Disaster Recovery

vSphere Replication 5.8 lets you violate VSAN Storage Policies

Written June 8th, 2015 by
Categories: Disaster Recovery, Virtualization

I’m sure many of you know VSAN’s Failures To Tolerate, or FTT, is something that adds overhead to both your cluster & your data. It’s no secret FTT of 1 doubles your data, think of it as N+1 copies of your data. You could essentially have two, three, or four copies of your data, redundancy is a good thing!

When you look at the cluster side of it, there is another ‘gotcha’. The host needs becomes 2N+1. Let’s look at FTT of one, that’s saying you need 2(1)+1 hosts, so 2+1 = 3. And of course, FTT2 requires 5 hosts, and FTT3 requires 7.

What’s the problem?

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VMworld 2015 Public Voting is OPEN!

Written May 14th, 2015 by
Categories: Disaster Recovery, Virtualization
No Comments »

It’s that time of year again, and I know you’re as excited as I am, VMworld has opened up the sessions to public voting!

There are TONS of sessions to choose from, and I submitted a handful listed here:


The last one is something special with GS Khalsa, so please vote for us!

If you like any of these and would like to see these presentations on the big stage, please vote for them!

Go to http://vmw.re/1Pj6Lcc and you can either search for my last name or session ID.

Site Recovery Manager Error: Placeholder VM creation error: No hosts with hardware version 10

Written December 5th, 2014 by
Categories: Disaster Recovery, Virtualization
1 Comment »

If you attended my SRM session at VMworld 2014, or one of the VMUG User Conference sessions I’ve presented at, you’ve heard me talk about upgrading SRM and the entire infrastructure.

I stressed the importance of upgrading the Recovery/Target Site’s hosts before upgrading the Protected/Source Site’s hosts.

As you can imagine, upgrading out of order does happen, and I got to see exactly what happens when you’re in that situation. Well, not in a disaster, but in regular day-to-day tasks.

Have you seen this error when trying to protect a VM in SRM, specifically trying to create the placeholder?

Placeholder VM creation error: No hosts with hardware version ’10’ and datastore(s) [datastore01] which are powered on and not in maintenance mode are available

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Setting EMC’s RecoverPoint SRM SRA to Authenticate over SSL for 4.0 and 4.1

Written November 21st, 2014 by
Categories: Disaster Recovery, Virtualization
1 Comment »

You may or may not know that EMC’s SRA defaults to authenticating over non-SSL communication. It basically hits the RecoverPoint Appliance (RPA) on port 80 when doing anything. RPAs don’t handle a NAT, so chances are your devices are not publicly facing, at least I hope not!

It’s always a better idea to encrypt any traffic containing usernames and passwords, so why wouldn’t you do this? In RPA versions up to 4.0, they defaulted to non SSL, although they refer to it as non-https. RPA 4.1 no longer accepts port 80 and requires you to use 443, or https, or SSL encrypted, whatever you want to say.

This is great, until you try to add RPA 4.1 to a standard install of RecoverPoint’s 2.2 SRA. Why? Well, because it defaults to non-https and doesn’t give you an intuitive way to change it.

Adding RPA 4.1 to SRA 2.2 will give you this error:

“SRA command ‘discoverArrays’ failed. Failed opening session for user to site mgmt IP.
Please see server logs for further details.”

Check the vmware-dr.log and you’ll likely see something like

Error code=”1049″

and what’s funny is I even found “Ouch!” in the log, lol! I love when devs throw things like that out there.

Keep reading for the fix! Read the rest of this entry »

Public Voting Now Open for VMWorld 2014!

Written May 12th, 2014 by
Categories: Disaster Recovery, Virtualization
No Comments »

When you get a chance, stroll on over to vmworld.com and click the link “Vote for your favorite proposals today”:

VMworld 2014

I’m bringing this up because I submitting a session, 1152 “vCenter Site Recovery Manager: Architecting a DR Solution”.

It’s pretty simple to find, it’s one of only two sessions for Site Recovery Manager at the Advanced Technical Level under Software Defined Data Center in the subtrack Storage and Business Continuity. An easy way to find it is set the keyword filter to “site recovery manager” and mine’s the first one:

Submission 1152 for VMworld 2014

The abstract states:

VMware’s vCenter Site Recovery Manager is the market-leading disaster-recovery management product. It ensures the simplest and most reliable disaster protection for all virtualized applications. However, it is not a turn-key DR solution. Architecting your SRM solution requires deep thought and heavy planning. This presentation will help you with planning and architecting your SRM solution as well as addressing specific configuration and installation challenges. Our goal is to help you deploy and maintain a solid SRM solution to enable your DR Plan.

