You can include virtual machines that you configured for vSphere Replication in vSphere Replication protection groups.

Virtual machines in the vCenter Server inventory that are configured for vSphere Replication are available for selection when you create or edit a vSphere Replication protection group.

You select a target location on a datastore on the remote site when you configure vSphere Replication on a virtual machine. When you include a virtual machine with vSphere Replication in a protection group, Site Recovery Manager creates a placeholder virtual machine for recovery. It is possible for the replication target for vSphere Replication and the placeholder virtual machine that Site Recovery Manager creates to both be on the same datastore on the recovery site because they are created in different datastore folders. When the replication target and the placeholder virtual machines are in the same datastore, Site Recovery Manager creates the placeholder virtual machine name by using the replication target name with the suffix (1). To avoid confusion, the best practice is to use different datastores for the vSphere Replication replication target and for the Site Recovery Manager placeholder virtual machines. Site Recovery Manager applies the inventory mappings to the placeholder virtual machine on the recovery site.

vSphere Replication synchronizes the disk files of the replication target virtual machine according to the recovery point objective that you set when you configured vSphere Replication on the virtual machine. When you perform a recovery with Site Recovery Manager, Site Recovery Manager powers on the replication target virtual machine and registers it with vCenter Server on the recovery site in the place of the placeholder virtual machine.

When using vSphere Replication protection groups, Site Recovery Manager is dependent on vSphere Replication, but vSphere Replication is not dependent on Site Recovery Manager. You can use vSphere Replication independently of Site Recovery Manager. For example, you can use vSphere Replication to replicate all of the virtual machines in the vCenter Server inventory, but only include a subset of those virtual machines in protection groups. Changes that you make to vSphere Replication configuration can affect the Site Recovery Manager protection of the virtual machines that you do include in protection groups.

  • Site Recovery Manager monitors the vSphere Replication status of the virtual machines in vSphere Replication protection groups. If replication is not functioning for a virtual machine in a protection group, Site Recovery Manager cannot recover the virtual machine.

  • If you unconfigure vSphere Replication on a virtual machine, Site Recovery Manager continues to include that virtual machine in protection groups in which you included it. Site Recovery Manager cannot recover that virtual machine until you reconfigure replication. If you unconfigure vSphere Replication on a virtual machine, you can remove it from the protection group manually.

  • If you configured vSphere Replication on a virtual machine that resides on a datastore that Site Recovery Manager already protects with array-based replication, Site Recovery Manager reports an error if you try to include that virtual machine in a vSphere Replication protection group.

If you remove a virtual machine with vSphere Replication from a protection group, vSphere Replication continues to replicate the virtual machine to the recovery site. The virtual machine does not recover with the rest of the virtual machines in the protection group if you run an associated recovery plan.