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. In this example, having these different recovery plans referencing one protection group allows you to decide how to perform recovery.

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.

You can create recovery plans that recover virtual machines across multiple recovery site hosts in a quarantined test network.

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

You can export the steps of a recovery plan in various formats for future reference, or to keep a hard copy backup of your plans.

You can view and export reports about each run of a recovery plan, test of a recovery plan, or test cleanup.

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

You can monitor the status of a recovery plan and determine the operation that is allowed in each state. The state of a recovery plan is determined by the states of the protection groups within the plan.