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 or to vCloud. When replicating to vCloud, you can specify the organization, virtual data center (vDC), vApp name, and vApp owner.
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.
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.