Friday, 9 November 2012

Implementing VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.1 with a CLARiiON CX3 and CX4 SAN

A few notes below for anyone installing VMware SRM 5.1 with a CLARiiON CX3 and CX4 SAN. The following scenario below has a CX3-10c in the ‘Protected Site’ and a CX4-120 in the ‘Recovery Site’.

1. Take an Audit of the Involved Components

Recovery Site VMware and SAN Component Versions:
VMware vCenter – 5.0.0, 455964
VMware ESXi Hosts – 5.0.0, 504890
EMC CLARiiON CX3-10c – 03.26.010.5.020 (Flare O/S) / 6.26.20 (Navisphere GUI)

Recovery Site VMware and SAN Component Versions:
VMware vCenter – 5.1.0, 799731
VMware ESXi Hosts – 5.1.0, 799733
EMC CLARiiON CX4-120 – 04.29.000.5.0006 (Flare O/S) / 6.29 (Navisphere GUI)

2. Verify Compatibilities

Sources:

The VMware Compatibility Guide reveals that the CLARiiON CX3-10c is only supported up to the ESX 4.1 U3 release. Here we have ESXi 5.0.0 installed and it works without problem – it is a typical case of “just because it isn’t supported doesn’t mean it won’t work” (really, it boils down to VMware not having the time or resources to test every storage model, with the older models receiving a low priority in the order of testing.) The CLARiiON CX4-120 is supported to the latest ESXi version 5.1.

The VMware Product Interoperability Matrixes reveals that SRM 5.1 supports VMware vCenter Server 5.1 only. Now, this would have been a problem in this scenario but in practice SRM 5.1 has no problems with VMware vCenter 5.0 (of course, best practice is to have all VMware vSphere infrastructure components at the same level!)

The VMware Product Interoperability Matrixes also reveals that all ESX(i) version from 4.0 are supported with SRM 5.1!

3. Array Replication Configuration

Here – with the CLARiiON CX arrays – Mirrorview/A replication has been pre-configured and the datastores have been replicated across the wire. The Mirrorview configuration is essentially a case of creating a reserved LUN pool (RLP), creating secondary images of primary volumes, and configuring replication schedule, but in more depth than this one sentence; and this is a substantial topic in its own right and is out-of-scope of this article which has a baseline of already working replication.

4. VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.1 Installation

4.1. Prerequisites

- A VMware vCenter 5 Server in the ‘protected’ site
- A VMware vCenter 5 Server in the ‘recovery’ site
- A new blank database for SRM in the ‘protected’ site
- A new blank database for SRM in the ‘recovery’ site

4.2. Softwares Required

All the softwares can be downloaded from either VMware’s website (1, 3, and 4 below) or EMC’s Powerlink website (2, 3, and 4 below).

The softwares are installed in the order below, and I have listed the specific versions used in this scenario within brackets:

1. VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.1.0 (VMware-srm-5.1.0-820150.exe)
2. EMC Navisphere CLI (NaviCLI-Win-32-x86-en_US-7.31.33.0.41-1.exe)
3. EMC VNX Storage Replication Adapter (EMC_VNX_SRA_v5.0.1_64bit.exe)
4. EMC Mirrorview Enabler for VNX (EMC_Mirrorview_Enabler_for_VNX_SRA_v5.0.23_64bit.exe)

Fig. 4.2.1: The Softwares

4.3. Installation

Note: The step-by-step walkthrough installation guide below is written for installing SRM components onto an existing vCenter. It is recommended in environments of 100+ VMs / 10+ hosts to have an SRM server that is separate to the vCenter server.

4.3.1. Protected Site

1. Configure an ODBC Connection using the SQL Server Native Client to the SRM database
2. Run VMware-srm-5.1.0-820150.exe and follow the prompts to install Site Recovery Manager 5.1
3. In the vSphere Client - Plug-ins, download and install the VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager Extension
4. Run the NaviCLI-Win-32-x86-en_US-7.31.33.0.41-1.exe to install the Navisphere CLI
5. Run the EMC_VNX_SRA_v5.0.1_64bit.exe to install the EMC VNX Storage Replication Adapter
6. Run the EMC_Mirrorview_Enabler_for_VNX_SRA_v5.0.23_64bit.exe to install the EMC Mirrorview Enabler for VNX
7. Restart the VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager Server Service

Note: If you encounter an error at the end of the SRM installation ‘Failed to start service’ and clicking on cancel would roll back the installation, then change the VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager Service to Log On as the account with DBO permissions to the SRM database, click retry and the installation will complete.

Fig. 4.3.1.1: VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager – ‘Failed to start service’

4.3.2. Recovery Site

1. Configure an ODBC Connection using the SQL Server Native Client to the SRM database
2. Run VMware-srm-5.1.0-820150.exe and follow the prompts to install Site Recovery Manager 5.1
3. In the vSphere Client - Plug-ins, download and install the VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager Extension
4. Run the NaviCLI-Win-32-x86-en_US-7.31.33.0.41-1.exe to install the Navisphere CLI
5. Run the EMC_VNX_SRA_v5.0.1_64bit.exe to install the EMC VNX Storage Replication Adapter
6. Run the EMC_Mirrorview_Enabler_for_VNX_SRA_v5.0.23_64bit.exe to install the EMC Mirrorview Enabler for VNX
7. Restart the VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager Server Service

5. Configuration
Configuration is out of scope of this document (please see below for further reading); essentially it is a highly intuitive process of following through with the items on the getting started page as accessed from the Site Recovery plugin in the vSphere Client:

Fig. 5.1: vSphere Client – Solutions and Applications -> Site Recovery

1. Configure the Sites – Set up two way pairing between the sites
2. Set Up Inventory Mappings – Set up inventory mappings between the sites for: Resource Mappings, Folder Mappings, Network Mappings
3. Assign Placeholder Datastores
4. Configure Array Based Replication – Add and Array Manager
5. Create Protection Groups
6. Create a Recovery Plan

Appendix: Further Reading

Web links:

Free SRM Training Videos:

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