Tag: ASR

Step-by-Step – Deploying Azure Site Recovery (ASR) OVF Template (VMware On-Premises)

In the following tutorial, I will go through a step-by-step walk-through on deploying the Azure Site Recovery (ASR) VMware OVF template. This OVF template is a critical step as it bridges the connection between your On-Premises datacenter and the Azure Site Recovery Vault. Obviously there are a handful of prerequisites, as we need to prepare our VMware environment in addition, prepare our Azure workspace. I have created similar posts for Hyper-V and Azure to Azure (A2A) ASR Migrations, please visit the following link for the detailed setups of the Azure Recovery Services Vault HERE.

Let’s begin…  The first step is to download and install the VMware OVF template. The VMware OVF template can be found at the Microsoft Download Center.

Next, we need to deploy the OVF template within vCenter.

Note, this template will consuming about 1.5TB of space. This is a result of Microsoft consolidating the Configuration server and Process server into one workload.

Once the template is deployed, start the appliance and let’s begin registering our vCenter with ASR vault.

Note, the licence provided with OVF template is an evaluation licence valid for 180 days. You as the customer need to activate the windows with a procured licence.

Now we need to provide the server with some local administrative credentials.

Once you have given it some credentials, the server will auto login. The ASR wizard should launch on its own, if not, you can launch it manually — the icon should be on the desktop.

Once the ASR wizard starts, we will now need to complete the setup for this server following by registering the server with ASR.

Give the server some name, ie. VMwareASR01

Next, we need to validate the server can go over the Internet, ie. Azure and communicate as needed. If you are using a proxy, here is the time to set that up.

One thing to note, having the proxy settings configured within Internet Explorer should be removed.

Once an Internet connection has been established, we can then sign into the Azure Portal.

Now we need to sign into Azure with some credentials, ideally with a privileged/Global Administrator account.

Once you have logged into Azure successfully, you will need to reboot the server.

Once the server is back online, the next steps is to configure the Configuration server. 🙂 This step we will register this server/vCenter appliance with our Recovery Services vault. Let’s begin!

The server will auto-launch the ASR wizard, if not, launch it from the desktop icon.

Now that we have established an internet connection, we can configure our Network Interface Card(s) (NICs). Note, you can add as many as NICs needed, however, this needs to be done at the vSphere level. Once the server has been configured, you cannot add and/or remove those NICs. So, make sure you have it configured exactly as you need it. In my case, we will only need one, so, we will configure the NIC here.

Next, we need to sign into our Azure account, and select the corresponding subscription, resource group and select the appropriate recovery services vault. All of these should be available, and should have been created well before we began configure this server, as per the prerequisites…

Next, our server will download, install and configure MySQL on the server, along with the vSphere PowerCLI tools.

Gotcha, here, the appliance did not provide the vSphere PowerCLI tools, so we had to manually download, and install it.

Once we downloaded VMware’s vSphere PowerCLI toolset, we were able to continue. As mentioned, this was not provided, although it should have been. If we continued forward, the wizard would have thrown an error at the end of validation.

Next, we need to now provide the credentials and information with regards to our vCenter server(s).

Please read the prerequisites with regards to the needed permissions to allow our ASR Configuration server to communicate with the vCenter server(s).

Next we need to provide Windows and Linux based credentials to deploy install the ASR Mobility Service to all machines that will need to be replicated to Azure.

For this exercise, we are not replicating Linux machines to Azure, however if we were, similar to the Windows Mobility Service, we would need to provide some credentials that have elevated access to each of the Linux machines.

Once we have provided all the information above, we should now be able to validate some of the settings we have provided, and register our server with Azure and the Recovery Services vault. Give this a few minutes, as it took about 5 minutes to establish the communication/trust.

Once the registration of the server is complete, and the ASR appliance is officially configured with our Azure Recovery Services vault, we should now be able to see the vCenter/Configuration Server within our Azure Recovery Services vault.

If we click on the server, we can get some additional information, such as the server’s health, configuration, heartbeat, and so on…

We can also now click on the Process Server and get some additional information as well.

Now we are able to select the VMs we want to begin replicating to Azure and start testing failovers, either real, or simulated.

I hope this was helpful! Thanks, and until next time…

Advertisements

How to Increase ASR (Azure Site Recovery) Replication and Failback Default Settings

Now that you have deployed ASR (Azure Site Recovery), for Hyper-V and have started to up being replication, you notice the replication process just might take forever, as there are several VMs still queued. That is right, by default, ASR will replicate 4 (four) VMs at a given time. This value can be increased (to a maximum of 32), however, where to change this setting?

