Site Recovery Manager: Getting schooled in disaster recovery

When disaster strikes, don’t get caught with your data center down. VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager can move an entire data center out of harm’s way with a single mouse click.

VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager automates disaster recovery in vSphere infrastructures.

In conjunction with vCenter Server, Site Recovery Manager (SRM) can create disaster recovery (DR) plans, perform tests and migrate virtual machines (VMs) offsite. These capabilities simplify DR planning and execution, but there are stringent SRM requirements, such as storage arrays with a specific storage-replication adapters and a high-speed network connection between sites.

There are several ways to deploy Site Recovery Manager plans. Users can create, edit and test disaster recovery schemes through a graphical user interface. But you can also use VMware PowerCLi to interact with SRM. For coding junkies, commands and scripts can speed up the disaster-recovery by automating some of the manual Site Recovery Manager processes.

The lessons in this Virtualization School cover the installation and management of VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager. Topics include hardware requirements, best practices, DR scripts and future SRM features. After reviewing the material, you can take a brief quiz on Site Recovery Manager.


Virtualization School: VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager

  • Lesson 1: Site Recovery Manager disaster recovery best practices
    By Eric Siebert, Contributor

    There are numerous ways to protect data during a disaster. Site Recovery Manager is just one piece of the disaster recovery puzzle, and it's a flexible tool that you can incorporate into several DR strategies.

    Before deploying SRM, however, it's important to understand its requirements. (For one, SRM users must have array-based storage.) After configuring SRM, you should then follow these disaster recovery best practices to test and execute SRM failovers.
  • Lesson 2: Customizing Site Recovery Manager plans with PowerCLI
    By Mike Laverick, Instructor, Author and Blogger
    VMware PowerCLI can control Site Recovery Manager, but anyone familiar with PowerShell knows that scripts can require daunting strings of commands and cmdlets. Luckily, you can reduce these scripting headaches without sacrificing the versatility and muscle of PowerShell. By creating a .bat file, for instance, you can simplify the scripting process when customizing VMware Site Recovery Manager recovery plans with PowerCLI.
  • Lesson 3: The mechanics of Site Recover Manager resignaturing
    By Mike Laverick, Instructor, Author and Blogger
    Multiple Virtual Machine Files System (VMFS) instances can wreak havoc on vSphere hosts, because the hosts won't know which volumes to read and write from. After a traditional failover, you would have to perform manual VMFS resignaturing to avoid this problem. Luckily, you can perform Site Recovery Manager resignaturing with one mouse click.
  • Lesson 4: An exclusive look at the future of Site Recovery Manager
    By Mike Laverick, Instructor, Author and Blogger

    New VMware Site Recovery Manager features have been in the works since 2010. Future versions of SRM will include host-based replication, automated failback and planned-migration capabilities. With the release of vSphere 5, for example, host-based replication will replicate VMs between sites without the need for third-party, storage array-based replication. It will also perform replications between storage arrays from different vendors. Ultimately, the new capabilities may transform VMware SRM into more of a site manager than a disaster recovery tool.
  • Quiz: VMware Site Recovery Manager
    All courses have tests, even those on SRM. But if you did the assigned reading, you'll ace this short quiz on VMware Site Recovery Manager.

More Site Recovery Manager resources

This was first published in June 2011

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