When you create vSphere Replication protection groups, Site Recovery Manager creates placeholder virtual machines on the recovery site. When you run a recovery plan that contains these protection groups, Site Recovery Manager replaces the placeholders with real virtual machines.

This example illustrates the process by which Site Recovery Manager replaces placeholder virtual machines on the recovery site with real virtual machines when you run recovery plans that contain vSphere Replication protection groups.

  1. vSphere Replication replicates individual virtual machines by making copies of the virtual machines in the datastore that you configure as the vSphere Replication target. These virtual machine copies are not powered on.

  2. You designate a datastore on the recovery site for Site Recovery Manager to use to store placeholder virtual machine files.

  3. When you run a recovery plan, Site Recovery Manager shuts down the virtual machines on the protected site, and vSphere Replication powers on the copies of the virtual machines on the recovery site.

  4. Site Recovery Manager sends a request to vCenter Server to swap the identity of the placeholder virtual machines for the replicated virtual machines that have surfaced on the recovery site.