After a recovery, the recovery site becomes the primary site, but the virtual machines are not protected yet. If the original protected site is operational, you can reverse the direction of protection to use the original protected site as a new recovery site to protect the new protected site.

Manually reestablishing protection in the opposite direction by recreating all protection groups and recovery plans is time consuming and prone to errors. Site Recovery Manager provides the reprotect function, which is an automated way to reverse protection.

After Site Recovery Manager performs a recovery, the virtual machines start up on the recovery site. By running reprotect when the protected site comes back online, you reverse the direction of replication to protect the recovered virtual machines on the recovery site back to the original protected site.

Reprotect uses the protection information that you established before a recovery to reverse the direction of protection. You can initiate the reprotect process only after recovery finishes without any errors. If the recovery finishes with errors, you must fix all errors and rerun the recovery, repeating this process until no errors occur.

You can conduct tests after a reprotect operation completes, to confirm that the new configuration of the protected and recovery sites is valid.

You can perform reprotect on recovery plans that contain array-based replication protection groups, vSphere Replication protection groups, and storage policy protection groups.

Site A is the protected site and site B is the recovery site. If site A goes offline, run the disaster recovery workflow on the recovery plan to bring the virtual machines online on site B. After the recovery, the protected virtual machines from site A start up on site B without protection.

When site A comes back online, complete recovery by doing a planned migration because site A virtual machines and datastores need to be powered down and unmounted before reversing protection. Then initiate a reprotect operation to protect the recovered virtual machines on site B. Site B becomes the protected site, and site A becomes the recovery site. Site Recovery Manager reverses the direction of replication from site B to site A.

Site Recovery Manager Reprotect Process
SRM Reprotect Process

In the reprotect process with array based replication, Site Recovery Manager reverses the direction of protection, then forces synchronization of the storage from the new protected site to the new recovery site.

In the reprotect process using vSphere Replication, Site Recovery Manager reverses the direction of protection, then forces synchronization of the storage from the new protected site to the new recovery site.

In the reprotect process using storage policy protection, Site Recovery Manager reverses the direction of replication and protects the virtual machines that are associated with the relevant storage policies on what was previously the recovery site. Site Recovery Manager reestablishes vSphere entity protection and monitoring on the new protected site.

You can perform reprotect only if you meet certain preconditions.

Reprotect results in the reconfiguration of Site Recovery Manager protection groups and recovery plans to work in the opposite direction. After a reprotect operation, you can recover virtual machines back to the original site using a planned migration workflow.

The reprotect process passes through several states that you can observe in the recovery plan in the Site Recovery Manager plug-in in the vSphere Web Client.