- This tutorial requires access to Oracle Cloud. To sign up for a free account, see Get started with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Free Tier.
- It uses example values for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure credentials, tenancy, and compartments. When completing your lab, substitute these values with ones specific to your cloud environment.
Configure Disaster Recovery using RackWare® with Oracle Cloud VMware Solution
Oracle and VMware have developed a fully certified and supported software defined data center (SDDC) solution called Oracle Cloud VMware Solution. This solution uses Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) to host a highly available VMware SDDC. It also allows seamless migration and disaster recovery capabilities for on-premises VMware SDDC workloads to OCI.
RackWare helps enterprises migrate to the Cloud, and protect their workloads through backup and disaster recovery, providing a single console to protect physical, virtual, and cloud environments. Many enterprise customers are looking for a Disaster Recovery solution to manage business continuity by protecting mission-critical applications in the Cloud.
This tutorial summarizes how the entire lifecycle of disaster recovery and business continuity can be effectively managed with Oracle Cloud VMware Solution using RackWare. Enterprises can protect their mission-critical workloads with desired Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) with Oracle Cloud VMware Solution and Rackware by one-click Failover and Fallback operations.
This tutorial provides an operational overview of how to use the RackWare Software to build a Disaster Recovery environment for any VMware, Non-VMware and Cloud workloads to the Oracle Cloud VMware SDDC. The focus of this tutorial is to provide the available deploy and configuration options and highlight the ‘how-to’ steps required for using RackWare with Oracle Cloud VMware Solution.
To enable Disaster Recovery for workloads from any on-premises or cloud environment to the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution and utilize the Autoprovision feature to automate the Disaster Recovery execution. The Oracle Cloud VMware Solution is pre-provisioned in this use case to host replicated VMs as a Target.
- Set up Oracle Cloud VMware Solution SDDC in your tenancy.
- Admin access to manage the deployment of RackWare and additional components to manage the OCI environment effectively.
- Connectivity between source and OCI tenancy.
- RackWare Disaster Recovery license for the number of VMs which will be protected.
- Network segments in the NSX-T Oracle Cloud VMware Solution environment to map the Disaster Recovery workloads.
For other RackWare RMM pre-requisites with OCI, refer to the official RackWare documentation: RackWare RMM Getting Started with OCI.
The solution architecture represents the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution as a recovery site in OCI for protected workloads from on-premises or cloud hyperscalers. The architecture consists of the following components.
- Oracle Cloud VMware Solution SDDC: The Oracle Cloud VMware Solution as a Disaster Recovery site to recover the protected VMs in the event of a disaster.
- RMM Server: RackWare Management Module is the core component of the RackWare solution to replicate the workloads to the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution environment and manage the Disaster Recovery lifecycle.
- OCI FastConnect: Dedicated private network connectivity between source and OCI tenancy.
- VPN: OCI IPSec VPN for connectivity over the internet where OCI FastConnect implementation is not possible. However, VPN does not guarantee the RPO and is recommended to use OCI FastConnect to replicate the data.
Note: FastConnect is the only connectivity option recommended for the Disaster Recovery.
The following image shows the architectural representation of Disaster Recovery with Oracle Cloud VMware Solution using RackWare.
Task 1: Prepare the Disaster Recovery environment
This section describes the steps required to build the RackWare environment to complete the entire Disaster Recovery setup.
Deploy RackWare RMM Server
The RackWare RMM is available as an OCI Marketplace image with BYOL and with the paid option.
Follow the installation and configuration instructions from the link to complete the RackWare RMM setup in OCI.
Register the target Oracle Cloud VMware Solution environment
The VMware vCenter server is used for centralized management of the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution. Follow the steps below to register the VMware vCenter server as a target for Replicated/Protected workloads.
Log in to the RMM console using the “Admin” credentials created during RMM initial configuration.
Navigate to Configuration, select VMware vCenter and then click Add.
Provide VMware vCenter details such as IP address and credentials and click Add.
Task 2: Create a Disaster Recovery Wave
In this section, you will create a Disaster Recovery Wave to protect the workloads from any source to the target Oracle Cloud VMware Solution environment. A Wave represents a single host or a set of hosts which are scoped for Disaster Recovery into the target environment.
Log in to the RMM server using the “Admin” credentials.
Navigate to Replication, select Waves, click on the plus (+) sign and then select + Create Wave.
Note: Alternatively, you can use the “Upload File” option to upload the servers in bulk using a template. Provide the name of the wave and leave the default options.
Select the values as shown in the following screenshot. The target type should always be Autoprovision. This setting allows the VM provisioning in SDDC without manual intervention. Similarly, you can add additional hosts to the same Disaster Recovery wave or create a separate wave.
