Archive for September, 2012

Setting up your 2012 Hyper-V Cluster

September 19, 2012 1 comment

I decided to undertake an upgrade of my Windows 2008 R2 Hyper-V cluster this week and assumed that it would be easy (it wasn’t). After getting it up and running there were a few lessons I learned that I wanted to share with my readers.

If you haven’t already read my previous post regarding getting your cluster up and running with the older 2008 R2 version here it is. Reviewing it will help expose some of you neophytes to the process of using clustered storage. There is a new feature available with the new Hyper-V 2012 that is called Replication and I first thought this would work for my application but it doesn’t automatically start the VMs (which can be a good thing but more on that in another post). You still need to get shared storage working so I began by reusing my 32-bit version of Open E-DSS 6 (

It turns out that trying to mount the iSCSI shares proved too difficult for me to simply reuse so I had to format my Clustered Shared Volume (CSV1) so I could use it again with the new Hyper-V servers.

To add the storage to a newly installed version of Hyper-V 2012 I had to type

‘netsh firewall set service type = remoteadmin mode = enable’

on the console to enable remote management from a Windows 2012 server. (The server manager won’t connect to Windows 2012 from Windows 7 – I think you must be using Windows 8). I then typed powershell to begin a shell on the hyperv box. image

‘Import-Module servermanager’

followed by

‘add-windowsfeature Failover-Clustering, MultiPath-IO’

to install the features. This is even easier than dism on the old server.

Next we run ‘iscsicpl’ to add the iSCSI node for storage. This is my DSS box with a RAID 5 SCSI array that has 5 36G drives in it. 4 drives in a 100G array with one hot spare.

Next I exit out of powershell by typing ‘exit’ and then run ‘diskpart’ to format the drives (on the first machine – I only cover the data drive below but you will need to configure the Quorum drive if you are setting everything up for the first time). This puts you in a terminal style windows so we type commands on a new line and hit enter to run them. To see all of your existing disks you can type ‘list disk’.

‘select disk ?’ (replace ? with whatever the new disk number for the iSCSI disk is)

‘create partition primary’ (this will create a new partition on the drive you selected above)

(if it gives you a read only error you can force it off by typing ‘attr disk clear readonly’  first and then repeat the command to create the partition.

format fs=ntfs label=”CSV1” quick (this will format the partition as a NTFS filesystem so that you can use it as a clustered file system. Type exit to leave the diskpart shell.

If you want to use some powershell cmdlets for configuring the vms or the cluster options you will need to add a few additional roles and features. I have outlined all of mine below.



I have chosen to configure storage and the hyper-V options from my Windows 2012 server with the GUI enabled. This also gives me the option of configuring the Cluster features remotely too because I do not have a working Windows 8 desktop yet.

If you want to use the Cluster Aware Updating that comes with Hyper-V 2012 there are a few things that must also be done (aside from adding those features above).

To enable Cluster aware Updates you must disable Automatic Updates on each HyperV server. You must also install the Cluster Powershell tools Features. Run the following powershell commands to allow the Cluster Manager to restart your HyperV after applying updates

‘Set-NetFirewallRule -Group "@firewallapi.dll,-36751" -Profile Domain -Enabled true’

To verify if your cluster can use Cluster Updates run the Cluster Update awareness tool.


I am very impressed at the functionality of the new hyper-V and I think it will give VMware a good run for the money. With replication for DR and Live migration to and from clusters to standalone machines this VM host platform with allow SMBs to have enterprise features without the costs.

Backing up your Hyper-V cluster with Trilead

September 2, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s been a while since I wrote about any VM backup software (or for that matter ANYTHING) but I wanted to take some time to update my readers on a great little software from the folks at Trilead. I have been using this software since the early version 3 releases and they lost my attention when they began to require the VMware guests be shutdown before they were backed up. Now in version 4.0.37 I noticed that they have added that functionality back along with Hyper-V support! (actually Hyper-v had been added earlier than 4.0.37 but now that I have a Windows 2012 test machine I noticed that it was supported).

They have added a two server restriction so you will only be able to connect to a maximum of two servers but as long as you don’t have more than two nodes in your cluster you can use the Free version.


You can backup all of your virtual machines running on your Hyper-V cluster and you can even move them by backing it up and then restoring it to another host (unfortunately you cannot use the replication feature in the free version although who would want to – migrating from one hyper-v to another in a cluster is easy).

You can only perform a full backup on any of these vms but since this is a free product and you can do it while the guest is running I think this software is a great plus you can check them out at   Where else can you find a software that will allow you to backup a vm – convert it and then import it to a hyper-v cluster that is free?