Configuring disaster recovery using VMware SRM

You can use your Google Cloud VMware Engine private cloud as a disaster recovery (DR) site for on-premises VMware workloads. This DR solution is based on vSphere replication and VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM). You can follow a similar approach to use your private cloud as a primary site that's protected by your on-premises recovery site.

This recovery solution offers the following benefits:

  • Eliminates the need to set up a data center specifically for DR.
  • Lets you reduce deployment costs and total cost of ownership for establishing DR.

This solution requires the following from you:

  • Install, configure, and manage vSphere Replication and SRM in your private cloud.
  • Provide your own licenses for VMware SRM.

You can use any versions of vSphere Replication appliance (vRA) and SRM that are compatible with your private cloud and on-premises environments. The examples in this guide use vRA 8.3 and SRM 8.3.

Deploy a DR solution using SRM in your private cloud

The following sections describe how to deploy a DR solution using SRM in a private cloud.

Create a private cloud for your environment

Create a private cloud from the VMware Engine portal by following the instructions in Creating a private cloud.

Verify that VMware product versions are compatible

To verify the versions of vCenter in your private cloud, view your vSphere management network:

  1. Access the VMware Engine portal
  2. Go to Resources.
  3. Select your private cloud and go to the vSphere Management Network tab.

The configurations in this guide are subject to the following compatibility requirements:

  • The same version of SRM must be deployed in your private cloud and your on-premises environment.
  • The same version of vSphere Replication must be deployed in your private cloud and your on-premises environment.
  • The versions of vCenter in your private cloud and your on-premises environment must be compatible.
  • The versions of SRM and vSphere Replication must be compatible with each other and with the versions of vCenter.

For more information, see the VMware Site Recovery Manager documentation.

Estimate the size of your DR environment

  1. Verify that your identified on-premises configuration is within supported limits. VMware documents these limits in Operational Limits of Site Recovery Manager.
  2. Ensure that you have sufficient network bandwidth to meet your workload size and RPO requirements. For more information, see Calculate Bandwidth for vSphere Replication.
  3. Use the sizer tool to estimate the resources that are needed in your DR site to protect your on-premises environment.

Set up private cloud networking for SRM

From the VMware Engine portal, set up private cloud networking for SRM.

Create a subnet for the SRM network and assign it a subnet CIDR. For more information, see Creating and managing subnets.

Set up on-premises to cloud connectivity

Set up a connection between your on-premises and cloud environments using either site-to-site VPN or Cloud Interconnect. To set up a site-to-site VPN connection, see the Cloud VPN documentation. To set up a connection using either Dedicated Interconnect or Partner Interconnect, see the Cloud Interconnect documentation.

Set up infrastructure services in your private cloud

To help you manage your workloads and tools, configure infrastructure services in the private cloud.

Identify users from your on-premises Active Directory (AD) in your private cloud. Set up an AD in your private cloud for all users.

To provide IP address lookup, IP address management, and name resolution services for your workloads in the private cloud, set up a DHCP and DNS server as described in Setting up DNS and DHCP services in your private cloud.

The gve.goog domain is used by management VMs and hosts in your private cloud. To resolve requests to this domain, configure DNS forwarding on the DNS server as described in Configuring DNS for management appliance access.

Install a vRA in your on-premises environment

Install a vSphere Replication appliance (vRA) in your on-premises environment by following the VMware documentation. The installation consists of these high-level steps:

  1. Prepare your on-premises environment for vRA installation.
  2. Deploy a vRA in your on-premises environment using the OVF in the VR ISO from VMware by following Deploy the vSphere Replication Virtual Appliance.
  3. Register your on-premises vRA with vCenter SSO at the on-premises site.

For information about vSphere Replication, see Install vSphere Replication.

Install a vRA in your private cloud

Before you begin, verify that you have the following:

  • IP reachability from subnets in your on-premises environment to the management subnet of your private cloud
  • IP reachability from the replication subnet in your on-premises vSphere environment to the SRM subnet of your private cloud

For more information, see Connecting by using VPN. The steps are similar to those for the on-premises installation.

Google recommends using fully qualified domain names (FQDNs) instead of IP addresses during the vRA and SRM installation. To find the FQDN of the vCenter in your private cloud, do the following:

  1. Access the VMware Engine portal
  2. Go to Resources.
  3. Select your private cloud and go to the vSphere Management Network tab.

Prepare a solution user account for vRA and SRM installation

You must install vRA and SRM using a user with administrator privileges in the vCenter SSO domain. This helps ensure high uptime and availability for your private cloud vCenter environment.

For the installation process, use one of the solution user accounts available in your private cloud.

Configure firewall rules for vRA

To open ports to enable the following network communications, configure firewall rules as described in Firewall tables. This process enables communication between the following:

  • A vRA in the SRM network and vCenter and ESXi hosts in the management network
  • vRA appliances at the two sites

For a list of port numbers that must be open for vSphere Replication and SRM, see [VMware Ports and Protocols][vmware ports protocols]{: .external}.

Install SRM server in your on-premises environment

Before you begin, verify the following:

Follow VMware documentation to install SRM server in the deployment model Two-Site Topology with One vCenter Instance per Platform Services Controller, as described in Site Recovery Manager in a Two-Site Topology with One vCenter Server Instance per Platform Services Controller.

VMware describes the SRM installation process in About VMware Site Recovery Manager Installation and Configuration.

Install SRM server in your private cloud

Before you begin, verify the following:

  • A vSphere Replication appliance is installed in your on-premises and private cloud environments.
  • The vSphere Replication appliances at both sites are connected to each other.
  • You have reviewed the VMware information on prerequisites and best practices.

The following steps describe the private cloud SRM installation.

Deploy SRM and register to vCenter

Sign in to vCenter using the CloudOwner or equivalent credentials. Then, follow the VMware documentation to deploy SRM. Use a solution user account to register the SRM server on vCenter and manage the cross-site sessions while pairing the sites.

For more information, you can see the VMware deployment reference model in Site Recovery Manager in a Two-Site Topology with One vCenter Server Instance per Platform Services Controller.

VMware describes the SRM installation process in About VMware Site Recovery Manager Installation and Configuration.

Configure firewall rules for SRM

Configure firewall rules in the VMware Engine portal as described in Firewall tables to allow communication between the following:

  • The SRM server and vCenter in the private cloud
  • The SRM servers at both sites

For a list of port numbers that must be open for vSphere Replication and SRM, see the VMware page on SRM ports and protocols.

Configure SRM through vCenter

After SRM is installed in the private cloud, perform the following tasks to configure SRM through vCenter:

  • Connect the SRM server instances on the protected and recovery sites.
  • Establish a client connection to the cloud SRM Server instance.
  • Install the SRM License Key.

Ongoing management of SRM

You have full control over vSphere Replication and SRM software in your private cloud and are expected to perform necessary software lifecycle management. Ensure that any new version of software is compatible with the private cloud vCenter before updating or upgrading vSphere Replication or SRM.

Multiple replication configuration

You can use both array-based replication and vSphere Replication technologies together with SRM at the same time in your on-premises environment. For more information, see Array-Based Replication Versus vSphere Replication.

Either array-based replication or vSphere Replication must be applied to a set of VMs. A given VM can be protected either by array-based replication or vSphere Replication, but not both. You can configure the VMware Engine site as a recovery site for multiple protected sites. For information about multi-site configurations, see SRM Multi-Site Options.

Other references