Home > Work related > New Hyper-V Replica feature makes migration easier

New Hyper-V Replica feature makes migration easier


 

I recently had a problem when I upgraded to Hyper-V 2012 with an older test machine (DC5750) that just wouldn’t work with the new kernel. I decided that it was time to create a new Cluster and dreaded the Import/Export that I was going to have to do. I thought this would be a great time to test the Replica feature. Not only will it allow you to replicate VMs onto another Hyper-V machine for disaster recovery but it will also allow you to replicate to another cluster!

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Here I show you a snap of the Failover Cluster Manager with both of my clusters (MyCluster is the old cluster I am migrating from – you can see Hyperv8 is the only node and Cluster1 is the new one). You have to create a Replica Broker for Replications to occur on a cluster and I have now setup SW1 to replicate to the new cluster. Now I have all four of my VMs configured to replicate changes ever 5 minutes and can take my old cluster offline when I am ready. It will require me to start the new VMs on the new cluster but I can do this at any time.

Hyper-V Replica keeps a log of any changes to these VHD files and replicates those changes to the other VM. This results in a fairly quick time to recovery if any issues should ever happen to your main cluster. Initial replication can even be done offline to a disk and imported into the other site so bandwidth issues and large VMs are not a problem. You can even do all of this with a single NIC!

I am not happy that at the time of this writing they still do not have any management upgrades for Windows 7 (you will need to have a full version of Windows 2012 or Windows 8 to manage these new features) but I like the fact that the old Hyper-V management application will still allow you to work with your VMs.

Windows has hit this one out of the park and has challenged both Citrix and VMware to step up to the plate for most SMBs. I hope you find it as robust as I do and consider implementing your own CFS.

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