The following are some new features for SRM and vSphere Replication 8.1.

New HTML5 User Interface

Primary Site info:
VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.7 (Build-in 8217866)
VMware vSphere 6.7 (Build-in 8169922)
VMware Site Recovery Manager 8.1.0 (Build-in 8311425)
VMware vSphere Replication (Build-in 8310693)

Secondary Site info:
VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.7 (Build-in 8217866)
VMware vSphere 6.7 (Build-in 8169922)
VMware Site Recovery Manager 8.1.0 (Build-in 8311425)
VMware vSphere Replication (Build-in 8310693)

Setup two sites pair

When two sites is paired, we can see both SRM are connected.

The summary of both SRM and vSphere Replication 8.1.

Recover Plan

vSphere Replication

When configuring VMs for replication with vSphere Replication, as part of the same protection workflow the VMs can be added to a new or existing Protection Group and a new or existing Recovery Plan.

Flexible Site Pairing – vCenter Decoupling

SRM and vSphere Replication 8.1 have been decoupled from specific versions of vCenter. This means that SRM and vSphere Replication 8.1 can be installed with vCenter 6.0U3, 6.5, 6.5U1 or 6.7. And the same version of vCenter does not have to be run at both sites (eg Site A running vCenter 6.0U3 and Site B running vCenter 6.5). SRM and vSphere Replication 8.1 also work with VMware Site Recovery, the DRaaS offering for VMware Cloud on AWS.

Simplified Upgrade Path

In combination with being decoupled from a specific version of vCenter, SRM & VR 8.1 also support upgrades from more than just the previous release. Customers can now upgrade to SRM and VR 8.1 from SRM and VR 6.1, 6.5 or 8.0. This combined with vCenter version flexibility makes it easier than ever to utilize the latest version of SRM. It reduces the time required and the number of steps needed which combined together reduces risk and simplifies management.

Support for FT Protected VMs

SRM 8.1 now supports protection for VMs that require the use of Fault Tolerance. There are a few restrictions; array-based replication only, both primary and secondary FT VMs must be located on the same array consistency group and the recovery VM is recovered without FT enabled. Even with these restrictions, this added resilience should be enough to support the most critical applications.

Configuration Import/Export Tool

This one is huge. A lot of customers have asked for this and we listened. SRM now has a simple, easy to use tool for exporting and importing the entire SRM configuration. This allows for customers to use it to backup and recover their configuration as well as to migrate between database types (eg. Export from MS SQL Import into vPostgres embedded DB). This tool is run from the command line on the SRM server at either site and it exports/imports the entire configuration.

VMware Docs

Automation enhancements

SRM 8.1 exposes two additional APIs:

  • Configure and Retrieve IP Customization Settings
  • Add/remove Datastores from Array-Based Replication Protection Groups

These APIs in addition to those already exposed, make it easier than ever to automate and interact with SRM programmatically.

Support for more Protection Groups

SRM 8.1 now supports up to 500 Protection Groups per SRM pair, up from 250 in previous releases. This additional capacity provides flexibility for customers with large numbers of applications looking to organize their Protection Groups around individual applications.

vSphere Replication Appliance move to Photon OS

vSphere Replication 8.1 marks the move from SLES to Photon OS for the VR Appliance. Photon OS is a lightweight Linux distribution optimized for vSphere with a security-hardened kernel. It will provide enhanced security, stability and make upgrades and patching the appliance easier. This translates to a more secure, stable and easy to manage solution for customers.