VMware vSphere replication is a hypervisor-based replication mechanism that we can integrate to the vCenter. This is a alternative solution to storage-based replication which can protect virtual machines from a site failure. These sites can be any of following.

  1. From one cluster to another cluster within same vCenter.
  2. From a local site to a remote site.
  3. From multiple local sites (source) to shared remote site.

The latest available version is 8.4 and this article covers the 8.4 version. The appliance comes as a 64bit virtual appliance and can be configured as either 2vCPU or 4vCPU and have 8GB of system memory and two HDDs. The vSphere replication appliance 8.4 currently supports vCenter server version 7.0.2.  It is always recommend to check the product compatibility with VMware Product Interoperability Matrices before deploying the appliance.

vSphere Replication is a feature that comes with following vSphere licenses.

  • vSphere Essentials Plus
  • vSphere Standard
  • vSphere Enterprise
  • vSphere Enterprise Plus

Also vSphere replication is a network-based replication mechanism thus it provide lower cost per replication while storage-based replication require special licenses to do so.


Prerequisites

  • Download the vSphere Replication ISO image from myvmware portal and mount it on a system in your environment.

Procedure

  1. Log in to the vSphere Client on the source site. If you use the HTML5-based vSphere Client to deploy the OVF virtual appliance, on vSphere version earlier than vSphere 6.7 Update 1, the deployment succeeds, but vSphere Replication fails to start.
  2. On the home page, select Hosts and Clusters.
  3. Right-click a host and select Deploy OVF template.
  4. Provide the location of the OVF file from which to deploy the vSphere Replication appliance, and click Next.

In this stage you have to select the location and give a name for your virtual appliance. once those information are provided continue to the next step to select a compute resource and once you have selected a ESXi based on your environment click continue and it will provide a template details for you to review.


Once those are verified continue Next to review the license agreement and if you agree mark the check box and continue.

Provide all the details and hit Finish.

When you click Finish the OVF import will be started and you can monitor the progress under the recent task in you vCenter Server. Once the OVF file imported you have to manually power on the newly deployed appliance.



Navigate to https://>:5480 to start the configuration of the appliance.

Select Configure appliance to do the initial configuration.

Enter PSC Details:

It would list the vCenter directly:

Once the vCenter is mapped with vSphere replication provide the site details and click NEXT.

And your vSphere Replication will get registered with your vCenter.

You will see below screen once the registration is completed:

You have to do the same configuration in your remote site as well. vSphere replication is compatible with N-1 version of remote site. which means if your primary site uses vSphere replication 8.3 you can install vSphere replication 8.2 or later but make sure the vSphere replication is compatible with current vCenter Server version.

This post discussed deploying and configuring vSphere replication appliance in local and remote site. But depend on the your requirement the required vSphere replication appliances might be differ from the article above.

Once both replication appliances configured this is how it looks like in my environment.


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