Deploy a configuration server

You deploy an on-premises configuration server when you use Azure Site Recovery for disaster recovery of VMware VMs and physical servers to Azure. The configuration server coordinates communications between on-premises VMware and Azure. It also manages data replication. This article walks you through the steps needed to deploy the configuration server when you're replicating VMware VMs to Azure. Follow this article if you need to set up a configuration server for physical server replication.

Tip

You can learn about the role of Configuration server as part of Azure Site Recovery architecture here.

Deployment of configuration server through OVA template

Configuration server must be set up as a highly available VMware VM with certain minimum hardware and sizing requirements. For convenient and easy deployment, Site Recovery provides a downloadable OVA (Open Virtualization Application) template to set up the configuration server that complies with all the mandated requirements listed below.

Prerequisites

Minimum hardware requirements for a configuration server are summarized in the following table.

Configuration/Process server requirements

Component Requirement
HARDWARE SETTINGS
CPU cores 8
RAM 16 GB
Number of disks 3, including the OS disk, process server cache disk, and retention drive for failback
Free disk space (process server cache) 600 GB
Free disk space (retention disk) 600 GB
SOFTWARE SETTINGS
Operating system Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2016
Operating system locale English (en-us)
Windows Server roles Don't enable these roles:
- Active Directory Domain Services
- Internet Information Services
- Hyper-V
Group policies Don't enable these group policies:
- Prevent access to the command prompt.
- Prevent access to registry editing tools.
- Trust logic for file attachments.
- Turn on Script Execution.
Learn more
IIS - No pre-existing default website
- No preexisting website/application listening on port 443
- Enable anonymous authentication
- Enable FastCGI setting
NETWORK SETTINGS
IP address type Static
Ports 443 (Control channel orchestration)
9443 (Data transport)
NIC type VMXNET3 (if the Configuration Server is a VMware VM)
Internet access (The server needs access to following URLs - directly or via proxy):
*.backup.windowsazure.com Used for replicated data transfer and coordination
*.store.core.windows.net Used for replicated data transfer and coordination
*.blob.core.windows.net Used to access storage account that stores replicated data
*.hypervrecoverymanager.windowsazure.com Used for replication management operations and coordination
https://management.azure.com Used for replication management operations and coordination
*.services.visualstudio.com Used for telemetry purposes (It is optional)
time.nist.gov Used to check time synchronization between system and global time.
time.windows.com Used to check time synchronization between system and global time.
  • https://login.microsoftonline.com
  • https://secure.aadcdn.microsoftonline-p.com
  • https://login.live.com
  • https://graph.windows.net
  • https://login.windows.net
  • https://www.live.com
  • https://www.microsoft.com
OVF set up needs access to these URLs. They are used for access control and identity management by Azure Active Directory
https://dev.mysql.com/get/Downloads/MySQLInstaller/mysql-installer-community-5.7.20.0.msi To complete MySQL download.
In few regions, the download might be re-directed to CDN URL. Ensure that the CDN URL is also whitelisted, if required.
SOFTWARE TO INSTALL
VMware vSphere PowerCLI PowerCLI version 6.0 should be installed if the Configuration Server is running on a VMware VM.
MYSQL MySQL should be installed. You can install manually, or Site Recovery can install it. (Refer to configure settings for more information)

Configuration/Process server sizing requirements

CPU Memory Cache disk Data change rate Replicated machines
8 vCPUs

2 sockets * 4 cores @ 2.5 GHz
16GB 300 GB 500 GB or less < 100 machines
12 vCPUs

2 socks * 6 cores @ 2.5 GHz
18 GB 600 GB 500 GB-1 TB 100 to 150 machines
16 vCPUs

2 socks * 8 cores @ 2.5 GHz
32 GB 1 TB 1-2 TB 150 -200 machines

Azure Active Directory permission requirements

You require a user with one of the following permissions set in AAD (Azure Active Directory) to register configuration server with Azure Site Recovery services.

  1. User should have “Application developer” role to create application.

    1. To verify, Sign in to Azure portal
    2. Navigate to Azure Active Directory > Roles and administrators
    3. Verify if "Application developer" role is assigned to the user. If not, use a user with this permission or reach out to administrator to enable the permission.
  2. If the "Application developer" role cannot be assigned, ensure that "User can register application” flag is set as true for user to create identity. To enable above permissions,

    1. Sign in to Azure portal

    2. Navigate to Azure Active Directory > User settings

    3. Under **App registrations", "Users can register applications" should be chosen as "Yes".

      AAD_application_permission

Note

Active Directory Federation Services(ADFS) is not supported. Please use an account managed through Azure Active Directory.

Capacity planning

The sizing requirements for the configuration server depend on the potential data change rate. Use this table as a guide.

CPU Memory Cache disk size Data change rate Protected machines
8 vCPUs (2 sockets * 4 cores @ 2.5 GHz) 16 GB 300 GB 500 GB or less Replicate fewer than 100 machines.
12 vCPUs (2 sockets * 6 cores @ 2.5 GHz) 18 GB 600 GB 500 GB to 1 TB Replicate 100-150 machines.
16 vCPUs (2 sockets * 8 cores @ 2.5 GHz) 32 GB 1 TB 1 TB to 2 TB Replicate 150-200 machines.

