VMware Site Recovery uses vSphere Replication to protect individual virtual machines and their virtual disks by replicating them from one vCenter Server instance to another. With this procedure you can add the virtual machines to protection groups and recovery plans.

About this task

When you configure replication, you set a recovery point objective (RPO) to determine the maximum data loss that you can tolerate. For example, an RPO of 1 hour seeks to ensure that a virtual machine loses the data for no more than 1 hour during the recovery. For smaller RPO values, less data is lost in a recovery, but more network bandwidth is consumed keeping the replica up to date. The RPO value affects replication scheduling, but vSphere Replication does not adhere to a strict replication schedule. See How the Recovery Point Objective Affects Replication Scheduling and How the 5 Minute Recovery Point Objective Works.

Every time that a virtual machine reaches its RPO target, vSphere Replication records approximately 3800 bytes of data in the vCenter Server events database. If you set a low RPO period, this can quickly create a large volume of data in the database. To reduce the volume of data that is kept in the vCenter Server events database, limit the number of days that vCenter Server retains event data. See Configure Database Retention Policy in the vCenter Server and Host Management Guide. Alternatively, set a higher RPO value.

vSphere Replication guarantees crash consistency amongst all the disks that belong to a virtual machine. If you use quiescing, you might obtain a higher level of consistency. The available quiescing types are determined by the operating system of the virtual machine. See Compatibility Matrices for vSphere Replication 8.0 for quiescing support for Windows and Linux virtual machines.

You can configure virtual machines to replicate from and to Virtual SAN datastores. See Using vSphere Replication with VMware vSAN Storage for the limitations when using vSphere Replication with Virtual SAN.

Prerequisites

  • Verify that the vSphere Replication appliance is deployed at the source and the target sites.

  • Verify that the vSphere Replication appliances are paired.

  • To enable the quiescing of virtual machines that run Linux guest OS, install the latest version of VMware Tools on each Linux machine that you plan to replicate.

Procedure

  1. In the vSphere Web Client, click Site Recovery > Open Site Recovery.
  2. On the VMware Site Recovery home tab, select a site pair and click Open.
  3. Select the Replications tab, and click New to configure replication.
  4. Select the virtual machines you want to replicate and click Next.
  5. Accept the automatic assignment of a vSphere Replication server or select a particular server on the target site and click Next.
  6. On the Target datastore page, select a datastore on which to replicate files and click Next..

    When replicating multiple virtual machines, you can configure a different target datastore for each virtual machine.

  7. On the Replication settings page, use the RPO slider to set the acceptable period for which data can be lost in the case of a site failure.

    The available RPO range is from 5 minutes to 24 hours.

  8. (Optional) Select the quiescing method for the guest operating system of the source virtual machine.
    Note:

    Quiescing options are available only for virtual machines that support quiescing. vSphere Replication does not support VSS quiescing on Virtual Volumes.

  9. (Optional) Select Enable network compression for VR data.

    Compressing the replication data that is transferred through the network saves network bandwidth and might help reduce the amount of buffer memory used on the vSphere Replication server. However, compressing and decompressing data requires more CPU resources on both the source site and the server that manages the target datastore.

  10. (Optional) On the Protection group page, you can optionally add the virtual machine to a protection group.

    Option

    Description

    Add to existing protection group

    Adds the virtual machine to an existing protection group.

    Add to new protection group

    Adds the virtual machine to a new protection group. If you select this option, you must enter protection group name.

    Do not add to protection group now

    Select this option if you do not want to add the virtual machine to a protection group.

  11. (Optional) On the Recovery plan page, you can optionally add the protection group to a recovery plan.

    Option

    Description

    Add to existing recovery plan

    Adds the protection group to an existing recovery plan.

    Add to new recovery plan

    Adds the protection group to a new recovery plan. If you select this option, you must enter recovery plan name.

    Do not add to recovery plan now

    Select this option if you do not want to add the protection group to a recovery plan.

  12. On the Ready to complete page, review your settings, and click Finish.