RecoverPoint 4.1 Product Enhancements

RecoverPoint 4.1 Product Enhancements

One of the many technologies that I get to work with on a regular basis is EMC RecoverPoint.  It has continued to evolve as the years have passed.  Code version 4.1 was released a few months ago and I wanted to go over a few of the major new enhancements.

  • MetroPoint Support
  • Snap-based Replication
  • I/O Throttling
  • External Storage Support

MetroPoint Support

Before MetroPoint, RecoverPoint was used to protect VPLEX distributed volumes, via replication, to a third site. However, RecoverPoint only protected one site of the Metro for a distributed volume. If the site performing replication to the remote site went down, hosts could access the distributed volumes but continuous data protection wouldn’t happen. MetroPoint, eliminates this problem because replication can switch over to the other site and continue to replicate to the disaster recovery site. When this happens, a source switchover occurs with only a short init phase.

Snap-Based Replication

In RecoverPont 4.1, snap-based replication can be used to replicate point-in-time snapshots asynchronously from production to target.  Benefits in doing snap-based replication are reduced traffic transmission and lower RTO.  This will also provide better journal utilization.

Requirements for Snap-Based Replication

  • All RPAs must be 4.1 or higher
  • Storage array must be registered the Storage wizard
  • VNX OE must be Block 32 or later
  • RecoverPoint Splitter
  • VNX Snapshot enabler
  • VPLEX is supported

I/O Throttling

I/O throttling regulates I/O during Init/Full sweep initialization to prevent burdening the storage array due to heavy I/O activity by RecoverPoint.  I/O throttling support has been extended to support individual storage arrays meaning the throttling value can be different for different storage arrays involved in the replication process.

External Storage Support

You now have the option of provisioning Journal volumes from within the Consistency Group Wizard directly from Storage Pools on the VNX.  This can be done once the Storage has been registered in Unisphere for RecoverPoint.  This allows for an easier administration of RecoverPoint Journal Volumes.  Block 32 or higher is supported

There are few smaller enhancements listed below.

  • Policy Templates – This allows for user-defined policies when it comes to the copy or link policy for each CG
  • HTTPS is now the default GUI access
  • RecoverPoint Check for registered RPAs – Lets you know if an RPA is registered or not
  • Logs can be collected form a detached RPA
  • More languages have been added

As you can see RecoverPoint continues to get better and makes Disaster Recover more feasible.

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VMware SRM Reprotecting VMs

This is Blog 10 on VMware Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication.  This post will cover reprotecting your VMs

Current Progress

  • Prod and DR Cluster
  • Prod and DR Cluster
  • 1 host per cluster with vSphere 5.5
  • 1 Domain Controller (08R2) per site
  • 1 vCenter Virtual Appliance (5.5) per site
  • 1 SRM server per site. SQL express is installed on the same server
  • SRM servers paired together
  • Resources Mappings, Folder Mappings, network Mappings and Placeholder Datastores have been configured
  • vSphere Replication has been installed
  • VMs have been replicated with vSphere Replication
  • Protection Groups and Recovery Plans have been created
  • VM Recovery Properties Set
  • Tested Recovery Plan
  • Failed Site over to DR

Reprotecting VMs

Once you have recovered your protection site and you are ready to failback you need to setup up replication.  Go to the recovery steps tab and select Reprotect.

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Confirm the Reprotect Option

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Start the Reprotect

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Protection will begin back to the Production Site

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Go to vSphere Replication and confirm that a Full Sync is in progress

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You will now see the protected VMs back at your Production Site.  You can then fail back to production once you are ready.

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This concludes the Blog Series on VMware SRM with vSphere Replication.

VMware SRM Failover Recovery Plans

This is Blog 9 on VMware Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication.  This post will cover failover of your Recovery Plans

Current Progress

  • Prod and DR Cluster
  • Prod and DR Cluster
  • 1 host per cluster with vSphere 5.5
  • 1 Domain Controller (08R2) per site
  • 1 vCenter Virtual Appliance (5.5) per site
  • 1 SRM server per site. SQL express is installed on the same server
  • SRM servers paired together
  • Resources Mappings, Folder Mappings, network Mappings and Placeholder Datastores have been configured
  • vSphere Replication has been installed
  • VMs have been replicated with vSphere Replication
  • Protection Groups and Recovery Plans have been created
  • VM Recovery Properties Set
  • Tested Recovery Plan

Recovery Plan Failover

Now it is time to Failover from Production to DR.  Login to SRM and go to your Recovery Plan.  Select the Recovery Option.

