Skip to main content

Failover preparation

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 3

Hello all,

I am new to Acronis and planning to use it as a virtual host failover for redundancy. I am wondering if there is any preperation needed for the new failover host. The evaluation guide is not specific. Does the new host need anything installed for preperation of the failover?

Thanks,

Michael

Acronis Program Manager
Posts: 22
Comments: 3081

Hi Michael,

From your description it's not completely clear what exactly you want to failover. I.e. what would be the services which should be backed by a failover host? Do you want to back up some machine and maintain a VM replica of it on some hypervisor? Please clarify the scenario you want to implement and I'll try to advise.

Thank you.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 3

Hi Vasily,

Currently we are running 3 Vm's on ESXi hypervisor, a file share, a sharepoint server, and a replication DC partner. What we want to happen is have the 3 vm failover to the new host (offsite location) if anything brings down our current host (loss of power, hardware failure, etc.). Acronis 12 Virtual Host seems like a perfect fit for the job.

I am a little confused if anyting is required to prep the failover on the new host. The Beta evaluation guide takes us step by step on installing the Managment Server as a central point, setting up a replica, and failing it over, but nothing in preperation of the new host. I don't want to have a bare server sitting there waiting for a failover that never comes because I am missing a piece of software that is needed or the hypervisor in general.

Do I set the new host up exactly like the current host and allow Acronis to replicate between the two unitl the current host failsover?

Thanks,

Michael

Acronis Program Manager
Posts: 22
Comments: 3081

Hi Michael,

Thank you for the clarifications. When setting up VM replication it is recommended to deploy Agent for VMware (Virtual Appliance) to the target remote host. In this case you will be able not only to replicate VMs from the source host to the remote one, but get use of optimized performance (WAN optimization + replica seeding). Therefore I'd recommended the following sequence:

1) Install Acronis Backup 12 onto some machine in the source environment (can be a physical machine or a VM running Windows/Linux). It makes sense to have it installed on a machine independent from protected ESXi host.

2) Deploy Virtual Appliances (see guide) to both source and target ESXi hosts. We support VM replication across different versions of ESXi hosts (the hardware doesn't matter), for example from 5.5 to 6.0 or vice versa, but the general recommendation is to have the same vSphere versions in both sites. This would help to maintain original virtual hardware version which might be different otherwise (for example if you replicate VM version 11 from ESXi 6.0 to 5.5 - you will get VM version 10).

3) (Optional) Perform replica preseeding in the target host as described here 

4) Set up VM replication for all source VMs either in separate or single replication plan.

When you need to perform failover you can simply power on VMs on the target host, or perform failover from Acronis Backup 12 web console.

P.S. When saying "ESXi hypervisor" I hope you're not referring to free edition of ESXi , because this type of ESXi is not supported - it lacks required APIs and cannot be managed by Agent for VMware. You can only install backup agents inside the guest OSes of the VMs, but then there will be no VM replication possibility.

Hope this helps.

Thank you.

Regular Poster
Posts: 25
Comments: 332

Sorry for hooking in here...

Vasily, you're talking about WAN optimization. The network share is connected via CIFS (SMB). Does Acronis automatically detect a slow connection and optimizes related traffic? Or is it ment by initial seeding it is optimized for WAN?

I cannot find options for WAN optimization in backup plan options (instead of compression) nor settings while connecting to a network share.

Thanks!

Acronis Program Manager
Posts: 22
Comments: 3081

Raphael,

The WAN optimization is enabled automatically only during VM replication activity and only if the target ESXi host has Acronis Backup appliance running. What it does is the following:

The traffic goes between source Agent for VMware (can be either Windows or Appliance) and the target Appliance

The traffic is A) compressed and B) deduplicated against the target replica VM disks. The target appliance calculates the checksums of the sectors of the existing replica VM disks and compares them with the checksum of the source replicated VM disks sectors. This allows to perform replica seeding where VMware CBT is not applicable for incremental replica update (because CBT is lost when you perform seeding). In other words the seeding is optimized for WAN.

Thank you.

Regular Poster
Posts: 25
Comments: 332

OK, got it.

So I have to think about replicating to WAN instead of backing up.

Thanks for that!

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 3

Vasily, 

We are running ESXi 5.5 Essentials and intend to keep the same version between the two host.

Just to make sure I am understanding correctly, the new host just needs ESXi hypervisor and the agent for VMware and it is ready. A  replica seeding is optional, but probably recomended.

Once everything is replicated, could we in theory shutdown the current host and see if the failover is successful and picks up the workload as a test or do we have to manually switch to the new host/power on the the replica VM's as describled in your links? 

Thanks again,

Michael

Regular Poster
Posts: 25
Comments: 332

Michael Pier wrote:

Once everything is replicated, could we in theory shutdown the current host and see if the failover is successful and picks up the workload as a test or do we have to manually switch to the new host/power on the the replica VM's as describled in your links? 

Probably you have to manual failover the replicated machines, it is not a "High Availability" solution.

Acronis Program Manager
Posts: 22
Comments: 3081

Michael,

The new host just needs ESXi hypervisor and Acronis Backup 12 Agent for VMware (virtual appliance or Windows) connected to this host/vCenter which manages this host.

Also Raphael is right - the failover process is a manual one, so you will need to power on the replica VMs on the failover host manually - this can be done either via "Failover" option from Acronis Backup 12 web interface and if it's not possible (for example if the backup server is also down) then directly from vSphere client connected to that host.

Thank you.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 3

Thank you gentlemen, 

You two have answered my questions very thoroughly and pointed me in the correct direction. I would give kudos to both of you if I could. If I get stuck anywhere, I know exactly where to go for help.

Thanks again gentlemen,

Michael