VMware SRM Review

We Were Able To Cut Outage To A Maximum Of One Hour


What is most valuable?

Virtual Machine Recovery during DR situation, with automation and easy to use menus and options.

How has it helped my organization?

Earlier, in case of disaster or server failure we had to rebuild the whole server/virtual machine from scratch. This rebuilding process used to take anywhere from close to a day or more, affecting production time.

With VMware vSphere Replication and SRM combined, we were able to cut down outage windows to a maximum of one hour.

We are making good use of replicated VMs for testing of OS/application update, before applying same to the production environment.

What needs improvement?

In my view, if VMware comes up with an appliance-based solution like vCenter Server (which was also Windows-based), it will be much easier for deployment. It will also save Windows Server Operating System licensing costs, which for most of the organization recur annually.

For how long have I used the solution?

Around five years (maybe more, I can't recollect exactly).

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Not really for use and operation, but a version upgrade is a real problem. When upgrading to the latest version, there are always problems with the upgrade, normal functioning etc. Doing an upgrade is lot of hard work. Always had to rely on next minor upgrade.

VMware needs to do better software testing before release.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How are customer service and technical support?

Very good. They are very eager to support the customer and, more than just wanting to close the ticket, they strive for customer satisfaction.

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

Previously we were not using any DR solution, but we are using Veeam along with SRM.

SRM is being used for far-end recovery whereby the DR site is in another city.

Veeam is being used for near-end recovery, whereby the DR server is located in the same datacenter. This is useful for VM level recovery, where only a VM or handful VMs or vDisks are affected.

How was the initial setup?

It was pretty straightforward. We kept the DC and DR servers together in the same datacentre during initial setup and VM syncing. After setup and syncing completion, we moved the DR server to the DR site.

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

Compare to hardware-based replication, I think software based replication is best and cheap. For a start, one can use vSphere Replication, which is available free of cost if vCenter is purchased for deploying a DR solution. It is very easy to deploy, though the recovery process will be manual. With SRM, the whole replication and recovery process can be automated for fast VM recovery.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No.

What other advice do I have?

It’s a good product from VMware. Just ensure that for each version upgrade, be patient and look for reviews or, if possible, have a test (virtualized) environment for test deployment.

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