VMware vSphere Replication

  1. Architecture: vSphere Replication is based on a replication engine that runs as a virtual appliance on each ESXi host. This appliance is responsible for replicating VM data to a target site. The replication engine communicates with the vCenter Server to manage replication tasks and monitor the status of replication.
  2. Replication Process: When you enable replication for a VM, vSphere Replication creates an initial full replication of the VM to the target site. After the initial replication, vSphere Replication tracks and replicates only the changes (delta) that occur to the VM’s disks. This delta replication occurs at predefined intervals (typically every 15 minutes), ensuring that the target VM stays up to date with the source VM.
  3. Recovery Point Objective (RPO): The RPO defines the maximum acceptable amount of data loss in case of a disaster. vSphere Replication allows you to set the RPO for each VM, specifying how frequently changes should be replicated to the target site. The actual RPO achieved depends on factors such as network bandwidth and replication interval.
  4. Recovery Process: In the event of a disaster or VM failure, you can use vSphere Replication to recover the VM at the target site. You can perform a failover, which powers on the replicated VM at the target site, or a failover test, which allows you to test the recovery process without impacting production VMs.
  5. Monitoring and Management: vSphere Replication provides a management interface within the vSphere Web Client or vSphere Client, where you can monitor the status of replication tasks, view replication settings, and manage recovery operations. You can also receive email notifications for replication events.
  6. Compatibility and Integration: vSphere Replication is compatible with various storage technologies and works with both vSphere Standard and vSphere Enterprise Plus editions. It integrates with VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM), providing advanced disaster recovery capabilities such as automated recovery plans and non-disruptive testing.
  7. Licensing: vSphere Replication is included with certain editions of vSphere, such as vSphere Essentials Plus and higher. For environments requiring more advanced features and scalability, additional licenses may be required.

Overall, VMware vSphere Replication is a versatile and efficient solution for replicating VMs for disaster recovery purposes, offering flexibility, automation, and integration with other VMware technologies to help organizations protect their virtualized environments.