You can protect one or more virtual machines and their virtual disks by replicating them to your cloud organization.
When you configure a 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 the topic How the Recovery Point Objective Affects Replication Scheduling in the vSphere Replication Administration documentation.
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 Matrices for vSphere Replication 8.1 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.
- Log in to the vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client.
- On the home page, click Site Recovery and click Open Site Recovery.
- On the Site Recovery home page, select the site pair to the cloud provider site and click View Details.
- Click the Replications tab, select Forward replications, and click the Create new replication icon.
The Configure Replication wizard starts.
- On the Virtual machines page, select the virtual machines you want to replicate and click Next.
- Select a cloud provider site as a target site and click Next.
- On the Target location page, select the location for the target vApp and click Next.
You can use a storage policy or a previously imported vApp on the target site as a replication seed.
- On the Replication settings page, use the RPO slider 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 point in time instances and adjust the number of instances to keep.
You can keep up to 24 instances for a virtual machine. For example, 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, but also requires that the RPO period is short enough for these instances to be created. Because vSphere Replication does not verify whether the RPO settings will create enough instances to keep, and does not display a warning message if the instances are not enough, 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 must not exceed 4 hours, so that vSphere Replication can create 6 instances in 24 hours.
- (Optional) Enable quiescing for the guest operating system of the source virtual machine.
Quiescing options are available only for virtual machines that support quiescing. vSphere Replication does not support VSS quiescing on Virtual Volumes.
- (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 Ready to complete page, review the replication settings, and click Finish.
vSphere Replication starts an initial full synchronization of the virtual machine files to the designated datastore on the target site.
If the configuration operation completes successfully, the replication task that you created appears in the list of forward replications.
If a replication source virtual machine is powered off, the replication starts after you power on the virtual machine.
What to do next
On the Replications tab, under Forward replications and Reverse replications, you can view the status of each replication. For more information on the replication status, see Monitoring the Status of Replications.