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Deploying a virtual Backup & Disaster Recovery appliance in VMware vSphere

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Overview and prerequisites

This document takes you through the steps required to set up the Infrascale virtual appliance in your VMware vSphere environment. This covers deploying the OVA VM template, customizing the VM (such as adding additional storage space and moving VMDKs to other datastores), going through the first boot, getting your license key, and connecting.

Virtual appliance is provided in an OVA file.

  1. Open your VMware vSphere client software, and log in to vCenter, click FileDeploy OVF Template.

  2. Browse to the location the OVA file was downloaded to, select the OVA file, and then click Open.

  3. Click Next, and then click Next again.

  4. Choose an ESX host to create the VM on, and click Next.

  5. Select a datastore to create the VM on, and click Next.

    Choose here if you want the VMDKs to be thin provisioned, thick provisioned with lazy zeroing, or thick provisioned with eager zeroing, and then click Next. Depending on the available space and type of datastore selected, one or more of the options on this page might not be available.

  6. Choose a network to connect the VM to, and then click Next.

  7. Review the summary of choices made in the wizard, and click Finish.

    Do not select the Power on after deployment option because there are some other option on this VM that you might want to change before the first boot that cannot be set in this wizard.

  8. Wait while the VM is created and the VMDKs deployed.

Customize the virtual machine

Now would be a good time to change anything you want to change about the VM. For example, by default, there is only 1 NIC on the VM, and you might want to add a second one, or you might want to add more VMDKs, for more storage.

Move the catalog volume

One of the VMDKs will be used for the databases that hold information about backup jobs and deduplication. By default, this is the 180 GB VMDK the virtual appliance deploys with. Another VMDK can be added later to expand this space if needed. This volume is used largely for small, non-sequential reads and writes, and so for best performance it is recommended that this VMDK be located on a datastore on an SSD locally attached to the ESX host.

  1. To migrate the individual VMDK, right-click the VM, and then click Migrate.

  2. Choose the option to change datastore, and click Next.

  3. Click Advanced.

    Here you can select a datastore for each VMDK to be moved to.

    On the row for the VMDK you want to move, click in the datastore column, and choose a datastore to move that VMDK to. In this way it is possible to move one or some of the VMDKs for a VM without needing to move them all.

First boot

Once the VM is configured, it is time to boot up for the first time. During this initial boot, the virtual appliance will try to get an IP address via DHCP, and once it has finished booting it will display this address on its console. The IP address will also be shown in the vSphere client’s summary of the VM.

Go to the Management Console at that IP in your browser, and log in. The username is admin, and the default password is rvxd2d2d.

Enter the license

At the Configure Storage screen, there are 3 lists of disks. On the left is a list of available drive that have not been assigned, and on the right is a list of storage disks, and catalog disks. To assign a disk to one of these categories, select the box next to the disk, and then click the right arrow (>>) next to the list you want to assign that disk to. Disks assigned to storage are used to store backup data, and disks assigned to the catalog volume will be used for the databases to manage backup jobs and deduplicated data.

A summary screen is shown. Review you selected storage layout, and then click Finish.

After you click Finish, the virtual appliance will reboot. During this boot the disks are formatted, and the deduplicated storage is created. This can take a long time, but please do not shutdown or reboot the virtual appliance until this is finished. Once the virtual appliance has finished booting, log in to the Management Console again.

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

Connect to VMware and register new clients

  1. Log in to the Management Console of the virtual appliance.

  2. Go to ClientsVMware.

  3. Click Add Connection.

  4. Enter the address to your vCenter server, and the username and password for a user with the administrator role.

Only VMs that are registered in the virtual appliance will be backed up. Registering a VM creates an entry in the list of clients using the default settings. The next screen gives the option to register all VMs in the vCenter automatically while creating the connection.

To register an individual VM, right-click it, and then click Register.

Extend the storage space

If the virtual appliance needs more space to store backups, another VMDK can be added to the storage volume. The virtual appliance does not need to be shut down to add storage. Add a new hard disk through the vSphere client, and then log in to the Management Console of the virtual appliance. On the Settings tab, click Storage in the Tools group. Here it will show the disks already assigned to the storage volume, and catalog volume.

In the Storage Volume group, click Modify. Here you can either expand the data from the existing storage volume onto the new disk, or move the data from the existing disks onto the new disk.

On the next step, you can choose a disk or disks to use from a list of disks not already used.

When expanding the storage volume, the new space will immediately be usable without needing to reboot. If moving the storage volume from one disk to another, the virtual appliance will need to reboot into a special migrate mode, and will reboot back to normal mode when it is finished.