vCD”, H4 represents the vCloud Availability Replicator or Manager (C4 is for vCloud Availability vApp Replication Service or Manager), by selecting this configuration type, the ova will install three vCAV components all together in a single appliance:

  1. vCloud Availability Cloud-to-Cloud DR Portal (icon # 5 in the RA)
  2. vCloud Availability vAPP Replication Manager (icon # 4 in the RA)
  3. vCloud Availability Replication Manager (icon # 3 in the RA)

The above three components are located in a white-colored rectangle box (icon # 6) in the reference architecture diagram, all the communications between those three components are happened internally and will never route through outside this appliance, for example, vCloud Availability vAPP Replication Manager will use REST API calls to vCloud Availability Replication Manager in order to perform required replication tasks.

  1. vCloud Director
    • With the vCloud Director, cloud provider can build secure, multi-tenant private clouds by pooling infrastructure resources into virtual data centers and exposing them to users through Web- based portals and programmatic interfaces as fully automated, catalog-based services.
  2.  vCloud Availability Replicator Appliance
    • For production deployments, You deploy and configure dedicated vCloud Availability Replicator appliance or appliances, it exposes the low-level HBR primitives as REST APIs.

  3. vCloud Availability Replicator Manager
    • A management service operating on the vCenter Server level. It understands the vCenter Server level concepts for starting the replication workflow for the virtual machines. It must have TCP access to the Lookup Service and all the vCloud Availability Replicator appliances in both local, and remote sites.
  4. vCloud Availability vApp Replication Manager
    • Provides the main interface for the Cloud-to-Cloud replication operations. It understands the vCloud Director level concepts and works with vApps and virtual machines using vCD API calls.
  5. vCloud Availability C2C DR Portal
    • It provides tenants and service providers with a graphic user interface to facilitate the management of the vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR solution. It also provides overall system and workload information.
  6. Manager node with vCloud Director Support
    • Single appliance that contains the following services:
      • vCloud Availability Cloud-to-Cloud DR Portal
      • vCloud Availability vAPP Replication Manager
      • vCloud Availability Replication Manager
  7. vCenter Server with Platform Services Controller
    • The PSC provides common infrastructure services to the vSphere environment. Services include licensing, certificate management, and authentication with VMware vCenter Single Sign-On.
  8. vCloud Availability Tunnel Appliance
    • This solution requires that each component on a local site has bidirectional TCP connectivity to each component on the remote site, If bidirectional connections between sites are a problem, you configure Cloud-to-Cloud Tunneling, you must provide connectivity between the vCloud Availability Tunnel appliances on each site. It simplifies provider networking setup by channeling all incoming and outgoing traffic for a site through a single point.
  9. Network Address Translation
    • You must set an IP and port in the local site that is reachable for remote sites and forward it to the private address of the vCloud Availability Tunnel appliance, port 8048, for example, by using destination network address translation (DNAT).

Coexistence

  1. Based on the product release nodes, vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR 1.5 and vCloud Availability for vCloud Director 2.X can be installed and can operate together in the same vCloud Director environment. You can protect virtual machines either by using vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR 1.5 or vCloud Availability for vCloud Director 2.X.
  2. vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR 1.5 and vCloud Director Extender 1.1.X can be installed and can operate together in the same vCloud Director environment. You can migrate virtual machines either by using vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR 1.5 or vCloud Director Extender 1.1.X.

Interoperability

  • vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) –  5.5 and above
  • vCenter Server – 6.0, 6.5 and 6.7
  • vCloud Director for Service Providers – 8.20, 9.0, 9.1 and 9.5

* Please visit VMware Product Interoperability Matrices website to check the latest support products version.

Notes

  • There’s a comprehensive vCloud Availability Cloud-to-Cloud DR Design and Deploy Guide available here, which was published by my colleague, Avnish Tripathi, you can find detail design guidelines for this solution.
  • VMware official vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR Documentation is here.