One of the labs we’re creating for the upcoming Omaha-Area VMUG is SRM. It is posing some interesting challenges. The biggest challenge is figuring out how to best provide a lab to 15 pairs of people without creating 30 sites. We will cut some corners on that issue by having the instructor perform some of the core tasks like pairing sites and configuring the arrays. This leaves users to work directly with the Protection Groups and Recovery Plans, which is where people need to pay the most attention anyways.
The other interesting challenge for us is one you find each time you setup SRM for a different array than you’ve done in the past. In this case it was setting it up to use a CX4 using MirrorView.
For those who aren’t familiar with why this is a big deal, let me explain. SRM ties directly into the storage array in order to affect the status of the replication and to create LUN level snapshots during failover tests. In order to do this, SRM uses a Site Recovery Adapter (SRA) to talk to the array. The twist is that the storage vendor is responsible for creating the SRA for each array that SRM supports. The difficulty lies in the different implementations and prerequisites each vendor has for their SRAs.
Here are a few things I discovered about using the EMC MirrorView SRA:
- Not only do you need to install the SRA on the SRM server, but you also need to install EMC’s Solutions Enabler. As I understand it, Solutions Enabler is the foundation for software that needs to talk to the CX4 storage processors (somewhat analogous to the .NET framework). EMC folks correct me where I might be wrong.
- After creating the remote mirror of the LUN, you need to create a snapshot of the destination LUN (at the recovery site). The name you give this snapshot must include the substring “VMWARE_SRM_SNAP”. Make sure reserve LUNs are created for this snapshot, which should be done when using the “Configure SnapView Snapshots” wizard. The SRA will NOT create the snapshot on the fly for you like some SRAs will.
- A Consistency Group is not necessary unless your protected VMs cross multiple LUNs or you want multiple LUNs in a single Protection Group