Sorry for my ignorance here! I have never used SMVI (as I am sure you can tell)...
As you are using SMVI to snap and replicate (using snapmirror) from the primary site to the DR site, does SMVI not need to know about the DR site and hence need licensing there? Or does it not work like this..?
Also, does SMVI have the ability to clone (Flexclone) LUNs / NFS which were replicated to the DR array, mount these to the ESX servers and register the VMs? Or do I need SRM for this?
I REALLY, REALLY recommend that you install VSC (Virtual Storage Console) instead of just SMVI. This installs on the vCenter server as a plugin and is extremely intuitive to use. This incorporates both RCU (Rapid Clone Util) and SMVI. Once installed, you literally right click on the vm or cluster or the datacenter to clone, backup/restore...it's AWESOME!
My question to you, do you have multiple vCenter servers? Depending on how complex your network is, you usually only need one. Add in all your ESX servers both at the primary and DR site. Do you plan to backup and restore at the DR? If so, yes SMVI needs to be purchased at the DR site. Other wise if your, just cloning from there...you only need flexclone. Either way, install VSC and uncheck which option (SMVI or RCU) applies. VSC is available on the NOW site to download.
Thanks for the feedback. Yes I agree with you there. We will make changes to the documentation to reflect this. We did include this in the IAG and the product essentials guide but I guess we need to add more documentation around this to make it clearer.
The difference is SMVI will communicate with vSphere to take a VMware Snapshot that ensures the virtual machine is in quiet state. If you are using SnapMirror, SMVI has the ability to kick off the replication to a remote site from within the application as soon as the backup is complete. In addition, SMVI contains the ability to perform single file restore and individual vmdk restores. More information on the product can be found in the NetApp SMVI TR-3737. This is currently for version 1.0 but will (hopefully) be updated for 2.0 shortly.When installing SMVI and adding the storage, create an account on the storage subsystem for smvi use.