You can configure replication for multiple virtual machines using the multi-VM configure replication wizard.

About this task

When you configure replication, you set a recovery point objective (RPO) to determine the period of time between replications. For example, an RPO of 1 hour seeks to ensure that a virtual machine loses no more than 1 hour of data during the recovery. For smaller RPOs, less data is lost in a recovery, but more network bandwidth is consumed keeping the replica up to date.

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 avoid creating large volumes of data 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 VSS quiescing, you might obtain a higher level of consistency. The available quiescing types are determined by the virtual machine's operating system. See Compatibility Matrixes for vSphere Replication 5.5 for Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) quiescing support for Windows virtual machines.

You can configure virtual machines to replicate to a Virtual SAN datastore on the target site. See Using vSphere Replication with Virtual SAN Storage for the limitations when using vSphere Replication with Virtual SAN.

Note:

VMware Virtual SAN is a fully supported feature of vSphere 5.5u1.

  • You can use Virtual SAN in production environments with vSphere Replication 5.5.1 and vSphere 5.5u1.

  • Virtual SAN is an experimental feature in vSphere 5.5. You can perform testing with Virtual SAN with vSphere Replication 5.5.0 and vSphere 5.5, but it is not supported for use in production environments. See the release notes for the vSphere Replication 5.5.0 release for information about how to enable Virtual SAN in vSphere 5.5.

Configuring vSphere Replication on a large number of virtual machines simultaneously when using Virtual SAN storage can cause the initial full synchronization of the virtual machine files to run very slowly. Initial full synchronization operations generate heavy I/O traffic and configuring too many replications at the same time can overload the Virtual SAN storage. Configure vSphere Replication on batches of a maximum of 30 virtual machines at a time.

Prerequisites

To replicate virtual machines using vSphere Replication, you must deploy the vSphere Replication appliance at the source and target sites. You must power on the virtual machines to begin replication.

Procedure

  1. On the vSphere Web Client Home page, click VMs and Templates.
  2. Select a datacenter, click the Related Objects tab, then click the Virtual Machines tab.

    A list of virtual machines appears in the right pane.

  3. Select the virtual machines to replicate using the Ctrl or Shift keys.
  4. Right-click the virtual machines and click All vSphere Replication Actions > Configure replication.
  5. Acknowledge the number of virtual machines to replicate.
  6. Verify the virtual machine validation and click Next.
  7. Select the target site.
    • If you have already connected the source and target sites, select the target site from the list.

    • If you have not connected the source and target sites, and the target site is local, select the target site from the list.

    • If you have not connected the source and target sites, and the target site is remote, click Add Remote Site and enter the IP or name, and credentials to connect to the site.

  8. Accept the automatic assignment of a vSphere Replication server or select a particular server on the target site.
  9. Select the target location datastore. Optionally, you can select the virtual machine storage policy.
  10. Select a Guest OS Quiescing configuration, if applicable to the source virtual machine operating system.
  11. Use the RPO slider or enter a value to configure the maximum amount of data that can be lost in the case of a site failure. Optionally, enable point in time instances and specify instance retention policy.

    The available RPO range is from 15 minutes to 24 hours.

  12. Choose whether or not to use replication seeds.

    This option searches the selected target datastore for replication seeds. If candidate files are found, confirm whether to use the found files as seeds.

  13. Review the settings and click Finish to establish replication.

    vSphere Replication starts an initial full synchronization of the virtual machine files to the designated datastore on the target site.