To start protecting a vApp with a virtual machine from one cloud organization to another, you configure a replication from the source site by using the vCloud Availability Portal.

When you configure a replication, you set a recovery point objective (RPO) to determine the maximum data loss that you can tolerate. For example, an RPO of 1 hour seeks to ensure that a virtual machine loses the data for no more than 1 hour during the recovery. For smaller RPO values, less data is lost in a recovery, but more network bandwidth is consumed keeping the replica up-to-date. See How the Recovery Point Objective Affects Replication Scheduling in vSphere Replication Administration.

Every time that a virtual machine reaches its RPO target, the vCloud Availability Replicator records approximately 3800 bytes of data in the vCenter Server events database. If you set a low RPO period, it can create a large volume of data in the database. To reduce the volume of data that is kept in the vCenter Server events database, limit the number of days that vCenter Server retains event data. Alternatively, set a higher RPO value.

vCloud Availability Replicator guarantees crash consistency among all the disks that belong to a virtual machine. If you use quiescing, you might obtain a higher level of crash consistency among the disks that belong to a virtual machine. The available quiescing types are determined by the virtual machine's operating system. See Compatibility Matrixes for vSphere Replication for quiescing support for Windows and Linux virtual machines.

Prerequisites

  • Verify that the vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR is deployed on both source and destination sites.

  • Establish a connection to the cloud organizations occupying the sites to which you want to replicate data.

Procedure

  1. Log in to the vCloud Availability Portal with organization administrator credentials.
  2. Navigate to DR Workloads and click Discovery to start the protection workflow.
  3. Select the source site (site1) from the list or New Source, and click Next.
  4. Select the vApp you are protecting.
  5. Select the destination site (site2) to which you want to replicate the vApp and its VM, and click Next.

    If the status of the connection is Not authenticated, you must provide credentials to authenticate with the destination cloud organization.

  6. On the Prepare Protection page, select the configurations for the replication data.

    Option

    Procedure

    Destination vDC

    From the drop-down menu, select the virtual data center associated with the target site.

    Storage Profile

    From the drop-down menu, select the storage policy for replication placement.

    Target Recovery Point Objective (RPO)

    Use the RPO slider or the time ranges to set the acceptable period for which data can be lost in the case of a site failure. The available RPO range is from 5 minutes to 24 hours.

    Retention Policy for Point in Time Instances

    To save multiple replication instances (snapshots) to which VMs can be recovered, enable the retention policy for point in time instances option, and adjust the number of instances to keep.

    The number of distinct replication instances that vCloud Availability Replicator keeps depends on the configured retention policy, and requires that the RPO period is short enough for these instances to be created. Because vCloud Availability Replicator does not check whether the RPO settings create enough distinct instances to keep, and does not display a warning message if the number of distinct instances is not sufficient, you must ensure that you set vCloud Availability Replicator to create the instances that you want to keep. For example, if you set vCloud Availability Replicator to keep 6 replication instances per day, the RPO period must not exceed four hours, so that vCloud Availability Replicator can create six instances in 24 hours.

    To avoid any issues, the retention policy interval must be greater than the RPO setting.

    Data Connection Type

    Compressing the replication data that is transferred through the network saves network bandwidth and might help reduce the amount of buffer memory used on the vSphere Replication Server. However, compressing and decompressing data requires more CPU resources on both the source site and the server that manages the target datastore.

    Enable Quiesce

    Select the quiescing method for the guest OS of the source VM.

    Note:

    Quiescing is available only for VMs that support quiescing. For more information about quiescing, see Guest OS Quiescing Support section of the Compatibility Matrices for vSphere Replication 8.1

  7. Click Protect.

    If the virtual machine is not powered on, replication is configured but full initial synchronization is completed upon powering on the virtual machine

    A progress bar indicates that the source VM is being configured for protection.

Results

A replication task appears in the Latest Tasks at the bottom of the Home page in the vCloud Availability Portal.

If the operation completes successfully, the replication task appears in the list of outgoing replications.

Note:

If the replication source VM is powered off, the replication remains in a Configured state until you sync the replication or power on the VM from the vCloud Director UI.