Friday, April 12, 2013

How to configure VDP (Data Protection 5.1)

Today, I decided to finally configure the new Data Protection appliance that was introduced in vSphere 5.1. This appliance replaces the older Data Recovery appliance that has been available for several versions. This new appliance has been touted as more robust and reliable than the previous one and leverages EMC's technology (Avamar).

What follows are the steps involved:

1. Download the appliance from

2. Burn it into a dvd (optional).

3. Install the VDP appliance via ovf/ova. On the vSphere Client, click on File and select Deploy from OVF.

4. During the configuration wizard, provide the network related information of the appliance. It will ask for the ip and netmask of the appliance, the dns server and gateway.

5. Boot up the appliance. The appliance defaults to 4 virtual cpus and 4gb of ram. I decided to lower the number of cpus to 2 since I was only going to use it a few times. I did notice through esxtop that the appliance was often using 100% of the cpus allocated. Do not lower the cpu and memory settings in a real environment !

Note: I tried that again with VDP Advanced 5.5 and the number of vcpus can't be lowered any more. If you do, the installation will fail.

6. Add the dns records for the appliance to your dns server prior to the original boot. This is critical since the initial configuration will not succeed if the hostname is not resolvable. I spent over an hour troubleshooting this since I added the records while the vm was up. Somehow the appliance would not be able to resolve its name until eventually I rebooted the appliance.

7. Launch your browser and connect to https://ip_of_appliance:8543/vdp-configure

8. Log in as root//changeme.

9. Verify the ip, gateway, mask, name and dns records.

10. Specify the timezone for the appliance.

11. Specify who is the vcenter server and sso server. Provide user names and passwords that will be used by the appliance to register and authenticate itself. The password of the appliance can be changed, it needs 9 characters with no special characters. I used Vmware123.

12. Reboot the appliance. The appliance will take about 30 minutes to reboot. If the console is opened, it will show a series of 5 and 10 minute steps needed for the initial setup and configuration.

13. Use your browser and connect to https://ip_of_appliance:8543/vdp-configure to verify that the services have started. Through this url, the password of the appliance can be changed, as well as changing the information of the vcenter and sso servers if something changes in the environment.  Four tabs will appear (Status, Configuration, Rollback and Upgrade).

13. Log into the web client by specifying https://ip_of_vcenter:9443/vsphere-client to create your backup jobs. The vsphere client can't be used for this.

14. The client plugin will show up automatically. Five tabs will appear (Getting Started, Backup. Restore, Reports, Configuration).

15. The Configuration Tab allows you to specify if emails are to be sent and to specify the Backup Window. The Backup tab will allow you to specify which vm to back up. The Restore tab allows you to select which vm to restore. The Reports tab shows how many jobs have succeeded and which jobs have failed (if any).

Testing the Restoration of the vm.

1. With the web client, click on the restore tab of vdp.

2. Select the vm that was protected to begin with.

3. Click on the restore icon. Click on Next.

4. Deselect Restore to the Original Location.

5. Give the vm a new name (xp1_new) and select a datastore for the recovery.

6. Click on Finish and wait until the restore is done.

7. A new virtual machine called xp1_new is created.

8. Power on the xp1_new virtual machine and verify that it worked.

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