How to install and use the Vsphere Replication Appliance
1. Download the appliance from vmware.com/downloads. This appliance is based on SuSe Linux 11, just like the linux vcenter appliance. It uses 2 vcpus and 4 gbs of ram. It is installed via ovf and managed via the Web Client only.
2. Start the installation by deploying the appliance via ovf. I downloaded the iso image and burnt it into a dvd. Look for the .ovf file within it.
3. Accept the EULA.
4. Name the appliance and select your datacenter.
5. Select the esxi host to use.
6. Select the format (thick vs thin).
7. Specify the networking settings of the appliance. This will tie into an ip pool to be created.
9. Give the appliance an ip address.
10. Give the appliance a root password.
11. Specify to use an extension for the web client.
12. Create an ip pool in your datacenter. Specify the name and other information.
13. Verify your settings.
14. Use the web client to log into the vcenter server and verify the plugin is in place.
15. Open the console of the appliance and verify it booted successfully. Notice you can log into the appliance using your browser (port 5480).
16. Test replication. Select a virtual machine and right click on it. Notice the last option. Select All Vsphere Replication Actions. Once you select that, a new menu appears. Select Configure Replication.
17. Select the vcenter server to use. Notice you can add remote sites.
18. Select the replication appliance to use.
19. Specify the target datastore. In this case, datastore2 is the local datastore of my second esxi host.
20. Lower the RPO to 15 minutes. This is the minimum.
21. Click on finish to start the replication.
22. After the initial replication is finished, log into the vm and make a change. In this case a folder called Directory1 was added. Wait at least 17 minutes for the replication of the deltas to take place and test the recovery.