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Recovery Confirmation.  There are 2 types of recovery, Planned and Disaster.  Planned will sync up your storage and requires the sites to be connected.  Disaster is a “We need to get going ASAP” situation.

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Review the info and Start

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The following thing will happen in this order: Sync Storage if possible, Shutdown protected VMs at Production, Restore ESXi hosts from standby, Begin the Recovery.

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Once the VMs have recovered you will be up and running at your DR site.

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The final blog in this series will demonstrate how to Re-protect back to the original Production site.

VMware SRM Testing Recovery Plans

This is Blog 8 on VMware Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication.  This post will cover testing your Recovery Plans

Current Progress

  • Prod and DR Cluster
  • Prod and DR Cluster
  • 1 host per cluster with vSphere 5.5
  • 1 Domain Controller (08R2) per site
  • 1 vCenter Virtual Appliance (5.5) per site
  • 1 SRM server per site. SQL express is installed on the same server
  • SRM servers paired together
  • Resources Mappings, Folder Mappings, network Mappings and Placeholder Datastores have been configured
  • vSphere Replication has been installed
  • VMs have been replicated with vSphere Replication
  • Protection Groups and Recovery Plans have been created
  • VM Recovery Properties Set

Testing your Recovery Plans

This is one of my favorite features of SRM.  You can do non-disruptive testing with the click of a button.  Login to SRM and go to your Recovery Plan and select the Test button.

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Test Confirmation.  You have the option of replicating recent changes to the Recovery Site.

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Start the Test

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Once the Test has started go to the Recovery Steps Tab.  You will be able to watch Step by Step

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Once the Test has completed successfully the VMs at the DR site will look like a Running VM

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Once you have completed the Test its time for Cleanup

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Cleanup Confirmation.  I have run into issues where I have had to do a Force Cleanup

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Start the Cleanup

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Once the Cleanup and Testing has completed you can go over to the History Tab and View or Export the results

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The Next Blog will cover the actual Failover.

VMware SRM VM Recovery Properties

This is Blog 7 on VMware Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication.  This post will cover the VM Recovery Properties on each VM being recovered.

Current Progress

  • Prod and DR Cluster
  • Prod and DR Cluster
  • 1 host per cluster with vSphere 5.5
  • 1 Domain Controller (08R2) per site
  • 1 vCenter Virtual Appliance (5.5) per site
  • 1 SRM server per site. SQL express is installed on the same server
  • SRM servers paired together
  • Resources Mappings, Folder Mappings, network Mappings and Placeholder Datastores have been configured
  • vSphere Replication has been installed
  • VMs have been replicated with vSphere Replication
  • Protection Groups and Recovery Plans have been created

VM Recovery Properties

Now that the Recovery Plans have been created you have the option of going into each VM and changing some Recovery Properties if needed.  Go to the VM Tab in the Recovery Plans and Select VM Recovery Properties.  The first option is the IP settings.  Based on how your network is setup you may need to change the IP at DR.

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Priority Groups. 

Priority Group 1 will be started first at DR and Priority 5 will be started last.

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VM Dependencies. 

This only applies of the VMs that depend on each other are in the same Priority Group.  An example would be a Database Server and a App Server.  They need to be brought up together.

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Shutdown Actions

Used to power off VMs at the protected site during a Recovery.  Shutdown is not used during Test or Cleanup.  VMware Tools needs to be running and there is a timeout setting.

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Startup Action

This is for when the VMs Startup at DR.  SRM will use VMware tools to see when the VM has come up.  I have had instances where I had to manually restart vmtools after power up during testing.  Be aware of that.

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There are also Pre-Power On Steps and Post Power On Steps that can be added

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The next blog will cover Testing a Recovery Plan