The protection and recovery by Site Recovery Manager of virtual machines is subject to limitations.

Protection and Recovery of Suspended Virtual Machines

When you suspend a virtual machine, vSphere creates and saves its memory state. When the virtual machine resumes, vSphere restores the saved memory state to allow the virtual machine to continue without any disruption to the applications and guest operating systems that it is running.

Protection and Recovery of Virtual Machines with Snapshots

Array-based replication supports the protection and recovery of virtual machines with snapshots, but with limitations.

You can specify a custom location for storing snapshot delta files by setting the workingDir parameter in VMX files. Site Recovery Manager does not support the use of the workingDir parameter.

Limitations also apply if you are running versions of ESX or ESXi Server older than version 4.1.

  • If the virtual machine has multiple VMDK disk files, all the disk files must be contained in the same folder as the VMX file itself.

  • If a virtual machine is attached to a Raw Disk Mapping (RDM) disk device, you must store the mapping file in the same folder as the VMX file. RDM snapshots are only available if you create the RDM mapping using Virtual Compatibility Mode.

If you are running a ESX or ESXi Server 4.1 or later, these limitations do not apply.

vSphere Replication supports the protection of virtual machines with snapshots, but you can only recover the latest snapshot. vSphere Replication erases the snapshot information in the recovered virtual machine. As a consequence, snapshots are no longer available after recovery, unless you configure vSphere Replication to retain multiple point-in-time snapshots. For information about recovering older snapshots by using multiple point-in-time snapshots with vSphere Replication, see Replicating a Virtual Machine and Enabling Multiple Point in Time Instances.

Protection and Recovery of Virtual Machines with Memory State Snapshots

When protecting virtual machines with memory state snapshots, the ESXi hosts at the protection and recovery sites must have compatible CPUs, as defined in the VMware knowledge base articles VMotion CPU Compatibility Requirements for Intel Processors and VMotion CPU Compatibility Requirements for AMD Processors. The hosts must also have the same BIOS features enabled. If the BIOS configurations of the servers do not match, they show a compatibility error message even if they are otherwise identical. The two most common features to check are Non-Execute Memory Protection (NX / XD) and Virtualization Technology (VT / AMD-V).

Protection and Recovery of Linked Clone Virtual Machines

vSphere Replication does not support the protection and recovery of virtual machines that are linked clones.

Array-based replication supports the protection and recovery of virtual machines that are linked clones if all the nodes in the snapshot tree are replicated.

Protection and Recovery of Virtual Machines with Reservations, Affinity Rules, or Limits

When Site Recovery Manager recovers a virtual machine to the recovery site, it does not preserve any reservations, affinity rules, or limits that you have placed on the virtual machine. Site Recovery Manager does not preserve reservations, affinity rules, and limits on the recovery site because the recovery site might have different resource requirements to the protected site.

You can set reservations, affinity rules, and limits for recovered virtual machines by configuring reservations and limits on the resource pools on the recovery site and setting up the resource pool mapping accordingly. Alternatively, you can set reservations, affinity rules, or limits manually on the placeholder virtual machines on the recovery site.

Protection and Recovery of Virtual Machines Attached to RDM Disk Devices

The protection and recovery of virtual machines that are attached to a raw disk mapping (RDM) disk device is subject to different support depending on whether you use array-based replication or vSphere Replication.

  • Array-based replication supports RDM devices in physical compatibility mode and in virtual compatibility mode. If you use Site Recovery Manager with array-based repliction, you can protect and recover virtual machines that use RDM in either physical compatibility mode or virtual compatibility mode.

  • vSphere Replication supports RDM devices in virtual mode only, for both the source and target device. If you use vSphere Replication, you cannot protect and recover virtual machines that use RDM in physical compatibility mode.

  • If you use both array-based repliction and vSphere Replication, you can only protect and recover virtual machines that use RDM in physical compatibility mode by using array-based replication. You can protect and recover virtual machines that use RDM in virtual compatibility mode by using either array-based repliction or vSphere Replication.

Planned Migration of Virtual Machines on Datastores that Use SIOC

In previous releases of Site Recovery Manager you had to disable storage I/O control (SIOC) on datastores that you included in a recovery plan before you ran a planned migration. This release of Site Recovery Manager fully supports SIOC, so you do not have to disable SIOC before you run a planned migration.

Disaster Recovery and Reprotect of Virtual Machines on Datastores that Use SIOC

In previous releases of Site Recovery Manager, if you ran a disaster recovery with SIOC enabled, the recovery would succeed with errors. After the recovery, you had to manually disable SIOC on the protected site and run a planned migration recovery again. You could not run reprotect until you successfully ran a planned migration. This release of Site Recovery Manager fully supports SIOC, so recovery succeeds without errors and you can run planned migration and reprotect after a disaster recovery without disabling SIOC.

Protection and Recovery of Virtual Machines with Components on Multiple Arrays

Array-based replication in Site Recovery Manager depends on the concept of an array pair. Site Recovery Manager defines groups of datastores that it recovers as units. As a consequence, limitations apply to how you can store the components of virutal machines that you protect using array-based replication.

  • Site Recovery Manager does not support storing virtual machine components on multiple arrays on the protected site that replicate to a single array on the recovery site.

  • Site Recovery Manager does not support storing virtual machine components on multiple arrays on the protected site that replicate to mulitple arrays on the recovery site, if the virtual machine components span both arrrays.

If you replicate virtual machine components from multiple arrays to a single array or to a span of arrays on the recovery site, the VMX configurations of the UUID of the datastores on the protected site do not match the configurations on the recovery site.

The location of the VMX file of a virtual machine determines which array pair a virtual machine belongs to. A virtual machine cannot belong to two array pairs, so if it has more than one disk and if one of those disks is in an array that is not part of the array pair to which the virtual machine belongs, Site Recovery Manager cannot protect the whole virtual machine. Site Recovery Manager handles the disk that is not on the same array pair as the virtual machine as an unreplicated device.

As a consequence, store all the virtual disks, swap files, RDM devices, and the working directory for the virtual machine on LUNs in the same array so that Site Recovery Manager can protect all the components of the virtual machine.

Protection and Recovery of Active Directory Domain Controllers

Do not use Site Recovery Manager to protect Active Directory domain controllers. Active Directory provides its own replication technology and restore mode. Use the Active Directory replication technology and restore mode technologies to handle disaster recovery situations.

Using Site Recovery Manager with Admission Control Clusters

You can use Admission Control on a cluster to reserve resources on the recovery site. However, using Admission Control can affect disaster recovery by preventing Site Recovery Manager from powering on virtual machines when running a recovery plan. Admission Control can prevent virtual machines from powering on if powering them on would violate the relevant Admission Control constraints.

You can add a command step to a recovery plan to run a PowerCLI script that disables Admission Control during the recovery. See Creating Custom Recovery Steps for information about creating command steps.

  1. Create a pre-power on command step in the recovery plan that runs a PowerCLI script to disable Admission Control.

    Get-Cluster cluster_name | Set-Cluster -HAAdmissionControlEnabled:$false
  2. Create a post-power on command step in the recovery plan to reenable Admission Control after the virtual machine powers on.

    Get-Cluster cluster_name | Set-Cluster -HAAdmissionControlEnabled:$true

If you disable Admission Control during recovery, you must manually reenable Admission Control after you perform cleanup following a test recovery. Disabling Admission Control might affect the ability of High Availability to restart virtual machines on the recovery site. Do not disable Admission Control for prolonged periods.