In order to increase the number of replication threads from 4 to 32, or whatever in between, you first need to launch the Registry and navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Azure Backup\Replication

From there, you will need to create the key, if the key does not exist (I have never see it by default in any of my deployments…). Create the key, “UploadThreadsPerVM” and set its value to whatever you see fit. Again, the maximum is 32.

Likewise, you can increase the default (4) number of threads used for data transfer during failback. This value represents the maximum number of VMs that will failback from ASR. That path is the same, and the Registry Key is,”DownloadThreadsPerVM“, and again, can be set to a maximum of 32.

After that is completed, your Hyper-V Registry Keys, would look something like this. Please note, this change is fully supported by the ASR/Microsoft team. However, do note, this change can saturate your network due to the increase in uploads to Azure. You can also increase and change the schedule for the bandwidth throttle settings, you can see that previous post here, see Step 10.

 

For additional information on this, please visit, https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/site-recovery/site-recovery-plan-capacity-vmware#control-network-bandwidth.

Azure Billing Resources

In a past series of blog posts, focusing on Azure Site Recovery (ASR) we setup and configured ASR for various deployments:

In this post, we can now track the charges accrued by our VMs and ASR. Azure’s Billing (currently in Preview) breaks down the costs per resource group (RG), and components within that RG.

For starters, you get the following notification pop-up in the upper right corner of your Azure portal:

0

If you go into your Billing via Marketplace, you can get a complete breakdown of the costs you are pilling up by using various services such as ASR.

1

 

You can also drill down by viewing the Burn rate, which breaks down the costs per service/resource.

2

Step-by-Step: Setup and Configure Azure Site Recovery (ASR) for On-Premises Hyper-V Host with Azure Resource Manager (ARM)

This post is a series of blog posts for Azure Site Recovery (ASR).

Here is a step by step walk-through on how to go about setting up and configuring ASR (Azure Site Recovery) and backing up your On-Premises Virtual Machines (VMs) with Azure Resource Manager (ARM).

First things, first, Azure’s Recovery Service Vault is a unified vault/resource that allows you to manage your backup and data disaster recovery needs within Azure. For example, if you are hosting your VMs on-premises you can create a link between your on-prem site and Azure to allow your VMs to be backed-up into Azure. This is regardless of your hypervisor, it can be either ESX or Hyper-V, either will work. However for the interest of this blog post, I will be setting up ASR for a Hyper-V 2012R2 host.



Configuring Azure

Step 1: Create a Recovery Services Vault

Within Azure Resource Manager (ARM), if we select New, within the Marketplace, select Monitoring + management, then select Backup and Site Recovery (OMS) within the featured apps. Of course if this is no longer present, just search for it within the marketplace.

1

Next we will now need to create our vault.

Give it a meaningful name, and you can either create a new Resource Group, or use an existing. I opted with existing, as I will (another post) next setup a Site-to-Site ASR.

2

Give this a few seconds, maybe minutes to do its thing…

Great, now our Vault is up and ready to go!

3

Step 2: Choose your Protection Goal(s)

Click Settings > Site Recovery (Under Getting Stated) > Step 1: Prepare Infrastructure > Protection Goal > And specify the following > Click OK:

  • Replicating to: Azure
  • Machines Virtualized: Yes, with Hyper-V
  • Using SCVMM (Virtual Machine Manager): No

4

Step 3: Setup the Source Environment

Next, we will now need to Prepare our source give our Hyper-V site a name, “Ravi-OnPrem” makes sense here, but give it something meaningful.

5

6

Now we need to download the ASR Provider Installer, along with the Vault Registration Key.

set-source3

Step 4:  Install and Configure the ASR Provider on Hyper-V Host

1

2

3

4

5

This Hyper-V host is not behind any Proxy…

6

If we go back to Azure, we can now see our Hyper-V host populated.

7

Step 5: Create a Replication Policy

Within our Vault properties > Settings > Manage: Site Recovery Infrastructure > For Hyper-V Sites: Replication Policies > +Replication Policies

8

Step 6: Associate Hyper-V Site(s)

Next we will need to Associate our Hyper-V site:

9

10

Great! Now we can continue on with Step 3 (Target Environment) of Step 1 (Preparing Infrastructure).

Step 7: Create a Storage Account + Virtual Network

8

9

Within the Replication, we have a few options here. I left mine as default (GRS) Geo-Redundant.

Next, we need to create a Target Virtual Network:

11

Now we can go ahead and setup the replication settings:

Step 8: Setup Replication Settings

12

Since we create the Replication Policy beforehand, this auto-filled. Next we need to do some Capacity Planning. Since this is simply a walk-through example, I elected to skip this, but for a real-production environment, I would highly recommend doing this.

