EMC RecoverPoint for VM 5.2 is the software solution by Dell-EMC to provide Continuous Data Protection (CDP) for running VMs ensuring a minimal downtime with limited data loss.
The solution requires the installation of the virtual RecoverPoint appliance (vRPA) to manage the data replication and some VIBs (Splitters) to install to ESXi hosts to split writes to VMDK. Splitters communicate with vRPAs through VMkernel ports.
RecoverPoint for VM is managed directly with a plugin installed in vSphere Client during the setup process but currently only the vSphere Client flex version is supported.
RecoverPoint for VM can be licensed in two ways:
- VM-based - number of VMs to protect
- Socket-based - number of physical CPUs installed in the ESXi hosts
To add a license, from the vSphere Client select Home > RecoverPoint for VMs > Administration > vCenters Servers > Licensing. Click Add and select the license file.
To deploy RecoverPoint for VM you need to prepare the network environment to ensure the correct functionality.
The infrastructure design requires some IP addresses to be provided:
- 1 IP address for each deployed vRPA
- 1 IP address for the vRPA cluster
- 1 IP address for each VMKernel port (private subnet)
Keep in mind also the following:
- A vRPA protects VMs on the same ESX cluster or different ESX cluster
- A vRPA cluster is confined to a single ESX cluster
- The vRPA cluster and ESXi hosts must be connected
Install RecoverPoint vRPA
From vSphere Client, right click the target vSphere cluster and select Deploy OVF Template option.
Click Browse and select the .OVA file to install RecoverPoint then click Next.
Enter a Virtual machine name and select the location. Click Next.
Specify a compute resource and click Next.
A warning informs you an advanced configuration must be done on the system. Click Next to continue.
Accept the EULA and click Next.
Specify the deployment type that best fit into your environment. Based on performance you want to provide, select the appropriate configuration resources (2CPU + 8GB RAM in the example) and click Next.
Select the datastore to install the vRPA and click Next.
Specify the Destination Network and click Next.
Enter the network settings and click Next.
Click Finish to deploy the appliance.
When the first vRPA has been installed, repeat same procedure to deploy a second vRPA. 2 vRPAs per cluster are sufficient for most environments.
A vRPA cluster is confined to a single ESXi cluster and a vRPA can protect VMS on the same or different ESXi cluster.
Default credentials to access the vRPA via SSH are the following:
Install the vRPA cluster
In your favorite browser enter the IP address of the first vRPA deployed. Click on Install a vRPA cluster option to proceed with cluster installation.
The system performs some requirements verification. If everything is fine, click Next at the bottom to continue.
Enter the vCenter IP and credentials and click Connect.
Click Confirm to accept the vCenter's SSL certificate.
Once validation completes successfully, click Next.
Enter a New vRPA Cluster Name and specify a New Password for the admin user. Enter DNS and NTP Servers then click Next.
Select vRPAs to add to the cluster and click Apply Selection.
Select the repository to store the vRPA cluster configuration data.
Click Edit to specify the requested Network Adapter Configuration:
- WAN, LAN and Data on the same network - no high availability
- WAN and LAN on same network, Data on separate network - high availability and better performance
- WAN, LAN and Data on separate networks - high availability, good traffic isolation and better performance
Specify the Port Group to use and the Cluster Management IP.
Specify the Network Adapter Configuration to use and click Confirm to apply.
Enter the vRPAs' Data IP address for the communication between the vRPAs and the ESXi hosts. Specify the correct MTU value if requested then click Install.
The new cluster is being deployed.
After some minutes, the installation process completes.
The vRPA cluster has been created successfully.
Accessing the ESXi host via SSH, it is possible to verify the RecoverPoint splitter component installed (the VIB is called emcjiraf) with the command:
# esxcli software vib list | grep emc
Register the ESX cluster
The vSphere cluster where RecoverPoint is running must be registered in order to establish the correct communication between Splitters and vRPAs. From the vSphere Client, select Home > RecoverPont for VMs.
Go to Administration > ESX Clusters tab and click Add.
Select the ESX cluster to configure and click OK to confirm.
Click Validate to check the cluster status.
Looking at the warning, the wizard reports a Splitter Connectivity issue. This warning occurs because the VMKernel ports haven't been configured to hosts yet.
Click the Setting icon to automatically install the required VMKernel ports to hosts.
Specify if Virtual Switches or Distributed Virtual Switches are configured in the vSphere cluster. Enter an IP pool range that will assign an IP address to the VMKernel ports and the Subnet mask. Click OK to confirm.
Checking the task bar, the VMKernel ports are being created.
After few seconds the VMKernel ports have been created successfully. Click OK to close the window.
The ESX cluster configuration is now reported as healthy.
The vRPA cluster configuration is now complete.
vRPA clusters connection
When the vRPA cluster is up and running, you need to connect the local vRPA cluster to a vRPA cluster located in the DR-Site to limit services disruption in case the primary site fails. VMs replicated to the DR-Site can be activated to quickly restore the network services.
Click Connect vRPA clusters to link the local vRPA cluster to the vRPA cluster located at DR-Site.
Enter the WAN IP of the target vRPA cluster and the credentials of the admin account to connect.
The source vRPA is being connected to the target vRPA cluster.
After few seconds local and remote vRPA clusters have been connected successfully.
RecoverPoint is now ready to manage the VMs replication.
The RecoverPoint infrastructure deployment has been completed.
Critical VMs can now be protected configuring the replica through the RecoverPoint plugin.