SRDF SRA and SRM 6.5 support

Customers will be happy to learn that the SRDF SRA which supports VMware SRM 6.5 is now GA. SRDF SRA 6.3 is released in conjunction with our newest HYPERMAX OS Q2 2017 release which was announced at Dell EMC World. You can get the SRA here. As I’ve noted in other posts, our SRA is tied to our VMAX platform, not VMware’s software. This creates unavoidable gaps in SRM support which are sometimes short, or in this case a bit longer. The new SRA will be the only one to support SRM 6.5 (it is unrealistic to try and qualify older releases). With the SRA 6.3, you can also download the companion software SRDF Adapter Utilities (SRDF-AU) 6.3 here (you’ll need to expand the “ADD-ON”s section). The SRDF-AU is a GUI interface assisting in configuring the SRA XML files. It is only supported on Windows vCenters so if you are using VCSA it is not available. With that, let me segue into a quick side note.

This is the terminal release of the SRDF-AU. I have a separate post on this from last month, but the long and short of it is this product is end of life. As VMware is moving to VCSA exclusively (at some point), and this product only runs on Windows and cannot be ported, it has served its purpose. The SRDF SRA of course doesn’t need the SRDF-AU and never did. If you read the post you’ll learn about an alternative formatting tool as well as a future enhancement which will render the modification of the XML files an infrequent task. Back to the SRA…

Besides SRM 6.5 and the new HYPERMAX OS support, SRA 6.3 also supports the new VMAX 950 platform. This is our latest, high-end all flash array.

Remember that SRM 6.5 only works with vSphere 6.5 (ESXi and vCenter). This is good news actually because one of the great improvements in ESXi 6.5 is the speed of resignaturing VMFS volumes – something that is going to happen every time you run the Test Failover in SRM. I ran a quick test to show you the difference. I have the same, simple setup for both 6.0 and 6.5 environments – 2 VMFS datastores, 2 VMs, replicating with SRDF synchronously. The only difference is the version, vSphere 6.0 and SRM 6.1 on the top, vSphere 6.5 and SRM 6.5 on the bottom. Notice how the test is 3 times as fast with vSphere 6.5!  That will pay huge dividends in large environments which take far longer than my setup.

A minor note about VVols and SRM. VMware still does not support VVols with SRM and array replication, even if the vendor supports VVol 2.0/VASA 3.0 (which we don’t yet). They have only added support for their own vSphere Replication and vSAN. They’ve exposed some API calls for scripting DR, however, which I think has led to some confusion about SRM support.


19 thoughts on “SRDF SRA and SRM 6.5 support

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  1. We are running into an issue trying to install the srdf adapter utilities on vsphere 6.5. Since there is no longer a separate web server for 6.5 – when we try to install the adapter utilities (on the vsphere server) we get the error “The VMWare vSphere Web Client was not detected. Please install VMWare vSphere Web Client and try again. Any suggestions?

    1. The SRDF-AU is only supported on Windows vCenters. If you are trying to install it on the Windows SRM server but are using the virtual appliance vCenter (VCSA), it will not work and you’ll get the error above. VMware supports both Windows and VCSA vCenters with SRM. Many of our customers who want to use the SRDF-AU will use one Windows vCenter and one VCSA. If you must use VCSA, then there is a script available to generate the failover XML file. There is more detail in this post:

      1. We are using only windows vcenters (we specifically chose them due to the requirements of the srdf-au software) The only appliances we are using are the external platform services controller. Both vsphere 6.5 and srm 6.5 are installed on windows servers. Trying to install on either of these servers fails immediately with the above error. The services are no longer broken out on the vsphere 6.5 install – so there is no longer a service running called “vsphere web services”.

      2. I have not seen this problem – I have it installed on my environments without issue. You are using SRDF-AU 6.3 correct?

  2. yes that’s correct. srdf-au 6.3 (emc_srdf_adapter_utilities_6.3.0). You install it on the vcenter 6.5 server correct? Not the SRM server? I have tried it on both and it fails though.

    1. It is only for the vCenter. I don’t have an external PSC environment setup at the moment but all things being equal I might guess that is the issue. I don’t know what they changed in the code for 6.5 to account for the lack of a web service. I’ll see if I can reproduce it.

      1. I setup an environment similar to yours and was able to install SRDF-AU on the vCenter box. I can even see during the install that it stops the web “service” and restarts it. I also tested 6.2 just to make sure I would get the “Cannot find vSphere Web Client service” error and I did. So they properly coded 6.3 to take into account that there is no physical Web Client service and it works with an embedded or remote PSC. I’m at a loss to understand what is happening in your environment.

  3. Well, at least I know it works! Thanks for looking into this for me. I’ll post a reply when we figure out what’s going on.

    1. I figured out what the problem is. When we install vcenter to start using a domain attached service account, there is no way to get SRDF-AU working. We have tried many different ways, and while, eventually we did get it intstalled, it fails to save settings, and throws this error : “Unexpected token e in JSON at position 191530”

      If we vcenter using a local account on the server it works fine – unfortunately we are not able to do this. We noticed the same behavior in the previous version of SRDF-AU as well. Hopefully you’ll have some way around this. Thanks!

      1. If we *install and run* vcenter using a local account on the server it works fine (missed that part in previous comment)

      2. Interesting as I’ve never seen this issue come up but perhaps you are the first person to use SRDF-AU with this type of setup. I am afraid I know of no way around this apparent limitation and as the development group that created SRDF-AU no longer exists, and the product itself is not supported, there is no one left to reach out to. Sorry about that.

  4. Hi all, I have the same issues as described by Cwiebe, we have 2 Win2016 vCenter 6.5 + SRM 6.5 + SE 84 + SRDF SRA 6.3 + SRDF SRA AU 6.3

    When we open AU interface in Web-Client we get similar JSON errors as Cwiebe and we are unable to save config. Our vCenters are running with “Local System” account.

    Any clue on how to solve?

    Thank you


    1. I’m sorry I don’t know how to resolve it and as far as I know Cwiebe never figured out a workaround. As the product has not been supported for some time the only other option is to look at the perl script. Though that is not officially supported, we can get the developer to look at issues with it if you have any.

      1. Thank you for quick repsonse. I will try to have EMC to take a look at it and in the end, if we aren’t able to solve, we will approach the “script” way..

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