Here is a link to Microsoft’s Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica.

14

Hit OK, and now we are ready to to move on to Step 2 (Replication Application)

15

16

This all should have populated since we created our Storage account and Virtual Network just earlier… If not, add them.

Now Azure should have connected with our Hyper-V host, we can now see our VMs within our Hyper-V host. Here we now need to select which machines we will want to include within ASR. For simplicity and variety, I am going to select a domain controller and a Linux machine.

17

Now we need to configure the VMs properties:

18

Once we are good, we can go ahead and apply the Replication Policy to our VMs.

19

Once satisfied, go ahead and hit “Enable Replication“.

20

 

Lastly, Step 3, we now need to complete creating our Recovery Plan:

Step 9: Create Recovery Plan

21

Great! All done? Before we say all done, let’s go back to our Hyper-V host, and configure the Network/Throttling bandwidth.

Step 10: Network/Throttle Bandwidth

My Hyper-V host is not equipped with a GUI as I am using Windows 2012R2 Minimal Server, so navigate here to launch the Microsoft Azure Backup Agent, “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Azure Recovery Services Agent\bin\“. Launch, “wabadmin“.

23

In the Actions pane, select “Change Properties” >> Select the Throttling tab.

24

Change these settings as to your needs. I wanted to increase my non-work hours to 4MB, but looks like 1MB is the max.

Great! Since we already hit, enable replication, this process should have already started… Let’s go back to Azure:

If we take a look at the Vault > Settings > Protected Items > Replicated Items 

25

Once these VMs are 100% Synchronized, the next steps will be to simulate a fail over, both Test and Planned.

26

 

Step-by-Step: Setup and Configure Azure Site Recovery (ASR) for On-Premises Virtual Machine with Azure Resource Manager (ARM)

This post is a series of blog posts for Azure Site Recovery (ASR).

Here is a step by step walk-through on how to go about setting up and configuring ASR (Azure Site Recovery) and backing up your On-Premises Virtual Machines (VMs) with Azure Resource Manager (ARM).

First things, first, Azure’s Recovery Service Vault is a unified vault/resource that allows you to manage your backup and data disaster recovery needs within Azure. For example, if you are hosting your VMs on-premises you can create a link between your on-prem site and Azure to allow your VMs to be backed-up into Azure. This is regardless of your hypervisor, it can be either ESX or Hyper-V, either will work. However for the interest of this blog post, I will be setting up ASR for VMs being hosted on your On-Premises environment on a Hyper-V 2012R2 environment.



Configuring Azure

Step 1: Create a Recovery Services Vault

Within Azure Resource Manager (ARM), if we select New, within the Marketplace, select Monitoring + management, then select Backup and Site Recovery (OMS) within the featured apps. Of course if this is no longer present, just search for it within the marketplace.

1

Next we will now need to create our vault.

Give it a meaningful name, and you can either create a new Resource Group, or use an existing. I opted with existing, as I will (another post) next setup a Site-to-Site ASR.

2

Give this a few seconds, maybe minutes to do its thing…

Great, now our Vault is up and ready to go!

3

Step 2: Choose your Protection Goal(s)

Click Settings > Site Recovery (Under Getting Stated) > Step 1: Prepare Infrastructure > Protection Goal > And specify the following > Click OK:

  • Replicating to: Azure
  • Machines Virtualized: Yes, with Hyper-V
  • Using SCVMM (Virtual Machine Manager): No

4

Step 3: Setup the Source Environment

Next, we will now need to give our Hyper-V site a name, “Ravi-OnPrem” makes sense here, but give it something meaningful.

5

6

Once validated, we can now go ahead with the Azure Backup Agent. Download the Azure Backup Agent, and also, download the Backup Credentials.

7

Download the Agent and Credentials to the server you will be backing up. In my example, I will be backing up a Windows Server 2016 (RTM).

Step 4: Microsoft Azure Recovery Site (MARS) Agent Install

The Microsoft Azure Recovery Site (MARS) Agent is a pretty simple install, but here is what I experienced when installing:

1

2

Since my environment is pretty open, ie. No Proxy, no changes required here.

3

Your call here..

4

All good with the MARS prerequisites… Hit Install!

5

All good, time to register our server to our Recovery Services Vault.

 

Step 5: Register Server to Azure Recovery Services Vault

6

Here is where we will need that VaultCrentials file.. I hope you downloaded it as mentioned earlier… As you can see, back in the first few steps, when we created our Vault, the settings are now automatically inputted.

7

Here, I decided to let the wizard generate the Passphrase. I then saved the key locally to the server.

