Replication Group Options for VMware

When you configure a replication group for VMware, provide VMware-specific values for the destination site.

You can replicate to VMware from VMware streaming backups (traditional Live Sync) or VMware IntelliSnap backups (Live Sync Direct).


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.

Configure Replication Group Options

  • Select one of the following options:

    • Live Sync: Replicate from streaming backups.

    • Live Sync Direct: Replicate from VMware IntelliSnap backups.

      With Live Sync Direct configurations, a maximum of three VM snapshots are retained on source VMs.

    • Live Sync IO: Perform block-level replication for VMware.

      See Configuring a Replication Group for Live Sync I/O.

Content Options

  • Hypervisors: Select the hypervisor for the source VMs.

    When you edit an existing replication group, you cannot change this value.

  • Name: Enter a descriptive name for the replication group, or change the name.

  • Select VM group (not applicable for Live Sync Direct): Select an existing VM group, or select Create new VM group to add specific VMs and create a new VM group.

    When you edit an existing replication group, you cannot change this value.

  • Update the replication group if VMs are added or removed from this VM group: Select this option when you are replicating all of the VMs in a VM group, to ensure that changes to the VM group will be reflected in replication operations.

  • Select VMs: Select specific virtual machines to be replicated and click OK.

    For traditional Live Sync, you can select VMs from the specified VM group.

  • Plan: For Live Sync Direct or when you choose to create a new VM group, select a previously defined server plan for the group.

  • Snap engine: (Live Sync Direct only) Select one of the following:

    • Virtual Server Agent Snap to take a VM-level snapshot.

    • Snapshot engine for a storage array to take a hardware snapshot.

Target Options

  • Target: Select a previously defined replication target or click Create replication target to create a new replication target.

    When you edit an existing replication group, you cannot change this value.

  • Access Node: Select a VSA proxy that can be used to perform the replication operation.

  • Schedule: The only available option is Immediately after the backup job completes.

Advanced Options

  • Validate destination VM (Power ON and OFF): Select this option to verify that the destination VM is bootable by powering it on and then powering off. Changes resulting from the power on are not preserved. If guest tools are not installed on the source VM, validation is skipped even when this option is selected.

    The boot disk for the source VM must be a local disk (on an ESX datastore that is accessible without a network connection). If the VM uses an iSCSI virtual disk to boot or requires a network connection to access the boot disk, validation fails because the network connection is disabled for validation.

    If validation fails, the destination virtual machine reverts back to its last valid (bootable) state.

  • Unconditionally overwrite if it already exists: When this option is selected, the first Live Sync operation replaces an existing virtual machine with the same name in the target location, even if the destination VM is running.

    Live Syncs from incremental backups are not affected by this setting. Subsequent incremental backups and Live Sync updates are applied to the destination VM without overwriting the VM. If the destination VM is currently running, the Live Sync fails.

  • Snapshots to retain on destination VM: Enter the maximum number of recovery point snapshots to retain on the destination site. Each recovery point snapshot represents the state of a VM that you can choose when performing a point-in-time failover.

  • Disk Provisioning: Select the disk provisioning type for the destination VM: Original, Thick Lazy Zero, Thin, or Thick Eager Zero.

    When configuring a domain controller VM for live sync, select Thick Lazy Zero.

    When you edit an existing replication group, you cannot change this value.

  • Transport mode for VMware: Use Auto to have the transport mode selected automatically based on the environment, or select a different value from this list: SAN, Hot Add, NBD, NBD SSL, or NAS.

  • Select copy: Select the backup copy that should be used as source for the replication operation.

Override Options

Click Yes to override settings for specific VMs.

To change the destination settings for specific VMs, select the VMs from the Virtual machine list. You can enter the following information:

  • VM display name: Enter the display name for the destination VM.

    You can only change this value when adding a new VM.

  • Destination host: Click Browse to select a host for the destination VM.

    You can only change this value when adding a new VM.

  • Datastore: Select a datastore to be used for virtual machine disks.

    You can only change this value when adding a new VM.

  • Resource pool: Select a resource pool for the destination VM.

    You can only change this value when adding a new VM.

  • Network settings: Click Add to create a new mapping between a source network and a destination network.

  • IP address settings: Click Add to customize IP address settings.

    If a Windows or Linux source VM uses a static IP address, you can configure an IP address for the destination VM. You can configure IP address mapping for static IP addresses for source VMs that run the following operating systems:

    • Windows 2000 and later versions

    • CentOS or RHEL: 5.x, 6x, 7.x, 8.x

    • Ubuntu: 12.x, 14.x, 16.x

    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server: 10.x, 11.x, 12.x