After you configure a replication solution, you can create protection groups. A protection group is a collection of virtual machines and templates that you protect together by using Site Recovery Manager.

You include one or more protection groups in each recovery plan. A recovery plan specifies how Site Recovery Manager recovers the virtual machines in the protection groups that it contains.

You must configure the virtual machines in a protection group so that Site Recovery Manager can add them to the vCenter Server inventory at the recovery site.

You configure virtual machines and create protection groups differently depending on whether you use array-based replication or vSphere Replication. You cannot create protection groups that combine virtual machines for which you configured array-based replication with virtual machines for which you configured vSphere Replication. However, you can include array-based protection groups and vSphere Replication protection groups in the same recovery plan.

When you create a protection group for array-based replication, you specify array information and then Site Recovery Manager computes the set of virtual machines into a datastore group. Datastore groups contain all the files of the protected virtual machines.

You can create protection groups that contain virtual machines that vSphere Replication protects.

If you add virtual machines to a protection group, or if virtual machines lose their protection, you can configure protection for all unconfigured virtual machines by using the existing inventory mappings, in one step.