With the release of vSphere 5.5, a slew of releases took place and one of them is VMware’s Site Recovery Manager 5.5. Below is a list of “what’s new” in SRM 5.5

1. Storage DRS and Storage vMotion is supported by SRM on protected virtual machines. Now with Array Based Replication SRM can support storage migration of virtual machines only if the datastores are all part of the same consistency group on the array. There is no checks made my SRM to check if disks are part of the same consistency group yet so you are still on the hook to make sure that those disks are part of the same consistency group on the array. A good way of doing this is to create a pool of disks that belong to the same consistency group and have your virtual machines protected to this pool.

2.. After a failover has occured you can now choose a point in time to revert to i.e. multiple point in time failover is now available. This helps greatly for instance if you had to failover and end up with the virtual machine not working on the DR site for some reason, all you have to then do is browse through the snapshot manager of a VM and pick another point in time to restore to. You can retain upto 24 historical points in time.

3. Few know that vSphere Replication is very much part of SRM and with 5.5 you can now deploy multiple vsphere replication appliances per vCenter server. This is an upgrade from what we had in 5.1 i.e. one appliance per vCenter server.

4. A vsphere replication appliance can act as a management server and also as a recipient of changed blocks(a target site). However with 5.5 we can now allow for additional deployment of vsphere replication appliances as dedicated target appliances for replication. The first appliance that is deployed will still maintain the dual role of management and target but with SRM 5.5 you can now deploy up to 9 further appliances to act as the target for replication.

5. You can now deploy the vSphere replication appliances in a remote office allowing intra and inter remote office replication. Imagine stretched clusters.

6. With SRM 5.5 we not have support for storage DRS! vSphere replication 5.1 supports DRS, HA and vMotion and now with 5.5 also supports Storage vMotion. A point to remember is that storage vmotion is only supported for the production virtual machine that is replication and NOT the target virtual machine. We can now enable and utilize the Storage DRS and use storage pools!

7. SRM 5.5 added support for VMware’s virtual SAN. Now vSphere replication can protect virtual machines that sit on a vSAN and replicate to a vSAN target. There is minimal configuration and is as simple as right click and protect.

8. VMware claims to have new optimization in place that allow for significant speed increases in replication. The RPO remains the same as 5.1 which is 15 minutes minimum and 24 hours maximum.

Hope this helps 🙂

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