Note: When you are using the template to upload the servers into the wave, ensure that the NSX-T logical network segments are pre-created and the same has been mapped with the inventory template for each source VM.
Once all the servers are added to the Disaster Recovery wave, click on the “Not Configured” Autoprovision setting and provide the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution SDDC details.
Now that our target environment is configured with Oracle Cloud VMware Solution SDDC, the host added into the wave must be updated with the target network information. Go to vCenter Options and click NICs to select the target network from Oracle Cloud VMware Solution. This target network must be already created in NSX-T in the planning phase of the Disaster Recovery. See the following screenshot where the network name “RW_Test” is pre-created in NSX-T.
Repeat the process for all the hosts added to the wave.
Task 3: Create a Disaster Recovery policy
At this stage, we are ready with the inventory of the workloads which need to be protected in the cloud. Next, we will have to create a Disaster Recovery policy to reflect the Recovery Point Objective(RPO) of workloads/applications.
Perform the below steps to create a Disaster Recovery policy.
Navigate to Policies under the Disaster Recovery tab and create a Disaster Recovery Policy.
Configure settings according to your Disaster Recovery requirement and select Periodicity according to your RPO requirements. Refer to the following sample screenshot where the RPO is considered to be 30 mins.
Now, use the Disaster Recovery policy and associate it with the Disaster Recovery wave. To do that, navigate to Waves under the Disaster Recovery tab and associate the newly created Disaster Recovery policy. Refer to the sample screenshot below.
Execute the Disaster Recovery wave by clicking on the Play button which triggers the replication of all the hosts part of the wave from the source to the target environment. You would notice that the VMs will be provisioned in the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution SDDC and will be connected to the NSX-T network due to Autoprovision settings.
Once all the servers are replicated, you are expected to see the below output in the Disaster Recovery Wave. At this stage, you are good to perform Test Failover, Failover, and Fallback operations. Refer to the Disaster Recovery Runbook section for more details.
Note: The replication time is dependent on the network bandwidth and data that it needs to replicate across the sites.
Task 4: Recover VMs - Disaster Recovery Runbook
This section describes the Disaster Recovery Runbook and the procedure to recover VMs in the event of a disaster. The Disaster Recovery Runbook will cover Test Failover, Actual Failover, and Fallback operations.
Disaster Recovery Runbook: Test Failover
Customers can perform a planned Disaster Recovery drill using the Test Failover option to validate and simulate Disaster Recovery failover. At this stage, the source is live, up and running, and unaffected.
To perform test failover, navigate to the Disaster Recovery wave and click on the Failover button (tilted arrow), and select the Test Mode option.
The successful Test Failover operation should give you similar results as shown in the following image. You can also decide to Pause or Resume the Disaster Recovery policy post-Disaster Recovery Failover.
Disaster Recovery Runbook: Actual Failover
The procedure for Test Failover and Actual Failover is the same. In the event of a disaster, you must log in to the RMM console and execute the Failover. In this scenario, the source is down and the replication is interrupted wherein the data is synced to the target with the last known good state.
To perform the failover, navigate to the Disaster Recovery policy and execute the Failover by clicking on the Failover button (tilted arrow).
Note: Do not select the Test Mode check box to perform the actual Failover.
At this stage the VMs in the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution SDDC are live and the applications are operated from OCI. The end user and application traffic should be routed to OCI.
Disaster Recovery Runbook: Fallback
When the source site is recovered from the disaster and up and running, Fallback can be performed from target (new source) to source (new target).
The replication will be reversed from OCI to the on-premises system.
To perform the Fallback operation, navigate to the Disaster Recovery wave and click on the Fallback button (tilted arrow). This operation will also start replicating data from the new source (OCI) to the new target (on-premises) environment.
Once the Fallback operation is successful, the appropriate status is shown on the Disaster Recovery wave. The on-premises site will again be set to the primary site. The user and application traffic should be routed back to the on-premises environment.
Now, that we have seen the full life cycle of Disaster Recovery, we can resume the normal operation to continue replicating data from on-premises to OCI.
To initiate the replication, click the Play button for the Disaster Recovery policy as shown in the following image.
- Oracle Cloud VMware Solution
- Oracle Cloud VMware Solution Overview Help Center
- OCI Networking
- RackWare RMM BYOL in Oracle Marketplace
- RackWare RMM Getting Started Guide
- RackWare Autoprovision support for Oracle Cloud VMware Solution
- Author - Devendra Gawale (Cloud Solutions Architect)
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