HI All, during the last month i was very busy installing VMware SRM at different EMC customer sites, this product is really picking up here and it never stopped to amaze me how simple and effective this product is.

yesterday, i wanted to enjoy one day at the office (finally) so i can attend to other tasks that i didn’t have the time to but Mr. Murphy decided otherwise…

apparently, there was a flood that started late in the evening and by the time i got to my open space desk, this what was happened to my workmate’s workspace:

OK, so disaster could happen not only at customer sites! (Ron, i hope you are ok!)

It also caused me to write a post about vCenter SRM, mainly about how to perform an automated Failback..

now, as I’m sure most of you already familiar with the two basic functions of SRM:

1. Test Failover

2. Failover

in option 1, SRM will utilize the remote array copy and will take either a CLONE, BCV, SNAP or Image Access from the remote replica for the SRM isolated testing

in option 2, SRM will utilize the remote replica and bring the lun(s) as the primary one (R+W) while booting the VM’s out of it in the order you specify in the Recovery Plan

assuming you are now working at the Recovery Site and want to perform a failback to your protected site (mainly useful when customers are performing SRM failover as a “real” SRM test where the original site remain intact), how do you do it, SRM doesn’t have a one button Failback (yet..)

ok, so here are your options when using EMC Storage

using the EMC Failback tool

What it DOES:

–Powers down Virtual Machines (Recovery Site)

–Failback Replicated FC/NFS/iSCSI LUNs

–Reestablish Replication (Protected – Recovery)

–Register Virtual Machines (Protected Site)

–Power on Virtual Machines (Protected Site)

here’s how it looks using the

1a. EMC Unified Array (the NS Part of it..):

1b. EMC Unified Array (the CX Part of it..):


2. EMC RecoverPoint:

RecoverPoint is integrated with VMware vCenter for the discovery of ESX servers and their associated virtual machines and the mapping of virtual machine storage resources to RecoverPoint consistency groups. The RecoverPoint protection status for each discovered virtual machine is displayed on the GUI and will also be available though the command line interface. Additionally, a RecoverPoint alert will be sent when the protection status of a virtual machine changes

Any change in this protection status, such as a virtual machine moving from being fully protected by RecoverPoint to being partially protected by RecoverPoint will result in RecoverPoint logging and raising an alert.

The EMC RecoverPoint failback tool is a plug-in to VMware vCenter Server Virtual Center, just like Site Recovery Manager. Once installed, users have access to the features and steps necessary to automate the failback process after Site Recovery Manager has been used to mitigate a disaster. Similar to Site Recovery Manager, users configure the relationship between the Site B and Site A, identify those LUNs that have been failed over, and simply press the failback button—RecoverPoint handles the rest.

3. EMC Symmetrix / VMAX

when using the EMC Symmetrix / VMAX array there is no failback button but that does NOT mean we didn’t simplify the failback process with these arrays, we HAVE! (some may argue and say it’s even easier than the one failback button because it leave you in the SRM context..)


first, for the SRM testing Scenario, you can now use of EMC VSI (Virtual Storage Integrator) that will now let you select the LUNS (and pools) directly from the vCenter GUI

secondly, for failback, basically all the steps that involved a storage person reversing the replication back from R2 to R1 has been saved from you, the SRDF SRA will do it for you!!! (assuming you have a working site / array / network to failback to and using the SRM failover mechanism to simulate a “real” SRM failover like i mentioned above)

here’s a quick demo of it in Action:

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