This blog is the next step following the creation/deployment of the VRAs.
To begin protecting virtual machines, you will need to configure virtual protection groups (VPGs). A virtual protection group is is an affinity grouping of VMs that make up an application. VPGs can contain 1 or more virtual machines, and contain all the protection settings required which include:
- Boot Order
- re-IP settings for testing and recovery
- Resource mappings
- Offsite backup
- Re-protection settings
Once a VPG is configured, initial synchronization of the protected virtual machines begins to take place, and once synced, will continuously be protected.
Important: When performing failover, ALL VMs in the VPG will be failed over, and you are not able to select specific VMs within the group to be recovered.
- For granular protection and failover capabilities, VPGs can be set up containing single VMs, if your migration/failover plan requires being able to pick and choose systems to recover in an order you specify, when not all involved VMs need to be migrated or failed over.
- Do not group ALL virtual machines into 1 VPG, as performing a recovery will attempt to recover everything contained within the VPG and in some cases, that’s not the best idea.
- Whenever possible, group servers that depend on each other or make up an application together. This will allow you to make use of boot options, order, or delay to bring them up in the correct order. This will also prevent missing crucial application servers during recovery or migration.
- Make use of the test feature for DR testing by setting up an isolated VLAN/portgroup which will allow live testing without impacting production.
- Make use of the re-IP feature to automate any IP address change that needs to happen either on the test network or recovery network.
- Log in to the Zerto UI
- Go to the VPGs tab, and click New VPG.
- Specify a name for the VPG and set the priority, then click Next.
In VPGs with different priorities, updates for the VPG(s) with the highest priorities are transferred over the WAN before others.
- Select the VM(s) you want to include in this VPG, press the right-arrow to move to selected VMs, then click Next.
Using the search box in the "Available VMs" window will help you minimize the number of VMs listed and focus only on the one(s) you're looking for.
Zerto uses the SCSI protocol, so only VMs with disks that are configured/support SCSI can be selected to be part of a VPG.
- Specify the recovery site and values to use for replication to the site, then click Next.
- Specify the storage requirements for this VM and click Next.
If you have pre-seeded the volumes, check the box beside the disks and click the Edit Selected link. Select Preseeded Volume, then browse to the VMDK for that volume. Repeat for any additional disks that you have pre-seeded. This is recommended if your VM is large, and has a high rate of change, or the WAN link is shared and bandwidth is limited.
- Specify the failover/move network (the newtwork that the recovered VM will run on), the recovery folder, any scripts, and click Next.
Failover Test Network is optional, but recommended if you will be testing failover prior to committing.
- Enter the NIC details to use for the recovered VM, and click Next.
In some cases, if you're replicating within the same vCenter or cluster, you may end up with a duplicate MAC address warning when recovering, so to avoid this, you can create a new MAC address on the recovery VM during recovery. In any case, you can also re-IP the VMs as part of the recovery procedure. To view these settings, check the box beside the VM(s) and click the Edit Selected link.
- Select whether or not you want to create an offsite backup that can be stored for up to a year, then click Next. If you don’t need to create a backup, leave this screen at the defaults, then click Next.
For more information on backups with Zerto, refer to the help file (click the ? button at the tope right of this window), or see the Zerto Virtual Manager Administration Guide.
- Review VPG settings summary, and if you don’t need to go back and make any changed, click Done.