Implementing Azure Site Recovery – Part 2 – For Hyper-V Virtual Machines in SCVMM Clouds

After I post the series of Azure Site Recovery (ASR) Planning considerations, I received an enormous quantity of feedback how It should be implemented, following those considerations. So, this is the second post of a series of 4 (see the first post here), about how to implement Azure site recovery based protection on the scenarios describe on the previous series posts.

If you want to visit the series where I talked about the ASR Planning Considerations, you can do it by select the right scenario:

In this post, you will step through a sample implementation of Site Recovery with the on-premises primary site and the secondary site that is residing in Azure. Your intention is to protect on-premises Hyper-V virtual machines. In this scenario, you are using System Center Virtual Machine Manager to manage your Hyper-V hosts. Your implementation will consist of the following tasks:

  1. Creating one or more Azure virtual networks in your Azure subscription in the Azure region that meets your disaster recovery objectives.
  2. Creating an Azure storage account in the same subscription and the same region as the Azure virtual network.
  3. Creating a Recovery Services vault in the same subscription and the same region as the storage account and the virtual network.
  4. Preparing for the mapping of on-premises virtual machine networks to the Azure virtual networks. You need to make sure that all virtual machines you intend to protect are connected to the virtual machine networks you will be mapping to the Azure virtual networks.
  5. Specifying the protection goal of your implementation. When using the Azure portal, this is the first task in Step 1: Prepare Infrastructure of the GETTING STARTED Wizard and involves answering the following four questions:
    1. Where do you want to replicate your machines? Select the To Azure option.
    2. Are your machines virtualized? Select the Yes, with Hyper-V option.
    3. Are you using System Center VMM to manage your Hyper-V hosts? Select the Yes option.
    4. Are you managing the recovery site with another System Center VMM? Select the No option.
  6. Setting up the source environment. This consists of the following steps:
    1. Adding a System Center VMM server entry representing your on-premises VMM environment and selecting the VMM cloud that is hosting the virtual machines that you intend to protect.
    2. Downloading the Azure Site Recovery Provider setup file and Recovery Services vault registration key to the VMM server. Run the installation using the newly downloaded setup file and, when you receive a prompt, provide the vault registration key. You will also receive a prompt to accept or modify an SSL certificate for encryption of disks uploaded to the Recovery Services vault. Finally, you will have the option to enable synchronization of cloud metadata for all VMM clouds. Optionally, you can select individual VMM clouds that you want to be visible in the Azure portal.
    3. Downloading the setup file for the Azure Recovery Services agent and installing it on each Hyper-V host in the VMM cloud that is associated with the virtual machine network you will be mapping to the Azure virtual network.
  7. Setting up the target environment. As part of this step, you must specify the post-failover deployment model. In this walkthrough, you will choose Resource Manager, but Site Recovery also supports the classic deployment model. At this point, you will also have a chance to verify that you can use the virtual network and the storage account you created earlier to host replicas of protected virtual machines and their disks. You have the option to create the virtual network and the storage account if this is not the case. Finally, you must also configure network mapping between virtual machine networks and the Azure virtual network.
  8. Setting up replication settings. This step involves configuring a replication policy and associating it with the VMM cloud you selected in step 6.1. The policy includes settings such as copy frequency, recovery point retention, app-consistent snapshot frequency, and initial replication start time.
  9. Confirming that you have run the Capacity Planner. The wizard will include a drop-down list from which you need to select Yes, I have done it in order to successfully complete the Preparing infrastructure step.
  10. Selecting the VMM cloud and enabling its replication. This is part of Step 2: Replicate Applications in the GETTING STARTED Wizard. You will need to specify the VMM cloud you selected in step 6.1. You also will need to select the Azure virtual network and the storage account you want to use to host replicas of protected virtual machines and their disks. You also have the option to choose the target subnet. In addition, this step involves assigning the name to the target virtual machine and choosing its operating system. Finally, you also have to choose a replication policy that you want to take effect in this case.

Cheers,

Marcos Nogueira
azurecentric.com
Twitter: @mdnoga

Azure Site Recovery Planning Considerations – Part 3 – For Hyper-V Virtual Machines in SCVMM clouds

On these post series, I want to cover some of the planning considerations that I usually use, when I’m designing/planning with my costumers, an ASR deployment/infrastructure. I broke down in several posts so I can cover and make easy to find the considerations that you are looking for. In this post, I will cover additional considerations when you need to configure Azure-based protection of Hyper-V virtual machines based on System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) Clouds. The general considerations you can find here.

