VMware Site Recovery Manager (VMware SRM)

VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) is a business continuity and disaster recovery solution that helps you to plan, test, and run the recovery of virtual machines between a protected vCenter Server site and a recovery vCenter Server site.


You can configure Site Recovery Manager to protect virtual machines in different ways.

Datastore groups: Protect the virtual machines in datastore groups by using third-party disk replication mechanisms to configure array-based replication. Array-based replication surfaces replicated datastores to recover virtual machine workloads.

Individual virtual machines: Protect the individual virtual machines on a host by using Site Recovery Manager in combination with VMware vSphere Replication. Storage policies Protect virtual machines based on their association with specific storage policies. Protecting virtual machines by using storage policies requires array-based replication.

You can use SRM to implement different types of recovery from the protected site to the recovery site.

Planned migration is the orderly evacuation of virtual machines from the protected site to the recovery site. Planned migration prevents data loss when migrating workloads in an orderly fashion. For planned migration to succeed, both sites must be running and fully functioning.

Disaster recovery does not require that both sites be up and running, for example if the protected site goes offline unexpectedly. During a disaster recovery operation, failure of operations on the protected site is reported but is otherwise ignored.

Site Recovery Manager orchestrates the recovery process with the replication mechanisms, to minimize data loss and system down time.

  • At the protected site, Site Recovery Manager shuts down virtual machines cleanly and synchronizes storage, if the protected site is still running.
  • Site Recovery Manager powers on the replicated virtual machines at the recovery site according to a recovery plan.
  • A recovery plan specifies the order in which virtual machines start up on the recovery site. A recovery plan specifies network parameters, such as IP addresses, and can contain user-specified scripts that Site Recovery Manager can run to perform custom recovery actions on virtual machines.


Prerequisites or requirements for SRM:

  • Minimum Hardware requirements include 2 vCPU, 2GB of RAM, 5GB of storage with external custom DB or 50GB with Embedded DB and Networking. If you are planning to implement VMware Identity manager, consider your deployment requirements based on the number of virtual appliances and the resources allocated to each appliance.
  • You must run the same version of Site Recovery Manager on both sites.
  • You must run the same version of vCenter Server on both sites.
  • Reliable network connectivity between both sites and all components in the Site Recovery Manager environment. See Network Ports for Site Recovery Manager (2103394)and TCP and UDP Ports required to access VMware vCenter Server, VMware ESXi and ESX hosts, and other network components (1012382).
  • The version of vCenter Server must be compatible with the version of Site Recovery Manager. For information about compatibility between vCenter Server and Site Recovery Manager versions, see vCenter Server Requirements in the Compatibility Matrixes for Site Recovery Manager 6.5 at https://www.vmware.com/support/srm/srm-compat-matrix-6-5.html
  • Each site must have at least one datacenter.
  • If you are using array-based replication, the same replication technology must be available at both sites, and the arrays must be paired.
  • If you are using vSphere Replication, you require a vSphere Replication appliance on both sites. The vSphere Replication appliances must be connected to each other.
  • The vSphere Replication appliances must be of the same version.
  • The vSphere Replication version must be compatible with the version of Site Recovery Manager. For information about compatibility between vSphere Replication and Site Recovery Manager versions, see vSphere Replication Requirements in the Compatibility Matrixes for Site Recovery Manager 6.5 at https://www.vmware.com/support/srm/srm-compat-matrix-6-5.html
  • The recovery site must have hardware, network, and storage resources that can support the same virtual machines and workloads as the protected site. You can oversubscribe the recovery site by running additional virtual machines there that are not protected. In this case, during a recovery you must suspend noncritical virtual machines on the recovery site.
  • The sites must be connected by a reliable IP network. If you are using array-based replication, ensure that your network connectivity meets the arrays’ network requirements.
  • The recovery site should have access to comparable public and private networks as the protected site, although not necessarily the same range of network addresses.


Site Recovery Manager with vSphere Replication:

Site Recovery Manager can use vSphere Replication to replicate data to servers at the recovery site. vSphere Replication does not require storage arrays. The vSphere Replication storage replication source and target can be any storage device, including, but not limited to, storage arrays.

You can configure vSphere Replication to regularly create and retain snapshots of protected virtual machines on the recovery site. Taking multiple point-in-time (PIT) snapshots of virtual machines allows you to retain more than one replica of a virtual machine on the recovery site. Each snapshot reflects the state of the virtual machine at a certain point in time. You can select which snapshot to recover when you use vSphere Replication to perform a recovery.


Site Recovery Manager with Array-Based Replication and vSphere Replication

You can use a combination of array-based replication and vSphere Replication in your Site Recovery Manager deployment. To create a mixed Site Recovery Manager deployment that uses array-based replication and vSphere Replication, you must configure the protected and recovery sites for both types of replication.

  • Set up and connect the storage arrays and install the appropriate storage replication adapters (SRA) on both sites.
  • Deploy vSphere Replication appliances on both sites and configure the connection between the appliances.
  • Configure virtual machines for replication using either array-based replication or vSphere Replication, as appropriate.


Site Recovery Manager provides the following benefits:

  • Lower cost of disaster recovery by up to 50% by reducing the x86 hardware footprint, simplifying protection through VM-centric, policy-based replication, and decreasing operational expenses.
  • Non-disruptive testing enables more frequent disaster recovery rehearsals, which minimizes risk.
  • Recovery plans that can easily be updated and tested as new workloads are provisioned.
  • Flexibility to protect nearly any workload that runs in a virtual machine.
  • Automated customization of virtual machines to further improve recovery times and reduce risk.
  • Detailed reporting to easily satisfy regulatory requirements for documentation of data protection and disaster recovery plans.


How SRM Licensed:

Site Recovery Manager is available in two editions. Both editions of Site Recovery Manager are licensed “per protected virtual machine”.

SRM STANDARD:           Licensing Up to 75 protected VMs per site

SRM ENTERPRISE:         No licensing limitation on the number of protected VMs. Has features like VMware NSX integration, Orchestrated cross-vCenter vMotion, Stretched storage support, Storage policy-based management.

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of my new posts by email.