vSAN Management Pack for vRealize Operations

vSAN Management Pack for vRealize Operations is embedded on vROps 6.6. The vSAN management pack is specifically designed to accelerate time to production with vSAN, optimize application performance for workloads running on vSAN and provide unified management for the Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC).

By default, this feature is disabled. You need to enable this feauture manually in Solutions of Administration tab. It shows “Data receiving” in the connection status when it is enabled.

When you enabled this feature, you can go to the dashboards of “vSAN Operations Overview”, “Troubleshoot vSAN”, Optimize vSAN Deployments etc.

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Cisco HyperFlex Cluster Replication

The Cisco HyperFlex HX Data Platform supports replication of virtual machines or groups of virtual machines to other clusters across a WAN for disaster recovery purposes. The data platform optimizes data transfer using change-block tracking and compression to reduce network impact. Native replication and snapshots built into the HX Data Platform dramatically reduce recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) metrics and achieve an RTO of less than 15 minutes for applications and data.

In this post we will learn how to create the replication of virtual machine between two Cisco HyperFlex HX Data Platform.

Environment:
Cisco HyperFlex HX A: hx-cluster-a
Cisco HyperFlex HX B: hx-cluster-b

First login into Cisco HyperFlex Cluster A/B, go to “Replication” and configure the replication network on each HyperFlex cluster.

Input the IP configuration, click Configure.

After the replication network of both HyperFlex Cluster is ready, go to Datastores and click “Create Datastore” to create the target Datastore on Cisco HyperFlex Cluster b.

Then go to Cisco HyperFlex Cluster a and choose Replication, click “Create Replication Pair“. Input the Replication Pair Name, then Next.

In the Remote Connection window, enter Management IP, User Name and Password of remote cluster, then Pair.

In the Datastore Mapping window, select the remote datastore on the Remote Datastore menu and click Next.

In the Summary window, click Map Datastores.

Create the Protection Groups, input “Protection Group Name” and select “Protect virtual machines in this group every“, click “Create Protection Group“.

Now we can start the replication of virutal machine. Go to Virtual Machines and select VM-A virtual machine which is Unprotected. Click Protect.

Add the VM to an existing protection group. Click Protect Virtual Machine. Now it shows that the VM is now protected.

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Become a VxRail Xpert

I have passed this assessment today. ^^

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Vembu BDR Suite

Vembu is a leading software product development that has been focussing on Backup and Disaster Recovery software for data centers over a decade. It’s flagship offering- the BDR Suite of products consists of VMBackup for VMware vSphere and Hyper-V, Disk Image backups for Physical machines, Workstations. Backing up individual files and folders to physical servers and cloud can be performed with Vembu Network Backup and Online Backup respectively.

Moreover, it has multiple flexible deployment like on-site, off-site and to the cloud through single user interface. Another offering of the Vembu BDR Suite is to be able to configure item level backups like Microsoft Exchange Servers, Sharepoint, SQL, My SQL, Office 365, G Suite etc., This latest version of Vembu BDR Suite v3.8.0 has come out with the few notable features in two major offerings- one unlimited features for three virtual machines and the second thing being able to backup unlimited virtual machines with restricted features.

This latest Free edition of Vembu BDR Suite was designed understanding the setbacks by any common IT Administrator. Thence making Vembu an important name in the market for backup vendor for its enterprise level product for SMBs. This free edition is free forever and IT administrators can continue managing their backups with the trial version without any feature restriction. Let’s take a plunge into the detailed features of this Free edition.

Unlimited features for Limited environment (3 VMs):

Using the Vembu BDR Suite in its trial version does not require purchasing a license. This category of the Free edition offers unlimited features and few of them are listed below:

1. Agentless VMware backups for multiple VMs: Configuring backups for protecting multiple VMs without physically installing any agent.

2. Disk Image Backups from BDR Server: Disk Image Backups can now be configured and managed via Vembu BDR Server. Relying on proxy agents is no longer required, unless it’s a distributed deployment which require individual proxy agent installation.

3. Full VM Backup: Will backup the entire VM including OS, applications and the data.

4. Storage Pooling: Storage Pools are used to aggregate the space available from different volumes and utilise them as a storage for specific backups. The hybrid volume manager of Vembu BDR Server supports scalable and extendable backup storage for different storage media such as Local drives, NAS(NFS and CIFS) and SAN(iSCSI and FC). Vembu BDR provides storage pooling option for both backup level and group level.

5. LAN free data transfer using SAN and Hot- Add modes: Vembu VM backup support Direct SAN, Hot-Add and network transport mode to backup the VM data.

6. Auto Authorization: Enabling Auto authorization in Vembu BDR allows proxy agents to get registered to backup server using unique registration key generated by respective BDR server.

