VMware SRM Review

It helps execute a playbook to bring up your DR site after failing over a group of VMs to it, although I'd like more tools to help with editing the embedded databases.

Video Review:
Watch the full video review here.

What is most valuable?

Site Recovery Manager is valuable because it helps with the difficult problem of failing a group of virtual machines over to your DR site and bringing them up. Because there's things that must be changed in a machine in order to bring it up somewhere else like maybe its IP address or, you know, any slew of other things, the port groups or whatever it needs to be connected in, and you can either manually do all that by hand or you can program your recovery plan in Site Recovery Manager and it's pretty much, you know, menu driven because it's common things that you would have to do to a server in order to bring it up somewhere else, and you can go in there and you can actually have it prompt you to say oh, by the way, you need to turn on the database server before you turn on the next server. And it pauses and waits there so you can go over here and turn on your database server and then you click dismiss and it goes to the next step. Which you wrote all these steps into the Site Recovery Manager so that's what it does. Really helps execute a playbook for you to be able to help bring up your disaster recovery site.

How has it helped my organization?

You know, I've gone to a lot of Site Recovery Manager training here and stuff. One of the things that I think that they minimize is that normally you'll never use your DR site. But what you have to do every year is test your DR site.

What needs improvement?

Yeah, I would like more tools to help with editing the embedded databases. I have run into some issues where human error, not something that VMware themselves would have ever planned for, but human error, has caused the system to get out of sync. And the only way to correct that would be to actually manually edit the database, which you could do if Site Recovery Manager were on a Window server but now that everything's gone to this, Linux appliance, this sealed up appliance, it's very difficult to actually edit the database. Or maybe just have a reset button for them to be able to put everything back to a normal state. Maybe that's all they would need to do.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a very stable product. It is as scalable as VMware is itself.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's really just an add on to the virtual center. It used to be responsible for replicating. It is no longer responsible for replicating. The replication portion of Site Recovery Manager has been moved to vSphere itself. A lot of people may not know this. So you do not need to buy Site Recovery Manager in order to replicate VMs around. You can do that for free. But the automation piece that I'm telling you about and the playbook and stuff is what you buy Site Recovery Manager for now.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I was responsible for designing and implementing a DR solution for my company and being that we're on a VMware environment it seemed only logical to go to VMware first because all the machines that I need to put at my, disaster recovery site are virtual servers I was like well I'm sure VMware has a solution.

Being able to test the environment, being able to make the changes to the virtual servers so they could come up on a different network. I needed to be able to go in there and change things like the IP address, the DNS settings and stuff like that to be able for them to come up at a different location.

How was the initial setup?

Least favorite things about Site Recovery Manager. It is a little bit difficult to get it set up the first time you've ever just because it is so different.

What about the implementation team?

Actually paid a consultant to come out and help me, train me on how to install it the very first time I installed it three versions ago but I've done it enough now to where I'm comfortable with it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, there weren't at the time I did it. I've been using Site Recovery Manager for several years so.

What other advice do I have?

I always think there's room for improvement. They would seriously need to sit down and take a machine. I want to bring this machine up over here on a different network at a different location. And write down all the steps that they would manually do if they were going to do this process by hand. And like I said the replication is free. So they could technically replicate that over there right now today, make a copy of it and go oh, okay, go bring it up over there and write down all the steps that you have to manually do and then multiply that times the number of machines that you have to do for your DR site. 

In my case it's about one hundred. I need to bring up about one hundred servers. Then you sit there and think to yourself okay, so, and you could just, you know, take your watch and say okay, I'm going to start now. I'm going to go over there and see what it takes to get this server up at the DR site. Oh, that took me about 20 minutes. Okay, well, then, you multiply that times a hundred and you're at 200- 2000 minutes, okay. So would you have 2000 minutes’ worth of time to go through and bring, you know, work on all these servers in the-in the case of a DR scenario. And if the answer's no, then you probably should look at something to help you out. Some tool to help you out with that and that's what Site Recovery Manager brings.

Everybody looks at reviews and I look at the negative reviews as well because I feel like sometimes that some of the positive reviews may not have been real but, up, people will always complain about something they don't like. They're the most vocal so for Site Recovery Manager I would probably type in Site Recovery Manager reviews into a search engine.

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