Setting Up VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery
Getting started with VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery is a fairly simple task. In this series of articles, we will look into the basic steps for getting started with this VMware Disaster Recovery solution. This is not meant to replace the product documentation, other training materials, or direct product access such as the Hands-On Lab.
Getting the Solution Components Ready
In part 1 of this series, we will take you through the steps needed and the resources available to quickly get up to speed with understanding how to deploy and use this DR solution for protecting on-premises VMware workloads to the VMware Cloud (VMC) on AWS solution.
Setting Up the VMware Cloud DR Product Software / Service
Let’s start by going over the basics of getting the product ready for use. The steps below are also covered in the product documentation – link provided at the end of this post.
We assume that you have already requested and acquired the VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery service for your Cloud Services configuration. If not, simply search for “VMware Cloud DR” in your VMware Cloud Services Portal (CSP) and Request Access as shown here:
You may need to work with your VMware cloud solutions team to acquire the proper assets to enable the deployment and then proceed to the next step to Request Deployment as shown below:
The VMware Support Team for VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery will work with you to get your initial service setup and configured. Once that is done, you will have a Service tile in the CSP that will take you to the SaaS Orchestration UI of your new installation of VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery. Your CSP Services will include the following:
Note that as the first registered user, you will need CSP Org owner permissions to properly set up and enable the VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery service.
The initial setup will have the Scale-Out Cloud Filesystem (SCFS) already configured in the UI in the same AWS Region as the VMC SDDC components that you specified during acquisition.
Set Up Your VMC Connectivity
One of the key capabilities enabling the faster recovery times of VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery comes from the Live Mount NFS datastore. This datastore contains all of the on-premises, protected site snapshots. To enable the Live Mount datastore to the SDDC for VM recovery purposes during DR, we will need to connect the VMC SDDC creations operations to an AWS account and select appropriate predefined VPC subnets.
The easiest way to do this is to create a VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery VPC in your associated AWS account and define subnets for each Availability Zone in the Region shared between the VMC SDDC and VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery components. Creating AWS VPCs and subnets is a straightforward process and is outside the scope of this article.
To establish this connection configuration, begin in the VMware Cloud on AWS Console and choose to deploy a new SDDC to work through the steps of associating the AWS account and subnets. Note that we won’t actually trigger the SDDC deployment from the VMC Console – the SDDC must be deployed from VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery UI to properly establish the SCFS Live Mount NFS recovery datastore capabilities.
An example of this partial AWS account connection process is shown in Step 2 of the figure below. You can exit the SDDC deployment operation once the connection to the AWS account is made and the Cloud Formation Stack is successfully created.
Once you have done this step in the VMC Console, you will then be able to complete the AWS Settings portion of the actual SDDC deployment through the VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery UI steps as defined in the documentation for “Deploying a Recovery SDDC”.
Set Up Additional Users
In many organizations, there are other users that will need to interact with the VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery solution. The initial user invitation configuration has organization ownership and full administrator privileges. This role will allow access to all functionality within VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery.
As you prepare the environment for general use, determine the roles and access you want to provide, and which users will support those roles. Please refer to the product documentation for more details on “User Access”.
Then from the CSP administration of Identity and Access Management, you can easily invite new users to the solution services using their email address. Keep in mind that some of the roles may require access to the VMC service roles to work with the SDDC from the VMware Cloud DR UI.
In the example below we are inviting a fictitious “new-user” with full access to all needed administrator role functions for both VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery and VMware Cloud on AWS.
Prepare for Adding Protected Sites
One of the remaining items to address to wrap up getting ready is gaining required access to/from the protected site(s) you will configure into VMware Cloud DR. This includes: 1) proper vCenter credentials, and 2) appropriate networking from the on-premises site to the cloud components.
For the on-premises vCenter that will get registered for the protected site, you will need a user account with vCenter admin-level role privileges. You can find more details in the documentation on “Register vCenter”.
It’s also important before setting up a protected site to make sure the on-premises site can communicate with the cloud-based components. In many situations, this will require a change in the firewalls or ports (see link below) between the on-premises networks and the cloud targets. You can find more details here for what is required to “Deploy the DraaS Connector” in the online documentation. If you need specific information about the cloud components (e.g., target IP addresses), please get this information from the VMware Support team when initially setting up the VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery service in Step 1 above.
Now that you have completed:
- the setup of VMware Cloud DR from initial request to a working CSP service tile that navigates to the SaaS Orchestrator management UI,
- created the AWS VPC and subnets for linking the VMC SDDC deployment to the Scale-out Cloud File System Live Mount datastore,
- invited any additional users to help support the DR tasks, and
- gathered the required accounts and enabled the prem to cloud networking,
stay tuned to learn about setting up protected sites in preparation for DR failover to VMware Cloud on AWS.
Useful Resource Links
- VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery product website
- VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery blogs
- VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery videos
- VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery Hands-on Lab
- VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery online documentation
- VMware Ports and Protocols