When you are configuring Azure-based protection of Hyper-V virtual machines located in VMM clouds, the following additional considerations apply:

  • You must create virtual machine networks in your VMM environment. You associate virtual machine networks with VMM logical networks, which, in turn, link to private clouds containing protected virtual machines. Once you create virtual machine networks, you must map them to the corresponding Azure virtual networks. This ensures that, following a failover, the network configuration in Azure matches the one that exists in your on-premises environment. By mapping networks, you ensure that replicas of protected virtual machines, which reside on the same on-premises network, also reside on the same Azure virtual network. You can map multiple virtual machine networks to a single Azure virtual network.
  • You have the option to select individual VMM clouds that will appear in the Azure portal. You can choose this option if you want to ensure that the Azure Site Recovery Provider running on the VMM server does not upload all of your cloud metadata to the Recovery Services vault.
  • If you want to ensure that Site Recovery attaches a replica of a protected virtual machine to a specific subnet, then name the Azure virtual network subnet the same as the virtual machine network subnet.
  • The Azure Site Recovery Provider running on the VMM server must have outbound connectivity to Azure via TCP port 443. The Azure Site Recovery Services agent running on each Hyper-V server that is hosting the virtual machines that you want to protect also must have outbound connectivity to Azure via TCP port 443. You must allow access to the following URLs from the VMM server and Hyper-V servers:
    • *.accesscontrol.windows.net
    • *.backup.windowsazure.com
    • *.hypervrecoverymanager.windowsazure.com
    • *.store.core.windows.net
    • *.blob.core.windows.net
    • https://www.msftncsi.com/ncsi.txt
  • Depending on the outcome of your capacity planning, you have the option of adjusting the bandwidth available to the Hyper-V replication traffic on individual Hyper-V hosts. For details regarding this option, refer to the Azure Site Recovery Planning Considerations – Part 1 post.

Cheers,

Marcos Nogueira
azurecentric.com
Twitter: @mdnoga

Update Rollup 5 for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager

Microsoft just release the Update Rollup 5 for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager. From all the bug that this rollup is fixing, it’s also introducing some new features.

Features that are added in this update rollup

· Differencing disk as an option in the Windows Azure Pack VMRole deployment

When a user deploys VMRoles, the user has no option to specify either "differencing disk" or "dedicated disk." By default, the current Virtual Machine Manager implementation for VMRole is to use differencing disk.

The current default of "differencing disk" is sufficient for users who require quick virtual machine deployments and for situations in which the virtual machine life span is small. However, users who do not care about deployment time but worry about performance and maintenance may find that "differencing disk" is not the most suitable option. Such users would benefit from dedicated disks. Therefore, Virtual Machine Manager offers this option to control behavior based on the user’s requirements.

Details about the "differencing disk" option:

o To deploy Virtual Machine Roles with dedicated disks, create a custom property that is named DifferencingDiskOptimizationSupported, and set this property to False.

o This custom property must be defined on the cloud that is tied to the Virtual Machine Role plan.

o This change will affect only the Virtual Machine Roles that are authored after the custom property is set to False.

o Deployments with Virtual Machine Roles that were authored before the custom property was set to False will continue with original disk settings. This behavior keeps the experience similar to what we offer in the High Availability Virtual Machine Role option.

· New operating system support

Update Rollup 5 supports the following new Linux operating system:

o SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 (64 bit)

· New ExplicitRevokeRequired parameter to control IP address management when Grant-SCIPAddress is used

When the ExplicitRevokeRequired parameter is enabled for an IP address that is allocated from Virtual Machine Manager’s static IP address pool, the IP address will not be returned to the pool automatically by Virtual Machine Manager. The IP address can still move from one entity (such as a Virtual Machine Virtual Network Adapter) to another, wherever applicable. However, if no entity claims the IP address, Virtual Machine Manager will still keep it assigned. The IP address can be returned to the pool and made available for fresh use by another entity. It does this when the Revoke-SCIPAddress cmdlet is explicitly invoked by the user.

