Home > Articles > VMware

Administering VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.0: Configuring the Protected Site

Michael Gordon Laverick shows you how to configure the protected site in VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.0.
This chapter is from the book

Now that the core SRM product is installed it's possible to progress through the post-configuration stages. Each of these stages depends highly on the previous configuration being completed correctly. It would be correct to assume that this then creates a dependency between each stage such that you must be careful about making changes once the components have been interlinked. Essentially, the post-configuration stages constitute a "workflow." The first step is to pair the two sites together, which creates a relationship between the Protected Site (NYC) and the Recovery Site (NJ). Then we can create inventory mappings that enable the administrator to build relationships between the folders, resource pools, or clusters and networks between the Protected Site and the Recovery Site. These inventory mappings ensure that VMs are recovered to the correct location in the vCenter environment. At that point, it is possible to configure the array managers. At this stage you make the sites aware of the identities of your storage systems at both locations; the SRM will interrogate the arrays and discover which datastores have been marked for replication. The last two main stages are to create Protection Groups and to create Recovery Plans. You cannot create Recovery Plans without first creating Protection Groups, as their name implies the point to the datastores that you have configured for replication. The Protection Groups use the inventory mappings to determine the location of what VMware calls "placeholder VMs." These placeholder VMs are used in Recovery Plans to indicate when and where they should be recovered and allows for advanced features such as VM Dependencies and scripting callouts. I will be going through each step in detail, walking you through the configuration all the way so that by the end of the chapter, you should really understand what each stage entails and why it must be completed.

Connecting the Protected and Recovery Site SRMs

One of the main tasks carried out in the first configuration of SRM is to connect the Protected Site SRM to the Recovery Site SRM. It's at this point that you configure a relationship between the two, and really this is the first time you indicate which is the Protected Site and which is the Recovery Site. It's a convention that you start this pairing process at the Protected Site. The reality is that the pairing creates a two-way relationship between the locations anyway, and it really doesn't matter from which site you do this. But for my own sanity, I've always started the process from the protected location.

When doing this first configuration, I prefer to have two vSphere client windows open: one on the protected vCenter and the other on the recovery vCenter. This way, I get to monitor both parts of the pairing process. I did this often in my early use of SRM so that I could see in real time the effect of changes in the Protected Site on the Recovery Site. Of course, you can simplify things greatly by using the linked mode feature in vSphere. Although with SRM new views show both the Recovery and Protected Sites at the same time, the benefits of linked mode are somewhat limited; however, I think linked mode can be useful for your general administration. For the moment, I'm keeping the two vCenters separate so that it's 100% clear that one is the Protected Site and the other is the Recovery Site (see Figure 9.1).

Figure 9.1

Figure 9.1 The Protected Site (New York) is on the left; the Recovery Site (New Jersey) is on the right.

As you might suspect, this pairing process clearly means the Protected Site SRM and Recovery Site SRM will need to communicate to each other to share information. It is possible to have the same IP range used at two different geographical locations. This networking concept is called "stretched VLANs." Stretched VLANs can greatly simplify the pairing process, as well as greatly simplify the networking of virtual machines when you run tests or invoke your Recovery Plans. If you have never heard of stretched VLANs, it's well worth brushing up on them, and considering their usage to facilitate DR/BC. The stretched VLAN configuration, as we will see later, can actually ease the administrative burden when running test plans or invoking DR for real. Other methods of simplifying communications, especially when testing and running Recovery Plans, include the use of network address translation (NAT) systems or modifying the routing configuration between the two locations. This can stop the need to re-IP the virtual machines as they boot in the DR location. We will look at this in more detail in subsequent chapters.

This pairing process is sometimes referred to as "establishing reciprocity." In the first release of SRM the pairing process was one-to-one, and it was not possible to create hub-and-spoke configurations where one site is paired to many sites. The structure of SRM 1.0 prevented many-to-many SRM pairing relationships. Back in SRM 4.0, VMware introduced support for a shared-site configuration where one DR location can provide resources for many Protected Sites. However, in these early stages I want to keep with the two-site configuration.

Installing the SRM and vCenter software on the same instance of Windows can save you a Windows license. However, some people might consider this approach as increasing their dependence on the management system of vCenter. If you like, there is a worry or anxiety about creating an "all-eggs-in-one-basket" scenario. If you follow this rationale to its logical extreme, your management server will have many jobs to do, such as being the

  • vCenter server
  • Web access server
  • Converter server
  • Update Manager server

My main point, really, is that if the pairing process fails, it probably has more to do with IP communication, DNS name resolution, and firewalls than anything else. IP visibility from the Protected to the Recovery Site is required to set up SRM. Personally, I always recommend dedicated Windows instances for the SRM role, and in these days of Microsoft licensing allowing multiple instances of Enterprise and Datacenter Editions on the same hypervisor, the cost savings are not as great as they once were.

