VMware Site Recovery Manager is a business continuity and disaster recovery solution that helps you to plan, test, and run the recovery of virtual machines between a protected vCenter Server site and a recovery vCenter Server site.

You can configure Site Recovery Manager to protect virtual machines in different ways.

Datastore groups
Protect the virtual machines in datastore groups by using third-party disk replication mechanisms to configure array-based replication. Array-based replication surfaces replicated datastores to recover virtual machine workloads.
Individual virtual machines
Protect the individual virtual machines on a host by using Site Recovery Manager with VMware vSphere Replication.
Storage policies
Protect virtual machines based on their association with specific storage policies. Protecting virtual machines by using storage policies requires array-based replication.

You can use Site Recovery Manager to implement different types of recovery from the protected site to the recovery site.

Planned migration
The orderly evacuation of virtual machines from the protected site to the recovery site. Planned migration prevents data loss when migrating workloads in an orderly fashion. For planned migration to succeed, both sites must be running and fully functioning.
Disaster recovery
Similar to planned migration, except that disaster recovery does not require that both sites be up and running, for example if the protected site goes offline unexpectedly. During a disaster recovery operation, failure of operations on the protected site is reported but is otherwise ignored.

Site Recovery Manager orchestrates the recovery process with the replication mechanisms, to minimize data loss and system downtime.

  • At the protected site, Site Recovery Manager shuts down virtual machines cleanly and synchronizes storage, if the protected site is still running.
  • Site Recovery Manager powers on the replicated virtual machines at the recovery site according to a recovery plan.

A recovery plan specifies the order in which virtual machines start up on the recovery site. A recovery plan specifies network parameters, such as IP addresses, and can contain user-specified scripts that Site Recovery Manager can run to perform custom recovery actions on virtual machines.

You can test recovery plans with Site Recovery Manager. You conduct tests by using a temporary copy of the replicated data in a way that does not disrupt ongoing operations at either site.