Setting up Zerto Virtual Replication for your DRP

Discover how to set up Zerto Virtual Replication between your Private Cloud platforms

Last updated 25th June 2020

Objective

This guide will present the concepts and steps required to setup Zerto Virtual Replication on the Private Cloud platform

Discover how to set up Zerto Virtual Replication between your Private Cloud platforms.

Requirements

  • having 2 Private Cloud Platforms Private Cloud on 2 different data centres
  • in each data centre, a free public IP must be available

Zerto Virtual Replication Concepts

Zerto Virtual Replication is a disaster recovery solution for vSphere. It enables replication virtual machines between Private Cloud platforms by capturing and propagating all disk operations to secondary site. It allows automation and orchestration of actual failover or failover tests between sites.

Virtual Replication Appliance (VRA)

Zerto works by deploying specific virtual machines on each hypervisor called Virtual Replication Appliance. They have a predefined configuration:

  • vCPU: 1
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Stockage: 36 GB

All VRA are stored on a specific datastore, provided by OVHcloud.

Sites

During deployement, VRA are deployed on source and destination sites, and then are paired together to start replication. Since Zerto does not encrypt the dialog between VRA, OVHcloud automatically deploys a VPN tunnel between the VRA through the L2VPN appliance, to protect in-flight data.

Virtual Protection Group (VPG)

Before starting the replication, VMs must be grouped in a logical container called Virtual Protection Group, on which all replication parameters will be defined. It allows to apply consistent parameters accross a group of VMs that share the same replication requirements, (typically VMs that belong to the same function or application),

VPGs can be prioritised to make the most efficient usage of available bandwidth.

Instructions

Service activation

From OVHcloud dashboard

From your OVHcloud Control Panel, go to "Server/Private Cloud". Select your primary site, then go ton the "Disaster Recovery" tab.

zerto ovh enable

Select Between two OVHcloud Private Cloud solutions then click Activate Zerto DRP.

zerto ovh enable

Selection of the primary Private Cloud and data centre is done automatically depending on where you are connecting from.

From the drop-down menu, select a free public IP from the IP range attached to the Private Cloud. It will be used to setup the VPN tunnel between the 2 platforms. Click Next.

zerto ovh enable

Secondary site selection must be done from available Private Cloud in the drop-down menu. Please note that the list will show only Private Clouds meeting all the following requirements:

  • Being located in another geographical area
  • Not already involved in a Zerto replication

Select the data centre from the secondary Private Cloud in the drop-down menu. The, select an unused IP address from the public IP range attached to the secondary Private Cloud. It will be used for the secondary VPN endpoint.

Click Next.

zerto ovh enable

Activation request confirmation, as shown on screen, deployment can take up to one hour, if all provided information is correct (for example, if the IPs given in the wizard are already in use, the activation will fail).

zerto ovh enable

Once the activation has successfully completed, you will receive an email summary of the configuration and the links to the Zerto interface of both sites.

Dear Customer,

You have just enabled the Zerto DRP solution between 2 of your Private Cloud solutions.

You can log in to the main website via the following address:

  • URL: https://zerto.pcc-x-x-x-x.ovh.com/

You can log in to the secondary website via the following address:

  • URL: https://zerto.pcc-x-x-x-x.ovh.com/

You can authenticate with your administrator accounts the same way as you do for vSphere.

Zerto Replication Interface

The interface is reachable both from primary and secondary platforms through:

  • https://zerto.pcc-x-x-x-x.ovh.com/ (replace with the PCC URL)

As indicated in the summary email, you can log in with your PCC account.

Once logged in, you arrive on the Zerto dashboard:

Zerto Dashboard

You will find there:

  • A status of VPGs health
  • Key indicators for the Zerto platform
  • Network and IO consumptions figures
  • An alerts and messages log

Configure a Virtual Protection Group (VPG)

From Actions, select Create VPG

Zerto VPG Creation

Zerto VPG Creation

First step General:

  • Enter a name for the new VPG
  • Except specific requirements, you can leave the Priority set to Medium

Click NEXT.

Zerto VPG Creation

In the next step you need to select the VMs that will be in the VPG.

A VM can only belong to a single VPG.

  • You can filter the VMs by name through the Search dialog box
  • Tick the box of every VM to be added

Zerto VPG Creation

  • Click on the arrow pointing to the right to place VMs in the VPG

Click NEXT.

Zerto VPG Creation

Next step is the selection of the secondary site:

  • Recovery Site: select the remote site (the primary site will be tagged as (Local)).
  • ZORG: scroll down and select No Organization. The other values are present for backwards compatibility but will trigger an error messsage if selected.

Now you must define the default recovery resources:

  • Hosts: select a vSphere Resource Pool, a DRS Cluster or a specific host in it (Cluster1 in our example).
  • Datastore: likewise you can select a specific datastore or datastore cluster in the drop-down list.

You can keep the default values for the other settings. Click NEXT.

Zerto VPG Creation

In this step you can override the default recovery resources for specific VMs. If it is not necessary, you can click NEXT.

Zerto VPG Creation

Now you need to define the default network to use during test failovers and actual failovers.

  • Failover/Move Network: choose the default vSphere portgroup for an actual failover.
  • Failover Test Network: choose the default vSphere portgroup for a test failover.
  • Recovery Folder: if you want to regroup the failover VMs on the secondary site, you can select a folder or just "/" to place the VMs at the root of the vSphere inventory.

Pre-recovery Script and Post-recovery Script are locked down, these features are not enabled.

