If you use array-based protection groups, Virtual Volumes protection groups, or vSphere Replication protection groups, you must specify a placeholder datastore on the recovery site for Site Recovery Manager to use to store placeholder virtual machines.

You must configure a placeholder datastore on both sites in the pair to establish bidirectional protection and to perform reprotect.

If you remove an existing placeholder datastore and want the placeholder VMs to go to another placeholder datastore, you must delete manually all placeholder VMs on the old datastore and recreate them for the affected protection groups. Alternatively, you can remove the protection from the virtual machines and recreate it.


  • Verify that you connected and paired the protected and recovery sites.
  • Placeholder datastores must meet certain criteria.
    • For clusters, the placeholder datastores must be visible to all hosts in the cluster.
    • You cannot select as placeholder datastores any datastores that are replicated by using array-based replication.


  1. In the vSphere Client, click Site Recovery > Open Site Recovery.
  2. On the Site Recovery home tab, select a site pair, and click View Details.
  3. On the Site Pair tab, select Configure > Placeholder Datastores.
  4. Select a site and click New to configure a placeholder datastore.
  5. Select a datastore to designate as the location for placeholder virtual machines on the local site, and click OK.
    Previously configured datastores appear but you cannot select them. If a datastore is replicated, but Site Recovery Manager does not have an array manager for that datastore, the option to select the replicated datastore might be available. Do not select replicated datastores that Site Recovery Manager does not manage.
    Important: If you use vSphere Replication, you can select a placeholder datastore that you already use as the target datastore for replications. If you use the same datastore, Site Recovery Manager creates placeholder VMs by using the names of the replication targets and adding the suffix (1). For information about the vSphere Replication protection groups, see vSphere Replication Protection Groups. Selecting the same datastore might lead to confusion when differentiating the replication targets from the placeholder VMs. To avoid confusion, the best practice is to use different datastores.

    Make sure that placeholder datastores are not in the same Storage DRS cluster as the vSphere Replication replica target datastores.

    Note: When you configure or reconfigure a VM replication by using vSphere Replication, do not set the placeholder VM folder as a replication folder for the VM.
  6. Select the other site in the pair.
  7. Repeat Step 3 to Step 5 to configure a placeholder datastore on the other site.