Overview and prerequisites

The deployment process consists of the three stages:

  1. Choosing storage locations and importing vCFA VM.

  2. Configuring and booting the imported vCFA VM.

  3. Setting up the vCFA.

Before starting, consider the following recommendations for a Hyper-V server that’ll host the vCFA VM:

  • 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, let’s decide where you’re 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’ll 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 doesn’t 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’s 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 don’t 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 vCFA ZIP-file, and unzip this file into the folder you created earlier. Don’t move the catalog volume yet, or import will fail. You’ll 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 won’t appear in the menu. Make sure nothing is selected if you don’t see the import item in the menu.

Click Next twice. In the Choose Import Type dialog, select Copy the virtual machine. This’ll ensure that the VM gets assigned a new UUID. Don’t 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 vCFA to. It’s recommended that you set a static MAC address so Hyper-V doesn’t 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 doesn’t conflict with any other system on your network.

If you add additional NICs to the vCFA, make sure they’re also set up with unique static MAC addresses.

Step 3. Set up the virtual cloud failover appliance

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

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

  2. On the Welcome tab, you’ll see 3 groups of disks. On the left is a list of available drives that haven’t 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 vCFA will reboot. During this boot the disks are formatted, and the deduplicated storage is created. This can take some time, but don’t turn off or restart the vCFA until this finishes. Once the vCFA has finished booting, log in to the Management Console again.

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