What Is vSphere Site Recovery Manager (SRM) | How It Works

vSphere Site Recovery Manager is a simple, reliable Disaster Recovery Software for business continuity from VMware. This article will give a clear introduction about VMware SRM.


By Crystal / Updated on December 2, 2022

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What is vSphere Site Recovery Manager (SRM)

VMware provides the VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) as part of its vSphere suite, which is used to automate disaster recovery testing and Failover. With SRM, you can create Protection Groups and run Recovery Plans against them. VMware SRM is a not a product that performs an automatic Failover, which means that there is no intelligence built into SRM that would detect a disaster/outage and Failover the VMs. The disaster recovery process should be manually initiated. Hence, vSphere Site Recovery Manager (SRM) is not a high availability solution, and it is purely an orchestration software.

Site Recovery Manager can support the following use cases:

  • Disaster recovery
  • Disaster avoidance
  • Data center migrations
  • Site-level load balancing
  • Maintenance testing for enterprise applications

vmware site recovery manager

How Does VMware Site Recovery Manager Work

Site Recovery provides on-demand disaster recovery as a service to protect your workloads both on-premises and on VMware Cloud on AWS. The service automates workload recovery in a DR event between on-premises data centers and VMware Cloud on AWS, as well as between different instances of VMware Cloud on AWS.

vSphere Site Recovery Manager is based on an application server that runs on a Windows server, with its own database and a plug-in that connects it to vSphere clients. Each disaster recovery site must deploy an SRM host and a vCenter server. These servers may be deployed using physical servers or virtual machines. vCenter Server provides central visibility and control of all the SRM servers.

replicate vm

What are the Benefits of vSphere Site Recovery Manager

The Recovery Plans can then be used to test the DR setup and perform a planned Failover. Besides, it also has the following benefits.

  • Simplifies the disaster recovery process
  • The automated failover and failback process reduces the manual intervention
  • Easy to use, manage, configure, monitor the protected workloads from a single pane of glass
  • In single click group of VM’s can be failover to DR or vice versa using protection groups
  • Protects any VM regardless of the OS/Application
  • Supports any storage
  • Replicates only changed data
  • Option to enable network compression

Site Recovery Manager vs vSphere Replication

SRM leverages VMware vSphere Replication to provide hypervisor-based virtual machine replication. It protects VMs from partial or complete site failures by copying the virtual machines from a primary site to a secondary site, or from multiple sources to a single disaster recovery site.

vSphere Replication is configured on a per-VM basis, allowing you to control which VMs are duplicated. After the initial replication, vSphere replication performs incremental backup, ensuring only changes are replicated to decrease network bandwidth usage.

difference between srm and replication

VMware SRM benefits in fast disaster recovery or data migration for VMware virtual machines. However, when looking for a disaster recovery solution to protect your mission-critical application, you may also need to consider some practical factors, such as whether you have enough budget, whether you can utilize vCenter, etc. Besides, many administrators try a cost-effective vSphere backup solution to protect VMware data for a long-term.

Efficient and affordable VMware backup software in case of disaster

AOMEI Cyber Backup offers reliable and affordable VMware backup software which are implemented in many organizations and are running well. We have services that suit the needs and requirements of small/medium/big organizations. This tool helps to copy ESXi virtual machines and quickly restore VMs to another host/cluster without any complex settings and interruption. So, this part will introduce the detailed steps to use this VMware backup and replication software.

Multiple VM Backup: batch backup large numbers of VMs managed by vCenter Server, or multiple VMs on a standalone ESXi host.
 Support Free ESXi: support both paid and free versions of VMware ESXi.
Instant Disaster Recovery: Once the VMware crashes, quickly restore VMware to normal state and reduce business-critical downtime.
Economical cost: reduce O&M costs and additional hardware cost for replication/backup.
Automatic VMware backup: auto backup virtual machines on regular basis to protect VMware workloads continuously, and auto delete unwanted obsolete backups to save space.
Easy to use: You can back up and manage multiple VMware VMs though the central console without installing agent on each VM.
Save storage: create full backup for entire VM or incremental/differential backup for only changed data, and specify retention policy as needed.

dashboard manage view

AOMEI Cyber Backup supports VMware ESXi 6.0 and later versions. Next, I will show you how to batch backup VMs managed by vCenter Server with AOMEI Cyber Backup. You can click the following button to download the software.

Download Free TrialVMware ESXi & Hyper-V
Secure Download

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

How to restore VMware VMs from backup instantly

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

2. Create Backup Task: Navigate to Backup Task >> + Create New Task, and then select VMware ESXi Backup as the Device Type. You can schedule backup of virtual machines to a local or network destination, and specify a flexible retention policy to delete backups automatically.

create vmware backup

3. Restore VM: click ... > Restore to open the wizard. Or you can click Backup Management > History Versions. Specify a VM and select a restore point from the left list.

restore vm

  • Choose to Restore to original/new location. For example, if you want to restore your virtual machine to another datastore/host/cluster, you could choose Restore to new location. It will create a new VM directly from the backup to perform out-of-space recovery, saves the trouble of re-configuring the new VM.
  • Select Data Storage, RAM and virtual processor for the restored VM.
  • Then click Start Restore.

restore to new location

AOMEI Cyber Backup automates VMware image backup and offers instant disaster recovery for all sizes of business. It’s ideal to protect VM data with an economical cost, no matter how many virtual machines you have.


VMware SRM is a business continuity and disaster recovery solution that helps you to plan, test, and run the recovery of virtual machines between a protected vCenter Server site and a recovery vCenter Server site. This article offers a basic introduction about vSphere Site Recovery Manager. To minimize downtime in case of disasters, you could also try the VMware backup and restore software for data protection.

Crystal · Editor
Crystal is an editor from AOMEI Technology. She mainly writes articles about virtual machine. She is a positive young lady likes to share articles with peolpe. Off work she loves travelling and cooking which is wonderful for life.