Configuration of VRM Server (vSphere Replication Management Server) is one of the steps that one has to perform while installing SRM (Site Recovery Manager) 5.0.  A prerequisite for it is to have a compatible database available and the VRMS appliance deployed in advance.  However, when going through the configuration, one could sometimes see an error message while saving the main configuration:

“Error applying startup configuration. Please check the provided DB information”.

At the time of writing, there are still some bugs in the process which could cause the same or a similar issue if there are inconsistencies in the naming of the machines in question i.e. if IP addresses are used instead of FQDNs (or vice versa) as compared to the vCenter install, one could see this error message.  However, another cause could be if for some reason, the appliance has missing DNS server information, even if it was mentioned while deploying the server.

In my case, the problem occurred because the deployment routine couldn’t handle the third DNS server mentioned during appliance deployment.  It allows for comma-separated values but if more than two are defined, the DNS configuration doesn’t save properly and you are left with no DNS servers in the configuration at all!  This means when someone tries to configure the appliance for the first time and uses FQDNs for the SQL server, the server is not found and the process fails with the error mentioned above.

For that reason, it’s always best to check the DNS configuration, before attempting to do the main configuration routine.  You can find the required information by clicking “Network” and then “Address”.  The “Preferred DNS Server” and “Alternate DNS Server” fields should be populated with the correct DNS information.  If empty, put the right entries in and click “Save Settings” to save that configuration.  Once done, the main appliance configuration process should go smoothly.