You can replicate the VM DataSets files along with the standard VM configuration files.

The DataSets files contain configuration information and provide a way to share data between the vSphere Client and a virtual machine guest operating system. The DataSets are stored together with the other VM configuration files in the VM directory. There are two types of DataSets files:
  • .dsv - VM mode DataSets file. This file is not preserved during a snapshot and clone operations.
  • .dsd - Disk mode DataSets file. This file is preserved during snapshots and clone operations.

For more information about the DataSets feature, see Sharing Data Between the vSphere Client and a Virtual Machine Guest Operating System with DataSets in vSphere 8.0 product documentation.

Note: vSphere Replication does not automatically replicate the DataSets files of the VMs, which were configured for replication prior to the system upgrade to vSphere Replication 8.6 or later, vCenter Server 8.0 or later, and ESXi host 8.0 or later. By default, after a system upgrade, the Enable DataSets replication setting is deactivated for all VMs. You must reconfigure the VMs for a replication and activate the configuration option for DataSets files replication.


Verify that your environment meets the following requirements on both the source and the target sites:
  • vSphere Replication 8.6 or later.
  • vCenter Server 8.0 or later.
  • ESXi host 8.0 or later.
  • Virtual machines must be of hardware version 20.

Review the Configure a Replication or Reconfiguring Replications procedure.


  1. Log in to the vSphere Client.
  2. On the home page, click Site Recovery > Open Site Recovery.
  3. On the Site Recovery home page, select a site pair and click View Details.
  4. Click the Replications tab, and select Outgoing or Incoming.
  5. Depending on your needs, click either the Create new replication icon or the Reconfigure icon, and follow the prompts of the wizard.
  6. On the Replication Settings screen, select Enable DataSets replication check box.
  7. Finish the configuration or the reconfiguration of the VM.
    Note: If you have a protected virtual machine with enabled DataSets and turn off the replication of the DataSets files, the recovered virtual machine might still get DataSets enabled after recovery. This might happen if the DataSets files are added to the replica folder or the DataSets files existed in the replica folder before recovery.

What to do next

If you want to recover a VM with DataSets files, follow the standard process for recovering a virtual machine. See Recover Virtual Machines with vSphere Replication. vSphere Replication recovers the DataSets files in the existing replica file location with the other replicated VM configuration files.