SRM 8.5 was released a couple days ago now (10.5.21) and offers some interesting additions. At the top I’ll note that our SRDF SRA 9.2.x is compatible with SRM 8.5. For many point releases, VMware does not significantly alter how SRM works and thus simply brings certification forward from the previous release. Since we support SRM 8.4 we are automatically granted support for SRM 8.5. Just a reminder since SRM 8.4, VMware no longer supports Windows:
While there are a few more than this, these are the three features I think are most relevant for our customers.
- VMware SRM 8.5 adds compatibility with VMware vSphere 7.0 Update 3
- Enhancements to VM automatic protection – automatic protection removal and ability to move virtual machines between protection groups
- Stretched storage support for array-based replication protection groups
Update 3 in the first bullet point was released on the same date, and support for new vSphere versions is a common feature for a new SRM release, though critical if you are upgrading. The second feature is an expansion of the capability VMware added in 8.4 to make SRM more proactive when dealing with changes to say the VMs inside of a datastore that are already protected, or as I’ve demonstrated on this blog when adding a new vVol VM to a VASA Replication Group.
It is that last feature I’ve listed that is of greatest interest to me. VMware is dropping the requirement for storage policies when using SRDF/Metro in a two-site configuration. Most customers of course use SRDF/Metro in three-site configurations and failover to the asynchronous site during a disaster. But prior to SRM 8.5 if you wanted to use SRDF/Metro in its two-site form with SRM, you had to create storage policies and tags/categories along with Enhanced Linked Mode (two vCenters sharing the same PSC). Besides being a bit of a pain to configure, storage policies do not support RDMs so that was a huge roadblock. But now that VMware will allow us to use the traditional datastore grouping, RDMs are supported. (BTW the ELM requirement does remain.)
Here is a quick configuration I did with two VMs on two SRDF/Metro datastores with one VM having an RDM.
Now when I create the protection group, I can use datastore groups and not storage policies.
And then run a quick test.
My VM with RDM is available on the recovery site.
Now we don’t have a lot of customers that use two-site SRDF/Metro configurations with the SRDF SRA, but for those who do this will make things much simpler. Good luck with your upgrades.