The agenda will flow like this:

  • Basic SRM Functions
  • Planning
  • Designing & Architecting SRM
  • Deployment Considerations & Road Blocks
  • Maintaining, Migrating, & Upgrading

Everyone knows what SRM, and most understand what it does; however, very few actually understand how it works. This session will briefly cover how each function of SRM works, but will go deeper into how to plan & architect your DR solution leveraging SRM. There are several design considerations you need to keep in mind when planning & building it out, and I’ll also touch on migrating & upgrading your SRM installation to make sure you’re protected, even during an upgrade.

If this looks like something you’d like to see at VMworld 2014, please sign in and vote!

Thanks, and happy scripting!

Building a Disaster Recovery Solution using Site Recovery Manager – Part 1: Planning

I wrote this blog article for Rackspace to go on their Blog. Original can be found HERE on the Rackspace Blog site.

VMware® vCenter™ Site Recovery Manager™ is used to orchestrate the failover of a group of virtual machines (VMs) from one location to another. It’s a really useful tool to have in your arsenal to tackle the daunting task of disaster recovery (DR), especially if you take a little time to plan for how and when it will be used.

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VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.1 Connection & Session Limits – Updated

SRM Connection or Session Limit Reached
***Scroll down for the Update***

Have you ran into one of these errors before:

     [exec] AxisFault
     [exec]  faultCode: ServerFaultCode
     [exec]  faultSubcode: 
     [exec]  faultString: fault.drextapi.fault.ConnectionLimitReached.summary
     [exec]  faultActor: 
     [exec]  faultNode: 
     [exec]  faultDetail: 
     [exec]     {urn:srm0}SrmFaultConnectionLimitReachedFault:<connectionlimit>10</connectionlimit>
     [exec] fault.drextapi.fault.ConnectionLimitReached.summary


     [exec] AxisFault
     [exec]  faultCode: ServerFaultCode
     [exec]  faultSubcode: 
     [exec]  faultString: dr.fault.SessionLimitExceeded
     [exec]  faultActor: 
     [exec]  faultNode: 
     [exec]  faultDetail: 
     [exec] 	{urn:srm0}MethodFaultFault:<vim25:reason>Invalid fault</vim25:reason>
     [exec] dr.fault.SessionLimitExceeded
     [exec] 	at sun.reflect.NativeConstructorAccessorImpl.newInstance0(Native Method)
     [exec] 	at sun.reflect.NativeConstructorAccessorImpl.newInstance(NativeConstructorAccessorImpl.java:39)
     [exec] 	at sun.reflect.DelegatingConstructorAccessorImpl.newInstance(DelegatingConstructorAccessorImpl.java:27)

Or in the GUI:Lost connection to remote SRM server. Unable to login. The maximum number of SRM users has been reached.RJ, from RJApproves.com, & I had been plagued by these messages for weeks, maybe even months. Well, we finally got it all figured out!

Keep reading for the fix!

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VMware Site Recovery Manager & Active Directory – Part 2 – Domain Controllers in test environment

On May 25th, I published this post covering some scenarios on how to use Site Recovery Manager & Active Directory.  Michael White from VMware responded with some good info.  He had an awesome suggestion of using a script to cold clone a DC daily to use for testing.

Let’s take a look at some ways we can get this done:
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VMware Site Recovery Manager & Active Directory – Part 1 – Testing Recovery Plans with Active Directory

To include Active Directory or not to include Active Directory, that is the question.

I’ve been reading a lot around VMware’s Site Recovery Manager and considerations surrounding Active Directory. Most of what you will read says ‘NEVER’ protect AD with SRM, only use native AD replication, especially since SRM & vCenter at your Recovery Site require AD to be running anyway.

But what if you have multiple domains for different uses? This is where the lines become blurred. Think about this for a second:

  • One AD environment (single forest/domain, no trusts) where vCenter & SRM live, call it infrastructure AD
  • A second AD environment (also single forest/domain, no trusts) for your application servers, call it application AD
  • You have infrastructure AD at both sites, SRM & vCenter authenticate accordingly
  • Protected site has application AD
  • Recovery site has nothing

Now here is where I say ‘why wouldn’t you protect AD with SRM?’  In a true disaster, the protected site is gone, no AD exists anywhere, so using SRM to bring them up on the recovery site makes sense. Is my logic flawed?

However, if I had my application AD living at both sites, using native replication, I agree 100% in not including your Domain Controllers in your SRM Recovery Plan. This leads to my concern…

Testing vs Planned vs Unplanned

This post will cover testing only. I’ll write a follow-up covering planned & unplanned failovers later.

To me, the only way to really test your DR plan (in this instance, your SRM Recovery Plan) is to not have anything different between them.
Read the rest of this entry »

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