vSphere Replication 8.5.0.3 and vLCM

February 14, 2022

As of vSphere Replication 8.5.0.3, the HBR Agent VIB file is no longer installed on hosts that are a part of vLCM managed clusters. Before we dive into more details on how to manually deploy the HBR Agent VIB file on each host, let’s share a bit more about vSphere Lifecycle management (vLCM), vSphere Replication (VR), and Host-based replication (HBR) Agent VIB file.

vLCM

vLCM offers an efficient and easy way to enforce consistency across all ESXi hosts in a vSphere cluster. It helps update all hosts from a given vSphere cluster using a declarative model that includes updates not only for the ESXi image, but firmware and driver updates as well. vLCM removes variability between ESXi hosts by enabling customers to have more efficient upgrades, improved reliability, and performance, as well as better overall performance.

vSphere Replication

VMware vSphere Replication is a virtual machine data protection and disaster recovery solution. It is fully integrated with VMware vCenter Server and VMware vSphere Client, providing host-based, asynchronous replication of virtual machines. This it is the replication engine used for VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) and customers can also use its capabilities to easily perform a data center migration.

Host-based replication (HBR)

vSphere Replication runs in conjunction with Host-Based Replication (HBR). HBR is a service that runs on the ESXi host which gives users the ability to replicate VMs between dissimilar storage.

vSphere replication and vLCM dependencies

Now that we have quickly covered the main features of these VMware products, we can take a closer look at their interoperability and dependencies. As we already mentioned, the HBR Agent VIB file will no longer be installed automatically on hosts managed by vLCM in vSphere Replication 8.5.0.3. Although, vSphere Replication continues to install the HBR Agent VIB on all standalone hosts and hosts, which are a part of non-vLCM managed clusters. This change has been implemented to prevent vSphere Replication from interfering with vLCM’s operations.

Manually manage the HBR Agent component

To utilize the vSphere Replication LWD traffic encryption for any replication, as well as to be able to replicate VMs with VM encryption enabled, which run in vLCM clusters, you must manually install, upgrade and uninstall the HBR Agent Component.  The agent can be downloaded from here.

Manually install the HBR Agent component

First, the HBR agent component must be imported into the vLCM UI. Then it should be added to the desired cluster image. Lastly, a remediation process should be triggered.

Manually upgrade the HBR Agent component

Once your vSphere replication is upgraded to version 8.5.x., you should run through the same process of downloading the latest version of the HBR Agent component, then import it into vLCM, and trigger the remediation.

Manually uninstall the HBR Agent component

If you no longer need vSphere Replication, LWD traffic encryption, or replicating VMs with VM encryption in a vLCM cluster, you can uninstall the HBR Agent Component. This can be done by removing the HBR Agent component from vLCM, and again triggering remediation in order to uninstall it from all vLCM managed clusters.

Please check this knowledge base article for step-by-step guidance on how to install, upgrade or uninstall the HBR Agent component.

 

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