VMware Site Recovery is a managed Disaster Recovery service by VMware. VMware manages the upgrades of VMware Site Recovery on VMware Cloud on AWS.

Overview of VMware Site Recovery Upgrades

To address any security vulnerabilities and known issues, and to bring new features which enhance the service, VMware ensures the upgrade of your VMware Site Recovery deployments on your VMware Cloud on AWS SDDCs to the latest version. A VMware Site Recovery deployment consists of a Site Recovery Manager appliance and a vSphere Replication appliance. For a detailed list of the features of VMware Site Recovery, see the VMware Site Recovery Release Notes.

Prerequisites for Upgrade

To make sure that VMware can upgrade the VMware Site Recovery instances on your VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC to the latest version, you must ensure the following:
  • vSphere, the ESXi hosts, Site Recovery Manager, and vSphere Replication on your on-premises site must be upgraded to the compatible versions with the version of VMware Site Recovery we target to upgrade. Use the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix to look up the versions that must be on your on-premises site.
  • The version of the VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC must be compatible with the VMware Site Recovery version. Use the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix to check for compatibility by selecting VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Site Recovery Manager under Select VMware Products.
  • Ensure that your Recovery Plans are in a Ready state. The Recovery plans might not be in a Ready state if you have not performed a clean up after a test failover, or Reprotect after a Planned Migration. For more information on how to clean up a recovery plan, see Clean Up After Testing A Recovery Plan.

Scheduling and Upgrading

When a new major version of Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication becomes available for VMware Cloud on AWS SDDCs, VMware will send notifications to the customers which have the VMware Site Recovery add-on activated, that they can expect VMware Site Recovery upgrade in the next 2 months. VMware upgrades the VMware Site Recovery add-ons of the VMware Cloud on AWS SDDCs in waves to minimize the risks. When the timeslot for the VMware Site Recovery upgrade of a given SDDC is defined, the information is communicated through additional notification to the owner of the SDDC, at least 7 days before the corresponding timeslot. Additional notifications are sent, when the maintenance starts and completes. The notification for start can be expected at the beginning of the timeslot, while the completion notification can arrive sooner that the end of the timeslot. VMware reserves some buffer time to remediate potential issues, if such occur. The upgrade maintenance is considered completed only when you receive the completion notification.

VMware might have to cancel a scheduled VMware Site Recovery upgrade for various reasons. For example, VMware runs checks to ensure that the SDDC is in a good state for VMware Site Recovery upgrade. If the checks fail at the start of the maintenance, the upgrade is canceled and VMware looks for another opportunity to schedule and perform the upgrade. If a scheduled upgrade is canceled, you receive a corresponding notification. VMware will do their best to work with you, and to assist with meeting the pre-requisites, and schedule and perform the upgrades. VMware aims to complete the upgrades within 6 months of the release of new versions of Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication in VMware Cloud on AWS. After that period any older versions of the Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication appliances on individual SDDCs are considered not supported and cannot be upgraded. You can deactivate the VMware Site Recovery add-on, and then activate it again to get the current Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication versions and go back to a supported state. However, you will have to perform all the Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication configurations again, including site pairings, configuring replications, recovery plans, and so on.

Downtime and Customer Impact

During the VMware Site Recovery upgrade maintenance, the Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication services in your VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC are restarted. The impact is as follows:
  • You cannot open the Site Recovery User Interface for the SDDC under maintenance. From the remote SDDC Site Recovery UI, this site will appear as disconnected.
  • Recovery plan failover operations towards the SDDC under maintenance cannot be initiated. Failover operations in progress might fail when maintenance starts.
  • Incoming replications are interrupted. Depending on RPO settings and the maintenance duration, RPO violations notification for these replications might appear in the remote Site Recovery UI. RPO violations should disappear automatically sometime after the maintenance is completed, depending on when vSphere Replication manages to sync the accumulated delta. Replications outgoing from the SDDC under maintenance are not affected.
VMware Site Recovery maintenance does not affect the rest of the SDDC services. You can continue to use the SDDC during VMware Site Recovery maintenance.