Site Recovery Manager VS vSphere Replication

In this article, we'll explore the differences between these two solutions – Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication, their deployment for disaster recovery.


By Zelia / Updated on September 18, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit

Site Recovery Manager VS vSphere Replication

Site Recovery Manager (SRM) and vSphere Replication are two VMware products designed to help organizations ensure business continuity and disaster recovery for their virtualized environments. However, vSphere replication VS Site Recovery Manager, they serve different purposes and offer distinct features.

Site Recovery Manager (SRM)

Purpose: SRM is primarily focused on automating and orchestrating the failover and failback of virtualized workloads in the event of a disaster or planned migration. It provides a comprehensive solution for disaster recovery planning and execution.

✍Key Features:

  • Automated Failover and Failback: SRM automates the process of migrating virtual machines from a protected site to a recovery site in case of a disaster and facilitates the return of VMs when the disaster is over.
  • Integration with Array-based Replication: SRM integrates with various storage arrays to provide array-based replication, which allows for efficient and fast data replication.
  • Runbook Automation: It allows you to create and customize recovery plans to define the sequence and priority of VMs during failover.
  • Testing and Non-Disruptive DR Testing: You can perform non-disruptive DR testing to ensure your DR plans work as expected without impacting production.

vSphere Replication

Purpose: vSphere Replication is focused specifically on replicating virtual machine data from one ESXi host or vCenter Server to another within or between data centers. It's more focused on providing data replication capabilities.

✍Key Features:

  • VM-Level Replication: vSphere Replication replicates individual virtual machines at the virtual disk level.
  • Hypervisor-Based Replication: It operates independently of storage arrays, making it storage-agnostic and suitable for a wider range of storage solutions.
  • Lower Cost: vSphere Replication is included with certain vSphere editions, making it a cost-effective choice.

Therefore, the choice between SRM and vSphere Replication depends on your organization's specific needs and budget. Many organizations also use both products in combination to achieve a balance between comprehensive DR capabilities and cost efficiency.


Deploy disaster recovery with Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication

Deploying disaster recovery with SRM and vSphere Replication involves several steps to ensure that your virtualized environment is well-protected and can quickly recover from unexpected incidents. Below, I'll outline the key steps to deploy disaster recovery with SRM and vSphere Replication:

☛ Prerequisites
1. On-premises to Azure VMware Solution
2. Primary Azure VMware Solution to secondary

Install SRM in Azure VMware Solution

1. Install VMware Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication within your on-premises data center.

2. Within your Azure VMware Solution private cloud, navigate to the Manage section and then choose Add-ons >> Disaster recovery.

3. The default CloudAdmin user in your Azure VMware Solution private cloud lacks the necessary privileges to execute the installation of VMware SRM or vSphere Replication. The installation procedure involves several steps detailed in the “Prerequisites” section. Alternatively, you have the option to install VMware SRM along with vSphere Replication as an additional service directly from your Azure VMware Solution private cloud.


4. Within the Disaster Recovery Solution menu, select VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) – vSphere Replication.


5. Input your License key, agree to the terms and conditions, and proceed by selecting the Install option.

Note: If you omit the license key, SRM will be installed in an Evaluation mode, with the license serving solely to activate VMware SRM.


Install and configure vSphere Replication appliance

1. On the Disaster recovery tab, pick vSphere Replication from the Replication using drop-down menu.


2. Adjust the vSphere server slider to specify the quantity of replication servers required, corresponding to the number of VMs you intend to protect. Afterward, click on the Install button.


3. After installation, confirm the presence of both VMware SRM and the vSphere Replication appliances.

Configure site pairing in vCenter Server

After installing VMware SRM and vSphere Replication, you need to complete the configuration and site pairing in vCenter Server.

1. Sign into the vSphere Client as [email protected].

2. Proceed to the Site Recovery section, inspect the status of both vSphere Replication and VMware SRM, and then click on OPEN Site Recovery to initiate the client.


3. In the new tab that opens within the Site Recovery (SR) client, opt for NEW SITE PAIR.


4. Input the requisite information for the remote site, and then click NEXT.


5. Click CONNECT to approve the certificate for the remote vCenter Server. At this juncture, the client should automatically identify the VMware VRM and VMware SRM appliances on both ends as services eligible for pairing.

