Book of Backup/DR Services

Leap (Policy Driven DR / Run Books)

Note
Test Drive

For those who are interested in getting hands on, take it for a spin with Nutanix Test Drive!

https://www.nutanix.com/test-drive-disaster-recovery

The Nutanix Leap feature provides policy driven backup, DR and run book automation services configured via Prism Central (PC). This capability builds upon and extends the native DR and replications features that have been availble in AOS and configured in PE for years. For more information on the actual back-end mechanism being leveraged for replication, etc. refer to the ‘Backup and Disaster Recovery (DR)’ section in the ‘Book of AOS’. Leap was introduced in AOS 5.10.

Supported Configurations

The solution is applicable to the configurations below (list may be incomplete, refer to documentation for a fully supported list):

Core Use Case(s):

Management interfaces(s):

Supported Environment(s):

Upgrades:

Compatible Features:

Key terms

The following key terms are used throughout this section and defined in the following:

Implementation Constructs

Within Nutanix Leap, there are a few key constructs:

Protection Policy

The following image shows the structure of the Nutanix Leap Protection Policy:

Leap - Protection Policy Leap - Protection Policy

Recovery Plan

The following image shows the structure of the Nutanix Leap Recovery Plan:

Leap - Recovery Plan Leap - Recovery Plan

Linear Retention Policy
Roll-up Retention Policy
Note
Linear vs. roll-up retention

Use linear policies for small RPO windows with shorter retention periods or in cases where you always need to be able to recover to a specific RPO window.

Use roll-up policies for anything with a longer retention period. They're more flexible and automatically handle snapshot aging / pruning while still providing granular RPOs for the first day.

The following shows a high-level overview of the Leap constructs:

Leap - Overview Leap - Overview

The following shows how Leap can replicate between on-premise and Xi:

Leap - topology Leap - Topology

Usage and Configuration

The following sections cover how to configure and leverage Leap.

The high-level process can be characterized into the following high-level steps:

  1. Connect to Availability Zones (AZs)
  2. Configure Protection Policies
  3. Configure Recovery Plan(s)
  4. Perform/Test Failover & Failback
Connect Availability Zone(s)

The first step is connecting to an AZ which can be a Xi AZ or another PC. NOTE: As of 5.11 you will need at least 2 PCs deployed (1 for each site).

In PC, search for ‘Availability Zones’ or navigate to ‘Administration’ -> ‘Availability Zones’:

Leap - Connect to Availability Zone Leap - Connect to Availability Zone

Click on ‘Connect to Availability Zone’ and select the AZ Type (‘Xi’ or ‘Physical Location’ aka PC instance):

Leap - Connect to Availability Zone Leap - Connect to Availability Zone

Input credentials for PC or Xi and click ‘Connect’:

Leap - Connect to Availability Zone Leap - Connect to Availability Zone

The connected AZ will now be displayed and be available.

Configure Protection Policies

In PC, search for ‘Protection Policies’ or navigate to ‘Policies’ -> ‘Protection Policies’:

Leap - Protection Policies Leap - Protection Policies

Click on ‘Create Protection Policy’:

Leap - Protection Policy Leap - Create Protection Policy

Input details for the name, recovery location, RPO and retention policy (describe previously):

Leap - Protection Policy Inputs Leap - Protection Policy Inputs

NOTE: for Xi you don’t need select a ‘Target Cluster’:

Leap - Protection Policy Inputs - Xi Leap - Protection Policy Inputs - Xi

Next we’ll select the categories for the policy to apply to:

Leap - Protection Categories Leap - Protection Policy Categories

Click ‘Save’ and you will now see the newly created Protection Policy:

Leap - Protection Policies Leap - Protection Policies

Configure Recovery Plans

In PC, search for ‘Recovery Plans’ or navigate to ‘Policies’ -> ‘Recovery Plans’:

Leap - Recovery Plans Leap - Recovery Plans

On the first launch you will be greeted with a screen to create the first Recovery Plan:

Leap - Create Recovery Plan Leap - Create Recovery Plan

Select the ‘Recovery Location’ using the drop down:

Leap - Select Recovery Location Leap - Select Recovery Location

NOTE: This can be either a Xi AZ or Physical AZ (PC with corresponding managed clusters).

Input the Recovery Plan name and description and click ‘Next’:

Leap - Recovery Plan - Naming Leap - Recovery Plan - Naming

Next click on ‘Add Entities’ and specify the power on sequence:

Leap - Recovery Plan - Power On Sequence Leap - Recovery Plan - Power On Sequence

Search for VMs or Categories to add to each stage:

Leap - Recovery Plan - Power On Sequence Leap - Recovery Plan - Power On Sequence

Once the power on sequence looks good with the stages, click ‘Next’:

Leap - Recovery Plan - Power On Sequence Leap - Recovery Plan - Power On Sequence

Note
Power On Sequencing

When determining the power on sequence you will want to stage things as follows:

  • Stage 0: Core services (AD, DNS, etc.)
  • Stage 1: Services dependent on Stage 0 services, and required for Stage 2 services (e.g. DB Tier)
  • Stage 2: Services dependent on Stage 1 services, and required for Stage 3 services (e.g. App Tier)
  • Stage 3: Services dependent on Stage 2 services, and required for Stage 4 services (e.g. Web Tier)
  • Stage 4-N: Repeat based upon dependencies

We will now map the network between our source and target environments:

Leap - Recovery Plan - Network Mapping Leap - Recovery Plan - Network Mapping

Note
Failover / Failback Networks

In most cases you will want to use a non-routable or isolated network for your test networks. This will ensure you don't have any issues with duplicate SIDs, arp entries, etc.