Using HCX stretched networks for disaster recovery

One of the most frequently asked questions I get from customers is, “How can I recover my virtual machines without having to change their IP address(es)?”

An EXCELLENT question. I like to tell my customers we have a very rich toolkit, which may be used to build the type of solution they would like to use for whatever they would like! And while this is true… it’s not very helpful. Therefore, last year one of my colleagues – the great Eskander Mirza – and I put together some tests using VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery and VMware HCX, to try to provide some concrete guidance.

Essentially, the document we wrote runs through several scenarios – 5 scenarios for actual outages, and 3 for testing purposes – to try and demonstrate what one can / should expect when using HCX stretched networking with VMware Cloud Disaster recovery. Based on some information from the HCX team I had to rewrite large sections of it this past summer, but I am happy to say it has been once again re-released on VMware’s Tech Zone for VMware Cloud on AWS.

Essentially, the document lays out – with diagrams – 5 scenarios for running a recovery in different outage situations:

  1. Complete outage of the source site
  2. Outage of the WAN / internet
  3. Outage of a specific workload or application
  4. Outage of specific on-premise networks or segments
  5. Outage of the VMware HCX Infrastructure itself

In each section we run through what one might expect to happen, how to execute your recovery, and what actions (if any) you might need to take to ensure your stretched network provides connectivity for your workloads as desired.

Then we run through three specific testing scenarios:

  1. Performing a test recovery with changed workload IP address
  2. Performing a test recovery into a routed network with the same IP address
  3. Performing a test recovery into an isolated network with the same IP address

All tests / outages were performed, as you might imagine, in a controlled, clean, lab environment, and therefore you are assured to have to make accommodations for your own networks / environments.

You can find the document here:

Happy reading!

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