Click NEXT.

Zerto VPG Creation

In this second step, you have the possibility to override the default recovery networks for each VM, and specify the IP addresses to use in case of a test or an actual failover.

Zerto VPG Creation

The modification of the IP adress during failover is only possible for supported OSes with functioning VMware Tools

Click NEXT.

Zerto VPG Creation

Long term retention is disabled, click NEXT.

Zerto VPG Creation

The last screen summarize the settings for the new VPG. If everything is OK, click DONE.

Zerto VPG Creation

On the dashboard, you will see the new VPG with a status "Initializing".

Start a failover

After having configured your VPG and once the initial replication has completed, you can now test Zerto failover features.

A failover test has NO impact on the production site, you only need to make sure that the VMs that are being failed-over are are starting in an isolated network and/or different IPs to avoid network conflicts. All the VMs instantiated during the failover test are fully managed by Zerto. You should not remove or modifiy them; they will be removed automatically at the end of the failover test. The replication keeps running during the failover tests and is not impacted in any way.

Zerto Test Failover

From the interface, click on the bottom right button FAILOVER (the toggle is by default on TEST). If the button is greyed out, it is because there is no available VPG to perform a test (initialisation is not finished or there is an issue with the VPG).

Zerto Test Failover

The failover wizard appears with eligible VPGs, their replication direction (in or out), destination site and service level status (Meeting SLA).

You have 2 options:

  1. Select the VPGs itself to perform the test, failing over all the VMs within.
  2. Click on the square icon on the left of the VPG name to display all the VMs in the VPG. You can then choose to failover only the selected VMs within the VPG.

Click NEXT.

Zerto Test Failover

In this case we have chosen to do a full VPG failover.

You can now check the settings for the failovers:

  • Replication direction
  • Remote site
  • Boot order (locked down)
  • Pre/Post scripts (locked down)

Click NEXT.

Zerto Test Failover

The summary screen is displayed. If everything is OK, you can start the test by clicking START FAILOVER TEST. You can log in on the remote site vCenter and see the VMs starting. You can then check if everything is working correctly on the remote site.

Zerto Test Failover

When all checks have been performed, you can stop the test by clicking on the little red box right next to Testing Failover.

Zerto Test Failover

At this stage, you can add a result of the test for future reference.

Confirm the end of the test by clicking STOP.

Clean-up operations are launched right away on the remote site.

Launch a actual failover

You can launch a full failover from the secondary site, in case the primary site has been rendered unusable by a disaster.

If you trigger an actual failover when the primary site is still available, you have the possibility to properly shut down the VMs on the primary site. If not, be careful with the network configuration to make sure to prevent IP conflicts between primary and secondary instances of VMs.

Please note that, contrary to what happens during a test failover, replication operations are stopped during an actual failover.

Zerto Live Failover

To start a complete failover, you need to set the toggle on LIVE before pushing the failover button. (The banner at the bottom of the page becomes red to warn you that going further may have an impact on your VMs.)

Click FAILOVER.

Zerto Live Failover

A screen will appear indicating the available VPGs, the direction of replication, the destination site, and if the level of protection is correct (Meeting SLA). You can decide on the failover parameters, just like during a test failover: which VPGs to failover, the replication direction, VPGs status (Meeting SLA).

  1. You can select one or several VPGs
  2. If you want to partially migrate some VPGs, you can click on the square icon and select which VMs to failover.

Click NEXT.

Zerto Live Failover

We have decided to failover a single VPG.

We have a summary of the failover parameters:

  • Replication direction
  • Remote site
  • The checkpoint to use: what version should use Zerto to restart from. Usually the latest version will minimze the data loss and improve RPO.
  • What commit policy to use: see further down the page.
  • VM Shutdown: what should Zerto do with the VMs on the primary site if they are still running, leave them running, shutdown, forced shutdown.
  • Reverse Protection: after the failover, should the replication enabled again to allow a failback or be left as-is.

Zerto Live Failover

There are 3 Commit Policy settings:

  • Auto-Rollback: If no action is taken, the rollback starts automatically after the timer is elapsed.
  • Auto-Commit: If no action is taken, data changed on the secondary site is now commited on VMs, and to be able to fail back, a reverse replication needs to be setup.
  • None: Rollback or Commit have to be launched manually.

Zerto Live Failover

For all automatic actions, the default timer is 60 minutes.

Click NEXT.

Zerto Live Failover

The summary screen is displayed. If everything is OK, you can start the test by clicking START FAILOVER.

Please read the summary and all associated warnings carefully.

Zerto Live Failover

If you have selected an Automatic Policy, you will receive a warning about its impact.

Confirm with START FAILOVER.

Failover starts, you can follow the actions from the secondary vCenter. Validate the successfull start of VMs on secondary platform.

Zerto Live Failover

After the failover has completed, you will see an pending task as long as you have not committed or failed back the operation (through the small icons near the VPG name).

Zerto Live Failover

When you commit the data on the secondary site, you can automatically set up the protection (Reverse Protection).

Validate with COMMIT.

Zerto Live Failover

If you check the VPG, you will see that the replication direction has changed.

Prepare and trigger the failback

Depending on failover options, the failback (if needed) may require differents steps.

  • If you have selected Reverse Protection during the failover, the failback is just a Failover Live (refer to the relevant part of this guide).
  • If you have not enabled Reverse Protection, you need to create a new VPG, do a full sync and then do a Failover Live (refer to the relevant part of this guide).

Go further

Discuss with other Zerto users on https://community.ovh.com/.


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