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BlueXP disaster recovery

Learn about BlueXP disaster recovery for VMware

Contributors amgrissino

Disaster recovery to the cloud is a resilient and cost-effective way of protecting workloads against site outages and data corruption events. With BlueXP disaster recovery for VMware, you can replicate your on-premises VMware workloads running ONTAP storage to a VMware software-defined data center in a public cloud using NetApp cloud storage or to another on-premises VMware environment with ONTAP storage as a disaster recovery site.

BlueXP disaster recovery is a cloud-based disaster recovery service that automates disaster recovery workflows. Initially, with the BlueXP disaster recovery service you can protect your on-premises, NFS-based workloads and in a technology preview, VMware vSphere virtual machine file system (VMFS) datastores running NetApp storage to one of the following:

  • VMware Cloud (VMC) on AWS with Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP or

  • Another on-premises, NFS-based VMware environment with ONTAP storage

Important With this release, disaster recovery is supported in a technology preview for on-premises VMware workloads to on-premises VMware environments with VMware vSphere virtual machine file system (VMFS) datastores. NetApp doesn't charge you for any previewed workload capacity.

BlueXP disaster recovery uses ONTAP SnapMirror technology as the replication transport to the disaster recovery site. This enables industry-best storage efficiency (compression and deduplication) on primary and secondary sites.

Diagram showing components of the BlueXP disaster recovery for VMware

Benefits of using BlueXP disaster recovery for VMware

BlueXP disaster recovery offers the following benefits:

  • Simplified user experience for vCenter discovery and recovery of applications with multiple point-in-time recovery operations 

  • Lower total cost of ownership with reduced cost of operations and ability to create and adjust disaster recovery plans with minimal resources

  • Continuous disaster recovery readiness with virtual failover testing that does not disrupt operations

  • Faster time to value with dynamic changes in your IT environment and ability to address it in your disaster recovery plans

What you can do with BlueXP disaster recovery for VMware

BlueXP disaster recovery provides you with full use of several NetApp technologies to accomplish the following goals:

  • Replicate VMware apps on your on-premises production site to a disaster recovery remote site in the cloud or on-premises using SnapMirror replication.

  • Migrate VMware workloads from your original site to another site.

  • In case of disaster, fail over your primary site on demand to the disaster recovery site, which can be VMware Cloud on AWS with FSx for NetApp ONTAP or an on-premises VMware environment with ONTAP.

  • After the disaster has been resolved, fail back on demand from the disaster recovery site to the primary site.

Note Configuration of vSphere server is done outside of BlueXP disaster recovery in vSphere Server.


NetApp doesn’t charge you for using the trial version of BlueXP disaster recovery.

The BlueXP disaster recovery service can be used either with a NetApp license or an annual subscription-based plan through Amazon Web Services.

Important Some releases include a technology preview. NetApp doesn't charge you for any previewed workload capacity. See What's new in BlueXP disaster recovery for information about the latest technology previews.


You can use the following license types:

  • Sign up for a 90-day free trial.

  • Purchase a pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) subscription with Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace.

  • Bring your own license (BYOL), which is a NetApp License File (NLF) that you obtain from your NetApp Sales Rep. You can use the license serial number to get the BYOL activated in BlueXP digital wallet.

Licenses for all BlueXP services are managed by the BlueXP digital wallet service. After you set up your BYOL, you can see an active license for the service in the BlueXP digital wallet.

Note BlueXP disaster recovery charges are based on provisioned capacity of datastores on the source site when there is at least one VM that has a replication plan. Capacity for a failed over datastore is not included in the capacity allowance. For a BYOL, if the data exceeds the allowed capacity, operations in the service are limited until you obtain an additional capacity license or upgrade the license in BlueXP digital wallet.

For details about setting up licensing for BlueXP disaster recovery, refer to Set up BlueXP disaster recovery licensing.

90-day free trial

You can try out BlueXP disaster recovery by using a 90-day free trial.

To continue after the 90-day trial, you'll need to obtain a Pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) subscription from your cloud provider or purchase a BYOL license from NetApp.

You can purchase a license at any time and you will not be charged until the 90-day trial ends.

How BlueXP disaster recovery works

BlueXP disaster recovery can recover workloads replicated from an on-premises site to Amazon FSx for ONTAP or to another on-premises site. This service automates the recovery from the SnapMirror level, through virtual machine registration to Virtual Machine Cloud (VMC), and to network mappings directly on the VMware network virtualization and security platform, NSX-T. This feature is included with all Virtual Machine Cloud environments.

BlueXP disaster recovery uses ONTAP SnapMirror technology, which provides highly efficient replication and preserves the ONTAP incremental-forever Snapshot efficiencies. SnapMirror replication ensures that application-consistent Snapshot copies are always in sync and the data is usable immediately after a failover.

Diagram showing architecture of the BlueXP disaster recovery for VMware service infrastructure

The following diagram shows the architecture of on-premises to on-premises disaster recovery plans.

Diagram showing architecture of the BlueXP disaster recovery for VMware service infrastructure

When there is a disaster, this service helps you recover virtual machines in the other on-premises VMware environment or VMC by breaking the SnapMirror relationships and making the destination site active.

  • The service also lets you fail back virtual machines to the original source location.

  • You can test the disaster recovery failover process without disrupting the original virtual machines. The test recovers virtual machines to an isolated network by creating a FlexClone of the volume.

  • For the failover or test failover process, you can choose the latest (default) or selected Snapshot from which to recover your virtual machine.