Tag: Hyper-V Replica

Setup VM Protection in Windows Admin Center_LI

Configure Azure Site Recovery from Windows Admin Center

With the Hybrid Cloud effort, Microsoft invested heavy to make Windows Server and Hyper-V better connect to Microsoft Azure. One way of doing that is with Windows Admin Center and Azure Site Recovery. The Azure Site Recovery integration in Windows Admin Center, allows you to easily replicate Hyper-V virtual machines to Microsoft Azure. The technology is not new, ASR does exist for a long time and allows you to not only replicate Hyper-V VMs, but also VMware VMs and physical servers. However, with the integration in Windows Admin Center, setting up Azure Site Recovery became super easy.

Set up Azure Site Recovery from Windows Admin Center

Setup VM Protection in Windows Admin Center_LI

In the Virtual Machines extension, you can already see a recommendation to setup ASR: “Help protect your VMs from disasters by using Azure Site Recovery.” Which will guide you through the onboarding steps. If you don’t see that banner, just click on the VM you want to protect and replicate to Azure. Click on More and select “Set up VM Protection“, this will guide you through the same wizard.

If you haven’t connected your Windows Admin Center to Microsoft Azure yet, the wizard will help you to go through and set up this connection.

Setup up Hyper-V ASR Host with Windows Admin Cenetr

After your WAC is connected to Azure, you will now setup Azure Site Recovery for the Hyper-V host in Azure. This can directly be done from Windows Admin Center. For example, this will let you select the Azure Subscription you want ASR to connect to. It will let you create a new Resource Group and Recovery Services Vault or use an existing one. After you have done the configuration part, WAC will create the specific Azure resources and configure the Hyper-V host for Azure Site Recovery. This can take up to 10 minutes depending if you are using existing resources or creating new once.

If you have a look at the Hyper-V Replica settings in Hyper-V Manager, you will see that ASR is completely setup and configured.



Microsoft Azure Site Recovery Services

Disaster Recovery using Azure Site Recovery

Nearly a year ago Microsoft released a Disaster Recovery solution called Hyper-V Recovery Manager. This was basically a hosted orchestration engine in Microsoft Azure which allowed you to orchestrate datacenter failovers using the in Hyper-V build in feature called Hyper-V Replica.

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery

In 2014 Microsoft invested a lot of work and time to improve this service and in January 2014 HRM changed the name to Azure Site Recovery (ASR).

  • In January 2014 Microsoft announced GA of the Azure Site Recovery service which allowed you to use it for DR Orchestration between on-premises Hyper-V sites using Hyper-V Replica
  • In July 2014 Microsoft acquired a company called InMage and integrated DR Orchestration between on-premises VMware sites using the InMage solution.
  • In October 2014 Microsoft announced the GA for Azure Site Recovery DR Orchestration between Hyper-V on-premises and Microsoft Azure.

At TechEd Europe, Microsoft announced some new stuff coming in the next couple of months.

  • In November 2014 Microsoft will offer a public preview for Azure Site Recovery using SAN Replication. This allows you to use your existing SAN replication and orchestrate your DR with Microsoft Azure Site Recovery.
  • In 2015 Microsoft will allow you to use Azure Site Recovery to replicate your VMware and physical servers to Microsoft Azure.
  • With Update Rollup 4 for System Center 2012 R2 and Azure Pack, Microsoft integrated Azure Site Recovery as a plan or Add-on property for VM clouds. This allows service providers to offer Azure Site Recovery to customers as an option of a VM Cloud plan or Add-On.

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery Services

This is just a quick overview about the possibilities you have with Azure Site Recovery. I will cover some advanced scenarios in with a series of blog posts in the next couple of weeks. Until then I would recommend you to watch the session with Michel Lüscher and me at System Center Universe Europe where we talked about the Azure Site Recovery solutions before the TechEd announcements.

 

 



System Center Universe Europe 2014

My sessions from System Center Universe Europe 2014 available on Channel9

As I already posted I was presenting at System Center Universe Europe 2014 (SCU Europe) in Basel this year. Microsoft now made the recordings available on Channel9 and you can now watch them for free.

Disaster Recovery with Azure Site Recovery

Together with Michel Lüscher (Architect at Microsoft) I was showing how you can deploy a fully automated Disaster Recovery solution based on Microsoft Hyper-V Replica, System Center Virtual Machine Manager and Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager.

Software Defined Networking – Comparison of different solutions

Together with Walter Dey (Former Cisco Distinguished Engineer) I held the session about different SDN (Software Defined Networking) solutions on the market. This session will provide an overview about Software-Defined Networking and compare different solutions such as Microsoft Hyper-V Network Virtualization based on NVGRE and Cisco VXLAN and VMware NSX.



