To start replicating virtual machines to your cloud organization, you configure replication from the source site by using the vSphere Web Client.
About this task
When you configure replication, you set a recovery point objective (RPO) to determine the maximum data loss that you can tolerate. For example, an RPO of 1 hour seeks to ensure that a virtual machine loses the data for no more than 1 hour during the recovery. For smaller RPO values, less data is lost in a recovery, but more network bandwidth is consumed keeping the replica up to date. The RPO value affects replication scheduling, but vSphere Replication does not adhere to a strict replication schedule. See How the Recovery Point Objective Affects Replication Scheduling.
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 reduce the volume of data that is kept 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 quiescing, you might obtain a higher level of crash consistency amongst the disks that belong to a virtual machine. The available quiescing types are determined by the virtual machine's operating system. See Compatibility Matrixes for vSphere Replication 6.0 for quiescing support for Windows and Linux virtual machines.
If you plan to use replication seeds, read and understand the information in topic Using Replication Seeds for Replications to Cloud.
By default, when you configure a virtual machine for replication to cloud, its NICs and MAC addresses are copied automatically to the target site as part of the provisioning of the placeholder virtual machine. If the test network is not isolated from the production network and these networks have common routing, a test recovery of a replicated virtual machine might result in duplicate MAC addresses in your virtual data center. See Disable the Automatic Export of MAC Addresses During Replication.
Verify that the vSphere Replication appliance is deployed in your environment.
Verify that the Disaster Recovery to Cloud service is enabled in the target cloud organization.
Configure a connection to the cloud organization to which you want to replicate data. See Connect to a Cloud Provider Site.
- On the vSphere Web Client Home page, click VMs and Templates.
- In the inventory tree, right-click the virtual machine that you want to replicate and select
The Configure Replication wizard opens.
- Select Replicate to a cloud provider and click Next.
- Select the target site to which you want to replicate the virtual machine.
If you have created a connection to the cloud provider, select the target virtual data center from the list and click Next.
If the status of the connection is Not authenticated, you must provide credentials to authenticate with the cloud organization. If you have not selected the networks on the target site to use for recovery operations, you are prompted to do so.
If you have not created a connection to the cloud provider, click New Provider VDC, click Next, and follow the on-screen prompts to connect to the target cloud organization.
- On the Target location page, select where to store replication data.
Use storage policy
From the drop-down menu, select the storage policy for replication placement and click Next.
Use replication seeds
Click Next to navigate to the list of available seed vApps on the target site.
Select a seed vApp from the list and click Next.
If you remove a disk from a replication source virtual machine, the seed disk is not deleted from the datastore on the target site.
- (Optional) On the Replication options page, select the quiescing method for the guest operating system of the source virtual machine.
Quiescing options are available only for virtual machines that support quiescing.
- (Optional) Select Enable network compression for VR data.
Compressing the replication data that is transferred through the network saves network bandwidth and might help reduce the amount of buffer memory used on the vSphere Replication server. However, compressing and decompressing data requires more CPU resources on both the source site and the server that manages the target datastore.
- On the Recovery settings page, use the RPO slider or the time spinners to set the acceptable period for which data can be lost in the case of a site failure.
The available RPO range is from 15 minutes to 24 hours.
- (Optional) To save multiple replication instances that can be converted to snapshots of the source virtual machine during recovery, select Enable in the Point in time instances pane, and adjust the number of instances to keep.
You can keep up to 24 instances for a virtual machine. This means that if you configure vSphere Replication to keep 6 replication instances per day, the maximum number of days you can set is 4 days.
The number of replication instances that vSphere Replication keeps depends on the configured retention policy, and requires that the RPO period is short enough for these instances to be created. Because vSphere Replication does not check whether the RPO settings will create enough instances to keep, and does not display a warning message if the number of instances is not sufficient, you must ensure that you set vSphere Replication to create the instances that you want to keep. For example, if you set vSphere Replication to keep 6 replication instances per day, the RPO period should not exceed 4 hours, so that vSphere Replication can create 6 instances in 24 hours.
- Click Next.
- On the Ready to complete page, review the replication settings, and click Finish.
A virtual machine configuration task appears in the Recent Tasks list at the bottom of the vSphere Web Client. A progress bar indicates that the source virtual machine is being configured for replication.
If the configuration operation completes successfully, the replication task that you created appears in the list of outgoing replications on the vSphere Replication tab under Monitor.
If the replication source virtual machine is powered off, the replication remains in Not Active state until you power on the virtual machine.
What to do next
On the vSphere Replication tab under Monitor, you can check the state of each replication. See Monitoring the Status of Replication Tasks.
You can click a replication task in the list and use the tabs at the bottom of the vSphere Web Client to view details about the replication, the recovery status, and the latest performed test, if test results are not cleared yet.