vCloud Air Disaster Recovery Tutorial 4: Performing a Test Failover

This tutorial shows you how to perform a test failover of a virtual machine from the vSphere environment to vCloud Air – Disaster Recovery. It assumes that you already have configured both the remote site and virtual machine replication and have contacted GSS to schedule your failover test.

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1. Run a Test Recovery

The first task in testing the failover of a virtual machine is to run a test recovery in the vSphere Web Client. To do this:

  1. Log in to the vSphere Web Client.
  2. On the Home tab, click the vSphere Replication icon.

  3. Click the vCenter Server that has replication enabled, and then click Monitor.

  4. On the Monitor tab, click vSphere Replication and review the available virtual machines.
  • In this example, three virtual machines have been replicated, and each of them is available for performing operations.

5. Click the desired virtual machine for failover, and then click the Run Test Recovery icon.

To start running the test recovery, you must log in and authenticate to the vCloud Air environment:

6. In the Test Recovery – Connection settings window, enter your credentials (username and password), and then click Next.

7. In the Test Recovery – Test recovery options window, choose the desired recovery options, and then click Next.

  • You can choose to synchronize recent changes or use the latest available data.

8. In the Test Recovery – Ready to complete window, review the recovery settings, and then click Finish.
Note: At this point, a quick synchronization occurs in the background to ensure that data is up to date. You can see when this task is complete in the Recent Tasks pane on the right side of the Monitor tab page. The green checkmark indicates successful synchronization.

2. Test the Failover Virtual Machine

The virtual machine is now failed over in a test scenario. From here, you can move to the vCloud Air portal to verify that the virtual machine will function properly. To do this:

  1. If you’re not already logged in, go to and log in to vCloud Air.
  2. From the Dashboard, click the Disaster Recovery virtual data center.
  • Note: The icon with the blue cloud and lightning bolt indicates a Disaster Recovery virtual data center.

3. On the virtual data center’s Dashboard, click the Virtual Machines tab. Note in the Recovery Status column that the failover virtual machine displays as Test.

4. Before powering on the virtual machine, review its settings: Click the down arrow to access the pull-down menu, and then select View & Edit Details.

5. In the Virtual Machine Details view, click the Networks tab and verify the connection information.

  • In this example, the virtual machine is connected to the correct test network.

Note: You can change the network that the virtual machine connects to by clicking Edit Network Assignment on the Networks tab.

6. Once you have confirmed the network, power on the virtual machine: Go to the Settings tab, click the STATUS row, and then click Power On.

While the virtual machine is in test mode, you can complete additional quick tests to ensure it will communicate properly. For example, in a Windows Server virtual machine:

A. Enter your credentials to log in to the virtual machine after it powers on.

This virtual machine is a standalone system that was set up to use DHCP for its IP setting. Therefore, it is easy to validate that it is working properly. You can do this by accessing the command prompt through the Start → Run menu:

B. At the command prompt, enter ipconfig, and then review the configuration details.

Note that you have a valid IP address and default gateway.

C. Again at the command prompt, enter ipconfig /all to view all configuration details for this virtual machine.

  • Note that the virtual machine has all needed information to connect to the Internet. Because the machine is not part of a domain at this point, this is all you need it to do.

D. Again at the command prompt, ping an outside IP location to verify that you receive a response.

  • In this example, we ping to access the Yahoo site.

3. Perform a Test Cleanup

The last task in performing a test failover is to complete a test cleanup. Specifically, you will power down the virtual machine in vCloud Air, reset the test environment, and run a test cleanup from the vSphere Web Client.

  1. Power off the virtual machine: Back in vCloud Air, navigate to the Virtual Machine Details view and click the Settings tab.
  2. Click the STATUS row, and then click Power Off.

  3. Run a test cleanup: Moving to the vSphere Web Client, navigate to the Monitor tab and click vSphere Replication.
  4. Click the failover virtual machine, and then click the Run Test Cleanup icon.

  5. In the Test cleanup dialog box, click Yes.
  • This step removes the standard virtual machine, reverting it back to a replication template and continuing replication to vCloud Air.
  • Note that replication was never interrupted; it was always occurring on the backend while the test was running. This step simply cleans up the data and virtual machine files.

Finally, you can to return to vCloud Air to verify that the test cleanup has been completed:

6. Navigate to the virtual data center’s Dashboard and click the Virtual Machines tab. In the Recovery Status column, note that virtual machine’s status has reverted from Test back to Placeholder.

7. Move to the Replication tab. Note in the Replication Status column that OK is displayed.