6. Choose the appliances you wish to pair and then proceed by clicking NEXT.


7. Click CONNECT to approve the certificates for both the remote VMware SRM and the remote vCenter Server once more. Likewise, click CONNECT to accept the certificates for the local VMware SRM and the local vCenter Server.

8. Review the configured settings and subsequently click FINISH. If the operation succeeds, the client will present an additional panel for the pairing process. However, if it encounters any issues, an alarm will be generated and reported.

9. In the lower-right corner, select the upward-pointing double arrow to expand the panel, revealing Recent Tasks and Alarms.

Note: The SR client may occasionally experience delays in refreshing. If any operation appears to be taking too long or appears stuck, you can click on the refresh icon located in the menu bar.

10. Select VIEW DETAILS to access the panel for remote site pairing. This action will open a dialogue prompting you to sign in to the remote vCenter Server.


11. Provide the username with the necessary permissions for replication and site recovery, and then click LOG IN.

This login, which may be different from the previous one, is a one-time requirement to establish the pairing. The SR client will request this login each time it is launched for working with the pairing.


Reliable and easy disaster recovery solution for vSphere virtual machines

While SRM and vSphere Replication ensure business continuity during disasters, vSphere VM Backup provides an additional layer of data security by safeguarding your virtual machines from data loss and corruption on a day-to-day basis.

AOMEI Cyber Backup is a versatile and reliable disaster recovery solution that complements VMware's offerings. It provides a user-friendly interface for creating backup and recovery tasks. With features like VMware VM backup, Hyper-V VM backup, and even SQL database backup, AOMEI Cyber Backup ensures the availability of your data and also provides the following benefits:

◆Agentless Image Backup: Create independent and image-based backup for VMware ESXi and Hyper-V VMs.
◆Support Free ESXi: Support both paid and free versions of VMware ESXi.
◆Role Assignment: Allow one administrator to create sub-accounts with limited privileges, effectively reduce human errors.
◆Automated Hot Backup: Auto backup running VMs and notify you via email.
◆Restore from Any Point: Restore a whole VM to usable state from any history backup version.

Next, I will demonstrate how to easily batch back up VMware VMs with AOMEI Cyber Backup. You can click the following button to download the 30-day free trial.

Download Free TrialVMware ESXi & Hyper-V
Secure Download

*You can choose to install this VM backup software on either Windows or Linux system.

4 easy steps to automate the process of VMware VMs backup and restore

Step 1. Bind Devices: Access to AOMEI Cyber Backup web client, navigate to Source Device >> VMware >> + Add VMware Device to Add vCenter or Standalone ESXi host. And then click >> Bind Device.


Step 2. Create Backup Task: Navigate to Backup Task >> + Create New Task, and select VMware ESXi Backup as the Backup Type. Then set Task Name, Device, Target, Schedule, and Cleanup as needed.

Task Name: Change the task name or use the default name with an ordinal.

Device: Batch select large numbers of VMs managed by vCenter Server for centralized backup.

Target: Select to back up to a local path, or to a network path.

Schedule (optional): Perform full, differential, or incremental backup, and automate execution according to the frequency you specified.


Cleanup (optional): Automatically delete the old backup copies that exceed the retention period you specified.


Step 3. Start Backup: Click Start Backup and select Add the schedule and start backup now, or Add the schedule only.


Step 4. When restoring, you can also restore to new location to create a new VM in the same or another datastore/host directly from the backup, saving the trouble of re-configuring the new VM.



In today's digital landscape, where downtime can have severe consequences for businesses, having a robust virtualization disaster recovery strategy is crucial. SRM and vSphere Replication provide the necessary tools and capabilities to ensure that you can quickly recover the virtualized environments and resume normal operations in the event of a disaster. By implementing these solutions, you can have peace of mind knowing that your critical data and applications are protected, and your downtime is minimized.

Zelia · Editor
Zelia is an editor from AOMEI Technology.She mainly writes articles about virtual machine. Writing is one of her hobbies and she wants her articles to be seen by more people. In her spare time, she likes to draw and listen to music, and it is a pleasure for her to focus on her own world.