VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager (Site Recovery Manager) is a business continuity and disaster recovery solution that helps you to plan, test, and run the recovery of virtual machines between a protected vCenter Server site and a recovery vCenter Server site.

You can configure Site Recovery Manager to work with several third-party disk replication mechanisms by configuring array-based replication. Array-based replication surfaces replicated datastores to recover virtual machine workloads. You can also use host-based replication by configuring Site Recovery Manager to use VMware vSphere Replication to protect virtual machine workloads.

You can use Site Recovery Manager to implement different types of recovery from the protected site to the recovery site.

Planned Migration

The orderly evacuation of virtual machines from the protected site to the recovery site. Planned Migration prevents data loss when migrating workloads in an orderly fashion. For planned migration to succeed, both sites must be running and fully functioning.

Disaster Recovery

Similar to planned migration except that disaster recovery does not require that both sites be up and running, for example if the protected site goes offline unexpectedly. During a disaster recovery operation, failure of operations on the protected site are reported but otherwise ignored.

Site Recovery Manager orchestrates the recovery process with the replication mechanisms, to minimize data loss and system down time.

At the protected site, Site Recovery Manager shuts down virtual machines cleanly, if the protected site is still running.

Site Recovery Manager powers on the replicated virtual machines at the recovery site according to a recovery plan.

A recovery plan specifies the order in which virtual machines start up on the recovery site. A recovery plan specifies network parameters, such as IP addresses, and can contain user-specified scripts that Site Recovery Manager can run to perform custom recovery actions.

Site Recovery Manager lets you test recovery plans. You conduct tests by using a temporary copy of the replicated data in a way that does not disrupt ongoing operations at either site.

In a typical Site Recovery Manager installation, the protected site provides business-critical datacenter services. The recovery site is an alternative facility to which Site Recovery Manager can migrate these services.

When you use array-based replication, one or more storage arrays at the protected site replicate data to peer arrays at the recovery site. With storage replication adapters (SRAs), you can integrate Site Recovery Manager with a wide variety of arrays.

Site Recovery Manager can use vSphere Replication to replicate data to servers at the recovery site.

You can use a combination of array-based replication and vSphere Replication in your Site Recovery Manager deployment.

Site Recovery Manager Server operates as an extension to the vCenter Server at a site. Because the Site Recovery Manager Server depends on vCenter Server for some services, you must install and configure vCenter Server at a site before you install Site Recovery Manager.