We are excited to announce the launch of the latest version of Pure Storage’s remote vSphere plugin, 5.1.0. It includes a number of bug fixes PLUS a highly sought after feature: vVols VM point-in-time (PiT) recovery!
Why am I excited about this feature?
With vVol PiT VM recovery, you can now easily recover an entire VM that was accidentally deleted (and eradicated) or you can restore the state of a VM back to a point in time that you took a snapshot from vCenter directly while using Pure’s vSphere plugin.
The requirements of this are Pure’s vSphere remote plugin 5.1.0 and Purity™ 6.2.6 or higher for PiT revert and for PiT VM undelete with a vVol VM that has had its FlashArray™ volumes eradicated from the FlashArray itself. If you’re undeleting a vVol VM that has not been eradicated yet, that functionality is present for Purity versions 6.1 and lower.
For PiT VM revert, you will also need to make sure that you have snapshots of all of the volumes associated with the vVol VM except swap- at least one data volume and one configuration volume.
For VM undelete before the volumes have been eradicated, you will need a snapshot of the vVol VM’s configuration volume.
For VM undelete after the vVol-backed VM has been eradicated, you’ll need a FlashArray protection group snapshot of all the VM’s data volumes, managed snapshots and configuration volumes.
Rather than rehash what my teammate Alex Carver has put a lot of work into, I’m just going to link to the KB and videos he created:
Download the new plugin (part of Pure’s OVA), read the release notes and test out vVol PiT recovery today! Like a lot of things, it’s better to have some understanding of what’s happening and why before needing something that might be part of your recovery process. Please note that you can also upgrade in-place from 5.0.0 to 5.1.0 (and future remote plugin releases) by following this guide.
With the release of Purity 6.3, Native FA File replication has been added to the Pure Storage FlashArray™ software. This adds an often important feature to the FA File folder redirection solution I wrote about last year. Pure Storage is referring to this feature as ActiveDR for File Services.
ActiveDR for File Services is a useful feature if you’ve set up or are going to set up folder redirection on FA File and you would like the file data to be replicated asynchronously to a different array, whether that FlashArray hardware is at the same site or a different one. This feature is included with FlashArray.
This allows you to use your FlashArray for native block and file workloads that need the protection that replication provides and allow you to benefit from the great data reduction rate that FlashArray is known for with those replicated file sets.
Now, if you lose a site or an array for some reason, the file workload you have hosted on FA File can be recovered natively on FlashArray easily and quickly.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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).
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.
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.
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:
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.