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

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

You configure virtual machines and create protection groups differently depending on whether you use array-based replication, vSphere Replication, or storage policy protection. 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 or storage policy protection. You can include a combination of array-based replication protection groups and vSphere Replication protection groups in the same recovery plan. You cannot include storage policy protection groups in the same recovery plan as array-based replication protection groups and vSphere Replication protection groups.

After you configure replication on virtual machines, you must assign each virtual machine to an existing resource pool, folder, and network on the recovery site. You can specify site-wide defaults for these assignments by selecting inventory mappings. For array-based replication protection groups and vSphere Replication protection groups, if you do not specify inventory mappings, you configure mappings individually for each virtual machine in the protection group. You cannot configure mappings individually for virtual machines in storage policy protection groups, so you must configure site-wide inventory mappings if you use storage policy protection groups.

After you create an array-based replication protection group or a vSphere Replication protection group, Site Recovery Manager creates placeholder virtual machines on the recovery site and applies the inventory mappings to each virtual machine in the group. If Site Recovery Manager cannot map a virtual machine to a folder, network, or resource pool on the recovery site, Site Recovery Manager sets the virtual machine to the Mapping Missing status, and does not create a placeholder for it. For storage policy protection groups, Site Recovery Manager applies inventory mappings when you run a recovery plan. Site Recovery Manager does not create placeholder virtual machines for storage policy protection groups.

Site Recovery Manager cannot protect virtual machines on which you did not configure or on which you incorrectly configured replication. In the case of array-based replication, this is true even if the virtual machines reside on a protected datastore.