Deploy vSphere Replication Appliance

Hi All,

Today we will discuss How to Deploy vSphere Replication Appliance on vSphere environment. vSphere Replication provides the replication of virtual machines in the vSphere environment. Let’s take a look at Installing and Configuring VMware vSphere Replication 8.1 in the vSphere 6.7 environment.

vSphere Replication blog series: “vSphere Replication

Previous blog post: “vSphere Replication Introduction and Architecture

Let’s start…

Before getting into deployment we will discuss how I created my lab environment. I have created two vSphere environments for the production site and DR site. The lab environment is running with VMware vSphere 6.7 and vSphere replication 8.1.

Production Environment

  • vCenter Server: TVC01
  • ESXi: TESX01, TESX02, and TESX03
  • vSphere Replication: TVRA01 and TVRA02
  • Storage: Starwind VSA

DR Environment

  • vCenter Server: TVC02
  • ESXi: TESX06, TESX07, and TESX08
  • vSphere Replication: TVRA03 and TVRA04
  • Storage: Starwind VSA

Apart from this, I have deployed Domain controller, DNS and NTP server on my lab environment.

vSphere Replication environment lab design

How to download the vSphere replication appliance?

You can download the vSphere replication appliance from My VMware website.

Requirements for vSphere replication appliance deployment

vSphere Replication is distributed as a 64-bit virtual appliance packaged in the .ovf format. It is configured to use a dual-core or quad-core CPU, a 13 GB and a 9 GB hard disk, and 8 GB of RAM. Additional vSphere Replication servers require 716 MB of RAM.

You must deploy the virtual appliance in a vCenter Server environment by using the OVF deployment wizard on an ESXi host.

vSphere Replication consumes a negligible CPU and memory on the source host ESXi and on the guest OS of the replicated virtual machine.

For more information, click here..

Deploy vSphere Replication appliance

Login to your vSphere client with admin credentials. In my case, the vCenter Server will be tvc01.vgyan.local.

Verify all the information which is available in virtual environment like virtual data center, cluster, ESXi host, data store free space etc..

For ovf deployment, I am using vSphere flex client (flash-based), Html based client given some issues with ovf customization in the past.

Right-click on the cluster and select “Deploy OVF Template” option

Make sure you are extracted or attached downloaded vSphere replication ISO on your machine.

Click on the “Browse” option.

Select all the required files and open, click “Next” to continue.

Required Files:

  1. vSphere_Replication-system.vmdk
  2. vSphere_Replication-support.vmdk
  3. vSphere_Replication_OVF10.ovf
  4. vSphere_Replication_OVF10.mf
  5. vSphere_Replication_OVF10.cert

Provide appliance name in my case it is TVRA01, Click “Next” to continue.

Select any one of the ESXi hosts from the cluster, click “Next” to continue

Verify template details and click “Next“.

Accept EULA and click “Next“.

Select the CPU configuration for a new appliance. Available options are 2 vCPU and 4 vCPU.

Click “Next” to continue.

Select a data store for appliance deployment, I will be configuring with thin provisioning because it’s a lab environment. For production environment always prefer thick provision.

Click “Next” to continue.

Select a destination network for each source network, I am using VM_Network port group for the management network.

From the IP allocation settings, Select IPv4 or IPv6 from IP protocol and select IP allocation as Static-Manual.

For the production environment always recommended configuration will be Static-Manual.

In the customize template field provide required details for customizing new deployment. Provide appliance root password, NTP (NTP server is very important) and Hostname for the appliance.

Provide default gateway, domain name, DNS lookup, DNS server, subnet mask, etc..

Click “Next” to continue.

Click “Next” on vSphere bindings, vSphere bindings tab will be available on only with FLEX client, we can’t find this in HTML client.

Ready to start the deployment of the appliance, click on “Finish“.

As you can see Replication Appliance successfully deployed on the vSphere environment.

Power on the newly deployed appliance for registering VMware vSphere Replication 8.1 with VMware vCenter Server 6.7.

From VM console set “Time-Zone“, it’s very important to keep both replication appliance and vCenter Server on same time.

login to your vSphere Replication 8.1 appliance in the VAMI interface “https://<replication appliance IP/FQDN>:5480“.

You can verify the Network status on Network >> Status.

If any changes required on network settings you can change on Network >> Address field and save the settings.

You have to provide an SSO administrator password under the VR >> Configuration tab.  Click the Save and Restart Service button after entering the password.

Currently VRM service is in stopped state.

You will see a certificate warning.  Accept the certificate.

You will then see the Successfully saved the configuration message in green at the top.

Now VRM service started running.

As you can see below, vSphere replication appliance configured and Plugin VMware site recovery has been successfully deployed. You have to refresh the browser for enabling the site recovery manager plugin.

Refresh vSphere client and verify the Site Recovery plugin.

So we have successfully deployed and configured the vSphere Replication appliance for the vSphere environment.

That’s all guys.. will discuss more on vSphere Replication in an upcoming post,  stay tuned.. 🙂

Next blog post will be “Understand Site Recovery Manager Plugin

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Feel free to share this to others if it is worth sharing!!!

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Written by Sujith Surendran

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