SRM 6.1 Support for Stretched Storage Cluster

At the US VMworld at the end of August 2015 VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 6.1 was announced. Once of the new features of this release is the support for stretched storage clusters. A stretched cluster is where your storage is stretched between two sites. A stretched storage cluster is used in a vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC), see https://pelicanohintsandtips.wordpress.com/2015/07/23/vmware-vsphere-metro-storage-cluster-vmsc/ for details of vMSC and the differences between it and SRM.

With SRM 6.1 and a stretched storage cluster this allows SRM recovery plans running in planned mode to utilise vMotion between the sites to move the Virtual Machines stored on the stretched storage cluster. This means a planned migration of the workloads can be performed without an outage. Prior to SRM 6.1 (and a stretched storage cluster) a recovery plan running in planned mode needed to shutdown the virtual machines at the protected site, present the storage at the recovery site and then power the virtual machines on at the recovery site; so there was always an outage in the workloads. As shown in the following screenshot when you perform a Planned migration there is a checkbox to Enable vMotion of eligible VMs.

Further details on this new feature plus the other enhancements in SRM 6.1 can be found at https://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/products/SRM/vmware-site-recovery-manager-whats-new.pdf

As you have two vCenters with SRM, one at the Protected Site and another at the Recovery Site then this new functionality must take advanced of a new vSphere 6 ability to vMotion across sites and between vCenters. Therefore the two vCenters will need to be configured in Enhanced Linked Mode to enable cross vCenter vMotion.

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