vSphere Replication can protect individual virtual machines and their virtual disks by replicating them to another location.

When you configure replication, you set a recovery point objective (RPO) to determine the period of time between replications. For example, an RPO of 1 hour seeks to ensure that a virtual machine loses no more than 1 hour of data during the recovery. For smaller RPOs, less data is lost in a recovery, but more network bandwidth is consumed keeping the replica up to date.

Every time that a virtual machine reaches its RPO target, vSphere Replication records approximately 3800 bytes of data in the vCenter Server events database. If you set a low RPO period, this can quickly create a large volume of data in the database. To avoid creating large volumes of data in the vCenter Server events database, limit the number of days that vCenter Server retains event data. See Configure Database Retention Policy in the vCenter Server and Host Management Guide. Alternatively, set a higher RPO value.

The available quiescing types are determined by the virtual machine's operating system. See http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2041909 for Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) quiescing support for Windows virtual machines.

You configure replication by selecting all or a subset of the virtual machine's disks. You specify the target location for your virtual machine. You can either replicate the whole virtual disk initially, or use the existing disk as a replication seed to limit the replication to just the parts of the disk that have changed since the last replication.

Verify that you have deployed a vSphere Replication appliance at both sites.

1

On the vSphere Web Client Home page, click VMs and Templates.

2

Browse the inventory to find the single virtual machine to replicate using vSphere Replication.

3

Right-click the virtual machine and click All vSphere Replication Actions > Configure replication.

4

Select the target site.

If you have already connected the source and target sites, select the target site from the list.

If you have not connected the source and target sites, and the target site is local, select the target site from the list.

If you have not connected the source and target sites, and the target site is remote, click Add Remote Site and enter the IP or name, and credentials to connect to the site.

5

Select the target location datastore.

vSphere Replication does not support storage distributed resources scheduler (Storage DRS). Select a datastore that is not part of a datastore cluster.

6

If you select Advanced disk configuration, select the virtual disk format from the list for each individual disk.

The default is Same format as source.

7

Use the RPO slider or enter a value to configure the maximum amount of data that can be lost in the case of a site failure.

The available range is from 15 minutes to 24 hours.

8

Select a Guest OS Quiescing configuration, if applicable to the source virtual machine operating system.

9

Review the settings and click Finish to establish replication.