You can run a recovery plan for failover or test failover in disaster recovery situations.

Running a recovery plan for failover creates a runtime representation of the recovery steps defined in the plan, combined with other information available only when the plan starts running, such as the snapshot selection and the plan's failover operations.

You can also run a recovery plan for ransomware recovery. For more information, see Run a Ransomware Recovery Plan.

Plan recovery steps apply to the plan itself and control the failover workflow. For example, a planned failover creates a workflow of operations based on the recovery steps defined in the plan. When a plan’s recovery steps are run on the source site (power off VMs, replicate the last snapshot) and destination site (recover VMs in the predefined order).

An unplanned failover creates a different workflow based on the same recovery steps defined in the plan.

When a plan has finished executing and all of the steps in the running plan workflow have completed, you must explicitly commit a failover or Rollback and Acknowledge a Failback Plan in order for the plan to return to a ready state.


The most current version of VMware virtual hardware is 20, but VMware Cloud on AWS only supports up to version 19. If you have a VM in your environment running virtual hardware version 20, and you fail over the VM to VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud DR will automatically downgrade those VMs to virtual hardware version 19.

To ensure that protected and recovered VMs have the same virtual hardware versions, and to avoid the automatic version downgrade, you can set the default hardware version for new VMs by following the instructions here.
Note: VMware Cloud DR does not support failover or failback for a VM that resides on an Amazon FSx for NetApp datastore on the recovery SDDC.

Before you run a recovery plan for failover

Before you run a recovery plan for failover, you must define the protected site, create protection groups, and make sure that your recovery SDDC contains the same vSphere tags that exist on the protected site.
  • A protected site defined. You must deploy and configure the DRaaS Connector on the vSphere protected site. For more information, see Download the DRaaS Connector.
  • Protection groups created with snapshot schedules configured. To run or test a plan, you must configure protection group snapshots replication to a cloud backup site that is used for failover.
  • Tags present on the target Recovery SDDC. For successful failover operations, you must ensure that any vSphere tags and tag categories associated with your protected VMs also exist on the target Recovery SDDC vCenter, or the compliance check displays warnings, and failback will not operate successfully