E2EVC Copenhagen

Speaking at E2EVC 2014 Barcelona

This year I was already speaking at the E2E Virtualization Conference in Brussels. Together with Michael Rüefli I was talking about the Microsoft CloudOS and how you can build a Cloud based on this technology such as Windows Server, Hyper-V, Storage Spaces and Windows Azure Pack.

From 24-26 October the E2EVC will take place in Barcelona, Spain. In one session I will speak about Disaster Recovery with Hyper-V Replica and Microsoft Azure Site Recovery Manager. I will show you how you can failover your Virtual environment from one datacenter to another or how you can failover your Virtual Machines to Microsoft Azure.

 



Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica

Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica updated

Back in 2013 Microsoft released a tool called Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica. Hyper-V Replica Capacity Planner allowed IT Administrators to measure and plan their Replica integration based on the workload, storage, network, and server characteristics. Today Aashish Ramdas announced on the TechNet Virtualization blog that Microsoft has updated the Hyper-V Replica Capacity Planner. The new version now support Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V, Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager and some other cool stuff based on the feedback of customers.

  • Support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 in a single tool
  • Support for Extended Replication
  • Support for virtual disks placed on NTFS, CSVFS, and SMB shares
  • Monitoring of multiple standalone hosts simultaneously
  • Improved performance and scale – up to 100 VMs in parallel
  • Replica site input is optional – for those still in the planning stage of a DR strategy
  • Report improvements – e.g.: reporting the peak utilization of resources also
  • Improved guidance in documentation
  • Improved workflow and user experience

It’s great to see Microsoft improving free tools which help implement their solutions.



Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager (HRM) Overview

Hyper-V Recovery Manager (HRM) FAQ

With the evolution of cloud computing, datacenter are getting more important, and having multiple datacenter for a site failover is more and more a must have solution. With Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Microsoft introduced a new feature called Hyper-V Replica, which allows you to do an asynchronous replication on a virtual machine level. If you are working in a lager environment you may not want to failover single machines with the Hyper-V Manager, you need a tool which orchestrates the Failover from one site to another site. There are several different options you could do this, like a PowerShell script, System Center Orchestrator or the new automation engine called Service Management Automation (SMA). All of these solutions can work with Hyper-V Replica but they all have some up and downsides.

Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager (HRM) Overview

Microsoft developed a solution for this problem called Hyper-V Recover Manager which is basically a hosted orchestration engine in Windows Azure. You can simply connected your System Center Virtual Machine Manager servers to this service by installing an agent on the VMM servers. After that you can login to the Windows Azure Portal and configure the orchestration and recovery plans for your VMM Clouds. An important thing here, Windows Azure is only the orchestration engine, no data or VMs are replicated to Windows Azure. VMs will be replicated just between your sites.

Windows Azure Portal Hyper-V Recovery Manager

Still here are some things unclear about Hyper-V Recovery Manager, so here is a little FAQ, which should answer some of the questions:

Q: Can I fully automate my datacenter failover?
A: Yes, you can Failover your Virtual Machines extend the solution with Scripts.

Q: Can I Failover my Domain Controllers and SQL Servers first before failing over my application servers.
A: Yes, you can create your own order in which the failover should happen, by creating recovery plans.

Q: My secondary site has not the same network or subnet available, can I still use it?
A: Yes, Hyper-V Replica and Hyper-V Recovery Manager can change IP addresses of VMs during a failover. In a HRM scenario VMM IP Pools are used to automatically change IP addresses.

Q: Can I test my Recovery Plan?
A: Yes, as in Hyper-V Replica, you can also do a Test Failover.

Q: I have different Storage vendors, can I still use Hyper-V Recovery Manager
A: Yes, there is no dependency to the Storage

Q: I am using Storage Spaces and a Scale-Out Fileserver, does this work with HRM?
A: Yes, you can configure SMB shares for VM locations.

Q: Can’t have my Application data go to cloud
A: Application data never goes to Azure – it transmits encrypted over your own network link between two DCs.

Q: Both of my sites are managed with the same Virtual Machine Manager, does it still work?
A: Yes, it works with both single VMM and HA VMM environments.

Q: My Hosts and Applications don’t have internet connectivity
A: No, Windows Azure connectivity needed by Hyper-V Hosts and Applications. Only connectivity is from VMM Server to Azure Service which can be done by a proxy server.

Q: Do I need to install another agent on every Hyper-V host or Guest VM?
A: No, Disaster Recovery Provider is only needed on VMM Machine.

Q: My N Tier App is using SQL AlwaysON can I get single click App failover?
A: Yes, Hyper-V Recovery Manager failover plans can be customized with scripts, so you can also Failover SQL or other applications using PowerShell.

