You might want to remove protection from a virtual machine for different reasons. Removing protection from a virtual machine affects protection groups differently.

Removing protection deletes the placeholder virtual machine on the recovery site. If you remove protection from a virtual machine in an array-based replication, vVols replication, or vSphere Replication protection group, the states of the virtual machine and the protection group are set to Not Configured. Running a recovery plan that contains the protection group succeeds for the protected virtual machines, but Site Recovery Manager does not recover the virtual machines or protection groups that are in the Not Configured state. If you run planned migration, the plan enters the Recovery Incomplete state.

Note: You cannot temporarily remove protection from virtual machines in storage policy protection groups.

In array-based replication and vVols replication, a distinction exists between the Site Recovery Manager protection of a virtual machine and the Site Recovery Manager storage management for that virtual machine. If you remove protection from a virtual machine in an array-based replication or vVols replication protection group, Site Recovery Manager no longer recovers the virtual machine, but it continues to monitor and manage the storage of the virtual machine files.

You might remove protection from a virtual machine for different reasons:

  • You use vSphere Replication and you want to exclude a protected virtual machine from a protection group.
  • You use array-based replication or vVols replication, and someone moves a virtual machine that you do not want to protect to a replicated datastore. If you remove protection from the virtual machine, the protection group shows the Not Configured state. Test recovery and planned migration fail for the whole group. Disaster recovery succeeds, but only for the protected virtual machines in the group, and certain operations on the protected site are skipped. The recovery plan enters the Recovery required state. In this case, move the virtual machine off the protected datastore.
  • You use array-based replication and a virtual machine has devices that are stored on an unreplicated datastore. You can remove protection from the virtual machine so that disaster recovery succeeds for all the other virtual machines in the group while you relocate the device files.

Removing protection from a virtual machine affects protection groups differently, according to whether you use array-based replication, vVols replication, or vSphere Replication.

  • If you remove protection from a virtual machine that is part of an array-based replication protection group, you must move the files of that virtual machine to an unprotected datastore. If you leave the files of an unprotected virtual machine in a datastore that Site Recovery Manager has included in a datastore group, test recovery and planned migration fail for the entire datastore group. Disaster recovery succeeds, but only for the protected virtual machines in the datastore group, and you must move the unprotected virtual machine before you can run planned migration to finish the recovery.
  • If a vVols replication policy is changed to refer it to a different vVols protection group, the virtual machine protection is not automatically migrated in the new protection group. The virtual machine must be explicitly unprotected from the previous protection groups first.
  • If you disable vSphere Replication on a virtual machine that you included in a protection group, recovery fails for this virtual machine but succeeds for all the correctly configured virtual machines in the protection group. You must remove protection from the virtual machine and remove the virtual machine from the protection group, either by editing the protection group or by clicking Remove VM. See Add and Remove Datastore Groups or Virtual Machines to or from a Protection Group.