Category Archives: Disaster Recovery

VMFS Snapshots and the FlashArray Part VII: Mounting a FlashArray VMFS Snapshot

This is part 6 of this 8 part series. Questions around managing VMFS snapshots have been cropping up a lot lately and I realized I didn’t have a lot of specific Pure Storage and VMware resignaturing information out there. Especially around scripting all of this and the various options to do this. So I put a long series out here about how to do all of this.

The series being:

  1. Mounting an unresolved VMFS
  2. Why not force mount?
  3. Why might a VMFS resignature operation fail?
  4. How to correlate a VMFS and a FlashArray volume
  5. How to snapshot a VMFS on the FlashArray
  6. How to mount a VMFS FlashArray snapshot
  7. Restoring a single VM from a FlashArray snapshot

Using vCenter and our Web Client plugin, recovering a snapshot is a pretty straight forward process. So the pre-requisite here is having our Web Client plugin installed and configured. Info on that here. If you want to know the manual steps, scroll down further and the whole process is described in detail that does not use the plugin–just our GUI and vCenter. Continue reading VMFS Snapshots and the FlashArray Part VII: Mounting a FlashArray VMFS Snapshot

Automatic protection during a FlashArray Snapshot Restore

Just a quick tip here, I’ve noticed a fair amount of people do not know what happens when we restore a volume concerning the special “hidden” operation we take in case you make a mistake. So I thought it worth a quick post.

Continue reading Automatic protection during a FlashArray Snapshot Restore

Semi-transparent failover with VMFS and Active/Passive Replication

So in a blog series that I started a few weeks back (still working on finishing it), I wrote about managing snapshots and resignaturing of VMFS volumes. One of the posts was dedicated to why I would choose resignaturing over force mounting almost all of the time.

An obvious question after that post is, well when would I want to force mount? There is a situation where i think it is a decent option. A failover situation where the recovery site is the same site as the production site, in terms of compute/vCenter. The storage is what fails over to another array. This is a situation I see increasingly common as network pipes are getting bigger.

Continue reading Semi-transparent failover with VMFS and Active/Passive Replication

Site Recovery Manager and Raw Device Mappings (RDMs)

Somewhat surprisingly I have been getting a fair amount of questions in the past few months concerning VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager and Raw Device Mappings (RDMs) and using this with Pure Storage. Common question is whether or not we support this (we do) but more commonly it is about how it works. There is a bit of a misunderstanding on how they differ or do not differ from VMFS management in SRM. So figured I would put a post out to explain this. Old topic somewhat, but worth reviewing for those newer SRM customers. Plus, I haven’t found a whole lot of on-point posts anywhere, so why not?

intro Continue reading Site Recovery Manager and Raw Device Mappings (RDMs)

Site Recovery Manager 6 and Storage DRS Tagging: Part II–FlashArray SRA

The first post in this two-part series was about the general new feature of VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 6.0 and Storage DRS. Read about it here. In this post, I am going to take a bit more of a specific look at this when it comes to the FlashArray and our Storage Replication Adapter (SRA).

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Continue reading Site Recovery Manager 6 and Storage DRS Tagging: Part II–FlashArray SRA

FlashRecover replication on the Pure Storage FlashArray

Last year Pure Storage introduced built-in replication on the FlashArray 400 series in our Purity Operating Environment version 4.0. Our replication offers a variety of benefits–they center around two things. First it is completely free. There is no license charge for replication itself or by capacity. If you need to have is two FlashArrays and a TCP/IP network between the two of them to replicate over. No additional hardware to buy for the array or license packages required (all of our software is always free). Secondly, it is very easy to use–from a green field array to replicating volumes takes maybe five minutes–in reality probably far less than that. So I wanted to take some time to review how our replication is setup and how it works. I went over replication briefly when we released Purity 4.0, but I think it is time for a closer look.

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Continue reading FlashRecover replication on the Pure Storage FlashArray

Site Recovery Manager with PowerCLI Automation Gotcha

Quick post here. So I have been reviewing some great posts from @vmKen and @BenMeadowcroft about automating Site Recovery Manager operations with PowerCLI and wanted to give it a try myself. They outlined the process rather clearly in their blogs so it was a breeze to get most of the stuff up and running. But when I went to actually execute a test recovery or a recovery etc. it kept failing! The PowerCLI command to start the recovery  was $VMrp.Start($RPmode)–the $VMrp being my recovery plan and the $RPMode being the recovery plan mode of a recovery. The command was accepted but the recovery plan never started.

I got the following error in vCenter:

Unable to start the requested operation. Another operation may be in progress. Please wait for it to finish and try again.

Hmm…weird. I could kick off a test from the GUI with no issue so nothing was “interfering” from what I could tell. I thought maybe since I was using Site Recovery Manager 5.8 maybe something had changed so I tried it with my 5.5 environment and got the same result.

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webclient

After I was about to lose my mind it finally occurred to me that I was connecting to the protected vCenter and the protected SRM server (I did enter in remote credentials for the recovery SRM server though). While I could query the recovery plan etc without issue from here, maybe SRM didn’t allow a recovery plan to be started unless you directly connected to the recovery vCenter/SRM server.

So I reconnected to the recovery site and it worked! So I guess it makes a difference, so FYI. Now there might be a workaround to this and it is definitely possible I missed something that allows this but this seems to be what you need to do. If you find this isn’t true please let me know!

Thanks Ken and Ben for getting me started!! Cool stuff. Kens posts:

http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2014/05/automate-failover-with-srm.html

http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2014/05/srm-powercli-reporting.html

http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2014/05/powercli-and-the-srm-api.html

VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.8

As people are probably aware, VMware just released the slew of new product updates that was announced at VMworld. vSphere 5.5 U2 at the core, but essentially all of the major products had updates–the one in particular interest to me was vCenter Site Recovery Manager. This latest release, numbered 5.8 is probably the biggest update to SRM since probably 5.0 moving to 5.1, arguably bigger. I am still playing around with it, but I wanted to share some of the things I found of interest in it.

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Continue reading VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.8

Service release SRDF SRA 5.5.1.0 for VMware Site Recovery Manager

As I wrote about in a recent post the 5.1 version of the SRDF Storage Replication Adapter was updated in a service release. Similar fixes and a few other changes have been also added to the SRDF SRA version 5.5. If you are running VMware Site Recovery Manager version 5.1 or 5.5 this is the SRA you should be using. SRM 5.0 users can only use the 5.1 SRA (while the 5.1 SRA supports SRM 5.0 and 5.1 I recommend SRM 5.1 users use the 5.5 SRA).

So what’s new in the latest SR for SRDF SRA (5.5.1.0)?

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Continue reading Service release SRDF SRA 5.5.1.0 for VMware Site Recovery Manager

Service release for VMAX SRDF SRA 5.1 posted

The service release for the Symmetrix SRDF Storage Replication Adapter version 5.1 has been posted and is available for download. This isn’t a must-update release for most users but there are some important changes in them that will be very relevant for a few environments. This release will be numbered 5.1.0.2 but in some places may be referred to as 5.1.1.

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Continue reading Service release for VMAX SRDF SRA 5.1 posted