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Overview of VMware vCloud Availability 3.0

VMware vCloud Availability is a powerful solution built to offer simple, secure, and cost-effective on boarding, migration, and disaster recovery services “to” or “between” multi-tenant VMware clouds. The VMware vCloud Availability 3.0 solution introduces a unified product architecture for disaster recovery and migration capabilities. With vCloud Availability 3.0 you can perform:

  • Migration and disaster recovery of virtual machines from an on-premise vCenter Server to a vCloud Director site
  • Migration and disaster recovery of virtual machines from a vCloud Director site to an on-premise vCenter Server
  • Migration of vApps and virtual machines between two Virtual Data Centers that belong to a single vCloud Director Organization
  • Replication and disaster recovery of vApps and virtual machines between vCloud Director sites

vCloud Availability Features

Simplified Installation

  • Appliance deployment with a web-based configuration user interface
  • A single configuration wizard for an on-premise setup and for pairing with a cloud site

Replication Management & Monitoring

  • Cross-site management for all replication types
  • Scheduling of initial sync between the source and the target replications

Administrative Features for Cloud Providers

  • A single interface for management and monitoring replications from multiple tenants.
  • Transferring replication ownership to the tenant
  • Enabling policies that apply to all replication types
  • Enabling or disabling network compression
  • Monitoring system health and the connection state of paired sites

Network Configuration Options on Failover to the Cloud

  • Connect each NIC to a separate network
  • Re-configure IP mode
  • Reset MAC address

Integrations

  • vCloud Availability Plug-in for vCloud Director
  • vCloud Availability Plug-in for vSphere Client

Upgrade

  • vCloud Availability 3.0 supports an in-place upgrade from vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR 1.5.X. You can also migrate your protected workloads from vCloud Availability for vCloud Director 2.X

vCloud Availability Components

  • vSphere Replication Cloud Service(vRCS/HCS) – A tenant-aware replication manager that provides the required API for managing the service and all the components. vSphere Replication Cloud Service registers as a VMware vCloud Director extension enabling the functionality through the existing vCloud Director API.
  • vSphere Replication Manager(vRMS/HMS) – The management server manages and monitors the replication process from tenant VMs to the service provider environment. A vSphere Replication Management Server runs for each vCenter Server and tracks changes to VMs and infrastructure related to replication.
  • vSphere Replication Server(vRS/HBR) – The replication server receives and records delta information for each replicated VM. During to-cloud replication, delta information is sent by the tenant ESXi host and recorded by the provider vRS. During from-cloud replication, delta information is sent by the provider ESXi host and recorded by the on-premise vSphere Replication Server.
  • vCloud Tunneling Agent(vCTA) – vCTA is a software component which supports tunneling functionality at the tenant data center. vCTA is responsible for orchestrating a secure tunnel creation for both to-the-cloud and from-the-cloud tunnels.
  • vCloud Director(vCD) – With the vCloud Director solution service providers can build secure, multi-tenant private clouds by pooling infrastructure resources into virtual data centers and exposing them to users through Web-based portals and programmatic interfaces as fully automated, catalog-based services.
  • Cloud Proxy – Provides the vCloud Director endpoint for tunnels use to replicated data from tenant vCTA to and from vCloud Director.
  • Management vCenter Server – The Management vCenter Server environment is managed by the service provider and not accessible for tenants.
  • Resource vCenter Server – The Resource vCenter Server is a vCenter Server registered to vCloud Director and made available to tenants. Tenants do not have direct access to the Resource vCenter Server environment. Tenants can only locate workloads on the Resource vCenter Server instances using vCloud Director.
  • Tenant vCenter Server – The Tenant vCenter Server environment is used solely by the tenant users and is not connected to vCloud Director.
  • vCloud Availability Portal – The vCloud Availability Portal provides tenants with a graphic user interface to facilitate the management of the vCloud Availability solution. The vCloud Availability Portal also provides overall system and workload information.
  • vCloud Availability Administration Portal – The vCloud Availability Administration Portal provides a graphic user interface to facilitate the service providers to monitor and manage the vCloud Availability solution. The vCloud Availability Administration Portal also provides replications and IaaS consumption information.
  • VMware Platform Services Controller (PSC) – The Platform Services Controller provides common infrastructure services to the vSphere environment. Services include licensing, certificate management, and authentication with VMware vCenter Single Sign-On.
  • Cassandra(C) – Cassandra is a free and open-source distributed NoSQL database management system that stores metadata and supports storage of the metadata for replication services. Cassandra is used to store metadata about the replication, replicated VM instances, and infrastructure elements required to support the service. Cassandra is used as a fault-tolerant datastore.
  • RabbitMQ – An open source message broker that implements the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP). When vSphere Replication Cloud Service registers as a vCloud Director extension, RabbitMQ is used to exchange information with vCloud Director.
  • Locator – The locator must be a valid path to be used with the VMware OVF Tool.
  • Datastore – The name of a vSphere datastore, accessible by the locator.

vCAV Cloud to Cloud DR Architecture

For production deployments, you deploy and configure a single appliance that hosts the vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR portal, vCloud Availability vApp Replication Manager, and vCloud Availability Replication Manager services. You deploy and configure dedicated vCloud Availability Replicator appliance or appliances.

vCAv 3.0 Cloud to Cloud Production Architecture

vCAV On-Premises to Cloud DR Architecture

For production deployments, on the cloud site B as the service provider, you deploy and configure a single appliance that hosts the vCloud Availability DR portal, vCloud Availability Tunnel, vCloud Availability vApp Replication Manager, and vCloud Availability Replication Manager services. You deploy and configure dedicated vCloud Availability Replicator appliance. In the on-premises site A as the vSphere admin, you deploy and configure a single on-perm appliance that hosts a vCloud Availability Replicator and a vCloud Availability Tunnel.

vCAv 3.0 on-prem to Cloud Production Architecture

Operational Limits

The following operational limits are discovered through rigorous testing of different disaster recovery scenarios.

Scale Limits

  • 300 tenants with active protection paired to cloud
  • 20 vCloud Availability Replicator instances per cloud
  • 500 active protections per vCloud Availability Replicator instance. The maximum number of active protections depends on the RPO of the protections, the I/O of the protected virtual machines, the network connection bandwidth, and the storage speed.
  • 9500 active protections across tenants to a cloud
  • 15 TB protected virtual machine size (depends on the size of a single data store available in the cloud)

Concurrency Limits

  • 200 concurrent Protect, Test Failover, Failover, Reverse protect operations from on-premise to cloud
  • 200 concurrent Protect, Test Failover, Failover operations from cloud to cloud
  • 100 concurrent Reverse protect operations from cloud to cloud

Caveats and Limitations

  • Use matching vCloud Availability versions across sites. vCloud Availability 3.0.x is not compatible with vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR 1.5.x.

Below are some blogs/videos which will help you for the installation and configuration of the vCAV

vCloud Availability 3.0 – Introduction

Deploying vCloud Availability 3.0 in vSphere

VMware vCloud Availability 3.0 Tenant Setup

Disaster recovery configuration with vCloud Availability 3.0

Disaster Recovery and Network Management in vCloud Availability 3.0

Thanks, 😊

If you have any comments, please drop me a line

Published inCloudvCDVirtualizationVMware

One Comment

  1. Krishna Krishna

    Hi Vysakh Nair,

    Thanks for the detailed information on VMware vCloud.
    Could you please provide some video/ screenshots on how to increase disk size on a protected VM in VMware vCloud

    Thanks in Advance

    Krishna

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