It is important to understand the VAO installation overview to help you be successful with VAO quicker. More info on VAO can be found in the release notes. The docs are here – sorry I cannot make a link right to the VAO docs. You can find versions of supported OS or databases in it as well as get a good idea on resource levels of the VAO servers (RAM and memory).
Things to have ready
- A VM ready for VAO to be installed within.
- Information on SQL server to be used by VAO, and credentials in the form of service account.
- Any existing VBR servers, and credentials for them
- A Domain Controller to be replicated to the DR side for inclusion in test failovers, and it should have a vSphere tag that is known.
- Applications to be protected should have a vSphere tag applied to all the VMs. For example, if you are going to protect Exchange, and it has 24 VM’s each should have a tag that says something like DR-Exchange. I suggest initially only protect one application and learn from how that goes so you can do the rest of your applications more easily, and more successfully too.
- You should have a VMware Distributed switch at the DR site with a private and non-routing VLAN or network and this switch should be mounted on each host in the DR site. This vDS is a recommendation but is not required.
- Install VAO
- If using the embedded model, configure replication and virtual labs before you go into VAO.
- Confirm connected to vCenter (in DR)
- If appropriate, connect to vCenter in production too.
- Confirm connected to external VBR (in production too possibly but in DR for certain)
- Configure SMTP
- Configure email destinations
- Use the DR site to:
- VBR to replicate the Domain Controller to the DR site for the Lab group.
- Use the DR site VBR to replicate the first Application you wish to protect.
- Create virtual labs in DR.
- Log into VAO
- Confirm you see the Virtual Labs in Components – there can be up to 1.5 hours of delay between assigning a tag and seeing it in VAO – after the first config.
- Confirm you see the tagged VMs in Components.
- Customize the Plan Steps as necessary, such as Add scripts, or tweak config such as number of retries.
- Add a Lab Group for any necessary support services – like AD to your Virtual Lab – see here for help.
- Test the Virtual Lab, make sure both the appliance and any lab services start successfully.
- Create failover plan
- Do a readiness check.
- Do a test failover. Make sure it works. A key part of a successful test failover is having all of the necessary VMs inside the test. For example, Exchange will not start if a domain controller is
- Do a real failover.
You now have successful VAO install and have had some success working with VAO. Hopefully you have learned so that now you can protect more applications successfully. It is important to understand that you may need to tune your plan to make sure it as fast as it can be. The outage windows sometimes are small!
Let me know if you have questions, or comments, or you would like to see VAO articles on specific things (my VAO related articles can all be found using this tag – VAO_Tech).
- 2/23/19 – added some clarity on when to do replication and virtual labs in embedded model, and added a link to some help with Lab Groups.
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