The ability to use VVol replication is new in vSphere 6.5 and there aren’t a whole lot of vendors that support it yet. Right now HPE is the only vendor that supports it on their 3PAR & Nimble platforms. You can see for yourself who supports it by going to the VVols’s Compatability Guide and selecting “VVols Storage Replication” in the Features window. As with anything VVol’s related, it’s on each partner to design their own implementations of any array capabilities related to VVols while staying within VMware’s VASA specification. As a result every partner will typically have a much different way of integrating with VVols.
Take Nimble for example, they actually supported replication in vSphere 6.0 by building it into their storage policies as a capability. With vSphere 6.5, replication was added as a separate SPBM Component that could be attached to a storage policy, this is the way 3PAR is doing it. They both are a means to the same end but they were just designed and implemented a bit differently. While the replication part is fairly straightforward and is automated through storage policies, the recovery operations can be a bit complicated as you pretty much have to rely on PowerCLI scripts to perform operations such as failover, failback and test failover.
HPE and VMware have published a few resources to help you with this and provided you with some sample PowerCLI scripts to get you started. The scripts are fairly vendor agnostic so they could be leveraged by any storage platform that supports VVol replication. Below are the links to some resources that will help you understand and implement VVol replication. In addition if you are attending VMworld be sure and check out session [STO3305BUS]: Replicating VMware VVols: A technical deep dive into VVol array based replication in vSphere 6.5 were I’ll be presenting with some technical folks from 3PAR & Nimble to give you plenty of great information including demo’s on VVol replication. In addition there is a HOL (SPL182701U) were you can experience VVols first hand.
VVol Replication resources:
- HPE 3PAR StoreServ and VMware VVols Replication Implementation Guide (HPE tech paper)
- Automating VVol DR with Power CLI 6.5 (VMware Virtual Blocks blog)
- VVol Replication Test-Failover with Power CLI 6.5.1 (VMware Virtual Blocks blog)
- VMware vVol Replication with HPE 3PAR demo (YouTube video)
- Talk VVol2.0 and VASA3 to me (NimbleConnect)