The reprotect process involves two stages. Site Recovery Manager reverses the direction of protection, then forces a synchronization of the storage from the new protected site to the new recovery site.

When you initiate the reprotect process, Site Recovery Manager instructs the underlying storage arrays or vSphere Replication to reverse the direction of replication. After reversing the replication, Site Recovery Manager creates placeholder virtual machines at the new recovery site, which was the original protected site before the reprotect.

When creating placeholder virtual machines on the new protected site, Site Recovery Manager uses the location of the original protected virtual machine to determine where to create the placeholder virtual machine. Site Recovery Manager uses the identity of the original protected virtual machine to create the placeholder and any subsequent recovered virtual machines. If the original protected virtual machines are no longer available, Site Recovery Manager uses the inventory mappings from the original recovery site to the original protected site to determine the resource pools and folders for the placeholder virtual machines. You must configure inventory mappings on both sites before running reprotect, or reprotect might fail.

When performing reprotect with array-based replication, Site Recovery Manager places the files for the placeholder virtual machines in the placeholder datastore for the original protected site, not in the datastore that held the original protected virtual machines.

Forcing synchronization of data from the new protection site to the new recovery site ensures that the recovery site has a current copy of the protected virtual machines running at the protection site. Forcing this synchronization ensures that recovery is possible immediately after the reprotect finishes.

When performing reprotect with vSphere Replication, Site Recovery Manager uses the original VMDK files as initial copies during synchronization. The full synchronization that appears in the recovery steps mostly performs checksums, and only a small amount of data is transferred through the network.