When connecting the sites together you always log in to the Protected Site and connect it to the Recovery Site. This starting order dictates the relationship between the two SRM servers.

  1. Log in with the vSphere client to the vCenter server for the Protected Site SRM (New York).
  2. In the Sites pane, click the Configure Connection button shown in Figure 9.2. Alternatively, if you still have the Getting Started tab available, click the Configure Connection link.

    Figure 9.2

    Figure 9.2 The status of the New York Site is "not paired" until the Configure Connection Wizard is run.

    Notice how the site is marked as being "local," since we logged in to it directly as though we are physically located at the New York location. If I had logged in to the New Jersey site directly it would be earmarked as local instead.

  3. In the Configure Connection dialog box enter the name of the vCenter for the Recovery Site, as shown in Figure 9.3.

    Figure 9.3

    Figure 9.3 Despite the use of port 80 in the dialog box, all communication is redirected to port 443.

    When you enter the vCenter hostname use lowercase letters; the vCenter hostname must be entered exactly the same way during pairing as it was during installation (for example, either fully qualified in all cases or not fully qualified in all cases). Additionally, although you can use either a name or an IP address during the pairing process, be consistent. Don't use a mix of IP addresses and FQDNs together, as this only confuses SRM. As we saw earlier during the installation, despite entering port 80 to connect to the vCenter system, it does appear to be the case that communication is on port 443.

    Again, if you are using the untrusted auto-generated certificates that come with a default installation of vCenter you will receive a certificate security warning dialog box, as shown in Figure 9.4. The statement "Remote server certificate has error(s)" is largely an indication that the certificate is auto-generated and untrusted. It doesn't indicate fault in the certificate itself, but rather is more a reflection of its status.

    Figure 9.4

    Figure 9.4 Dialog box indicating there is an error with the remote server certificate

  4. Specify the username and password for the vCenter server at the Recovery Site.

    Again, if you are using the untrusted auto-generated certificates that come with a default installation of SRM you will receive a certificate security warning dialog box. This second certificate warning is to validate the SRM certificate, and is very similar to the previous dialog box for validating the vCenter certificate of the Recovery Site. So, although these two dialog boxes look similar, they are issuing warnings regarding completely different servers: the vCenter server and the SRM server of the Recovery Site. Authentication between sites can be difficult if the Protected and Recovery Sites are different domains and there is no trust relationship between them. In my case, I opted for a single domain that spanned both the Protected and Recovery Sites.

  5. At this point the SRM wizard will attempt to pair the sites, and the Complete Connections dialog box will show you the progress of this task, as shown in Figure 9.5, on the Recent Tasks of the Protected vCenter.

    Figure 9.5

    Figure 9.5 Pairing the sites (a.k.a. establishing reciprocity)

  6. At the end of the process you will be prompted to authenticate the vSphere client against the remote (Recovery) site. If you have two vSphere clients open at the same time on both the Protected and Recovery Sites you will receive two dialog login box prompts, one for each SRM server. Notice how in the dialog box shown in Figure 9.6 I'm using the full NT domain-style login of DOMAIN\Username. This dialog box appears each time you load the vSphere client and select the SRM icon.
    Figure 9.6

    Figure 9.6 Entering login credentials for the Recovery Site vCenter

At the end of this first stage you should check that the two sites are flagged as being connected for both the local site and the paired site, as shown in Figure 9.7.

Figure 9.7

Figure 9.7 The sites are connected and paired together; notice how communication to the vCenter in the Recovery Site used port 443.

Additionally, under the Commands pane on the right-hand side you will see that the Break Connection link is the reverse of the pairing process. It's hard to think of a use case for this option. But I guess you may at a later stage unpair two sites and create a different relationship. In an extreme case, if you had a real disaster the original Protected Site might be irretrievably lost. In this case, you would have no option but to seek a different site to maintain your DR planning. Also in the Commands pane you will find the option to export your system logs. These can be invaluable when it comes to troubleshooting, and you'll need them should you raise an SR with VMware Support. As you can see, SRM has a new interface, and even with vCenter linked mode available this new UI should reduce the amount of time you spend toggling between the Protected and Recovery Sites. Indeed, for the most part I only keep my vCenters separated in this early stage when I am carrying out customer demonstrations; it helps to keep the customer clear on the two different locations.

From this point onward, whenever you load the vSphere client for the first time and click the Site Recovery Manager icon you will be prompted for a username and password for the remote vCenter. The same dialog box appears on the Recovery Site SRM. Although the vSphere client has the ability to pass through your user credentials from your domain logon, this currently is not supported for SRM, mainly because you could be using totally different credentials at the Recovery Site anyway. For most organizations this would be a standard practice—two different vCenters need two different administration stacks to prevent the breach of one vCenter leading to a breach of all others.

Pearson IT Certification Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Pearson IT Certification and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Pearson IT Certification products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.pearsonitcertification.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020