Saturday, 4 August 2012

VMware vSphere 5 with Site Recovery Manager 5 Implementation Plan


The following post outlines an Implementation Plan for an installation of VMware vSphere 5 with SRM 5; from implementing the ESXi host server base builds, through configuring databases, building vCenters, installing plugins, SRM, agents, …. The starting point is a physical IT infrastructure, with no existing virtualized infrastructure to consider.

Preliminaries 1: Networking, Physical Server Hardware, Storage, and Other Things

Networking, physical server hardware, and storage - which present the foundations of the IT Infrastructure - will be implemented first, and this is not considered here; a few things we will need to know for our vSphere 5 with SRM 5 implementation plan:

Networks:

·         Sites?
·         iLO/iDRAC IP Addresses?
·         Management networks and VLANs?
·         iSCSI networks and VLANs - single/dual/multi-fabric?
·         VLANs to be implemented as VM Networks?
·         DMZ requirements?

Physical Server Hardware:

·         Type, model, and specification (including number and type of NICs)?
·         Number of hosts?
·         Firmware updated to latest?
·         BIOS Settings - “Virtualization Technology” and “No Execute Memory Protection” available and enabled?
·         Internal SD Flash Card, DAS, boot from SAN, or VMware Auto-deploy to be used?

Storage:

·         IP Addresses?
·         Capacity in TB?
·         Disks, RAID types, LUNs?

Additional:

·         VMware licensing?
·         Windows licensing?
·         Data classification - what data is contained in the estate and which business units own this data?
·         Datastore considerations as regards VMFS, NFS, RDMs (virtual or physical compatibility mode)?
·         Guest considerations as regards using storage integration software (such as Compellent Replay Manager software)?
·         Existing backup/recovery infrastructure - backup policies, retention policies, RPO/RTOs, backup success rate?
·         Existing business continuity plans - replication infrastructure, RPO/RTOs?

Preliminaries 2: Database Requirements

The vCenter Server 5.0 U1 installer is bundled with MS SQL Server 2008 R2 Express (maximum database size of 10 GB per database) which is fine for small environments:

VMware vCenter Size Classifications:

·         Small (less than 100 hosts or 1000 virtual machines)
·         Medium (100-400 hosts or 1000-4000 virtual machines)
·         Large (more than 400 hosts or 4000 virtual machines)

More on Database Sizing:

·         vCenter - vCenter 4 DB Sizing Calculator (for Oracle)
·         Update Manager - VUM 5 Sizing Estimator (The VUM DB space usage is quite low)
·         SRM - “SRM database space requirements are very low, no more than tens of megabytes”

Preliminaries 3: Pre-Implementation Decisions

The upcoming implementation plan is based on the following decisions having been made:

·         ESXi Installation type?
o   Install onto Internal SD Flash card
§  Note 1: vSphere will install onto a 1GB SD Flash card
§  Note 2: Can install onto Blades via iLO/iDRAC
o   Using Host Profiles (*vSphere Enterprise Plus)
·         Networking?
o   Using vSphere Distributed Switch (*vSphere Enterprise Plus)
o   Host NIC Utilization
§  2 x 10 GbE NICs for Management, vMotion, and iSCSI
§  2 x 10 GbE NICs for VM Networks, Management Redundancy
·         Virtual or physical vCenter servers? Virtual
·         Virtual Center O/S? Windows Server 2008R2 Enterprise
·         Databases? Using MS SQL 2008 R2 Express DB on the vCenter for all databases
·         SRM Install on vCenter? Yes

Preliminaries 4: Required Configuration Information

The following information is required before/whilst configuring the environment.

VMware vCenter (require information for Site A and Site B):

·         Operating System?
·         Hostname?
·         IP Addressing?
·         DNS Servers?
·         Domain login?

VMware ESXi Hosts (required for every host):

·         Root Password?
·         Management IP Addressing?
·         Management Redundancy IP Addressing?
·         Hostname?
·         DNS Servers?
·         iSCSI-A IP Addressing?
·         iSCSI-B IP Addressing?
·         vMotion IP Addressing?

Implementation Plan

1. Site A (Main Site): vSphere Infrastructure Build

·         Install ESXi 5.0 U1 on hosts
·         Configure ESXi hosts with a basic configuration
·         Connect an ESXi host to a LUN on the storage
·         Create a Windows Server 2008R2 Enterprise VM
·         Install vCenter Server 5.0 U1a
·         *Install vSphere Client
·         *Install Compellent vSphere Plug-in 1.5.1
·         (Optional) Install vSphere Web Client (Server)
·         Install vCenter Update Manager
·         *Install vCenter Converter Standalone
o   Note: In vCenter 5 the vCenter Enterprise Converter is no more
·         Configure vSphere Distributed Switches
·         Configure one host and use host profiles to apply configuration to other hosts
·         Configure datastores
o   Note 1: Consider grouping VMs by business unit for SRM
o   Note 2: Consider moving the VM swap file (not Windows page file) off replicated storage
·         Create VMs/perform P2Vs
o   Note: Minimum preparation pre-P2V - 1) Disk cleanup/general disk housekeeping, 2) Disk defragment

*These items do not need to be install on the vCenter Server

2. Site B (DR Site): vSphere Infrastructure Build

·         Install ESXi 5.0 U1 on hosts
·         Configure ESXi hosts with a basic configuration
·         Connect an ESXi host to a LUN on the storage
·         Create a Windows Server 2008R2 Enterprise VM
·         Install vCenter Server 5.0 U1a (in Linked Mode with Site A VC)
·         *Install vSphere Client
·         *Install Compellent vSphere Plug-in 1.5.1
·         Configure vSphere Distributed Switches
·         Configure one host and use host profiles to apply configuration to other hosts
·         Configure datastores

*These items do not need to be installed on the vCenter Server

3. Site A (Main Site): vCenter Site Recovery Manager Install

·         Install SRM on vCenter
·         Install Compellent Storage Center SRA


4. Site B (DR Site): vCenter Site Recovery Manager Install

·         Install SRM on vCenter
·         Install Compellent Storage Center SRA

5. Configure SRM

·         Configure SRM - Sites and Array Managers
·         Configure SRM - Protection Groups
·         Configure SRM - Recovery Plan
·         Configure SRM - Run Test

Note 1: This post uses a scenario where we are integrating with Compellent storage and using 10Gbps iSCSI connectivity; swap in relevant details as required for different on scenarios
Note 2:  If your storage provider does not have a Site Recovery Agent (SRA) for SRM then VMware vSphere Replication can be used.

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