VMware is a virtualization platform that allows enterprises both small and large to reduce both capital expenses and operating expenses through the adoption of a managed programs approach to IT solutions and support services. More than 120,000 enterprises worldwide currently employ a VMware strategy, but the company that produces VMware is improving its software on an ongoing basis rather than being content to "rest on their laurels."
A recent improvement involves the Site Recovery Manager (SRM) system. This aspect of VMware provides for recovery in cases where virtual servers fail for one reason or another. Under the previous version of VMWare, the SRM system was an incomplete solution because it relied on a storage application provided by a third-party vendor. This application, responsible for replicating data from the virtualization layer to a recovery site so that an enterprise could continue to use it, required a storage array to support it.
With the release of VMWare's new feature known as vSphere Replication, which is included as a standard element in SRM 5.0 as well as vSphere 5.0, data on virtual machines can be replicated in the virtualization layer itself instead of in a storage layer provided by a third-party application. This makes data replication less expensive because it eliminates the need to purchase a separate storage array. Indeed, in many cases enterprises would have to purchase not just a storage array but also a replication function for it, which was often offered as an optional feature for a separate fee.