Learn SRM – Part 1 – Introduction of VMware Site Recovery Manager 8.1

Ever faced disaster scenario? Do you think that disaster occurs with prior notification? Just like we have recently faced in Kerala and earlier Tsunami. Touch wood, it’s really a worst scenario. But being a Virtualization Admin, you can’t believe in crystal balls – You have to always plan worst case.

So what if you have hosted your datacenter in a location and you have faced a disaster? Here VMware Site Recovery Manager(SRM) helps you to relocate your datacenter to shelter at different location which is known as Recovery Site.


Let’s speak some technically, Site Recovery Manager provides planned migration and disaster recovery for your Virtual Environment at the time of business continuity or unexpected disaster scenario.

It provides automation of failover and disaster recovery testing from Primary/Protected Site to Recovery Site in your Virtual Environment. When any disaster occurs in your physical datacenter, you want to move all your work to a different physical location, here VMware Site Recovery Manager helps you to do one click failover.


It also provides application availability and mobility across sites in private cloud environments with policy-based management, non- disruptive testing and automated orchestration.

You can plan, test, and run the recovery of virtual machines between a protected vCenter Server site and a recovery vCenter Server site using VMware SRM.

VMware Site Recovery Manager helps you to achieve the followings: –

dr types

Components and Key Terms of VMware Site Recovery Manager: –

  • vCenter Server – It is a management server which provides centralized management of your Virtual Environment. When you install VMware SRM, you have to be sure that vCenter exists in both sites and SRM connects to each individual vCenter server at both site.
  • ESXi Hosts – ESXi is a Hypervisor which generally provides virtual resources to Virtual Machines. You need ESXi hosts in your environment in both site to ensure that when SRM kicks a failover, recovery site has enough resources to bring the Virtual Machines up.
  • Virtual Machines – Virtual Machine we consider as Server which hosts the applications. You need Virtual Machines in your SRM environment because it is only the main purpose you want to recover at recovery site. You need server which has hosted your applications, and that server is in a form of Virtual Machine.
  • VMware SRM Server – You need to install SRM server in both physical sites. SRM server will connect to vCenter server and manage the recovery tasks.
  • Replication – You need a replication method which will provide replication of your Virtual Machines from protected(Primary) site to Recovery site. There are two methods mentioned below which provides replication for VMware SRM.
    • vSphere Replication – It provides Host to Host replication or you can say Hypervisor based replication.
    • Array based Replication – It provides Array(Storage) to array replication.
  • Storage Replication Adapter(SRA) – 3rd Party replication solution which is developed by storage partners such as EMC, NetApp. Array vendor provides SRA that enables Site Recovery Manager to work with a specific kind of array. If you are using array-based replication, you must install a SRA.
  • Protected Site – It is primary site which hosts your production environment in normal scenario.
  • Recovery Site – It is secondary site which hosts your environment in disaster scenarios.

rpo rto

  • RPO (Recovery Point Objective) – It defines the maximum tolerable amount of data to loose.
  • RTO (Recovery Time Objective)It calculate how quickly you need to recover your environment.

Types of Recovery in VMware Site Recovery Manager: –

  • Planned Migration – SRM syncronizes the VMs on recovery site with VM on the protected site and then stop replication and initiate migration.
  • Disaster Recovery – In this scenario, SRM restores VM on the recovery site to their most recent available state.

DR Topologies using VMware Site Recovery Manager: –

  • Active-Passive Failover – Dedicated resources for recovery
  • Active-Active Failover – You can run low priority application servers on recovery infrastructure
  • Bi-Directional Failover – It hosts production applications at both site. Both site will be act as recovery site.
  • Shared Recovery Sites – It has many protected site recovery point at one recovery site.
  • Active-Active Data Centers – It has production apps at both sites which provides zero downtime for planed events.

What’s New in VMware Site Recovery Manager 8.1(SRM 8.1) : –

  • New HTML5 User Interface
  • Flexible Site Pairing – vCenter Decoupling – It can be installed with vCenter 6.0U3, 6.5, 6.5U1 or 6.7. And the same version of vCenter does not have to be run at both sites
  • It also work with VMware Site Recovery, the DRaaS offering for VMware Cloud on AWS.
  • Simplified Upgrade Path
  • Configuration Import/Export Tool – Easy to use tool for exporting and importing the entire SRM configuration
  • Supports up to 500 Protection Groups per SRM pair.
  • Supports protection for VMs that require the use of Fault Tolerance.
  • SRM 8.1 exposes two additional APIs:
    • Configure and Retrieve IP Customization Settings
    • Add/remove Datastores from Array-Based Replication Protection Groups

That’s all from this topic. In next topic, we are going to cover licensing part of VMware SRM which is most commonly asked question for any VMware Admin.


Take a look in below topics, explore and learn Site Recovery Manager: –

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