Advanced replication with Leap

Implementing advanced replication with Leap

Last updated 18th July 2022

Objective

This guide details how to set up advanced replication and disaster recovery plans with Nutanix Leap in Prism Central.

Introduction

Nutanix Leap allows:

  • Asynchronous and synchronous replication based on the chosen licence pack
  • Test replicas
  • Advanced disaster recovery plans with virtual machine startup and, in some cases, cluster-to-cluster failover automation (only with synchronous replication and a cluster witness)
  • a destination to the Nutanix cloud with Xi Leap (note that this solution is not available with licences provided by OVHcloud)

OVHcloud provides services for which you are responsible, with regard to their configuration and management. It is therefore your responsibility to ensure that they work properly.

This guide is designed to assist you as much as possible with common tasks. Nevertheless, we recommend contacting a specialist provider if you experience any difficulties or doubts when it comes to managing, using or setting up a service on a server.

Requirements

  • Two Nutanix clusters in your OVHcloud account
  • Access to the OVHcloud Control Panel
  • Access to your clusters via Prism Central
  • An interconnection between two clusters, for example using these technologies:
  • Prism Central needs more resources depending on the mode:
    • Single Mode: 4GB additional RAM.
    • Scale Mode with 3 Prism Central virtual machines: 8 GB additional RAM per virtual machine.

Instructions

Our Disaster Recovery Plan via Nutanix Leap will be set up between two clusters, both of which are located in remote OVHcloud datacentres, one in Canada and the other in France. The two clusters are connected by an IPSec VPN with this network configuration:

  • Cluster administration LAN in France: 192.168.0.0/24.
  • Cluster administration LAN in Canada: 192.168.10.0/24.

  • Production LAN for VMs, common to both clusters: 192.168.50.0/24 on VLAN 50.

  • Test LAN common to both clusters: 192.168.51.0/25 on VLAN 51.

Commissioning of Nutanix Leap

Adding an iSCSI IP address on each cluster

Before you enable Nutanix Leap, you must add an IP address for iSCSI connections on each cluster.

Using Prism Central, connect to Prism Element on the cluster in France. You can use the Nutanix Hyperconvergence guide for more information.

In the top left-hand corner of the Prism Element dashboard, click the cluster name.

00 Add iSCSI address in FRANCE01

Enter an unused IP address from the management networkin the iSCSI Data Service IP field and click Save.

00 Add iSCSI address in FRANCE01

Also via Prism Central, now perform the same operation on the cluster in Canada.

In the top left-hand corner of the Prism Element dashboard, click The cluster name.

01 Add iSCSI address in Canada01

Enter an unused IP address from the management networkin the iSCSI Data Service IP field and click Save.

01 Add iSCSI address in Canada02

Enabling Leap

Go back to the Prism Central interface for the cluster in France.

From the main menu, click Recovery Plans in the Data Protection submenu.

Activate Recovery 01

Click Enable Leap.

Activate Recovery 02

When you see Prechecks successful, click Enable.

Activate Recovery 03

Now go back to the Prism Central interface of the cluster in Canada and do the same.

Click Recovery Plans.

Activate Recovery 01

Click Enable Leap.

Activate Recovery 02

Again, when Prechecks successful appears on the screen, click Enable.

Activate Recovery 03

Each cluster now has an Availability zone, which allows them to be interconnected.

Connecting both clusters.

Stay on Prism Central in the cluster in Canada.

From the main menu, click Availability Zones under Administration.

Connect clusters 01

Then click Connect to Availability Zone.

Connect clusters 01

Enter this information:

  • Availability Zone Type: Physical Location.
  • IP Address for Remote PC: IP address of the remote Prism Central.
  • Username: Remote Central Prism administrator account.
  • Password Remote Central Prism account password.

Then click Connect.

Connect clusters 01

The remote cluster is named after the private IP address of the Prism Central in France, preceded by PC_.

Connect clusters 02

Connect to the cluster in France with Prism Central.

From the main menu, click Availability Zones on the Administration submenu. You will see that the remote site in Canada appears with the private IP address of the Prism Central in Canada preceded by PC_.

