Preparing Azure for a Zerto Cloud Appliance Installation – Part 1: Resource Groups

In this series of blog posts, we will create the elements needed to get the Zerto Cloud Appliance (ZCA) installed and ready to connect to an on-premises site.

The four components Zerto needs in order for you to use Azure are:

  1. Resource Groups
  2. Networks
  3. Firewalls
  4. Storage

You can see how Zerto consumes the Azure components in this quick tip post. We will start logged into the Azure portal. Then we will create the components needed to get the ZCA installed.

Before we start with the Resource Group creation, be sure the Azure account you use has Owner permissions for the Azure subscription you will be using. While the default owner permissions will allow the ZCA to be successfully installed, I have seen in some environments where the Azure Active Directory administrator removes adding Azure application permissions for infrastructure administrators. The Zerto Cloud Appliance registers as a Web/API application in Azure during the installation so the account you use should have these Azure AD permissions.

Resource Groups

The first thing we want to do is create a Resource Group.  Resource Groups are like virtual datacenters in Azure. You can create as many Resource Groups as you need and then place networks, subnets, storage and firewalls in the Resource Group. For more on what Resource Groups are, see this article.

From the Azure Portal navigation menu on the left, go to Resource Groups and create a Resource Group by clicking +Add.

I’m calling mine ms-ignite-rg since I’ll use this as a demo environment during Microsoft Ignite. For more than you want to know about naming conventions for Azure resources, see this article.

Once the Resource Group is created, you can find it on the Dashboard or you can go back to the Resource Group blade and search for it.

Click on the Resource Group to go into it. It will be empty and ready for you to add networks, subnets, network security groups (firewalls) and virtual machines.

Azure is really good at training you along the way. In the Resource Group menu, go down to Quickstart under Settings to learn more about Resource Groups and even watch a video. When you are done. Click the X to close the Resource Group blade.

In the next post in this series, we’ll create the Networks and Subnets.

 

Let’s go Wayback

I’ve had this site a long time. I was trying to remember when I started it the other day and I figured it was late 2007 or early 2008.

Fortunately, there is the Wayback Machine internet archive. The first time it scanned my site was January 9, 2008, and it had quite a few blog posts by then. So, it looks like late 2007 was when VirtualizationInformation came online. The WordPress template didn’t make it in the wayback machine though.

It’s also quite a bit of fun to spend some time in the Wayback Machine looking at the evolution of the internet and the companies that we work with frequently. I did a search for VMware.com and found this one from 1999.

How about this one from zerto.com in February 2011 (note the funky green color):

Then, by September 2011, this is the zerto.com site. Talk about going 0-60 in a hurry!

Time just flies right by doesn’t it?

Upgrading Zerto Virtual Replication on vSphere to ZVR 5.5 Update 1

Whenever an upgrade is necessary with key infrastructure components such as your disaster recovery solution, you want it to be as painless as possible.

One of the big benefits of having Zerto Virtual Replication (ZVR) is its an all software solution and it has no agents in VMs, so upgrading your enterprise sites can be much easier than if you have hardware dependencies and if you have agents deployed in virtual machines.

In this post, we’ll do a quick walk-through of the upgrade process. The first thing to do is go to http://zerto.com/myzerto.

  1. Log in and download the latest version of Zerto Virtual Replication for vSphere.

2. Once it downloads, launch the installer.

3. Proceed with the installation wizard.

A great feature ZVR has is it will not only upgrade the ZVM, but it will also upgrade all of the Virtual Replication Appliances (VRAs) as well. The installation wizard allows you to select whether you want to automatically upgrade the VRAs.

Unless you have compelling reasons, leave the checkbox checked to automatically upgrade the VRAs.

4. The wizard checks all the existing services to ensure the upgrade will succeed.

5. The installer proceeds with the upgrade.

6. Once the ZVM is upgraded, the installer tells you that it will now upgrade the VRAs and you can track the progress in the upgraded ZVM Dashboard.

7. When you get logged in, you can go over to the Setup tab to check progress. Once the VRAs are upgraded, you will see the VRA Version column showing as “Latest”.

In typical Zerto fashion, upgrading other platforms like Azure and AWS have very similar steps.

For example, I created a video of how to upgrade an Azure Zerto Cloud Appliance.

Time for Microsoft Ignite

Next week is Microsoft Ignite. I’ll be there and if you are there, come by my theater session Monday at 4:35pm at OCCC South – Expo Theater #3.

I’ll also be in the Zerto booth. We’re booth number 833. We have live demo labs and we can show you failover and failback between vSphere and Azure and Hyper-V and Azure.

Zerto Quick Tip: Upgrading Azure or AWS ZCA to ZVR 5.5 Update 1

Zerto has many customers already protecting virtual machines from vSphere and Hyper-V to AWS and Azure.

With the recent release, Zerto added several new features and fixes that make it worthwhile to upgrade the AWS or Azure Zerto Cloud Appliance (ZCA). See the release notes here.

The upgrade is really straightforward. Log into your ZCA, download the upgrade from MyZerto and then do the install. To demonstrate how easy it is, I created this video.

Zerto Quick Tip: Installing Zerto Virtual Replication Appliance 5.5 Update 1 in Azure

This week Zerto released version 5.5 Update 1. It has several features for different platforms, but 3 Azure related improvements.

• Azure China now supported
• Azure 4TB disk size for replicated VM
• Azure Storage Account support for pre-existing standard storage account

The last bullet is interesting.  Being able to choose an existing Azure storage account is the one I will show in this video along with a full installation of the ZCA.

Azure Quick Tip: What Do You Need in Azure for Zerto to Work?

One of the most frequent questions we get at Zerto is “What do I need in Azure to use Zerto Virtual Replication (ZVR)?”

I find one of the easiest ways to visualize what Zerto is consuming in Azure is to pull up the Virtual Protection Groups (VPG) creation wizard in ZVR. For more on ZVR VPGs, see this great post from 

I’ve got a vSphere site paired to the Zerto Cloud Appliance (ZCA) in Azure that I deployed from the Azure Marketplace. I’ve pulled up the VPG wizard and picked Azure as the target location for protection. This screenshot shows what ZVR is looking for in Azure in order to protect the VMs:

Looking at the left column we see very straightforward infrastructure requirements: VNet, Subnet, Network Security Group (NSG), Virtual Machine Series and Virtual Machine Size. Simply put, ZVR needs a network created in Azure, at least one subnet, a firewall (NSG), and you to tell it what size VM do you want to create.

For more flexibility of choice, the Virtual Machine Series and Virtual Machine Size can be different for testing and for production.

$50M and Disruptive DR: Zerto Style

It’s hard to believe I’ve been at Zerto 3 1/2 years already.

We are really celebrating our recent funding announcement http://www.zerto.com/blog/press-releases/zerto-announces-50-million-growth-financing-led-by-ivp-achieves-fourth-consecutive-year-of-100-sales-growth/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=Oktopost-twitter-profile&utm_campaign=Oktopost-2016-01+General+Campaign because it allows Zerto to continue to be able to rapidly change the way data protection for virtualization is done.

In 2015 we added Hyper-V and AWS and in early 2016, look for another exciting release Zerto Virtual Replication that brings even more features that will continue to change how many organizations think about data protection.

I also know what is coming later in the year, and all I can say for now is the fun is just beginning.