After you configure Site Recovery Manager at the protected and recovery sites, you can create, test, and run a recovery plan.

A recovery plan is like an automated run book. It controls every step of the recovery process, including the order in which Site Recovery Manager powers on and powers off virtual machines, the network addresses that recovered virtual machines use, and so on. Recovery plans are flexible and customizable.

A recovery plan includes one or more protection groups. You can include a protection group in more than one recovery plan. For example, you can create one recovery plan to handle a planned migration of services from the protected site to the recovery site, and another plan to handle an unplanned event such as a power failure or natural disaster. Having these different recovery plans allows you to decide how to perform recovery.

Testing a recovery plan runs the plan without affecting services at the protected or recovery sites, apart from suspending non-critical virtual machines on the recovery site if you configure the recovery plan to do so. You can perform planned migrations from the protected site to the recovery site or disaster recoveries by running a recovery plan.

You can run only one recovery plan at a time to recover a particular protection group. If you simultaneously test or run multiple recovery plans that specify the same protection group, only one recovery plan can operate on the protection group. Other running recovery plans that specify the same protection group report warnings for that protection group and the virtual machines it contains. The warnings explain that the virtual machines were recovered, but do not report other protection groups that the other recovery plans cover.