Hyper-V Replica in Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2
Continuing from my previous post Monitoring Hyper-V Replica using Systems Center Operations Manager, in this blog post I will walk through some of the things to be taken care of while using System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2 for monitoring Windows Server 2012 R2 hosts. If you haven’t read previous blog, I request you go through it before you start monitoring Windows Server 2012 R2 machines. The best part of this story is all the monitors present in the previous version of SCOM work with this new version of OS.
As mentioned in What is New in Windows Server 2012 R2, we have added ability to configure the replication frequency of VMs. User now can replicate at 30sec, 5 minute and 15 minutes. Correspondingly alerts we generate for “Hyper-V 2012 Replication Count Percent Monitor” change based on the VM. If you have VMs with varying replication frequency, coming up with a percentage number becomes tricky. For this we suggest, to set the count percent to a number which can catch missed number of cycles for your least replication frequency VM. For example, if I have VMs of replication frequency 30ec, 5 minutes and 15 minutes in my environment and if I want to get notified for even if I miss one replication...
Hyper-V Replica: Extend Replication
With Hyper-V Extend Replication feature in Windows Server 2012 R2, customers can have multiple copies of data to protect them from different outage scenarios. For example, as a customer I might choose to keep my second DR site in the same campus or a few miles away while I want to keep my third copy of data across the continents to give added protection for my workloads. Hyper-V Replica Extend replication exactly addresses this problem by providing one more copy of workload at an extended site apart from replica site. As mentioned in What’s new in Hyper-V Replica in Windows Server 2012 R2, user can extend the replication from Replica site and continue to protect the virtualized work loads even in case of disaster at primary site!!
This is so cool and exactly what I was looking for. But how do I enable this feature in Windows Server 2012 R2? Well, I will walk you through different ways in which you can enable replication and you will be amazed to see how similar is the experience is to enable replication wizard.
Extend Replication through UI:
Before you Extend Replication to third site, you need to establish the replication between a primary server and replica server. Once that is done, go...
Upgrading to Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V Replica
The TechNet article http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn486799.aspx provides detailed guidance on migrating Hyper-V VMs from a Windows Server 2012 deployment to a Windows Server 2012 R2 deployment.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn486792.aspx calls out the various VM migration techniques which are available as part of upgrading your deployment. The section titled “Hyper-V Replica” calls out further guidance for deployments which have replicating virtual machines.
At a very high level, if you have a Windows Server 2012 setup containing replicating VMs, we recommend that you use the cross version live migration feature to migrate your replica VMs first. This is followed by fix-ups in the primary replicating VM (eg: changing replica server name). Once replication is back on track, you can migrate your primary VMs from a Windows Server 2012 server to a Windows Server 2012 R2 server without any VM downtime. The authorization table in the replica server may require to be updated once the primary VM migration is complete.
The above approach does not require you to re-IR your VMs, ensures zero downtime for your production VMs and gives you the flexibility to stagger the upgrade process on your replica and primary servers.
Online resize of virtual disks attached to replicating virtual machines
In Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V added the ability to resize the virtual disks attached to a running virtual machine without having to shutdown the virtual machine. In this blog post we will talk about how this feature works with Hyper-V Replica, the benefits of this capability, and how to make the most of it.
Works better with Hyper-V Replica
There is an obvious benefit in having the ability to resize a virtual disk while the VM is running – there is no need for downtime of the VM workload. There is however a subtle nuance and very key benefit for virtual machines that have also been enabled for replication – there is no need to resync the VM after modifying the disk, and definitely no need to delete and re-enable replication!
There is some history to this that needs explaining. Starting with Windows Server 2012, Hyper-V Replica provided a way to track the changes that a guest OS was making on the disks attached to the VM – and then replicated these changes to provide DR. However the tracking and replication was applicable only to running VMs. This meant that when a VM was switched off, Hyper-V Replica had no way to track and replicate any changes that might be done to the virtual...
What’s new in Hyper-V Replica in Windows Server 2012 R2
18th October 2013 marked the General Availability of Windows Server 2012 R2. The teams have accomplished an amazing set of features in this short release cycle and Brad’s post @ http://blogs.technet.com/b/in_the_cloud/archive/2013/10/18/today-is-the-ga-for-the-cloud-os.aspx captures the investments made across the board. We encourage you to update to the latest version and share your feedback.
This post captures the top 8 improvements done to Hyper-V Replica in Windows Server 2012 R2. We will be diving deep into each of these features in the coming weeks through blog posts and TechNet articles.
You can upgrade from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2012 R2 without having to re-IR your protected VMs. With new features such as cross-version live migration, it is easy to maintain your DR story across OS upgrades. You can also choose to upgrade your primary site and replica site at different times as Hyper-V Replica will replicate your virtual machines from a Windows Server 2012 environment to a Windows Server 2012 R2 environment.
30 second replication frequency
Windows Server 2012 allowed customers to replicate their virtual machines at a preset 5minute replication frequency. Our aspirations to bring down this replication frequency was backed by customer’s asks on providing the flexibility to set different replication frequencies to different virtual machines. With Windows Server 2012 R2, you can now...