Deploy vSphere replication appliance

First post, hope it goes well! I am about to start a new contract which I will be responsible for supporting the migration of VM’s using vSphere replication, so I figured I would brush up on my vRA skills.

Here is how I deployed the replication appliance in my lab:

  1. Download the ISO from VMware. Mount (or extract) the ISO to get to the files.
  2. For whatever reason, the new HTML5 client doesn’t work and you must use the FLEX client. You wont figure that out until much later so just a warning to use the old and slow version.
  3. Log into vSphere (as administrator), browse to where you want the appliance to live, and select “Deploy OVF Template””
  4. Then select the “Local file” > “Browse” button and select the needed files from the ISO you mounted or exploded. They are in the “bin” folder. Only select the replication OVF and vmdk files as per below. Not sure if this is 100% correct, but its what worked for me.
  5. Give it a name, and a folder. Next. Then select the host it will live on. Next. Next. Accept. Next
  6. I chose 2 vCPU as its only my small lab.
  7. Select the datastore, then I always select thin provisioning as I don’t have space to waste and I am OK with the slight impact.
  8. Next is networking. Both VCSA’s and vRA’s live in the same subnet, so set Destination to that VLAN. Then I selected “Static – Manual” for the IP allocation Settings
  9. Now you input all the variables about the VM you are deploying. Most things were strait forward.
  10. Next, Next Finish!
  11. You should be able to watch the recent tasks, and hopefully it will deploy correctly. Sometimes I had to do the above twice to get it to work correctly after I got a “failed to deploy OVF package” message with some non-helpful message. Not sure why.
  12. Power on the VM.
    1. If it fails to power on and gives an error, make sure you did not use the HTML5 client as it doesn’t work for the registering of the appliance with vCenter for whatever reason.
  13. You can watch it boot up via console. Eventually it will tell you to log in via the web console at https://<IP address>:5480 with root/password. The https:// is mandatory for it to work.
  14. Once you are able to log in, select the “Configuration” tab under VR. At the bottom you should notice the VMR service is stopped. Its stopped as you need to enter in some more info for it to work.
  15. Fill in the administrator password, then under “VMR site Name”, paste in the name of your vCenter. Not sure why it has some garbage text in there.  If you are running an external PSC, you will need to put in the FQDN of the PSC into the “LookupService Address” line. Hit “Save and Restart Service” to continue.
  16. If you will get the following error message, you are most likely running an external PSC, and need to change the “LookupService Address” to point to the PSC. OR there is a networking issues between the vRA and the PSC.
  17. If all is well at this point, you will get a popup asking to accept the Cert. Accept it if its correct.
  18. If it fails with “Bad exit code: 1“, click the “Generate and Install” button for SSL cert. It will log you out, then once you log back in, and re-fill out the fields as per step 15, it should work.
  19. Now wait a bit. You should see it working in the top right corner. Eventually you will get “Successfully saved the configuration” at the top
  20. You should be able to log out of vCenter, and back in to see the new icon in you inventory. After this, its time to configure replication between two sites!

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