Replication Server Architecture Advice for two sites sharing one VCenter?

We have two sites connected with a 1 Gb WAN link, each with a an ESXi Cluster (larger site with 5 hosts and smaller site with 3 hosts), both are managed by a single VCenter Server which is located at the larger site.

I would like to replicate a business critical Web Application Server and its separate SQL Server from the larger site to the smaller site for DR purposes and also be able to replicate it back the other way if ever I need to.

The Application Server is quite large - 10TB and the SQL Database server is pretty busy so there may be a lot of replication traffic if ever I have to do a complete sync from one site to the other.

I would like to understand the correct way to architect the VSR environment?

Am I correct in thinking that the vSphere Replication Management Server should be located at the smaller site (as the VCenter Server is located at the larger site along with the Web Application and DB servers)?

Am I correct in thinking that I should setup a vSphere Replication Server on the larger site so that I have a remote replication server to use as a target if I ever need to fail the system back from the smaller site to the larger site?

Thanks and Regards


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VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Note that the VRMS and VRS are the same appliance, the VRMS just has the management components enabled. Also note that traffic flows from the source host to the VR appliance (either VRMS or VRS) then to the target host datastore. It is best to have the VR appliance close to the target.

The VRMS should be located at the site with your VC (as it requires a VC to operate) and the VRS at the smaller site. This would allow for the best traffic flow during normal operation and failback (note that when you configure for failback you would select the VRMS at the larger site, during normal replication you would replicate to the VRS at the smaller site).

Also note that with VR recovery is manual and done VM by VM. If you want DR automation take a look at SRM (though note that you would need a VC at each site).

I also recommend having a look at the VR calculator to confirm that your bandwidth will be sufficient:

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