How to Perform Multi-Server DR Testing with Replibit and VMware
Procedure to boot up multiple servers from Replibit backup in a private network in order to perform full-up Disaster Recovery testing on server operation and functionality
Leveraging Replibit iSCSI mountable recovery points and VMware server, create virtual server instances in a private network that can be simultaneously booted in an environment that allows network communication and full operational testing.
Within Vmware, create a private network, using either VLAN's or host-only networking that has no communication path to the live running server environment. (Vmware network configuration steps beyond the scope of this document.)
Configure VMware for iSCSI communication on the LAN segment containing the Replibit server. (Vmware iSCSI configuration steps beyond the scope of this document.)
Optional: Configure firewall and switches to allow Internet (only!) network access to the private network. (Firewall and switch configuration steps beyond the scope of this document)
Add the IP address of the Replibit server to VMware iSCSI dynamic discovery tab and save settings.
DR Server Testing
From the Replibit Web GUI select a recovery point from one of the servers that you want to test and click on Start iSCSI. (Perform this step one server at a time and complete the VMware virtual server creation detailed below to simplify iSCSI disk identification.)
From the VMware console select Configuration->Storage Adapters and click on Rescan to discover the new iSCSI disk. The disk exported from Replibit should show up in the details pane of the iSCSI Software Adapter. If a server has multiple disks being exported in a recovery point, identify the drives by the volume size displayed here. If desired, rename the LUN with a friendly name to simplify identification later.
Create a new virtual machine with hardware settings identical to the live server being tested. When selecting disk drives, choose Mapped RAW LUN and select the iSCSI drive exported from Replibit. Edit the network adapter and select the private LAN segment configured earlier.
Repeat for all servers being tested.
Boot all servers and perform testing. iSCSI mounts are read/write and persistent until dismounted, so changes can be freely made to the test environment (for example, assigning private network IP addressing or testing file operations or vertical apps, etc.)
Shutdown and delete all DR test server created in VMware above. IMPORTANT: When deleting virtual servers or removing associated RAW LUN disks, choose Delete from Disk to ensure that no orphaned disk link files are left behind.
Edit the iSCSI adapter properties on all VMware hosts involved in the testing process and remove the Replibit server from Dynamic Discovery. Also remove all discovered Replibit iSCSI targets from the Static Discovery tab. Save settings and rescan the bus. Ensure that all iSCSI targets from Replibit are no longer displayed on any VMware host
Return to the Replibit Web GUI and select Stop iSCSI for all mounted recovery points