If you're replicating more than one VMware VM, read capacity planning considerations. Run the Deployment planner tool for VMWare replication.

Download the template

  1. In the vault, go to Prepare Infrastructure > Source.

  2. In Prepare source, select +Configuration server.

  3. In Add Server, check that Configuration server for VMware appears in Server type.

  4. Download the Open Virtualization Application (OVA) template for the configuration server.

    Tip

    You can also download the latest version of the configuration server template directly from Microsoft Download Center.

Note

The license provided with OVA template is an evaluation license valid for 180 days. Post this period, customer needs to activate the windows with a procured license.

Import the template in VMware

  1. Sign in to the VMware vCenter server or vSphere ESXi host by using the VMWare vSphere Client.

  2. On the File menu, select Deploy OVF Template to start the Deploy OVF Template wizard.

    OVF template

  3. In Select source, enter the location of the downloaded OVF.

  4. In Review details, select Next.

  5. In Select name and folder and Select configuration, accept the default settings.

  6. In Select storage, for best performance select Thick Provision Eager Zeroed in Select virtual disk format. Usage of thin provisioning option might impact the performance of configuration server.

  7. In the rest of the wizard pages, accept the default settings.

  8. In Ready to complete:

    • To set up the VM with the default settings, select Power on after deployment > Finish.

    • To add an additional network interface, clear Power on after deployment, and then select Finish. By default, the configuration server template is deployed with a single NIC. You can add additional NICs after deployment.

Important

Do not change resource configurations(memory/cores/CPU restriction), modify/delete installed services or files on configuration server after deployment. This will impact registration of configuration server with Azure services and performance of configuration server.

Add an additional adapter

If you want to add an additional NIC to the configuration server, add it before you register the server in the vault. Adding additional adapters isn't supported after registration.

  1. In the vSphere Client inventory, right-click the VM and select Edit Settings.
  2. In Hardware, select Add > Ethernet Adapter. Then select Next.
  3. Select an adapter type and a network.
  4. To connect the virtual NIC when the VM is turned on, select Connect at power-on. Then select Next > Finish > OK.

Register the configuration server with Azure Site Recovery services

  1. From the VMWare vSphere Client console, turn on the VM.
  2. The VM boots up into a Windows Server 2016 installation experience. Accept the license agreement, and enter an administrator password.
  3. After the installation finishes, sign in to the VM as the administrator.
  4. The first time you sign in, within few seconds the Azure Site Recovery Configuration Tool starts.
  5. Enter a name that's used to register the configuration server with Site Recovery. Then select Next.
  6. The tool checks that the VM can connect to Azure. After the connection is established, select Sign in to sign in to your Azure subscription.
    a. The credentials must have access to the vault in which you want to register the configuration server.
    b. Ensure that chosen user account has permissions to create an application in Azure. To enable required permissions, follow guidelines given here.
  7. The tool performs some configuration tasks, and then reboots.
  8. Sign in to the machine again. The configuration server management wizard starts automatically in few seconds.

Configure settings

  1. In the configuration server management wizard, select Setup connectivity. From the dropdowns, first select the NIC that the in-built process server uses for discovery and push installation of mobility service on source machines, and then select the NIC that Configuration Server uses for connectivity with Azure. Then select Save. You cannot change this setting after it is configured. It is strongly advised to not change the IP address of a configuration server. Ensure IP assigned to the Configuration Server is STATIC IP and not DHCP IP.

  2. In Select Recovery Services vault, sign in to Microsoft Azure with credentials used in step 6 of "Register configuration server with Azure Site Recovery Services".

  3. After sign-in, Select your Azure subscription and the relevant resource group and vault.

    Note

    Once registered, there is no flexibility to change the recovery services vault. Changing recovery services vault would require disassociation of configuration server from current vault, and the replication of all protected virtual machines under the configuration server is stopped. Learn more.

  4. In Install third-party software,

    Scenario Steps to follow
    Can I download & install MySQL manually? Yes. Download MySQL application & place it in the folder C:\Temp\ASRSetup, then install manually. Now, when you accept the terms > click on Download and install, the portal says Already installed. You can proceed to the next step.
    Can I avoid download of MySQL online? Yes. Place your MySQL installer application in the folder C:\Temp\ASRSetup. Accept the terms > click on Download and install, the portal will use the installer added by you and installs the application. You can proceed to the next step post installation.
    I would like to download & install MySQL through Azure Site Recovery Accept the license agreement & click on Download and Install. Then you can proceed to the next step post installation.
  5. In Validate appliance configuration, prerequisites are verified before you continue.

  6. In Configure vCenter Server/vSphere ESXi server, enter the FQDN or IP address of the vCenter server, or vSphere host, where the VMs you want to replicate are located. Enter the port on which the server is listening. Enter a friendly name to be used for the VMware server in the vault.

