In a typical Site Recovery Manager installation, the protected site provides business-critical datacenter services. The recovery site is an alternative infrastructure to which Site Recovery Manager can migrate these services.

The protected site can be any site where vCenter Server supports a critical business need. The recovery site can be located thousands of miles away from the protected site. Conversely, the recovery site can be in the same room as a way of establishing redundancy. The recovery site is usually located in a facility that is unlikely to be affected by environmental, infrastructure, or other disturbances that affect the protected site. You can establish bidirectional protection in which each site serves as the recovery site for the other. See Bidirectional Protection.

Figure 1. Site Recovery Manager Protected and Recovery Sites
SRM site pairing and recovery process

The vSphere configurations at each site must meet requirements for Site Recovery Manager.

  • You must run the same version of Site Recovery Manager on both sites.

  • You must run the same version of vCenter Server on both sites.

  • The version of vCenter Server must be compatible with the version of Site Recovery Manager. For information about compatibility between vCenter Server and Site Recovery Manager versions, see vCenter Server Requirements in the Compatibility Matrixes for vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.8 at https://www.vmware.com/support/srm/srm-compat-matrix-5-8.html.

  • Each site must have at least one datacenter.

  • If you are using array-based replication, the same replication technology must be available at both sites, and the arrays must be paired.

  • If you are using vSphere Replication, you require a vSphere Replication appliance on both sites. The vSphere Replication appliances must be connected to each other.

  • The vSphere Replication appliances must be of the same version.

  • The vSphere Replication version must be compatible with the version of Site Recovery Manager. For information about compatibility between vSphere Replication and Site Recovery Manager versions, see vSphere Replication Requirements in the Compatibility Matrixes for vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.8 at https://www.vmware.com/support/srm/srm-compat-matrix-5-8.html.

  • The recovery site must have hardware, network, and storage resources that can support the same virtual machines and workloads as the protected site. You can oversubscribe the recovery site by running additional virtual machines there that are not protected. In this case, during a recovery you must suspend noncritical virtual machines on the recovery site.

  • The sites must be connected by a reliable IP network. If you are using array-based replication, ensure that your network connectivity meets the arrays' network requirements.

  • The recovery site should have access to comparable public and private networks as the protected site, although not necessarily the same range of network addresses.