How to: VMware Site Recovery Manager 5 – Part 1: Preparation

The last couple of weeks I have been playing around with VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5 in my home lab after attending the vCenter Site Recovery Manager: Install, Configure, Manage course. As you all probably know, SRM is an end-to-end disaster recovery product that automates the recovery of VMs that reside on replicated LUNs. The version 5 of SRM comes with vSphere Replication (VR for short) which is a technique that copies the VMs from one host to another. In the next blog posts I will give you a quick start tutorial of SRM 5 with VR.

Lab Setup

As you can see in the drawing below, I have built 2 sites for testing purposes, Site A is the Protected Site and Site B is the Recovery site.

The installation process of SRM 5 is quite straight forward but the database and the ODBC connection must be set up first.


Before the installation you have to create a database and an ODBC connection for the deployment of SRM 5. I used the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express which was installed during the vCenter Server installation. Make sure you have the SQL Management Tools installed on your system.

  1. Before creating the database, open the SQL Server Configuration Manager and under the SQL Server Network Configuration -> Protocols, edit the properties of TCP/IP. Make sure that all IP addresses are active and enabled. Verify that no TCP Dynamic Ports are assigned and the default TCP/IP port is set to 1433. Check Windows Firewall if TCP port 1433 is allowed for inbound connection. 
  2. Start the SQL Server Management Studio and edit the properties of the SQL Server. Select Security and set the Server Authentication to SQL Server and Windows Authentication mode. Click OK to save the settings, exit the SQL Server Manager and restart the SQL Server Service.
  3. Open the SQL Server Management Studio again, right click on Database and select New Database. Provide a suggestive name (i.e. SRMBD) and leave all setting to default. Click OK to create the database.
  4. Next, create a user account that will be accessing the SRM database. Go to Security and right click Logins, select New Login. Provide a suggestive name (i.e. srmadmin), set the authentication to SQL Server and provide a password. Un-check the “Enforce password expiration” option. Select Server Roles in the left side pane and verify that Public is selected. Proceed to User Mapping and select your SRM database created in step 3. Make sure DB_Owner and Public are selected as the database role membership. Click OK.
  5. Go to your SRM database, expand Security, right click Schemas and select New Schema. Enter a name for the schema (Note: the schema name must be the same as the database user name, in this case: srmadmin) and enter the name of the user created in step 4. Click OK.
  6. Next, expand the Users under Security of your database. Edit the properties of the user account created in step 4 (i.e. srmadmin) and change the default schema to the one created is step 5. Click OK and close the SQL Server Management Studio.

ODBC Connection

SRM 5 uses 32-bit ODBC connection. You can open the odbcad32.exe from the %SystemRoot%SysWOW64 folder.

  1. In the ODBC Data Source Administrator, select System DSN and click on the Add button. Scroll down and select the SQL Server Native Client. Click Finish.
  2. Provide a name for the data source (i.e. SRM) and select the server from the pull down menu. Click Next.
  3. Change the authentication to SQL Server and provide the username and password created in step 4 of the database creation (i.e. srmadmin). Click Next.
  4. In the next window, change the Default Database to the one created in step 3 of the database creation. Click Next.
  5. Leave all settings to default and click Finish.
  6. Click on Test Data Source to test the connection to the database. Click OK to close the ODBC Administrator.

The environment is now ready for SRM 5 installation. Repeat these steps for the Recovery Site. Continue to part 2, the installation of SRM 5.


– Marek.Z


  1. I encountered errors when my DR site changed IP Addresses [SRM/VRMS/VR] especially the databases and cant connect anymore so, I end up re-installing.

    • Hi Eytz,

      SRM is very prone to name and IP changes in your environment. And yes, reinstalling the product is the only option to solve the issues.I’m glad it is working now.


  2. Thanks for SRM info.

    How can I install SQL Studio if I used the SQLExpress option during VC setup?

    I have tried many different SQL Express 2008 installers and never get the option to install studio afterwards (probably because setup is launching the original installer not the only I just kicked off). Installing only SSMS MSI says successful but nothing is installed.

    Only way I can get studio installed is to pre-install SQL & studio, manually create the VC DB & user accounts (script) then install VC.

    • Have resorted to replacing “SQLEXPR_x64_ENU.exe” in the redist folder of VIM with the Express ADV version (renamed). It installs fine, but need to rerun install to get tools, but at least this works without any errors.

  3. Good guide. Very helpful with getting my SRM setup going. One thing above is now wrong. At least with SRM 5.5.1, you need to use the 64 bit ODBC. I followed these steps to create the 32bit ODBC and SRM didn’t recognize it. Switched to 64 bit and it worked.

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