VMware – VMworld 2019 – HCI2888BU – Site Recovery Manager 8.2: What’s New and Demo

Disclaimer: I recently attended VMworld 2019 – US.  My flights and accommodation were paid for by Digital Sense, and VMware provided me with a free pass to the conference and various bits of swag. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated by VMware for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my rough notes from “HCI2888BU – Site Recovery Manager 8.2: What’s New and Demo”, presented by Cato Grace and Velina Krasteva (Senior PM for SRM and vSphere replication, VMware). You can grab a PDF copy of my notes from here.

 

SRM Product Overview

When you hear “disaster recovery” what do you think of? Natural disasters? DR is not just about natural disasters. It can also power, networking, people. Site Recovery Manager supports hypervisor-based and array-based replication. SRM about adding value to your replication.

Workflows?

Non-disruptive testing

  • Automated testing isolated network
  • Ensures predictability of RTO

Automated Failback

  • Re-protect using original recovery plan
  • Streamlines bi-directional migrations

Automated Failover

  • Runbook automation
  • Single-click initiation
  • Emphasises fastest possible recovery after outage

Planned Migration

  • Ensures zero data loss and app consistency
  • Enables disaster avoidance and DC maintenance or migration

*Demo

VMware Site Recovery (DRaaS) for VMware Cloud on AWS

DRaaS

  • Accelerate time to protection
  • Cloud economics with on-demand pricing
  • Integrated into VMware Cloud console
  • Post-failover cluster scaling with Elastic DRS
  • Inter-region protection

 

What’s New In 8.2?

Simplified deployment and operations with SRM as an appliance

  • Parity with Windows version
  • Simple OVF deployment
  • SRAs with the appliance setup as Docker containers
  • Greatly simplify SRM deployment, maintenance and upgrades.

Built on PhotonOS

Upgrading to the appliance – upgrade to 8.2 on Windows first, then migrate to the appliance. There’s a blog post on that here, and documentation here.

Improved ease of use with config import / export UI

  • Now entirely UI based
  • Export / backup and import / restore capabilities for entire SRM configuration
  • Includes entire SRM configuration (VMs, PGs, RPs, IP customisation, array managers, etc)
  • Enables simple DB migration

API and vRO workflow enhancements

  • Configure IP customisation
  • Add / remove datastores from array-based replication PGs
  • Remove post-power on tasks
  • Check status of VR replication
  • List replicated VMs
  • Get VR configuration
  • List replicated RDMs and Array Managers

New Workflows

New in SRM

  • Set IP settings
  • Update group datastore
  • Delete callouts

New in vSphere Replication

  • Check replication stats

Enhancements to SRM pack for vROps

  • Overcome DR monitoring challenges with global visibility into SRM environment
  • Mitigate risk associated with SRM component downtime
  • New views displaying
    • Recovery status
    • Count of VMs in recovery plans
    • Lots more
  • New arms for VMs that are in Protection Groups and not part of recovery plans

vSphere Replication Pack for vROps

Ability to monitor

  • RPO violations
  • Per VM metrics
  • Incoming replications
  • Outgoing replications
  • Replication status
  • Transferred bytes
  • Alerts
  • Replication Settings

UI Enhancements

  • Adjust colour schemes for optimal viewing
  • Capacity information available in the Protection Groups Datastores tab
  • Ability to provide in-product feedback – the smiley face icon

Support for NSX-T

  • Integration with NSX-T lets you use the network virtualisation to simplify the creation snd execution of recovery plans and accelerate recovery

Encrypted VMs Support

  • Full support for replicating, protecting, and recovering encrypted VMs

Encryption of replication traffic available per VM

Improved Logging Options with Syslog Support

  • Increased awareness of potential issues
  • Easier to troubleshoot issues
  • More opportunity for analysis

 

Tech Preview

We also went through a tech preview of what might be on the horizon with SRM. Note that this is all futures, and VMware may or may not end up delivering this as part of a future product.

  • SRM Support for vVols with Array-based Replication
  • Support protection and orchestrated recovery of VMs that are running on Virtual Volume datastore and are replicated by policy-based native array replication.
  • Automatic protection
  • Disk resting feature for vSphere Replication

 

Thoughts

I always enjoy these SRM sessions. Every time I make it along to VMworld US I try and get to Cato’s sessions. Even if you’re familiar with SRM, they’re a great summary of current, latest, and future product capability. SRM is a really cool solution for managing both migration and DR activities. And I don’t want to think about the number of times vSphere Replication has gotten us out of a spot doing cross-platform storage migrations. Cato and the team really know their stuff, so if you get a chance, do check out their other sessions this week.