VMware SRM Review

Good replication and integration capabilities with a straightforward setup

What is our primary use case?

We have implemented SRM to replicate around the 800 virtual machines to the data recovery files. Due to the fact that we implemented to data centers as well as the primary and secondary data center, we use SRM to replicate around most of the virtual machines in order to be the secondary site.

How has it helped my organization?

If you can plan and create a recovery plan correctly, it will do and replicate virtual machines and when a disaster occurs, you can easily replicate off the secondary site. If you create a proper primary recovery plan, you have good protection.

What is most valuable?

The most important features that we're using are the replication of VMs as well as the integration with the EMC recovery platform. The replication solutions to replicate the LAN and data storage to the secondary external storage.

The solution is quite stable. We haven't had an issue with the performance.

The solution is very flexible. 

What needs improvement?

VMware introduced the two next versions of the solution. They are SRM 6.5 and 6.7. I don't have any experience with these two products. However, if I was to talk about version 6, which we are using, at that time we faced a problem specifically when we create recovery plans. After the creation of the recovery plan, sometimes an issue happened in the GUI, in the Center. I'm not sure if that has since been resolved.

We've faced issues with the licensing. If you don't choose a specific license, you can only cover around five or ten virtual machines.

The biggest issue for us is that this product does not have any demo for customers. They should offer demos so that clients can try it out before they commit to buying a license.

For how long have I used the solution?

At this point, I have been using the solution for about two or three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is very good. There aren't bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It is reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, you can integrate the POC and you can distribute SRM on three sites. At our project, we use VPLEX architecture to distribute storage between two data centers and therefore we could publish an important file related to SRM virtual machines and the active LANs, which is distributed between two data centers. In terms of scalability and holding of data storage, we can put a doc online whenever we need to.

Our team has around six members for virtual support and maintenance of the VMware infrastructure. In terms of the customers that are related to using the VMware services, there are around 800 people.

How are customer service and technical support?

Due to the sanctions in my country, in Iran, we can not use direct support from VMware and there is not a partner in my country. Therefore, we need to study, we need to design, we need to support everything directly and focus on providing maintenance service to our customers ourselves.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. It's not too complex. 

Deployments can typically take two months.

In the first month, I dedicate focus on learning and conducting POC sessions. For around two or three weeks, I also spend some time implementing SRM at the site.

What about the implementation team?

I am responsible directly for installations.

I work with a specific team that includes three members. I'm responsible as a team lead and VMware engineer. I have two other team members, one member has a specific focus on its storage concept and another is working on the networking.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We are always looking for solutions that are more affordable. SRM is more expensive than, for example, VirtualBox.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have looked into Zerto. I attended a seminar two years ago. If we ever moved off of this solution, we may switch to that. It is quite affordable and is very hands-on. It may even be easier in terms of deployment. They are very similar solutions overall.

What other advice do I have?

We are using two product versions. We are using product versions 6.0 and 6.5.

We need to use only on-premises deployment models. This due to the fact that there are sanctions in my country. We cannot use the cloud services directly as there is no support.

For customers who are using VMware infrastructure, I recommend using VMware SRM due to the fact that it has the ability to integrate with other products like HP, SRA, or even CSRA. It has good features that integrate well with a storage concept.

Overall, I would rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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