The importance of this flag is for Guest Clusters in highly overloaded environments. Without the flag, if the IP address is not available on a particular node (for example, the IP address is offline for a short time or is moving to a different node), Virtual Machine Manager would return it to the pool first and then allocate the IP address later when it comes back online. In the interim period, if any other entity appears and requests that IP address, it will be able to claim it successfully. And when the Guest Cluster node wants to claim the IP address back it, the request fails. With the help of this flag, the IP address will not be returned to the pool so that the new entity will be unable to request that IP address.

Parameter syntax

· PS C:\> Get-Help Grant-SCIPAddress

· NAME

For more information about Grant-SCIPAddress, see the Cmdlet Reference for System Center 2012 R2 here

(https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh801502.aspx)

.

· Support for SQL Server 2014

Virtual Machine Manager now supports Microsoft SQL Server 2014 as the Virtual Machine Manager database. However, with Update Rollup 5, deploying service templates by using the SQL profile type for SQL Server 2014 as SQL Server 2014 hasn’t yet been tested with Guest deployments. For the latest information on SQL Server requirements for System Center 2012 R2, see the reference here

(https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn281933.aspx)

.

· Azure Site Recovery

This update adds support for the following operations:

o Creating and managing replication groups on supported storage area network (SAN) devices.

o Enabling the protection of a storage volume or a group of storage volumes in a replication group.

o Deploying new virtual machines into protected storage by using placement.

o Migrating existing virtual machines into protected storage by using placement.

Coordinating planned, unplanned, and test failover of virtual machines and storage volumes between sites by using Microsoft Azure Site Recovery (ASR).

To see what is inside of this Rollup, click here.

SCOM Alert: WinRM is not functional or not the right version

On System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager (SCOM) (with UR2) starting to appear Critical Alerts coming from System Center Advisor (SCA) saying that my System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) (with UR2) “WinRM is not functional or not the right version”.

The alert description is:

An issue was found with Windows Remote Management (WinRM) on the specified server.
The specified server cannot be used for VMM server roles such as host/library/PXE server/WSUS server/VMM management server until the issue is resolved. See the troubleshooting article for more information.
Path: /VMM Server/NAME_OF_SERVER
Details: Exception attempting to access WinRM service on agent
Agent FQDN: NAME_OF_SERVER

After view the solution/KB Article that SCA indicates (see here) and follow the troubleshooting steps, I did conclude that the version that I have on SCVMM it was newer that the version that the SCA alert is reporting.

On this environment I have cluster with Hyper-V 2012 and Hyper-V 2012 R2 managed by SCVMM 2012 R2. The version on SCVMM server and the Hyper-V 2012 R2 is the same (see picture below).

clip_image003

On the other hand the version of Hyper-V 2012 are different because of the OS (see picture bellow)

clip_image006

In this case I did move on and insert safely this alert under the ignore alert list on SCA. I highly recommend to ignore this alert, but only, for that specified Hyper-V server and not the entire alert. Using this option you will continue to monitor this rule, but not for those Hyper-V Servers.

Virtualizing Your Data Center with Hyper-V and System Center

Free online event with live Q&A: http://aka.ms/virtDC

Wednesday, February 19th from 9am – 5pm PST

If you’re new to virtualization, or if you have some experience and want to see the latest R2 features of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V or Virtual Machine Manager, join us for a day of free online training with live Q&A to get all your questions answered. Learn how to build your infrastructure from the ground up on the Microsoft stack, using System Center to provide powerful management capabilities. Microsoft virtualization experts Symon Perriman and Matt McSpirit (who are also VMware Certified Professionals) demonstrate how you can help your business consolidate workloads and improve server utilization, while reducing costs. Learn the differences between the platforms, and explore how System Center can be used to manage a multi-hypervisor environment, looking at VMware vSphere 5.5 management, monitoring, automation, and migration. Even if you cannot attend the live event, register today anyway and you will get an email once we release the videos for on-demand replay! 

Topics include

Introduction to Microsoft Virtualization

Host Configuration

Virtual Machine Clustering and Resiliency

Virtual Machine Configuration

Virtual Machine Mobility

Virtual Machine Replication and Protection

Network Virtualization

Virtual Machine and Service Templates

Private Clouds and User Roles

System Center 2012 R2 Data Center

Virtualization with the Hybrid Cloud

VMware Management, Integration, and Migration

Register here: http://aka.ms/virtDC

Also check out the www.MicrosoftVirtualAcademy.com for other free training and live events.