After you configure Site Recovery Manager at the protected and recovery sites, you can create, test, and run a recovery plan.

A recovery plan is like an automated run book. It controls every step of the recovery process, including the order in which Site Recovery Manager powers on and powers off virtual machines, the network addresses that recovered virtual machines use, and so on. Recovery plans are flexible and customizable.

A recovery plan includes one or more protection groups. You can include a protection group in more than one recovery plan. For example, you can create one recovery plan to handle a planned migration of services from the protected site to the recovery site, and another plan to handle an unplanned event such as a power failure or natural disaster. Having these different recovery plans allows you to decide how to perform recovery.

Testing a recovery plan runs the plan without affecting services at the protected or recovery sites, apart from suspending non-critical virtual machines on the recovery site if you configure the recovery plan to do so. You can perform planned migrations from the protected site to the recovery site or disaster recoveries by running a recovery plan.

You can run only one recovery plan at a time to recover a particular protection group. If you simultaneously test or run multiple recovery plans that specify the same protection group, only one recovery plan can operate on the protection group. Other running recovery plans that specify the same protection group report warnings for that protection group and the virtual machines it contains. The warnings explain that the virtual machines were recovered, but do not report other protection groups that the other recovery plans cover.

When you create or modify a recovery plan, test it before you try to use it for planned migration or for disaster recovery.

You can run a recovery plan under planned circumstances to migrate virtual machines from the protected site to the recovery site. You can also run a recovery plan under unplanned circumstances if the protected site suffers an unforeseen event that might result in data loss.

Testing a recovery plan has no lasting effects on either the protected site or the recovery site, but running a recovery plan has significant effects on both sites.

Distributed Power Management (DPM) and Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) are not mandatory, but Site Recovery Manager supports both services and enabling them provides certain benefits when you use Site Recovery Manager.

You can use Site Recovery Manager to protect virtual machines on which vSphere High Availability (HA) is enabled.

You can use Site Recovery Manager to protect Microsoft Cluster Server (MSCS) and fault tolerant virtual machines, with certain limitations.

You perform several sets of tasks to create, test, and run a recovery plan.

You can cancel a recovery plan test at any time during its run. You can cancel a planned migration or disaster recovery at certain times during its run.

You can delete a recovery plan if you do not need it.