VMware SRM Room for Improvement
Enterprise Architect at a consumer goods company with 11-50 employees
I would say a lot could be changed to improve the product in terms of troubleshooting and supportability. I think about every two weeks, we had an incident somewhere in the software stack. There were problems that we faced with the vRA (vRealize Automation) multiple times. We had to fix the problem and redeploy it more than once to get it to work properly. Then we had to completely redo our replication. That is a big drawback because it means we had to cancel other plans that had already been scheduled.
To summarize it briefly: users need a lot of enhancement to the quality and functionality of the software for it to be very useful.
For support of VMware version 3, a more recent patch needs to be released. There were a few times that fixes were released but we have already upgraded to those latest levels and the known compatibility problems are not fixed.
The replication advantage the product has does not work for all VMs. For example, if you have a large difference in change frequency within a VM and the VM is big — in one case our VM was 42 terabytes — the data just does not get across in the migration. So the product is really not able to handle either very big VMs or a very large change frequency. I remember we tried it with one Data Mart SQL database where we do continuous ETLs (Extract, Transform and Load). The data reloads on a daily basis. The replication takes too long to complete. The next afternoon after the migration started, we were more or less at 50%. By the evening, we were at 70%. We scratched the data reloaded and started all over again. We found no means to accelerate that. By the time you appear to be progressing, you have to redo the migration. So that is another disadvantage when trying to use SRM.
There are a lot of minor things that need to be in place on both sides of the migration to make it work. If something goes wrong in the middle of the migration, you will have a tough time trying to troubleshoot it. The product has an insufficient method of logging, an insufficient level of operability, and an insufficient level of detailed technical tracing. This lack of information makes it so you can not immediately pinpoint the issues to troubleshoot them. It cost us multiple weekends of lost time while trying to troubleshoot because we do not get this information from the product.
But the things I would like to see for sure in a new release are:
- Fix all minor connectivity issues with auto-recovery.
- Auto-diagnose, auto-identify, and auto-correct issues as they occur and at least try to fix the issues a few times before allowing it to fail. If the fix is not successful then at least inform users that the fix attempt was made and the particular area where the issue is suspected so that users do not lose hours to troubleshooting.
- Open up the solution to be more environmentally agnostic. It should not be so strongly integrated with vCenter. It should be loosely coupled with vCenter and allow other solutions.
- Make the product more robust and much faster. Many replications we have initiated took two weeks before going to the switchover. A lot happens in two weeks. It seems like an eternity when you have no idea why replications stalled over that long of a period of time.
VMware introduced the two next versions of the solution. They are SRM 6.5 and 6.7. I don't have any experience with these two products. However, if I was to talk about version 6, which we are using, at that time we faced a problem specifically when we create recovery plans. After the creation of the recovery plan, sometimes an issue happened in the GUI, in the Center. I'm not sure if that has since been resolved.
We've faced issues with the licensing. If you don't choose a specific license, you can only cover around five or ten virtual machines.
The biggest issue for us is that this product does not have any demo for customers. They should offer demos so that clients can try it out before they commit to buying a license.View full review »
Operations Engineer at a government with 5,001-10,000 employees
I would say VMware has room for improvement with this product. I am sure it is probably better in their 7.0 version, but there are still some bugs in the 6.O version that relates to using it with different browsers. I think a lot of what I run into is related to the 6.0 version. I believe a lot of those bugs have been fixed in the UI once you upgrade to 7.0.View full review »
The decision to move to another product is a matter of room for improvement around functionality and requirements that we had with AWS and moving to the cloud. We are not going to be procuring any more licensing for SRM when we make the move to the cloud. We were looking at a cloud-native solution in order to provide the same functionality as the SRM provides but in the cloud. That is just a matter of the changing environment.
If the functionality of SRM could be replicated in the cloud, that would be the improvement we are looking for in the product.
We have had an issue when some customers have traditional designs and sites. For example, on one another site, they are using hyper-converged, using VMware, or Nutanix. We have a problem with the synchronization between the storage for site to site. This is the main issue. We are adding some other tools to support the synchronization to allow the movement of the workload from site to site easily.
Not all customers have VMware in all workloads. Some customers have a difference, VMware environments, such as Red Hat or Nutanix. VMware SRM is very effective for VMware customers. However, when you have other workflows with other vendors, you can not always use this solution.View full review »
Senior System Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
The interface is not easy to use and can be made more user-friendly.View full review »
Consultant at Daniyals Inc
VMware SRM does not have the capacity to do DR tests. We had issues whenever we were doing tests with the root cause analysis. We had 70 to 80 percent successful results because the vCenters were overloaded and that was the reason that we were having capacity issues.
We have been experiencing an additional problem when adding a regular VM in the replicated storage. By default, it will show an error. However, there is not any monitoring mechanism that would show you are not supposed to have a regular VM which is non-VR in the replicated SRM storage. Whenever we used to do testing we had to figure out that a regular VM is there and remove it manually.
I would like to see a detailed history of the events for each site because I have found difficulty with that. The two vCenters have to be synchronized, which sometimes gives us problems because Keberos does not tolerate more than five minutes in time difference.View full review »
When used in conjunction with storage replication software it is not possible to separate and failover an individual VM. When the VMs are sitting on the same storage LUN, the granularity is not sufficient. Ideally, we should be able to choose one virtual machine and separate it from the rest.
If the price were more competitive then it would be very good.View full review »
The challenge it has is with the speed of failing over. Sometimes it can cause a bit of downtime during switchovers. Sometimes you realize that when you are failing over you can have downtime due to the fact that you're stepping down on one side and powering up on another side.
Senior BCDR Professional at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
I would like to see this solution be more scalable.
We currently use our security in addition to VMware SRM.View full review »
The configuration process could be improved.View full review »
Consultant at Daniyals Inc
Unfortunately, SRM is not stable and it therefore requires continuous monitoring. If there are any issues associated with the Center, SRM doesn't work well and as a result, it generates a lot of tickets and productivity drops.
Senior Information Technology Manager at a retailer with 5,001-10,000 employees
We've had configuration issues on occasion. We start to fail over, and then we have to call it off because the configuration is not right, or the data stores aren't configured correctly in the secondary data center. Oftentimes, it is just the experience level of the team, and we have to bring in the vendor to help and validate our configuration.View full review »
The solution could improve by removing some of the limitations we have been facing. There could be better integrated.View full review »