By Crystal / Last Updated April 26, 2022

Why replicate a VM to another host

Replicating a virtual machine to another host is an efficient solution for virtual machine protection that benefits to fast disaster recovery or data migration.

If you are searching for a method to restore your VM quickly from failure, you may try vSphere replication in VMware or Hyper-V replica in Microsoft.

With vSphere replication, you can easily monitor the status of virtual machine in the primary site and configure the recovery point objective (RPO) to prevent virtual machine from data loss and keep business continuity.

Meanwhile, if you need to migrate a virtual machine instead of creating a copy to another host, you could refer to the last part in this article to know the specific steps on how to do the VM migration.


vSphere replication

Prerequisites for replication to another host

For vSphere replication, it is first introduced in VMware vSphere 5.1 Essentials Plus Kit as a built-in feature.

Before replicating to another host via vSphere replication, make sure you have installed it. Please refer to the following steps to install vSphere replication first.

1. Download the vSphere replication ISO image and mount the ISO to your local machine.

2. Log in vSphere client and navigate to vCenter on the primary site, right click the host your want and select Deploy OVF Template.

3. In the opening wizard, select Local file >> UPLOAD FILES, find the location of the mounted ISO, select all .ovf and .vmdk files you need, then click Open.

select an OVF template

4. Enter a name for the virtual machine and select a destination folder, then click Next.

5. Select a host for the replication resource, and click Next to validate it. When the validation is completed, the setting information is presented for you to check. If no problem, click Next.

6. Scan the items, and select I accept all license agreements, then click Next.

7. Select a deployment configuration, choose 2 vCPU or 4v CPU according to your need.

8. Select virtual disk format and datastore for the vSphere replication, and click Next.

select storage for installing vSphere replcation

9. Select a destination network for vSphere replication appliance, and specify the IP setting, then click Next.

Note: vSphere replication cannot use mixed IP addresses and can only be deployed by using IPv4 or IPv6 addresses.

10. Customize the deployment properties and check the information you fill in.

11. Choose the provider of vServices to which the deployed OVF templates should bind, then click Next.

12. Check all the settings are correct, then click Finish to complete the deployment.

Note: Please do not forget to install vSphere replication appliance on another host as well.

13. Log out vSphere client and log into https://IP-Address:5480. Navigate to Configuration, and enter the LookupService Address and passwords. Click Save and Restart Service.

configure vSphere replication

How to replicate a VM to another host in vSphere Replication

After installing vSphere replication appliance service on both sites, you can go to copy a VM to another host. This part introduces the procedures of replicating a VM to another host.

Pair new site

1. Log in vSphere client, click Menu >> Site Recovery >> OPEN Site Recovery >> NEW SITE PAIR.

2. Select the local vCenter you want to pair and enter the required information, then click Next. If a security certificate warning appears, click CONNECT.

site recovery

3. Select the vCenter server and vSphere replication, then click Next.

4. Review the settings are correct, then click Finish.

new site pair

Configure Replication step by step

1. Go back to vCenter, and right click a VM you want to replicate to another host. Click All Site Recovery actions >> Configure Replication to open a wizard.

2.Target site: select the target site to store VM replication, and choose Auto-assign vSphere Replication Server. Click Next.

target site

3. VM validation: verify if the VM could be replicated to another host. Click Next.

4. Target datastore: choose the sort of storage and datastore for replication. Click Next.

target datastore

5. Replication settings: specify recovery point objective (RPO) from 5 minutes to 24 hours. Click Next.

6. Ready to complete: Review the configuration information, click Finish to close the wizard.

Refresh the page, and you can notice the configured replication presented on the Outgoing page.

view details of configuration

Easier way to copy VM to another host directly

Is there a simple and efficient solution to protect virtual machines? How to copy multiple VMs to another host directly?

In VMware ESXi, there is no built-in tool to migrate numerous virtual machines to another destination automatically. So here I will use a professional backup software to show the procedure.

AOMEI Cyber Backup can copy large amounts of virtual machines automatically and restore VM to a new location with a few clicks.

Backup and Restore VMs to another host easily

1. Download AOMEI Cyber Backup and add devices to it. Click Backup Task >> Create New Task.

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2. In the opened window, please do as followings.

  • Enter a name for the backup task.
  • Select virtual machines and location (even supporting back up to network).

    backup to network


  • In Schedule section, configure the backup methods and time to run the task automatically. Click OK.

    schedule backup

  • In Backup Cleanup, specify retention policy for each backup that will delete the unwanted backup files automatically.

    retention policy


3. Restore VM to another host. After backing up the VMs, you can click Restore to recover the VM from any point and restore VM to another host directly without reinstalling or configuration applications.

restore vm to new location

It only needs several clicks to complete a comprehensive backup of multiple virtual machines, and simplifies the procedures of recovery to another host. Even if the original virtual machine is corrupted, you can still create a new virtual machine as same as the previous one.

How to move a virtual machine to another host

If you want to move a virtual machine to another host for data migration instead of replication, please refer to this part.

1. Log in vSphere web client, and right click a VM and select Migrate.

2. On Select the migration type page: select Change compute resource only which means only to migrate the virtual machines to another host or cluster and do not change the storage. Then click Next.

move a vm to another host

3. On Select a compute resource page: see all available hosts on the box, and select a target host that you want to migrate to, then verify the compatibility. Click Next.

4. On Select networks page: select a new destination network for the virtual machine migration. You can keep the VM network as default, and click Next.

5. On Select vMotion priority page: select Schedule vMotion with high priority. Click Next.

select vmotion priority

6. On Ready to complete page: view all settings, if you are satisfied with them, click Finish to complete the migration to another host.

You can go to the target host to check if the migration is successful.

If you are looking for a solution to migrate virtual machine to another host in Hyper-V, please refer to this article: Move-VM.



vSphere replication offers an efficient way to replicating a virtual machine to another host. When you want to migrate data or suffer from a predictable event, you could use vSphere replication to assist you with replication to another host.

Hope this article could help you to configure your vSphere replication.