One of the new Objectives in the VCAP-DCA 550 is around the vSphere Replication Appliance. The Blueprint specifics that there will be one Replication Appliance in the Exam Lab so safe to assume you will be getting a question on vSR.
Objective 4.4– Configure and manage vSphere Replication
Skills and Abilities
- Configure and manage a vSphere Replication infrastructure
- Configure and manage vSphere Replication of virtual machines
- Troubleshoot vSphere Replication
- vSphere Virtual Machine Administration Guide v5.5
- VMware vSphere Replication Administration Guide v5.5
- vSphere Client / Web Client
- virtual appliance management interface (VAMI)
To be honest I new that this existed but never looked at the product until today…and the only reason was around the Exam Cram for a shot at the VCAP. Got to say I am initially impressed with its feature setup and can start to understand why Veeam and alike are becoming more hostile towards VMware as they continue to introduce competitive products.
The Blueprint states that the Appliance will be pre deployed (assuming) so I won’t go through the OFV deployment, but it’s pretty standard and all you need is an IP and root password plus make sure that you select the vCenter you wish to associate the appliance with as shown below:
Once deployed you can hit the VSA Configuration Page at https://IPofAppliance:5840 where you have the usual VSA options
Not too much to look at here but you may be made to log in and check default configuration options or maybe look to reconfiguring the default internal database to an external one or check SSL settings.
Moving onto the configuration of Replication you can only use the vCenter Web Client to configure and manage Replication settings. You can find the Replication Monitor Tab in the Top Left Hand Menu Tab as shown below:
To configure VM Replication you can navigate to your source VM, Right Click and go to All vSphere Replication Actions and Configure Replication.
There are a number of straight forward Menu Items to work through as shown below where you configure:
- Target Site and Replication Server (can be specified or Manually Selected)
- Target Location utilizing Storage Policies if configured. The advanced options let you split VMDKs to different target datastores and allow you to change the disk format
- Replication Options which basically relate to Guest OS Quiescing.
- Recovery Settings lets you choose the desired RPO via a slider and you can also choose Point in Time Snapshots
Once complete the Initial Full Sync begins. You can view progress from the Replication Home Menu and view details on Outgoing and Incoming Replications. You also have the ability to reconfigure, stop and start replication options as well as Perform a Recovery if on the Incoming Replications Menu.
With that covered the last part of the VCAP Blueprint Item is Troubleshooting. Have a Read through Section 11 of the Admin Guide to get an idea of what might be covered…key for me would be to be able to ensure connectivity between sites, keeping tabs on RPOs and managing Snapshots while be able to generate log bundles and view the logs directly from the appliance. An example of which is shown below.
Certainly looking forward to the v.NEXT version of vSphere Replication…for me it looks like a PoC version with the good stuff yet to come…hopefully there is nothing to shady in the VCAP relating to the Blueprint Objective.