You can configure replication for multiple virtual machines using the configure multiple replications wizard.

About this task

When you configure replication, you set a recovery point objective (RPO) to determine the period of time between replications. For example, an RPO of 1 hour seeks to ensure that a virtual machine loses no more than 1 hour of data during the recovery. For smaller RPOs, less data is lost in a recovery, but more network bandwidth is consumed keeping the replica up to date.

Every time that a virtual machine reaches its RPO target, vSphere Replication records approximately 3800 bytes of data in the vCenter Server events database. If you set a low RPO period, this can quickly create a large volume of data in the database. To avoid creating large volumes of data in the vCenter Server events database, limit the number of days that vCenter Server retains event data. See Configure Database Retention Policy in the vCenter Server and Host Management Guide. Alternatively, set a higher RPO value.

Note:

You cannot use the Site Recovery Manager interface to configure replications that use point in time (PIT) snapshots. To enable PIT snapshots, configure replication of virtual machines by using the vSphere Web Client. See Configure Replication for Multiple Virtual Machines in vSphere Replication Administration.

To recover a virtual machine from an older PIT snapshot, you must manually revert the virtual machine to that snapshot after the recovery. See Recover a Point-in-Time Snapshot of a Virtual Machine.

vSphere Replication guarantees crash consistency amongst all the disks that belong to a virtual machine. If you use VSS quiescing, you might obtain a higher level of consistency. The available quiescing types are determined by the virtual machine's operating system. See Compatibility Matrixes for vSphere Replication 5.5 for Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) quiescing support for Windows virtual machines.

You can use vSphere Replication with a Virtual SAN datastore on the source and target sites. However, you must use the vSphere Web Client to configure vSphere Replication when replicating to Virtual SAN storage. The Site Recovery Manager client does not allow you to select Virtual SAN storage when you select the target datastore.

Note:

VMware Virtual SAN is a fully supported feature of vSphere 5.5u1.

  • You can use Virtual SAN in production environments with vSphere Replication 5.5.1 and vSphere 5.5u1.

  • Virtual SAN is an experimental feature in vSphere 5.5. You can perform testing with Virtual SAN with vSphere Replication 5.5.0 and vSphere 5.5, but it is not supported for use in production environments. See the release notes for the vSphere Replication 5.5.0 release for information about how to enable Virtual SAN in vSphere 5.5.

Configuring vSphere Replication on a large number of virtual machines simultaneously when using Virtual SAN storage can cause the initial full synchronization of the virtual machine files to run very slowly. Initial full synchronization operations generate heavy I/O traffic and configuring too many replications at the same time can overload the Virtual SAN storage. Configure vSphere Replication on batches of a maximum of 30 virtual machines at a time.

Prerequisites

To replicate virtual machines using vSphere Replication, you must deploy the vSphere Replication appliance at the source and target sites. You must power on the virtual machines to begin replication.

Before you replicate multiple machines, configure datastore mappings in the Site Recovery Manager user interface. You configure the mappings so that information is available to Site Recovery Manager regarding the target datastore destinations for replication.

Procedure

  1. On the vSphere Web Client Home page, click VMs and Templates.
  2. Select a folder or datacenter in the left pane and click the Virtual Machines tab.
  3. Select the virtual machines to replicate using the Ctrl or Shift keys.
  4. Right-click the virtual machines and select vSphere Replication.
  5. Use the RPO slider or enter a value to configure the maximum amount of data that can be lost in the case of a site failure.

    The available RPO range is from 15 minutes to 24 hours.

  6. Select a Guest OS Quiescing configuration, if applicable to the source virtual machine operating system.
  7. (Optional) : Choose whether to enable Initial copies of .vmdk files have been placed on the target datastore.

    Select this option if you have physically copied VMDK files to the target site for use as replication seeds. Site Recovery Manager uses datastore mappings and source virtual machine information to find and use initial copies. Site Recovery Manager shows progress and status as it searches for initial copies. You can stop the search process or start it again.

  8. Accept the automatic assignment of a vSphere Replication server or select a particular server on the target site.
  9. Review the settings and click Finish to establish replication.

    vSphere Replication starts an initial full synchronization of the virtual machine files to the designated datastore on the target site.

  10. (Optional) : Select the vSphere Replication view in the Site Recovery Manager interface.
  11. (Optional) : Select the remote vSphere Replication site and click the Virtual Machines tab.

    You can monitor the progress of the initial full synchronization of the virtual machine files to the target site.

What to do next

If you did not configure the datastore mappings for vSphere Replication before configuring replication, the virtual machines appear in the vSphere Replication > Virtual Machines tab in red with the status Datastore mappings were not configured. Configure the datastore mappings and reconfigure vSphere Replication on the virtual machines.