Enabling VCDR


VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery (VCDR) protects your vSphere virtual machines by replicating them periodically to a VMware Cloud backup site and recovering them as needed to a VMware Cloud on AWS Recovery Software Defined Data Center ("SDDC").

VCDR supports two deployment modes- On-demand and Pilot Light:

  • The on-demand deployment (also known as "just in time" deployment) of a cloud DR site provides an attractive alternative to continuously maintaining a warm standby cloud DR site. With on-demand deployment, the recurring costs of a cloud DR site are eliminated in their entirety until a failover occurs and cloud resources are provisioned.
  • With a Pilot Light deployment, VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery enables a smaller subset of SDDC hosts to be deployed ahead-of-time for recovering critical applications with lower RTO requirements than an on-demand approach. The Pilot Light deployment mode assists organizations to reduce the total cost of cloud infrastructure by maintaining a scaled-down version of a fully functional environment always running in warm-standby while ensuring that core applications are readily available when a disaster  occurs.

VCDR supports two different sites which can be configured as protected sites:

  • On-prem vCenter 
  • VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC

The following figure demonstrates communication between VCDR components


VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery components work together from protected site to cloud backup to failover and failback.


Use Cases

  • Protecting Virtual machine from either one or more sites
  • Utilise the Cloud backup space to save the replicated VM from different Protected sites
  • Configure the replication of VM which has a Higher RTO as compared to critical workloads
  • Single VM Recovery from Snapshots to a recovery site or on protected site
  • Ransomware Recovery


  • User account API token
  • On-prem or VMC on AWS SDDC
  • Subscription for VCDR
  • Recovery SDDC (3 node minimum) deployed in case of Pilot Light.
  • When you deploy your recovery SDDC, it must be connected to an AWS account belonging to you, called the 'customer AWS account'.

General Considerations/Recommendations

  • When you deploy your Recovery SDDC, it must be connected to an AWS account belonging to you, called the 'customer AWS account'.
  • Since VCDR also utilises snapshot technology, ensure no overlap of backup and replication tasks are happening at the same time.
  • Deploy a minimum of 2 Connector for resilience and load balancing
  • Add additional connector for every 500 VM configured for replication

Cost Implications

  • Combination of storage and virtual machine. For detailed information, see link.
  • per-TiB charge based on the protected storage capacity
  • per virtual machine charge based on the number of protected VMs (total price = $/TiB + $/VM)

Performance Considerations

While the minimum RTO of 4 hours is configurable, also add recovery SDDC creation time when designing for On-demand use case.

Documentation Reference

VMware VCDR user guide

Enabling Replication Using VCDR

VCDR can be consumed in two ways – On-demand and Pilot Light.

On-demand Traffic Workflow

The following figure shows the replication and failback workflow in an on-demand SDDC Scenario. 

Pilot-Light Traffic Workflow

The following figure shows the replication and failback workflow in a Pilot Light Scenario. 

Subscription and API token 

To get started with VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery, you must request the service from VMware and ensure that it is activated. If you are a new customer to VMware Cloud Services, you can request VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery through your VMware sales representative. If you already use VMware Cloud Services, you can request access to the VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery from the VMware Cloud Services console by following the procedures listed below.

You can purchase a protected storage capacity subscription for VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery, which you can buy either through VMware, using VMware Subscription Purchasing Program (SPP) credits, or from AWS.

To use VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery, you must first  create an API token from the VMC console. An API token authorises service access per organization. The API token is used by VCDR to control the customer's VMC on AWS service on behalf of the customer.

Ensure that you create and configure the API token before your users access the VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery UI. The token should have access for the VMware Cloud account that will have the protected and recovery SDDCs.

You can get the token on VMware Cloud Services > My Account.

Choose from one of the following roles:

  1. Organization Owner role
  2. Administrator and NSX Cloud Admin VMware Cloud on AWS service roles
  3. Not Expiring soon
  4. Scoped within the organization "Customer ORG name"

Graphical user interface, application, email

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