[OK, so you spotted my deliberate mistake – I meant North Carolina, not South Carolina…]
For the last two weeks – I’ve been upto two main things. Playing with Site Recovery Manager Beta, and prep’ing the new training course on VMware’s Virtual Desktop Manager. Just before I arrived in Canne I recieved an invite to the SRM Beta, and duty bound I downloaded the binaries and documentation at first opportunity. Of course I knew my biggest barrier to getting up and running would be sorting out the replication piece behind SRM. SRM doesn’t have a replication engine, that’s provided by your storage vendor. Own only one SAN – a rather decrepid Sun StorEdge 5200 which is glorified JBOD with fibre-channel connectivity I would be struggling. Whilst in Canne I met the PM (Product Manager) for SRM and re-introduced me to the Lefthand Networks iSCSI SAN people. I remembered having Lefthand Network into to a vendor presentation at our London VMware User Group. They were there to plug their hardware – but there also mentioned their VSA product – a virtual iSCSI appliance that supports schedule remote snapshots.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, the Lefthand Networks guys very kindly offered me a NFR license for two VSAs – to get me up and running with SRM. I now have 4 ESX hosts pairs into two HA/DRS clusters with the VMFS from my primary/protected site, being replicated to the secondary/recovery site. It wasn’t all plain sailing. To my shame – in haste – I created an Virtual IP conflict between my two VSAs. Additionally, I really had problems getting my two VirtualCenters/SRMs to talk to teach other. My problem was in rather foolishing taking my work-a-day VirtualCenter enviroment which has been upgraded all the way from VirtualCenter 1.1 to VirtualCenter 2.5. It wasn’t in a terrfically good shape for taking something like a beta product in the first place. A clean install of VirtualCenter for my Protection Site and Recovery Site was all I need to couple the two together.
It was real joy this morning as ran on the initial configuration wizards – that SRM found my VSAs. Then creating the mappings between the two VirtualCenter, and finally setting up the protection groups. I just couldn’t resist giving my recovery site access to the replicated snapshot of protection site VMs – and hitting the “Test Recovery Plan” button. And guess what it worked!
Anyway, I plan to right a RTFM guide to SRM as soon as I get hold of the Release Candidate of SRM. I don’t think that will be too far away. With a bit of luck I might have my escapades with Lefthand Network’s VSA and VMware SRM ready for the GA… For the meantime I have train-the-trainer session to attend next week at VMware on the VDM course… Then a course to teach in Utrecht… and then I’m across the pond to North Carolina, USA to do two presentation at a super-UG event there…