The Site Recovery Manager 6.0 has been released for a while now so it is a good time to have a look at the upgrade process since the original release build also received a patch in April 2015. Before we jump into the upgrade process, let’s have a quick look at what’s new in Site Recovery Manager 6.0.
- Support for VMware vSphere 6.0, including integration with shared infrastructure components such as Platform Services Controller and vCenter Single Sign On.
- Support for Storage vMotion and Storage DRS on both the protected and recovery sites.
- Protection and recovery of virtual machines in IPv6 environments.
- IP customization enhancements to support dual-protocol IP configurations and independent IPv4 and IPv6 configurations.
As in previous releases, you can upgrade an existing vCenter Sire Recovery Manager installation and the upgrade process will preserve existing information and settings (except the advanced settings) in your current vCenter Site Recovery Manager deployment. Before you begin, make sure you have read the following:
- vCenter Site Recovery Manager 6 – (chapter 7, Upgrading Site Recovery Manager)
- Check the and verify that your current vCenter Site Recovery Manager version upgrade is supported.
- Read the vCenter Site Recovery Manager 6.0 release notes
As per vCenter Site Recovery Manager Installation and Configuration guide, upgrading from SRM 5.0.x and 5.1.x to SRM 6.0 is not supported. Upgrade SRM 5.0.x and 5.1.x to SRM version 5.5.x or 5.8.x release before you upgrade to SRM 6.0.
Improved interoperability with SDRS and Storage vMotion
In previous versions of SRM there was basic compatibility with SDRS and Storage vMotion with some documented caveats. Specifically, Storage vMotion would not throw a warning if an attempt was made to move a VM out of it’s consistency group and for SDRS, datastore clusters could only contain datastores from the same consistency group because otherwise SDRS could easily move VMs out of it.
With SRM 6.0 we now have full compatibility with SDRS and greatly enhanced support for Storage vMotion. Datastore groups can now contain any set of datastores, no restrictions, and SDRS will only make automatic migrations between two non-replicated datastores or within datastores in the same consistency group. Also, Storage vMotion will now generate a warning if a user attempts to move an SRM protected VM.
As described in the vCenter Site Recovery Manager Installation and Configurations guide, you must upgrade certain components of your vSphere environment before you upgrade the vCenter Site Recovery Manager. As always, upgrade the components on the protected site before you upgrade the components on the recovery site. Upgrading the protected site first allows you to perform a disaster recovery on the recovery site if you encounter problems during the upgrade that render the protected site unusable. The exception is the ESXi hosts, which you can upgrade after you finish upgrading the other components on the protected and recovery sites.
This makes it much easier for users to create and use datastore clusters, SDRS and Storage vMotion without having to worry about the impact to recovery of their VMs.
Simplified SSL certificate requirements
SRM 6.0 is now deeply integrated with SSO, using it for authentication and SAML token acquisition among other things. This integration with SSO also allowed the external certificate requirements to be relaxed significantly. Previously, certificates were used both for authenticating to the associated vCenter as well as between SRM instances. This imposed a number of restrictions and requirements that made deploying certificates time consuming and difficult. The SRM 6.0 Installation guide provides a detailed description of all the new simplified certificate requirements. These new requirements will make SRM environments more secure and easier to deploy and maintain
Integration with vSphere 6.0 platform services (SSO, Authorization, Licensing, Tags, etc.)
SRM is now fully integrated with and supported by vSphere 6.0. This has benefits for authentication (SSO), tagging (now shared) and the lookup service to name just a few. To use SRM 6.0 requires:
- vCenter Server 6.0
- vSphere Web-Client 6.0
- If using vSphere Replication, version 6.0
Note: The large majority of SRAs that were compatible with SRM 5.8 remain compatible with SRM 6.0. Check the Compatibility Guide for details and confirm with your array vendor if you have questions.
Also, since vSphere Replication 6.0 now supports up to 2000 VMs, this is now supported in SRM 6.0 as well. All other SRM limits remain the same for this release.
The integration of SRM and the separation of the platform services controller (PSC) from vCenter creates a number of new topology possibilities. These topologies can impact SRM so make sure to read this KB List of recommended topologies for vSphere 6.0.x (2108548) when planning your upgrade or deployment. A more detailed post about topologies and SRM will be published soon.
Also be aware that because of the integration of SRM with SSO, vCenter and the PSC time synchronization among all these components is important.
IP customization enhancements
When using the dr-ip-customizer tool for updating VM IP addresses it now allows simultaneous IPv4 and IPv6 static address specification and is backward compatible with SRM 5.X generated spreadsheets. This increases the flexibility of the tool while maintaining compatibility with previous releases.
When upgrading to Site Recovery Manager 6.0 follow these steps as described below.
1. Upgrade all components of vCenter Server on the protected site.
2. If you use vSphere Replication, upgrade the vSphere Replication deployment on the protected site.
3. Upgrade Site Recovery Manager Server on the protected site.
4. If you use array-based replication, upgrade the storage replication adapters (SRA) on the protected site.
5. Upgrade all components of vCenter Server on the recovery site.
6. If you use vSphere Replication, upgrade the vSphere Replication deployment on the recovery site.
7. Upgrade Site Recovery Manager Server on the recovery site.
8. If you use array-based replication, upgrade the storage replication adapters (SRA) on the recovery site.
9. Verify the connection between the Site Recovery Manager sites.
10. Verify that your protection groups and recovery plans are still valid.
11. Upgrade ESXi Server on the recovery site (optional).
12. Upgrade ESXi Server on the protected site (optional).
13. Upgrade the virtual hardware and VMware Tools on the virtual machines on the ESXi hosts.
Source: vCenter Site Recovery Manager 6.0 Installation and Configuration guide.
At this point the Site Recovery Manager is upgraded to version 6.0. If you are logged in to the vSphere Web Client, log out, clear the browser cache and log back in. The Site Recovery Manager extension should be visible now.
Next, upgrade the Protected Site and then verify your protection groups, recovery plans etc.