Connect clusters 03

Implementation of replication from Canada to France

Virtual machines that will be protected with Nutanix Leap should not be members of a Domain Protection created from Prism Element. There is a procedure on the Nutanix website to perform this migration: Migrating from a Domain Protection.

Creating a category containing the virtual machines to replicate

From the main menu, click Categories on the Administration submenu.

Create CATEGORIE 01

Click New Category.

Create CATEGORIE 02

Enter this information:

  • Name: replicated-vm
  • values: from-canada

Then click Save.

Create CATEGORIE 03

Go back to the main menu and select VMs under Compute and Storage.

Create CATEGORIE 04

Select the virtual machine by using the check box to its left, then click the Actions button.

Create CATEGORIE 05

In this menu, click Manage Categories.

Create CATEGORIE 06

Select the category you created and click the blue + button.

Create CATEGORY 07

Click Save.

Create CATEGORIE 08

Creating the protection policy

A protection policy creates a scheduled replication between two Availability zones. You can choose this type of schedule depending on your licence:

  • asynchronous every hour
  • nearsync between 1 and 15 minutes
  • synchronous with a delay of 0 seconds (this mode requires a network latency of less than 5ms between the two clusters)

From the main menu, click Protection Policies under Data Protection.

Create Protection policy 01

Click Create Protection Policy.

Create Protection policy 02

Enter a name in the Policy name field.

In the Primary location box, choose these options:

  • Location: Local AZ to choose the zone containing the local cluster.
  • Cluster: Cluster containing the virtual machines to be replicated.

Click Save.

Create Protection policy 03

In the Recovery location frame, choose these options:

  • Location: Remote cluster zone.
  • Cluster: Destination cluster.

Click Save.

Create Protection policy 04

Then click + Add schedule.

Create Protection policy 05

Choose Asynchronous as Protection Type.

Change the Take Snapshot Every option to Minutes: 15 to do nearsync replication.

Select the Take App-Consistent Snapshots checkbox and click Save Schedule.

Create Protection policy 06

Click Next.

Create Protection policy 07

Select the category where the virtual machine was added and click Add.

Create Protection policy 08

Click Create.

Create Protection policy 09

The protection policy is enabled and appears in the Protection Policies dashboard.

Create Protection policy 10

Disaster Recovery Plan Management

Introduction

Disaster recovery plans can be created with various options:

  • Manually launch disaster recovery plan if there is no cluster witness.
  • Synchronous replication disaster recovery plan automation with a cluster witness.
  • Choose how virtual machines start when the disaster recovery plan is activated with the ability to run a script.

In our example, this will be a manual disaster recovery plan that includes automatic startup of virtual machines.

Creating Disaster Recovery Plan

From the main menu, choose Recovery Plans under Data Protection.

Create Recovery Plan 01

Click Create New Recovery Plan.

Create Recovery Plan 02

Enter these values:

  • Recovery Plan Name: the name of the disaster recovery plan.
  • Primary Location: Local AZ to choose the zone containing the local cluster.
  • Recovery Location: Name of the Remote Area that will be used for the disaster recovery plan.

Click Next.

Create Recovery Plan 03

Click Add Entities.

Create Recovery Plan 04

Select the checkbox next to the virtual machine that is part of the disaster recovery plan, then click Add.

Create Recovery Plan 05

Select the checkbox next to the virtual machine that should start automatically when the disaster recovery plan is enabled.

Then click Next.

Create Recovery Plan 06

After reviewing the Disaster Recovery Plan presentation, click OK, Got it.

Create Recovery Plan 07

On the primary site, choose these options:

  • Production: Production VLAN
  • Test Failback: Test VLAN

On the recovery site, choose these options:

  • Production: Production VLAN
  • Test Failback: Test VLAN

Then click Done.

Create Recovery Plan 08

The disaster recovery plan appears in the list.

Create Recovery Plan 09

Scheduled migration

Migrating a site in Canada to France

Connect with Prism Central on the cluster in France to switch the virtual machine from Canada to France.

From the main menu, choose Recovery Plans in the Data Protection section.

Planned Migration 01

Select the disaster recovery plan by using the checkbox to the left of it, then click the Actions button to open the menu.

