VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5 was announced back in July 2011. Many customers have waited until migrating to vSphere 5 to move to SRM 5; in fact update 1 is the latest release for both vSphere and SRM.
SRM brings some great new features, at a high-level they are the following:
- vSphere Replication – one of the big knocks of SRM in the past was that the product still required array-based replication; two SANs, one in production and one in DR. With vSphere Replication, array based replication is no longer a requirement.
- Workflow Changes – SRM now offers planned migrations, reprotection, and failback. Failback has been a requested feature ever since the product was released. With previous versions, if you failed over to the DR site, you had recreate protection groups, inventory, and recovery plans to failback. Long story short, it was a tedious task. With the failback option this is now a much easier procedure.
- User interface – the user interface received a makeover and is much more streamlined now. The interface is still a plugin to vCenter, but configuring array managers, protection groups, etc. is much better in comparison to previous versions of SRM.
A few notes from the field:
- The storage replication adapter (SRA) is still required for array based replication. In fact, EMC now requires the SRA and a replicator enabler. Be sure to check for the latest versions on VMware and the SAN manufacturer’s websites.
- VMware SRM hardware compatibility list (HCL); prior to moving to SRM 5, just like any upgrade with VMware, check the SRM HCL (http://www.vmware.com/support/srm/srm-storage-partners.html). If the SAN manufacturer doesn’t provide an updated SRA or replicator enabler, SRM will not be able to communicate with the storage arrays.
In summary, VMware SRM 5 offers many new features that have been on the customer/partner hit list for many years now. Just perform your due diligence before upgrading or have Gotham services perform the upgrade for your organization.