VMware’s Site Recovery Manager uses Virtual Infrastructure to deliver a robust disaster recovery solution for your datacenter. I’ll focus on the basic concepts in this post.

1. Sites

SRM defines sites as either Protected or Recovery. Protected sites are those sites containing production VMs. Recovery sites are those to which protected VMs are replicated in the event of a failover. If multiple datacenters exist for a company, and those datacenters contain vital production VMs, a datacenter could potentially be both a protected and recovery site.

2. Storage Replication Adapter (SRA)

The storage replication adapter is a piece of software, required by SRM, which interacts with the storage array. The SRA, created by storage vendors such as EMC, NetApp and Left Hand, is responsible for creating the scripts necessary to enable the integration with SRM. To date, all array vendors state their SRA’s will be free.

For example, in the event of a failover, SRM instructs the SRA to break the replication of LUNs from the protected to the recovery site in order to start the VMs in the recovery site using the replicated LUNs on its storage system.

The SRA is installed on the VirtualCenter server.

3. Protection Groups

Groups of VMs that will be failed over together.

4. Datastore Groups

A group of replicated LUNs containing complete sets of VMs. If a VM has multiple disks on multiple datastores, a datastore group for that protected VM would include all datastores on which that VM has disks. Does that make sense? I know what I’m trying to say, but it’s late and I’m having trouble finding the right words….

5. Shadow VMs

A “stub” VM in the recovery site which represents a protected VM from the protected site.

6. Inventory Mappings

Contain associations between the protected sites’ resource pools, VM folders, and networks with their counterparts at the recovery site.

7. Recovery Plan

The plan which contains the complete set of steps needed to recover VMs at the recovery site.

SRM will be GA’ed in June but should be available as a Beta download. Stay tuned, more SRM to follow….