 

8

Perfect! Now we can go ahead and with the Azure Back: Site Recovery/Backup Schedule, etc.

Step 6: Configuring Microsoft Azure Backup

Going back to our On-Prem server, which by the way is a Windows 2016 OS, let’s launch Microsoft Azure Backup

Click on Schedule Backup within the (Right) Actions Pane:

1

Since this is a basic server, I only allocated 1 drive for this example, once we hit Backup, I am presented with the available drives.

2

Now we can begin defining our Backup Schedule

Step 7: Specify Backup Schedule

3

For this example, I want to back up the following server with the following properties:

  • Backup once a week @ 4AM, every Monday

Retention Policy will be as follows, see below:

4

Once you are satisfied with the policy, go ahead and hit next. Since we want to back up to Azure, and not an offline backup, we will backup over the network.

5

Have a look over before we do the initial backup.

6

Step 7: Initiate Backup Now

Going back to the main console, within the right pane, within Actions, let’s initiate our Back Up Now.

7

If we now double click within the job, we can see the Backup has begun….

8

Step 8: Validate Backup

If we go back to Azure, and take a look at our Vault properties, we can see there is a Backup in progress.

9

If we drill down within the Backup, we can see our server being backed-up.

10

After a few minutes, we can go back to the server, and track its progress:

11

 

And likewise, if we go within to the Azure Resource Manager, and within the Vault Backup jobs, and take a look at the details, we can see data is being updated to Azure.

12

 

Perfect!

Step-by-Step: Setup and Configure Azure Site Recovery (ASR) Virtual Machines (VMs) in Azure with Azure Resource Manager (ARM)

This post is a series of blog posts for Azure Site Recovery (ASR).

  • ASR for VMs hosted On-Premises, coming soon…
  • ASR for Hyper-V hosted On-Premises, coming soon…
  • ASR for an ESXi hosted On-Premises, coming soon…

Here is a step by step walk-through on how to go about setting up and configuring ASR (Azure Site Recovery) and backing up your On-Premises Virtual Machines (VMs) with Azure Resource Manager (ARM).

First things, first, Azure’s Recovery Service Vault is a unified vault/resource that allows you to manage your backup and data disaster recovery needs within Azure. For example, if you are hosting your VMs on-premises you can create a link between your on-prem site and Azure to allow your VMs to be backed-up into Azure. This is regardless of your hypervisor, it can be either ESX or Hyper-V, either will work. However for the interest of this blog post, I will be setting up ASR for VMs hosted within Azure.


Configuring Azure

Step 1: Create a Recovery Services Vault

Within Azure Resource Manager (ARM), if we select New, within the Marketplace, select Monitoring + management, then select Backup and Site Recovery (OMS) within the featured apps. Of course if this is no longer present, just search for it within the marketplace.

1

Next we will now need to create our vault.

Give it a meaningful name, and you can either create a new Resource Group, or use an existing. I opted with existing, as I will (another post) next setup a Site-to-Site ASR.

2

Give this a few seconds, maybe minutes to do its thing…

Great, now our Vault is up and ready to go!

3

Step 2: Backup Goal/Target

Select +Backup, and let’s setup create a backup strategy:

4

5a

As mentioned, in this walk-through, we will be setting up ASR for our VMs within Azure. So, this workload will be running against our Azure environment, and we want to backup our VMs.

Step 3: Create a Backup Policy

Now we want to create a backup policy. You can chose the default, which I believe is a daily snap-shot and the retention is 30 days. This may be too aggressive, or too conservative. Nevertheless, let’s create our own.

6a

Give it a name “ASRBackup14Days“, for this example, I want to backup my VMs in the following manner:

  • Backup every day @ 2AM
  • Retain the daily backup of the VM for 2 weeks (14 days)
  • Retain the weekly backup of the VM for 2 weeks
  • Retain the monthly backup of the VM for 2 months (~60 days)
  • Also, begin this policy the first day of January 2016…

Of course these options are..optional, you only need to specify either the daily, weekly or monthly retention…

Once complete, we now need to select the VM(s) we would like to back-up.

7a

Select one, or select them all, but keep in mind, this could get costly $$$$, more VMs and more often the back-up frequency.

8

Step 4: Initial Backup

Great! Now, Enable backup. Now, if we go back to our ASR Vault, should see a job already in progress, as Azure already started the initial backup.

9

10

As you can see, the VM is being backed up now!

Step 5: On-Demand Backup

If you ever want to do an ad-hoc backup, just go back to the ASR Vault, within the Protected Items, select the VM(s) you are interested, and schedule an immediate backup.

11