Overview and prerequisites

The deployment process consists of the three stages:

  1. Choosing storage locations and importing the virtual cloud failover appliance (CFA).

  2. Configuring and booting the imported virtual CFA.

  3. Setting up the virtual CFA.

Before starting, consider the following recommendations for a Hyper-V server that will host the VM with the virtual CFA:

  • At least 2 CPU cores and 8 GB of RAM available (not already used by other VMs or the host system)

  • 180 GB of storage with low latency (preferably an SSD attached locally to the host machine) for the catalog volume

  • At least 2 TB of high throughput storage to house the storage volume

Step 1. Choose storage locations and import the virtual machine

Before going any further, decide where you are going to store the VM and virtual disk (VHD) files.

For optimal performance, there are a number of factors to consider when deciding where to locate the VM and virtual disk files. At a minimum, the files should be stored separately from other VM files to avoid disk contention and other performance degrading issues. If you have an SSD available on the server, this would be an ideal location for the catalog volume since it will see a very high level of traffic. The catalog volume holds, among other things, the database used by the system for bookkeeping, tracking, and so on, and performance benefits from having low latency to this volume.

Select location for the virtual machine files

Decide where you want to store the VM files and create a new folder there. The storage device for these files does not need to be very large. But, as mentioned before, try to locate them apart from any other VMs on the server.

Select location for the catalog virtual disk file

Decide where you want to store the catalog virtual disk (VHD) file and create a new folder.

Important

This disk should reside on the highest performing storage hardware you have. If you have an SSD, put it there, otherwise choose a low-latency RAID or similar storage device. If not using an SSD, try to use a separate physical storage device from your other VM files.

Select location for the boot and storage virtual disk files

Decide where you want to store the boot and storage virtual disk (VHD) files and create a new folder there. Remember, select a location that is preferably on a separate physical device from all your other VM disk files. Ideally this device would be a high throughput RAID, or similar. If you do not have an SSD, try to put these disk files on a separate device from where you put the catalog disk files.

Download and unpack the virtual machine

Download the ZIP archive containing the virtual CFA, and extract it into the folder you created earlier. Do not move the catalog volume yet, or import will fail. You will move the catalog volume after the import.

Import the virtual machine

Open Hyper-V Manager, and click Action > Import Virtual Machine.

Tip

If you have a VM selected, this option will not appear in the menu. Make sure nothing is selected if you do not see the import item in the menu.

Click Next twice. In the Choose Import Type dialog, select Copy the virtual machine. This will ensure that the VM gets assigned a new UUID. Do not select Duplicate all files so the same virtual machine can be imported again, or VMware will copy all the VHDs into its default directory for virtual disks.

Click Import. You should now see the newly created VM in the list of available VMs.

Open Windows Explorer, and move catalog.vhd to the folder created earlier.

Step 2. Configure and boot the imported virtual machine

In Hyper-V Manager, right-click the newly created VM, and then click Settings.

Click SCSI Controller, and then select the catalog.vhd hard drive on the left. Click Browse, locate catalog.vhd, and then click Apply.

Click Network Adapter. In the Network drop-down list, select the virtual network to connect the virtual CFA to. It is recommended that you set a static MAC address so Hyper-V does not give it a different MAC in the future. If the MAC address changes, the network settings will be lost. Select static and assign a MAC address that does not conflict with any other system on your network.

If you add additional NICs to the virtual CFA, make sure they are also set up with unique static MAC addresses.

Step 3. Set up the virtual cloud failover appliance

Once the VM is configured, it is time to boot it for the first time. During this initial boot, the virtual CFA will try to get an IP address via DHCP, and once it has finished booting, it will display this address in its console.

  1. In your browser, enter IP address of the virtual CFA, and then log in to the Management Console with the default credentials: username—admin, password—rvxd2d2d.

  2. On the Welcome tab, you will see 3 groups of disks. On the left is a list of available drives that have not been assigned, and on the right is a list of storage disks, and catalog disks.

    1. Select the larger disk on the left, and then click the right arrow (>>) next to the Storage Disks group to assign that disk as a storage one.

    2. Select the smaller disk on the left, and then click the right arrow (>>) next to the Catalog Disks group to assign that disk as a catalog one.

      Storage disks are used to store backup data, and catalog disks are used for the databases to manage backup jobs and deduplicated data.

    3. Click Next, review the storage configuration settings, and then click Finish.

After you click Finish, the virtual CFA will reboot. During this boot the disks are formatted, and the deduplicated storage is created. This can take some time, but do not turn off or restart the virtual CFA until this finishes. Once the virtual CFA has finished booting, log in to the Management Console again.

Complete the Quick Start Wizard to initially configure the virtual CFA and start using it.