You can make the initial replication of VDMK files more efficient by physically moving files onto a storage device. vSphere Replication uses the physically moved files as replication seeds.

About this task

You might need to use replication seeds if it is not practical to copy the files over the network because the amount of data is too large, the bandwidth available is too small, or some combination of the two.

When replicating virtual machines, ensure that virtual machines are replicated to subdirectories in datastores. Copied disks work if the transfer method preserves the identity information stored in the VMDK file.

Prerequisites

  • You deployed the vSphere Replication appliance at both sites.

  • You paired the Site Recovery Manager Server instances at each site, and you paired the vSphere Replication appliances.

  • Power off the source virtual machine before downloading the VMDK files to use as seeds for the replication. Replication begins when the virtual machine is powered on.

Procedure

  1. Use the vSphere Client to connect to a vCenter Server that can manage the virtual machines to be physically moved.
  2. Click Datastores.
  3. In the left pane, browse to the datastore that contains the files for the virtual machine, select the datastore, and in the right pane, click Browse this datastore.
  4. Select the folders for all virtual machines to be physically moved, right-click the selection, and click Download.
  5. Select a destination to which to copy the files and click OK.
  6. Click Yes.
  7. After the download finishes, transfer the files to a location on the paired site to upload them.
  8. On the vSphere Client Home page at the paired site, click Datastores.
  9. In the left pane, browse to the datastore to contain the files for the virtual machine, select the datastore, and in the right pane, click Browse this datastore.
  10. Select the folder to contain the copies of the virtual machines, right-click the selection, and click Upload Folder.
  11. Select the folder containing the virtual machines, and click OK.
  12. On the protected site, right-click the virtual machine to replicate and select vSphere Replication.
  13. Set the recovery point objective and target file location as normal and click Next.
  14. Click Browse in the Target Disk File Location panel.
  15. Select the target datastore, select the Specify datastore folder check box, and click Browse.
  16. Select the target datastore and click Open.
  17. Select the datastore folder that contains the seed files, change the file type to All Files, select the VMDK file to use as a replication seed, and click OK.
  18. Click Yes to confirm that you want to use this file as an initial copy.
  19. Follow the prompts to select a vSphere Replication server and click Finish to complete the configuration.