  7. Enter credentials to be used by the configuration server to connect to the VMware server. Site Recovery uses these credentials to automatically discover VMware VMs that are available for replication. Select Add, and then Continue. The credentials entered here are locally saved.

  8. In Configure virtual machine credentials, enter the user name, and password of Virtual machines to automatically install Mobility Service during replication. For Windows machines, the account needs local administrator privileges on the machines you want to replicate. For Linux, provide details for the root account.

  9. Select Finalize configuration to complete registration.

  10. After registration finishes, open Azure portal, verify that the configuration server and VMware server are listed on Recovery Services Vault > Manage > Site Recovery Infrastructure > Configuration Servers.

Upgrade the configuration server

To upgrade the configuration server to the latest version, follow these steps. For detailed instructions on how to upgrade all Site Recovery components, click here.

Manage the configuration server

To avoid interruptions in ongoing replication, ensure that IP address of the configuration server does not change after the configuration server has been registered to a vault. You can learn more about common configuration server management tasks here.

FAQ

  1. How long is the Licence provided on configuration server deployed through OVF is valid? What happens if I do not reactivate the License?

    The license provided with OVA template is an evaluation license valid for 180 days. Before expiry, you need to activate the license. Else, this can result in frequent shutdown of configuration server and thus cause hinderance to replication activities.

  2. Can I use the VM, where the configuration server is installed, for different purposes?

    No, we recommend you to use the VM for sole purpose of configuration server. Ensure you follow all the specifications mentioned in Prerequisites for efficient management of disaster recovery.

  3. Can I switch the vault already registered in the configuration server with a newly created vault?

    No, once a vault is registered with configuration server, it cannot be changed.

  4. Can I use the same configuration server for protecting both physical and virtual machines?

    Yes, the same configuration server can be used for replicating physical and virtual machines. However, physical machine can be failed back only to a VMware VM.

  5. What is the purpose of a configuration server and where is it used?

    Refer to VMware to Azure replication architecture to learn more about configuration server and its functionalities.

  6. Where can I find the latest version of Configuration server?

    For steps to upgrade the configuration server through the portal, see Upgrade the configuration server. For detailed instructions on how to upgrade all Site Recovery components, refer here.

  7. Where can I download the passphrase for configuration server?

    Refer to this article to download the passphrase.

  8. Can I change the passphrase?

    No, you are strongly advised to not change the passphrase of configuration server. Change in passphrase breaks replication of protected machines and leads to critical health state.

  9. Where can I download vault registration keys?

    In the Recovery Services Vault, Manage > Site Recovery Infrastructure > Configuration Servers. In Servers, select Download registration key to download the vault credentials file.

  10. Can I clone an existing Configuration Server and use it for replication orchestration?

    No, use of a cloned Configuration Server component is not supported. Clone of scale-out process server is also an unsupported scenario. Cloning Site Recovery components impact ongoing replications.

  11. Can I change the IP of configuration server?

    No, it is strongly recommended to not change the IP address of a configuration server. Ensure all IPs assigned to the Configuration Server are STATIC IPs and not DHCP IPs.

  12. Can I set up configuration server on Azure?

    It is recommended to set up configuration server on on-premises environment with direct line-of-sight with v-Center and to minimize data transfer latencies. You can take scheduled backups of configuration server for failback purposes.

For more FAQ on configuration server, refer to our documentation on configuration server common questions .

Troubleshoot deployment issues

Installation failures

Sample error message Recommended action
ERROR Failed to load Accounts. Error: System.IO.IOException: Unable to read data from the transport connection when installing and registering the CS server. Ensure that TLS 1.0 is enabled on the computer.

Registration failures

Registration failures can be debugged by reviewing the logs in the %ProgramData%\ASRLogs folder.

Sample error message Recommended action
09:20:06:InnerException.Type: SrsRestApiClientLib.AcsException,InnerException.
Message: ACS50008: SAML token is invalid.
Trace ID: 1921ea5b-4723-4be7-8087-a75d3f9e1072
Correlation ID: 62fea7e6-2197-4be4-a2c0-71ceb7aa2d97>
Timestamp: 2016-12-12 14:50:08Z
Ensure that the time on your system clock is not more than 15 minutes off the local time. Rerun the installer to complete the registration.
09:35:27 :DRRegistrationException while trying to get all disaster recovery vault for the selected certificate: : Threw Exception.Type:Microsoft.DisasterRecovery.Registration.DRRegistrationException, Exception.Message: ACS50008: SAML token is invalid.
Trace ID: e5ad1af1-2d39-4970-8eef-096e325c9950
Correlation ID: abe9deb8-3e64-464d-8375-36db9816427a
Timestamp: 2016-05-19 01:35:39Z
Ensure that the time on your system clock is not more than 15 minutes off the local time. Rerun the installer to complete the registration.
06:28:45:Failed to create certificate
06:28:45:Setup cannot proceed. A certificate required to authenticate to Site Recovery cannot be created. Rerun Setup
Ensure you are running setup as a local administrator.

Next steps

Set up disaster recovery of VMware VMs to Azure.