RecoverPoint Connect Cluster wizard: Internal Error, contact support

RecoverPoint boxToday I visited a customer to connect two RecoverPoint clusters. One RecoverPoint cluster is connected to a Unity array, the other to a VNX. After installing both clusters, we ran the RecoverPoint Connect Cluster wizard and were greeted with an “Internal Error. Contact support” error message. Awesome! Fortunately it turned out to be a pretty basic error which was easy to fix. A short story about RecoverPoint installation types in mixed-array configurations…

RecoverPoint installation types

Without digressing too much into the whole RecoverPoint licensing model, you can get three types of licenses for RecoverPoint:

  1. RecoverPoint/CL: the full product. Supports fabric. host and array splitters, and is licensed based on capacity. Also supports multiple RecoverPoint clusters and arrays.
  2. RecoverPoint/EX: somewhat slimmed down, only supports array splitters for the mid and high range of Dell EMC products such as VNX/Unity, VMAX, Scale IO, XtremIO and VPLEX. Still supports multiple (2+) RecoverPoint clusters.
  3. RecoverPoint/SE: this is the most slimmed down (“Simple Edition”?) and budget friendly member of the RecoverPoint product family. It enables you to connect to mid-range storage systems such as the VNX and Unity systems only. It used to be that RP/SE only allowed you to connect one VNX system per cluster, but it appears this limit has been lifted to “multiple arrays per cluster”. It’s still impossible to connect more than two clusters together though.

I run into RecoverPoint/SE installs the most, maybe because I mainly work with mid-range systems. It’s the cheapest license, and does the trick if you want to replicate two mid-range systems in a Continuous Data Protection (CDP) manner.

RecoverPoint Deployment Manager

The majority of RecoverPoint cluster installation or update tasks are performed using the RecoverPoint Deployment Manager. I’ve described the process of installing a virtual RecoverPoint Appliance (vRPA) in this post series if you’d like to have a look at a few screenshots.

Currently the RecoverPoint 5.0 Deployment Manager gives you the following customer install options:

RecoverPoint 5.0 Deployment Manager
These are the customer install options; there’s more options if you login as a Dell EMC (partner) employee…

As you can see there’s a distinction between the arrays RecoverPoint can connect to. What’s harder to see (but an indication of problems to come) is the fact the icon is different: you can see the letters SE in the VNX Installer icon, but a lack of these letters in the Unity/VNXe installer.

What happens if you install the cluster connected to the Unity array with the one option, and the cluster connected to the VNX with the other, is that the clusters will have different installation (product) types: SE or CLASSIC. You can verify this by logging in to one of the appliances using the boxmgmt user and navigating to the setup details (option 2 to enter setup mode, followed by option 6 to view the cluster/setup information).RecoverPoint Installation Type

The above screenshot shows the RecoverPoint cluster connected to the Unity system. As you can see, Product Type here is CLASSIC. This is the full RecoverPoint product, normally used by the /EX and /CL products.

Repeat these steps on a cluster that was installed with the VNX option and you’ll see SE as a product type. And you can’t connect two different types of clusters together…

Wait, but I’m using SE licenses on both systems?

Yep, that’s correct. The product or installation type doesn’t have to be identical to the licensing type. In fact, the Unity is the one deviating from the standard here: you’d expect it to be of the SE installation type too.

Morale of the story: if either of clusters is connected to a Unity system, you need CLASSIC clusters instead of SE clusters. Even if you’re using /SE licenses and one of the systems is a VNX. So how can you convert this installation type?


Converting RecoverPoint Cluster Type

Re-open the Deployment Manager. Instead of the Customer Install option, choose the Other Operations (EMC personnel) option. Log in using admin/admin. It will show you a variety of cluster wizards, including the Converter option. Select it, and it will show you this:

RecoverPoint Cluster Converter

What you want to do is “upgrade” the SE cluster to the classic/full model. Next, follow the on-screen instructions. Your RPAs will drop out of the cluster for a short while. Once the wizard completes, verify the cluster type using the CLI and boxmgmt user. If both are CLASSIC, go ahead and connect the clusters.

If the wizard complains about the cluster being in maintenance mode, that’s usually a leftover from the Connect Cluster wizard preparation phase. Open an SSH session to the cluster, log in as admin, and run the finish_maintenance_mode command. Then retry the conversion.

Once done, rerun the RecoverPoint Connect Cluster wizard. You shouldn’t have any issues connecting the clusters now. Enter the remaining SE license and replicate away!