Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Using the vSphere Replication Capacity Planning Appliance!

A few days back I wrote an article introducing a Fling by VMware Labs called vSphere Replication Capacity Planning Appliance. I would recommend that you read that post before going through this one. Here is the link:-

As I mentioned in that article, I finally got an opportunity to deploy the appliance and run it to capture traffic and replication requirements for one of my lab virtual machines. Here are the steps to download and configure this appliance and to get the results you need:-

1- Download the appliance from this link.

2- Deploy the OVA template in your environment using the vCenter Server. Please remember, this is the site where you have the VMs running. (Also, it is recommended that there are NO vSphere Replication Appliances deployed in this environment)

3- The Appliance needs an IP Address which needs to be configured after the appliance powers on. You can login to the appliance using username as 'root' and password as 'vmware'.

4- Once the IP is set you can login to the appliance using the following url - 

https://<ip Address of appliance>:5480

Here is a screenshot from my environment. The username is root and password is vmware as mentioned before.

5- Please ensure to setup the correct time zone for correct results.

6- Now take an ssh session to the appliance using 'putty' or an equivalent tool. Username - root and Password is vmware. Once logged in you need to browse to the following directory:-

cd /opt/vmware/hbrtraffic/bin

7- Run the command located in this directory to see the usage. Here you can see all the options available to run with this command.


8- Now I will use this command to capture the data changes for a VM in my lab named "VMWSUDRSNVC01"

That's it. You need to configure this for all the VMs for which you need to do capacity planning for replication bandwidth requirements.

Once done, you can check out the results after 15 minutes or so by opening the URL: 

https://<ip Address of appliance>:5480/vr-graphs/

We can get data about this VM by clicking on the link listed on this page. Here are some screenshots from my lab. It clearly shows the Network Traffic Requirements and Data size of the "lwd". LWD is the light weight delta which is calculated by vSphere Replication as the amount of data which needs to be replicated to maintain the defined RPO. Remember the RPO in this case in 15 minutes by default. You can setup the RPO which you have planned for your workload in the ssh command where you enable replication modelling.

Like other capacity planning tools, it is important to run this for atleast 3 to 4 weeks to capture all the peaks and lows of the workload and estimate its replication requirements. Hope this helps you calculate the bandwidth requirements and data change rates which are crucial for setting up DR using vSphere Replication and Site Recovery Manager.

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