Protection Groups house one to many virtual machines that you want to fail over together. “A protection group is a collection of virtual machines and templates that you protect together by using SRM” –http://pubs.vmware.com/srm-55/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/srm-admin-5-5.pdf
Once replication has been setup, a protection group can then be created. The below example is a protection group consisting of a single VM, but protection groups may consist of an entire application such as Exchange (CAS Server, HT Server, Mailbox Servers, Edge Transport Servers) or even an entire site.
My recommendation is to break these protection groups down into the smaller parts so if you are designing DR for an entire site with Exchange, SQL File Servers etc; create a protection group for each of them. You’ll see later that a recovery plan can then start all of these groups up to consist of the entire site.
Select which site is the protected site and what kind of replication is being used. NOTE: if you are using SAN replication, an entire datastore must be selected for the protection group instead of a single VM. This is important to note when making your design considerations.
Since my example uses VR replication, the next step is to choose the VMs to put in the group.
Name the Protection group and give it a description. It would be good to name this with the type of application involved such as Oracle Databases, or Web Servers, etc.
Review your selections and choose finish.
Once done, you may have a warning that the status is not configured. This may happen if you haven’t setup all of the mappings in the site configuration. You can click on the entire protection group or the individual VMs and select “Configure Protection”.
Next, you’ll see that a mapping needs to be setup for the VM folders, Resource Pools, and networks. Click on each of them to set the mappings.
Set Folder mappings.
Set Resource Pool Mappings.
Set Network Mappings.
If you receive an error such as the example below, be sure to check your mappings for the protection group.