Q: In addition to Primary DC my ISP is also impacted, can I still failover?
A: Yes, During failover no dependency on Primary Site or Connectivity to Primary Site is needed.

Q: Service Providers want to use HRM but see Azure as competition with their own offering.
A: There is no need to share customer information with Windows Azure, Hoster’s customers never go to HRM Portal.

Q: Does Hyper-V Recovery Manager offer System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) integration?
A: Yes, ongoing replication health monitoring in SCOM

Q: I already have done some System Center Orchestrator Runbooks for failing over Applications, can I still use them?
A: Yes, You can trigger Orchestrator RunBooks from Hyper-V Recovery Manager via scripts.

Q: Does System Center Virtual Machine Manager have Hyper-V Replica support.
A: Yes, Hyper-V Replica has a rich integration with VMM which lights up when you register to Hyper-V Recovery Manager service. Following are key Hyper-V replica integration points with VMM

  • Ability to enable protection during Create VM Wizard
  • Ability to setup default protection for VMs through integration with VM Template
  • Ability to enable protection for already created VMs
  • VM Placement algorithm takes protection information (Cloud, Network) to select appropriate cloud and Host
  • Ability to view replication health from VMM console
  • Specific Icon and actions for Replica VMs
  • Connecting replica VMs to networks and assign IP addresses at scale using VMM networking (VM Networks)

Thanks to Vishal Mehrotra (Microsoft Principal Group Program Manager WSSC)

Feel free to add additional questions to the comment section.



Hyper-V Replica replication state and healt VM

Throttling Hyper-V Replica Traffic

Well I already did a lot of blog posts on one of my favorite Hyper-V features called Hyper-V Replica. With Hyper-V Replica, which was introduced in Windows Server 2012, it is possible to replicate Hyper-V Virtual Machines from a Hyper-V host to another Hyper-V host or cluster. The great thing about it is that the replication is virtual machine based and optimized for replication over WAN. This allows companies to replica Virtual Machines from a primary site to a secondary site, and in case of a disaster on the primary site, Virtual Machines can be failed over to the secondary site.

Hyper-V Replica

Here are some of the Blog posts I wrote about Hyper-V Replica:

In Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft upgraded the Hyper-V Replica to not only replicated every 5 minutes, in Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Replica allows you to replicate Virtual Machines on three different values, 30 Seconds, 5 Minutes or 15 Minutes. And the other great enhancement is the possibility to extend the replication to a third site or a hoster site.

But one of the question I get ask often is; “How do I throttle the Hyper-V Replica Traffic”. Well Hyper-V Replica does not have a checkbox in Hyper-V Manager itself or anything like that to do this. But Aashish Ramdas (Microsoft  Program Manager) helped my to find basically some ways to throttle the Hyper-V Replica traffic. In all scenarios we use the NetQoS Policy to throttle the traffic. You can use Windows PowerShell or of course via Group Policy.

The first scenario is throttle the traffic from a Windows Server 2012 R2 host in another subnet. This can be used if the Hyper-V hosts on your second site or your recovery site have a different subnet. First this case only works if you are having a different subnet on the other site, because in this case not only the Hyper-V Replica traffic gets throttled, all traffic going from the Hyper-V Host to this subnet gets throttled. (This does not throttle VM traffic).

New-NetQosPolicy “Replication Traffic to 10.0.0.0/8” –DestinationAddress 10.0.0.0/8 –MinBandwidthWeightAction 40

The other solution would be to limit traffic based on the destination port. In this case all traffic from the Hyper-V host to a specific destination port gets throttled.

New-NetQosPolicy “Replication Traffic to 8080” –DestinationPort 8080 –ThrottleRateActionBitsPerSecond 100000

Another option which you should include is to filter the traffic on application which would be vmms.exe so only Hyper-Vtraffic gets throttled. But remember that also Live Migration Traffic gets throttled as well, so you have to be careful with this. You can use parameters like -IPPortMatchCondition and -IPProtocolMatchCondition to help this settings.

New-NetQosPolicy “Replication Traffic from vmms.exe" -IPPortMatchCondition 80 -AppPathNameMatchCondition *vmms.exe -IPProtocolMatchCondition TCP –ThrottleRateActionBitsPerSecond 100000

In all cases you can use Bandwidth weight settings or limit the traffic by bits per second. Another thing you have to remember, if you are using a cluster you have to set this on all the cluster nodes. And if remember to set this settings on both sites (with appropriate changes for subnet and ports of the primary site) in case of a reverse replication the limits still apply.

I can see the next question coming up: “Which of this scenarios is the best solution”. Well as always this totally depends on your environment. If you have not just two sites for example, you may have multiple sites with different bandwidth between them. I this case you may want to use different policies depending on your site.

You can get more information o the New-NetQosPolicy cmdlet on TechNet.