To protect VMs with Zerto they need to be placed into Virtual Protection Groups (VPGs) which are consistency groupings of VMs that are typically configured on a per application basis. A VM can only exist in 1 VPG at once, you can only failover the entire VPG and you can define the boot order of VMs inside each VPG.
A common request I receive is to specify a boot order between VPGs (a recovery plan) so that you can bring VPGs online in a specified order with time delays and pre/post failover scripts. A perfect use case is bringing Application 1 (I.E a Finance DB) online before Application 2 (I.E a CRM). You could work around this by placing all the VMs that form both applications in the same VPG, but this then removes the fidelity of failing over an individual application in the cases of logical failures. Another use case is running a site wide script that should only be initiated when failing over everything.
Based on this requirement I decided to create the Recovery Plan script. I could spend the next month breaking down each section of the script however I have decided to get some useful scripts out in the wild then explain key elements retrospectively. You can download it from:
The script uses a combination of PowerShell and a CSV to failover each VPG specified in the order listed to the most recent point in time. It utilises the Zerto Cmdlets, many IF statements and the Zerto API. The username and password for logging into the ZVM must be utilized with the PowerShell users.txt configured to match. Each section of the script is explained with comments so you can clearly see how it works. Ensure you have met the requirements listed in:
The PowerShell script requires the first 3 sections to be edited which includes the Zerto settings, a location for the CSV and location for the log file. Sorry to state the obvious but it is definitely recommend to configure the script to use your Recovery site Zerto Virtual Manager and store it there! You then need to configure the CSV with the VPGs in the order in which you want them to be recovered:
Zerto Recovery Plan CSV with all of the options configurable.
To explain the settings available in the CSV:
- VPGName – The name of the VPG to failover! – This is both case and space sensitive so triple check that the name of each VPG exactly matches as configured in Zerto. The script will check the VPGName exactly matches before attempting any operation and log the result if not found.
- Action – Whether you want to perform a Failover or Failover Test operation. I recommend starting with Failover Test first. – Parameters; FAILOVER, TEST
- CommitPolicy – When using a Failover operation this sets the default commit policy for operation allowing you to rollback out of the point in time selected. This script will always failover to the most recent point in time so it is therefore recommended to use a manual commit policy. – Parameters; none, commit, rollback
- CommitTime – The time before applying the Commit operation if commit or rollback is selected. – Parameters; 0+ – number of seconds
- ShutdownPolicy – The action to perform on source VMs (if contactable) before performing the failover action on the VPG. I recommend forceshutdown which covers VMs without VMware tools but will try a graceful shutdown first. – Parameters; None, shutdown, forceshutdown
- RunScriptsinTest – Whether you want to run any specified scripts for a TEST operation as well as for FAILOVER. – Parameters; TRUE, FALSE
- PreFailoverScript – A PowerShell script to execute before starting the operation. – Parameters; c:\example\example.ps1 or .\example.ps1 for the same directory as the PowerShell
- PostFailoverScriptDelay – Time delay before executing the PostFailoverScript. Zerto won’t wait for the VPG action to complete before running the post failover script so this is configurable. – Parameters; 0+ – number of seconds
- PostFailoverScript – A PowerShell script to execute after starting the operation and the delay specified. – Parameters; c:\example\example.ps1 or .\example.ps1 for the same directory as the PowerShell
Warning: both pre and post failover scripts will run irrespective of the outcome of the Zerto operation so ensure you have performed a failover test before executing a recovery plan.
Once you have configured the PowerShell default variables, entered your VPGs into the CSV (hopefully with the Action set to TEST to begin with) then you are ready to rock! Every action performed by the script is logged so you can easily troubleshoot any issues. The exact same script can be run for both failover and failback as it just initiates the failover or test, it doesn’t ask where from and to as this is already configured in Zerto.
Any feedback, questions or improvements feel free to comment. Happy scripting,