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VMware Cloud Director Availability 4.0

Posted by on June 2, 2020

Today VMware has release VMware Cloud Director Availability 4.0. It’s a milestone release that not only do we have a new name for the product but several key new features that service Providers have been asking for!

Release notes: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Cloud-Director-Availability/4.0/rn/VMware-Cloud-Director-Availability-40-Release-Notes.html

The change of name from VMware vCloud Availability to VMware Cloud Director Availability is the first change to note but having run the GA version in the last couple of days there are some far more interesting changes I wanted to share.

Upgrades

The upgrade took 3-4 mins per appliance. Probably the easiest upgrade yet. Upgrades are via Internet or ISO.

Remember the order of precedence for upgrades:

  1. Upgrade all VMware Cloud Director Availability appliances in the local cloud site.
  2. Upgrade all VMware Cloud Director Availability appliances in remote cloud sites.
  3. Upgrade all VMware Cloud Director Availability On-Premises Appliance nodes.

Note: The licence key for VCDA 4.0 is different from previous versions and any new replications may not be able to be configured. Service Providers should have an updated Licence Key from LicenceWeb prior to the upgrades being conducted on their Cloud sites.

Replication Data Information

Typically the number one question from a Service Provider is what RPO can they offer. This question is very difficult to answer due to the numerous variables (source/destination storage performance, network throughput capability, compressibility of the data, rate of change of data of the protected VM, etc).

In VCDA 4.0 we now have the information easily presented on how long each syncronization takes and the data transferred. This leads to more accurate RPOs that can be offered per Tenant base on quantatative data.

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We also have the new capability of allowing Tenants to retain particular instances so they don’t disapear over time. This may be useful for times when customers are running upgrades of applications or other significant changes to their workloads and want another copy of their data available in the Cloud.

Other information that is now available is summated CPU, Memory and Storage requirements for being able to fail over the protected VMs successfully.

Graphs are also available to show the growth of data being retained over time. This includes the summated storage of all replicated Point In Time Instances retained and stored instances.

Policy Changes

Policy’s now have a big brother called SLA Profiles. With this the Service Provider can set standardised SLAs as offerings to Tenants. The defined SLAs assist Tenants in selecting easily defined protection policies which can drive consistancy across their many protected VMs.

Other policy changes relate to per-Tenant throughput limiting to avoid any one tenant overwhelming the Service Provider Internet uplinks.

Other items to note

Within the VCDA Manager there is now a notification if the solution is not integrated with VMware Usage Meter. As of June 2020 Hotfix 4 for Usage Meter 3.6.1 is required for automated reporting of the replicated VMs.

Multiple NICs are now supported on the Tunnel Appliance which should open up better traffic flow options, especically for Internet vs cross-site replication traffic flows. Bear in mind this particular setting is global to a site and should be used carefully in concert with the Per-Tenant policies.

Finally, the OpenAPI framework has improved since the previous version which allows for Tenants is have an easier experiance in building out their disaster recovery scripted workflows.

Credit to the Cloud Director Availability team for a great upgrade to the platform!

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