When your storage offers replication services, in addition to storage containers and protocol endpoints, your storage administrator can configure replication groups on the storage side.

vCenter Server and ESXi can discover replication groups, but do not manage their life cycle. Replication groups, also called consistency groups, indicate which VMs and virtual disks must be replicated together to a target site. You can assign components of the same virtual machine, such as the VM configuration file and virtual disks, to different preconfigured replication groups. Or exclude certain VM components from replication.

If no preconfigured groups are available, vVols can use an automatic method. With the automatic method, vVols creates a replication group on demand and associates this group with a vVols object being provisioned. If you use the automatic replication group, all components of a virtual machine are assigned to the group. You cannot mix preconfigured and automatic replication groups for components of the same virtual machine.