Disaster Recovery with NSX and SRM

Created by hvmware3 on Apr 17, 2016 7:42 PM. Last modified by hvmware3 on Apr 21, 2016 2:00 AM. Version 2

NSX can be used with a Disaster Recovery (DR) orchestration tool such as VMware’s Site Recovery Manager (SRM) for an Enhanced Disaster Recovery solution that solves many of the problems related to traditional Disaster Recovery solutions. Checkout this whitepaper on recovering NSX backed data centers with SRM.

This document is targeted and written for virtualization architects and administrators with experience in designing, deploying and troubleshooting technologies such as VMware vSphere, SRM, and NSX along with standard storage technologies.

The white paper addresses the following topics:

    ■ Challenges with existing DR Solutions
    ■ Migration/Disaster Recovery Scenarios
    ■ Solution Requirements and Details
    ■ Design Considerations
    ■ Recovering NSX Components


IT organizations require a methodology for replicating and recovering workloads from a primary site to a recovery site in an event of a disaster or an un planned outage. To facilitate and automate this recovery process of workloads VMware has products such as Site Recovery Manager (SRM) and vSphere Replication that can automate and orchestrate the recovery process during a failure from a primary site to a recovery site. SRM recovers replicated Virtual Machines in a Secondary DataCenter and can perform network mapping (and re-mapping) between the Primary and Secondary locations so that Virtual Machines that are recovered can be reconnected to a L2 Network. These networks can be a VLAN backed Distributed Virtual Port Group (dvPG) or a NSX Logical Switch.

NSX and network virtualization enhances the Disaster Recovery (DR) solution by not only preserving L2 but also recovering the entire logical network topology at the recovery site. NSX also adds API based automation at the networking layer to further improve Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO).
Combining NSX with a SRM based DR design dramatically simplifies the recovery of vital networking services in the secondary location including Logical Switches, Distributed Logical Routers, and Distributed Firewall (DFW) Rules. This document will explain the process of recovering workloads running at Protected and Recovery sites backed by NSX virtual networks.

NSX supports seamless spanning of network and security policies across multiple sites through the use of the Cross-VC NSX feature introduced in NSX 6.2. The DR solution described in this solution brief is based on this Cross-VC NSX feature; however, a DR solution can also be built without leveraging Cross-VCNSX using an external replication/synchronization mechanism (such as vRO) to recreate Logical Networks and Security between NSX instances across the two sites.

Cross vCenter NSX greatly simplifies the process. Deployment consists of Universal Logical Switches, Universal Distributed Logical Router, and Universal Distributed Firewall. These universal objects facilitate the creation of a single unified logical network (L2, L3, DFW) across the protected and recovery site; the application can failover and recover seamlessly without the need for manually re-creating the network on the recovery site or manually mapping/re-mapping IP addresses.

NSX - DRS Solution

NSX – DRS Solution

Thanks to all the contributors and reviewers of this document.

This white paper will also soon be posted on our NSX Technical Resources website (link below):

Feedback and Comments to the Authors and the NSX Solution Team are highly appreciated.


Download out the ful Disaster Recovery with NSX and SRM Guide

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