Live Sync Replication

The Live Sync feature enables incremental replication from a backup of a virtual machine (source VM) to a synced copy of the virtual machine (destination VM). The live sync operation opens the destination VM and applies changes from the source VM backups since the last sync point.

You can replicate virtual machines to vCenter.

The live sync feature can initiate replication automatically after backups or on a scheduled basis (for example, daily or once a week), without requiring any additional action from users. Using backup data for replications minimizes the impact on the production workload by avoiding the need to read the source VM again for replication. In addition, in cases where corruption on the source VM is replicated to the destination VM, users can still recover a point-in-time version of the source VM from older backups.

If no new backups have been run since the last live sync, the scheduled live sync does not run.

You can use a snapshot or a streaming backup as the source for live sync operations:

  • Live Sync Direct is used for live sync operations from IntelliSnap backups. Live Sync Direct mounts a snapshot from an IntelliSnap backup, then reads data from the mount directly to the destination VM. Using snapshots eliminates the need to create a backup copy for replication, provides faster replication, and minimizes the impact on the production environment.

    The snapshot can be a hardware snapshot from a storage array or a VM snapshot stored on the source VM.

    Note: When you configure Live Sync Direct from VMware IntelliSnap backups, failback operations are only supported if the IntelliSnap configuration uses the Virtual Server Agent Snap engine. Failback operations are not supported if you use a hardware snapshot engine, regardless of whether the live sync operation is performed from a snap copy or a backup copy.

  • Traditional Live Sync is used for live sync operations from streaming backups or IntelliSnap backup copies.


  • For more information, see Performing Live Sync Failover or Failback.
  • If you include VMware templates in a Live Sync schedule, the templates are replicated to the destination site as virtual machines rather than as templates. As a workaround, you can perform a full VM restore from backup to restore the templates, instead of using Live Sync to replicate templates.

Disaster Recovery

Live Sync can be used to create and maintain warm recovery sites for virtual machines running critical business applications. Live Sync offers the following benefits:

  • The impact on production servers is minimized because Live Sync uses backup data to create replicated virtual machines; backup captures virtual machine data in a single pass, and Live Sync runs on backup infrastructure.
  • Live Sync is hardware agnostic; there is no need to reproduce the original hardware environment at the recovery site.
  • The recovery time objective (RTO), the time interval between a service interruption and the restoration of services from the recovery site, is the time needed to power on the virtual machines at the recovery site. Automated validation and the ability to specify new network connections at the recovery site ensure that startup time is minimized.
  • The recovery point objective (RPO), the acceptable time interval within which virtual machine data must be recoverable, is determined by the frequency of backups.
  • Backup data can be copied to a remote location where Live Sync operations are performed; deduplication and compression reduce the amount of data that needs to be transferred over the wide area network (WAN).

For more information, see the white paper Using Live Sync to Support Disaster Recovery.

Last modified: 4/17/2019 1:41:30 PM