Part 3. DRaaS – Configuring Replication/Protection Groups/Recovery Plans

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This is the third installment of my ongoing series on DRaaS. We have have by now installed VR/Site Recovery Manager, configured site pairings, and configured onprem and SDDC mappings. Now it is time to setup Replication, Protection Groups and Recovery Plans.

What are Protection Groups and Recovery Plans

A protection group is a group of virtual machines that fail over together at the recovery site during a test or an actual recovery using VMware Site Recovery Manager. – Example: You have an application that in order to operate requires 3 x web servers, 3 x application servers, and 2 x SQL databases. You’d group all 8 of these VMs into the same protection group, When you would fail over to your secondary site, all 8 would failover together keeping your application consistent.

Recovery Plans in SRM are like an automated run book, controlling all the steps in the recovery process. The recovery plan is the level at which actions like Failover, Planned Migration, Testing and Reprotect are conducted. A recovery plan contains one or more protection groups and a protection group can be included in more than one recovery plan.

Creating Protection Group/Recovery Plan
A personal habit of mine is to always start by creating the PG first. A PG can be created while setting up replication for VMs but early on in VMC there were bugs that didn’t always create the PGs.

Select +NEW
Give the PG a name – I recommend whatever the application or department or country that requires these VMs grouped together
Now we created a new Recovery Plan – I recommend naming it whatever you named the PG

Congratulations, you now have a new Protection Group with an associated Recovery Plan. Now it is time to begin replicating VMs to the VMC to their associated PG.

Creating Replication

Select +NEW to begin
Select your VMs you want to replicate – the filter button to the right of the arrow on the name tab will save you a lot of time in large environments.
Pick the target site of your SDDC
My personal preference is always to select VM Storage Policy to Raid 5 to save on capacity

On the next page select the Protection Group we created earlier and select finish. VMs will now begin to replicate to your SDDC and will perform incremental syncs based on the RPO that was set in Step 4.

We should now have VR/SRM installed and configured. Site pairings established and mappings/reverse mappings on onprem and SDDC. Now we have completed replicating VMs into the SDDC into PGs for consistency with associated RPs.

In my next article I will cover failing over to the SDDC and failing back onprem leveraging the Recovery Plan created earlier.


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