7. Automatic Backup Scheduling: Backups can be automatically scheduled as per the user’s flexibility

8. Encryption Settings: Users can now provide additional security to their disk based backup jobs by assigning custom-password to backup server, such that all their backup data will be encrypted and can be restored/accessed only by providing the custom-password.

9. FLR from GUI (Backup & Replication): File Level Recovery(FLR) is now available for both backup and replication jobs where user can choose specific files and folders from VMware/Hyper-V/Disk Image backups and VMware replication, to be restored in a quick fashion.

All the above major features are included in this free edition for 3 virtual machines. Let’s get to know those restricted features for unlimited virtual machines.

Restricted Features for unlimited virtual machines:

All the features mentioned above for limited business environment will be applicable for this categories with few restrictions in the features. They are:

1. Application aware processing: Configuring them for a Hyper-V environment is restricted but that does not hold good with VMware vSphere Esxi(s).

2. Changed Block Tracking: Only the incremental blocks which are changed since the previous backup will been tracked and backed up in the successive backup schedule thereby reducing disk space and time

3. Retention Policies: User can retain any number of recovery points of his own choice. They come to great use when it comes to store the backup data.

4. Near CDP: Incremental backup can be scheduled every 15 mins to ensure the RPO < than 15 mins

5. Quick VM recovery to ESXi: Incremental backup can be scheduled every 15 mins to ensure the RPO < than 15 mins.

6. Automated Backup verification: Verify the recoverability of the backed up images and screenshot of the booted Image backup will be mailed

Backup and recovery holds good for both physical and virtual environments and makes granular recovery possible with great ease.You will able to scale out your storage, secure your individual backup jobs with in-built deduplication, encryption and compression that makes its own file system called, the VembuHIVE.

This latest Free edition thus becomes one of the most business-friendly and a complete backup solution. That being said, It can be suitable for both testing and production environments! Their out-of-the box policy- backup for all was hailed even at the recent VMworld event, Las Vegas.

Well, there is nothing left to ponder now. It’s time to make the right decision. It could be done right away with getting started with their Free edition of Vembu BDR Suite on a 30 days free trial.

https://www.vembu.com/vembu-bdr-suite-download/

The comparison between paid vs free edition

https://www.vembu.com/vembu-bdr-suite-free-vs-paid-edition/

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vFORUM Hong King 2017

The 10th vFORUM Hong Kong.

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Create VM Storage Policies on vSAN 6.6 Stretched Cluster

In this post we will learn how to create some VM Storage policies on vSAN 6.6 Stretched Cluster, details at below.

  • Stretched VM and no local protection at both sites.
  • Stretched VM with R1 protection at both sites.
  • Not Stretched VM + R5 protection at preferred site.
  • Not Stretched VM + R6 protection at preferred site.

The first VM Storage policy

Primary level of failures to tolerate =1 ( specific data will be replicated into fault domain )
Secondary level of failures to tolerate = 0 ( specific no local protection )

The second VM Storage policy

Primary level of failures to tolerate =1 ( specific data will be replicated into fault domain )
Secondary level of failures to tolerate = 1 ( specific the local protection )
Failure tolerance method = RAID-1 (Mirroring) ( Specific R1 protection at both sites )

The third VM Storage policy

Primary level of failures to tolerate = 0 ( No data will be replicated into fault domain )
Secondary level of failures to tolerate = 1 ( specific R5 protection )
Failure tolerance method = RAID-5/6 ( Specific Erasure Coding )
Affinity = Preferred Fault Domain ( Specific Erasure Coding at Preferred Site only )

NOTE: Erasure Coding R5 can be enabled (the number of nodes least 4 or above).

The last VM Storage policy

Primary level of failures to tolerate = 0 ( No data will be replicated into fault domain )
Secondary level of failures to tolerate = 2 ( specific R6 protection )
Failure tolerance method = RAID-5/6 ( Specific Erasure Coding )
Affinity = Preferred Fault Domain ( Specific Erasure Coding at Preferred Site only )

NOTE: Erasure Coding R6 can be enabled (the number of nodes least 6 or above).

The demonstration

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VMware vSAN 6.6 Stretched Cluster

We can learn how to setup VMware vSAN Stretched Cluster in this post, here is the high level architecture of VMware vSAN 6.6 Stretched Cluster,

  • Preferred Site: 3 x VMware vSphere 6.5 U1.
    • Cache tier – 150GB flash drive per node, capacity tier – 200GB flash drive per node.
  • Secondary Site: 3 x VMware vSphere 6.5 U1.
    • Cache tier – 150GB flash drive per node, capacity tier – 200GB flash drive per node.
  • Witness: 1 x vSAN Witness 6.5 Appliance.
    • Cache tier – 3TB flash drive, capacity tier – 1 x 3TB flash drive.
  • vCenter Server: 1 x VMware vCenter 6.5 Appliance.

Below is the demonstration.

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