In Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Microsoft released a new feature called Hyper-V Replica. I already made a blog post which describes this new feature: Hyper-V Replica – The Game Changer. In this post I cover how you can enable replication of a Virtual Machine in Hyper-V.
First you have to allow replication on the Hyper-V Replica host. You can set up the replication using HTTP or HTTPS and you can also add source Hyper-V hosts.
After you have enabled replication on the Hyper-V Replica host (target host) you can enable replication on the Virtual Machine on the source Hyper-V host.
The wizard will check if the replication on the target server is enabled and which protocol is available. If you are replicate the Virtual Machine over a WAN network you can also enable compression.
You can select which VHD or VHDX should be replicated. For example you could set the pagefile on a different VHD and remove this VHD from the replication process.
On the next window you can configure the Recovery History settings. Here you can enable additional recovery points which can be restored. This allows you choose from different points in time, for example if a recovery point is corrupt. It also possible to enable Application-consistent snapshots. This will use the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to create snapshots of the Virtual Machine.
Choose the Initial Replication method. You can choose between three different options, the first one will send the initial copy of the virtual machine over the network without additional work. If the network bandwidth is limited you can also copy the initial copy to a USB disk and import the copy on the target replica server. If the virtual machine already exists, for example with a restore, you can also choose an existing virtual machine.
If you choose to transfer the initial copy with a external media, Hyper-V will create the Virtual Machine on the target replica server and with a right click you can import the virtual machine data (VHD).
After the replica is created you can configure the replica virtual machine on the replica host. For example you can configure a test network for the virtual machines. With this solution you can do a test failover in a different network.
Now if the network on your recovery site is different from the network from your source site and you would have to chance the IP addresses on server you can also do this before a actual failover happens.
I hope this post helps to understand how to set up Hyper-V Replica. If you need more information about Hyper-V Replica I recommend you my blog post: Hyper-V Replica – The Game Changer.