Planned Migration 02

Click Failover.

Planned Migration 03

Select Planned Failover as the type of Failover and click the Failover button.

Planned Migration 04

Type Failover in the confirmation field and click the Failover button.

Planned Migration 05

The migration steps are described below:

  1. Stopping the virtual machine on the original cluster.
  2. Synchronising the latest changes.
  3. Deleting the virtual machine on the original cluster.
  4. Adding the virtual machine on the destination cluster.
  5. Starting the virtual machine on the destination cluster.

The result of the migration appears in the Last Failover Status column with the status Succeeded if everything went well.

Planned Migration 06

Reverse Replication

In the case of scheduled failover, you must reverse replication to continue to have redundancy between the two sites.

Using Prism Central, log in to the destination cluster in France.

From the main menu, choose Protection Policies from the Data Protection submenu.

Replication Inversion 01

Select the checkbox to the left of the protection policy and click the Actions button.

Replication Inversion 02

Click the Update button.

Replication Inversion 03

Move left under Primary Location until a menu appears. Click Edit.

Replication Inversion 04

Edit the following information in the Primary Location frame:

  • Location: Local AZ
  • Cluster: local area cluster

Then click Save.

Replication Inversion 05

Click Update Location.

Replication Inversion 06

Move to the right below the destination until a menu appears. Click Edit.

Replication Inversion 07

Then edit the following information as part of Recovery Location:

  • Location: destination area.
  • Cluster: cluster of the destination area.

Click Save.

Replication Inversion 08

Click Update Location.

Replication Inversion 09

Click Next.

Replication Inversion 10

Click Update to complete the inversion.

Replication Inversion 11

Modifying Disaster Recovery Plan

You must also change the disaster recovery plan by reversing the source and destination.

From the main menu, choose Recovery Plans from the Data Protection submenu.

Recovery Plan Inversion 01

Select the disaster recovery plan by using the checkbox to the left of the plan, then click the Actions button.

Recovery Plan Inversion 02

From the actions menu, click Update.

Recovery Plan Inversion 03

In the Primary Location drop-down menu on the left, replace the remote cluster with Local AZ.

Recovery Plan Inversion 04

Choose The remote area in Recovery Location on the right instead of Local AZ.

Recovery Plan Inversion 05

Now that the source and destination of the disaster recovery plan have changed, click Next.

Recovery Plan Inversion 06

Click Proceed.

Recovery Plan Inversion 07

Select the Virtual Machine that you want to start during the disaster recovery plan and click Next.

Recovery Plan Inversion 08

On the primary site, choose these options:

  • Production: Production VLAN
  • Test Failback: Test VLAN

At the destination site, choose these options:

  • Production: Production VLAN
  • Test Failover: Test VLAN

Then click Done.

Recovery Plan Inversion 09

The disaster recovery plan has been modified to allow the virtual machines in the cluster to be switched from the French to the Canadian virtual machines.

If you want to return to the original operation, you will need to failover, change replication, and change the disaster recovery plan.

Recovery Plan Inversion 10

Enabling disaster recovery plan following an incident on the original cluster

The disaster recovery plan is also used in the event of a problem with the original cluster. In this case, the activation will be done without the data modified since the last synchronisation.

If a synchronous replication solution is used, no data loss will occur.

In our case, replication is scheduled every 15 minutes, the risk of data loss can, in the worst case, corresponds to this duration.

From Prism Central, connect to the cluster that is receiving replicas.

From the main menu, choose Recovery Plan from the Data Protection submenu.

Unplanned Recovery 01

Select the Disaster Recovery Plan with the checkbox and click the Actions button.

Unplanned Recovery 02

Choose Failover from the menu.

Unplanned Recovery 03

Check Unplanned Failover and click Failover

Unplanned Recovery 04

Type Failover in the confirmation field and click Failover

Unplanned Recovery 05

The virtual machine that is a member of the disaster recovery plan will boot to the destination cluster with the contents of the last replication.

Go further

Disaster Recovery Plan on Nutanix

IPsec interconnect between two sites

OVHcloud vRack

Nutanix Leap documentation

Join our community of users on https://community.ovh.com/en/.


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