Datrium DVX Software VMware vSphere

Configure Datrium protection groups for application consistent recovery points.

Datrium has had snapshotting since their DVX 2.0 release which dropped in April of 2017, however one of the flaws I saw with it initially was that there was no application consistency. In the DVX 3.0 release in August of the same year a VSS writer was released which solves this issue.

So, you have a DVX, you want to use the DVX Snapshots to protect your VMs from failure, and maybe even replicate them off site. Lets talk about how we do that. In this example we’re going to use VCenter to do our protection setup.

Firstly we need to Log into the VCenter web client, and select the DVX plugin. Note Datrium does not support the VMware fat client.

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Select the Protection Tab.

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Select Create and the new protection group tab will come up. In this example we will do a couple things. Firstly I’m going to create a dynamic pattern search for all VM’s that match the pattern CTJ. Then I’m going to exclude any VM that has the pattern CTJ. In my environment, I use “-template” and “*-clone” to show VMs that are clones of production for testing, or templates for rapid deployment. I don’t need to snapshot either of these in this schedule. Hover over VM pattern tips to learn how to string multiple patterns together, how to exclude a pattern, or how to wildcard a single character instead of all following.

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This screenshot show the result of this naming convention string search. 6 VMs that I am responsible for. But we notice, CTJSQLP01 / 02. These are Production SQL servers, and a crash consistent snapshot would NOT be acceptable. So Let’s look at how to configure them properly for VSS.

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Under Dynamic pattern, there is Select Individual VMs. Click this box, and then search for the VMs you want to protect with VSS. Once they are selected, they move to the Selected column where you see the Use VSS. You will notice that SQL01 has a nice green check mark, however SQL02 has a yellow exclamation because the VSS agent is not installed here. Follow the instruction in my previous post Installing Datrium VSS Writer using Powershell to install the VSS writer automatically, Or manually download the VSS writer from the management IP of your DVX and run the MSI package.

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After selecting the VSS VMs, click Continue and you will see the protection schedule page. Here we can set the snapshot schedules, their retention, as well as a replication if we want. Notice that the retention on the replication is different than the local DVX snapshot. This way you can decide to for instance send the snapshot to a CloudDVX instance running in AWS for long term archive, but keep the on premise snap for long enough to keep an “oops” button. Also notice that replication can be a 1:1 or a 1:Many option. So if you have multiple DR sites, or in my case I have both DR and CloudDVX for multiple retention and restore possibilities.

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You can learn more about Datroum Data Cloud Foundation or CloudDVX on Datrium’s website and determine how this could be beneficial in your own DVX environment.

In my next post we look at Recovering VMs from a snapshot, Cloning VMs from a Snapshot, and Recovering individual VM files from a snapshot.

 

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