We’re back with our monthly tweet chat! This month we discussed Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 8.2 and recent updates. We were joined by Virtually Speaking host, Pete Flecha, and VMware Availability tech guru, Cato Grace! Catch up on the SRM hour below.
Q1: Can you give a brief description of Site Recovery Manager & give us the rundown on what’s new with 8.2?
A1: SRM integrates tightly with vCenter Server to simplify DR management by automating the testing and orchestration of centralized recovery plans. In 8.2 we have, SRM available as an appliance, updated vROps management pack for SRM, new vROPs management pack for VR, new APIs and vRO workflows, UI for config export/import tool, VR traffic encryption, support for protection and replication of VM encryption protected VMs, syslog support, dark mode, feedback options and more. – Cato
A1: I can’t imagine anybody NOT knowing what SRM is these days but the short answer IMHO is the easy button for BCDR. We could spend an hour just on the non-disruptive test capabilities but I digress.8.2 still supports Windows obviously, but I wouldn’t count on future versions. Sorry to disappoint the zero people who love managing additional Operating Systems. – Pete
Q2: How does the Photon OS-based virtual appliance increase security?
A2: It was the first thing I asked when I started at VMware. Because of the challenge of SRAs I was told never so I’m thrilled we finally got it released. It is purposely designed as an appliance OS instead of using a general purpose OS. The biggest benefit is the ease of deployment, management and maintenance. – Cato
A2: This has to be the most frequent request I’d heard of in all my days of SRM. Nobody will miss running SRM on Windows. – Pete
Q3: I heard there is a feedback feature on 8.2! Can you discuss the benefits of this addition?
A3: Yes, users of SRM and VR can now provide feedback directly to the engineers who develop the products. This will mean that the product will improve faster and we’ll be better able to give customers what they want. – Cato
Q4: How do SRM and vSphere Replication work together to simplify disaster recovery (DR)?
A4: SRM orchestrates DR, it requires either array-based replication or vSphere Replication to move the data between sites. Either replication method works, and they can be used together, just not on the same VM. VR allows for replicating individual VMs regardless of the underlying storage so that’s even easier. – Cato
A4: This could be a 2 hour discussion on all the headaches endured configuring and managing replicated volumes on a storage array. vSphere Replication not only gives you granular replication but its integrated right into vSphere. This is such a huge advantage. – Pete
Q5: I work with vSphere and vROps, can SRM be integrated with the software stack?
A5: Absolutely! There is a very powerful vROps management pack for SRM. – Pete
A5: Yes! SRM can protect and recover VMs managed by vROPs. It can protect and recover the vROps management VMs as well. And there are vROps management packs for SRM and VR. – Cato
Q6: Story time! Can you describe an instance when SRM saved the day?
A6: So many: Hurricane Sandy. Sync replication between NYC and NJ doesn’t protect you from a Cat 5 hurricane. Customer proactively failed over to tertiary DR in Denver. – Pete
A6: I actually hear more stories of planned fail-overs than unplanned. SRM let’s you do full non-disruptive tests which makes planned migration a breeze. – Cato
Q7: What advice would you give an IT admin who’s about to install Site Recovery Manager?
A7: 1 word: Photon. My biggest headache was always the SRAs and making sure replication was setup properly before the install. That’s why I prefer vSphere Replication. If you like podcasts Virtually Speaking did an episode recently all about SRM 8.2. Lots of great resources out there before you install. StorageHub is a great starting place. – Pete
A7: The biggest challenge with SRM is not the install, it is the DR work of figuring out what applications to protect, RPOs, RTOs, etc. Standard installation stuff. Read the docs, follow the docs and don’t rush it. And install the appliance! That said, it shouldn’t take more than an hour or two to have it running and protecting VMs. – Cato
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