Tag: Replica

MMS Midwest Management Summit

Speaking at MMS

After System Center Universe Europe 2014 and E2EVC Brussels, I am proud to announce that I am also speaking at the new Midwest Management Summit (MMS). The Midwest Management Summit is a 3-day conference purposely capped to just 500 attendees so that nobody gets lost in the crowd. Speakers have time to meet and talk to you. No rushing people out of a session to get the next speaker going. Time to absorb what you see and talk it over with speakers and other attendees.

I will speak in two sessions:


Building a Datacenter Abstraction Layer with Virtual Machine Manager

The session delivers an overview about how you can build a Datacenter Abstraction Layer between your Fabric such as Storage, Network and Compute resources and your services. The session is focused on Fabric Management with System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager. Attendees will learn how to build an Datacenter Abstraction Layer between Fabric and Services with Virtual Machine Manager.


Disaster Recovery with Azure Site Recovery

The session shows you, how you can use Microsoft Disaster Recovery Technologies such as Hyper-V Replica, System Center Virtual Machine Manager and Azure Site Recovery to failover your Microsoft Cloud. It also shows the scenario how you can replicate virtual machines to Microsoft Azure. This includes knowledge about the different Disaster Recovery Solutions from Microsoft

The Midwest Management Summit will take place from November 10-12 in the Radisson Blu, Mall of America Minnesota, USA.

If you are interested to join the so called new MMS, checkout the  Midwest Management Summit website.

 

MMS

Join the Midwest Management Summit and learn everything about the Microsoft CloudOS, System Center, Hyper-V, Microsoft Intune and Microsoft Azure.



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.



Windows Server 2012 R2

What’s new in Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V

Today Microsoft announced the new features which are coming in Windows Server 2012 R2 which will be the next version of Windows Server at Microsoft TechEd North America. By the way just to show you how great Windows Server 2012 was and how great it scaled, Windows Azure uses the same Hyper-V virtualization service built-into Windows Server 2012 and this means complete virtual machine compatibility between on premise Hyper-V and Windows Azure IaaS. This blog post shows what’s new in Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V.

Here the next version names:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • System Center 2012 R2
  • Windows 8.1

Now Microsoft announced a lot of new features especially for Hyper-V, and here are some of them:

  • Shared VHDX – a VHDX can now be shared between two Virtual Machine by using the virtual SCSI controller. This is created if you need shared storage for guest clustering inside virtual machines instead of using iSCSI or virtual fiber channel.
  • Live Migration Compression – Live Migration traffic will be compressed by the Hyper-V host before it’s sent over the wire. Which does reduce Live Migration time dramatically, up to 50% faster.
  • Live Migration over SMB Direct (RDMA) – Live Migration can use leverage SMB 3.0 and this means it can also make use of SMB Direct or RDMA which allows you to do live migration even faster.
  • Storage Quality of Service (QoS) – Limit storage IOPS per virtual machine
  • Live Virtual Machine Cloning / Exporting – You can now live clone a virtual machines without downtime and also export a running virtual machine.
  • Linux Guest OS support enhancements – Support for live backups of linux virtual machines and dynamic memory support for Linux guests.
  • Hyper-V Replica 2.0 – Hyper-V replica can now replicate not just two one other host, this replica can also replicate to a third Hyper-V host and the replication time was changed to three different settings (every 30 secs, every 5 minutes or every 15 minutes). Hyper-V Replica also got some background scalability and performance improvements.
  • Windows Azure Compatibility – As I already mentioned Windows Azure is running Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V which means that Hyper-V virtual machines on-premise are also capable to run in Windows Azure
  • Online resizing of VHDX – You can expand and shrink VHDX files during the virtual machine is running.
  • Automatic Guest Activation – zero touch activation of virtual machines. Virtual machines automaticly get activated if the Hyper-V hosts is an activated Datacenter edition.
  • VM Connect using RDP or enhanced VM interaction – This uses Remote Desktop over the VMBus, which allows you to use full remote desktop capabilities (Shared clipboard, audio redirection, folder redirection, smartcards, USB pass-through enhanced login and more…)
  • Generation 2 virtual machines – Gen2 VMs are legacy free and based on UEFI. So this means no more emulated devices, boot from virtual SCSI controllers or synthetic network adapters (PXE boot >100MBit) and enables UEFI secure boot as a standard. Supported guest operating systems: 64-bit versions of Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
  • Zero-downtime upgrade (Cross version live Migration) – Live migrate virtual machines from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2012 R2 (this also includes shared-nothing live migration).
  • Hyper-V Recovery Manager – I already mentioned the new service called Hyper-V Recovery Manager in Windows Azure which allows you to run a orchestrator failover of your virtual machines using Hyper-V Replica.
  • Deduplication – Deduplication of VDI Virtual Machines

There are a lot of other cool features in Windows Server 2012 R2 which add other great value to Hyper-V and your Private cloud. I will cover them in some other blog posts in the next days.



Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica

Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica

Yesterday Microsoft published a new download which is called Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica. The Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica guides the IT administrator to design the server, storage and network infrastructure which is required to successfully deploy Hyper-V Replica.

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V administrators can replicate their virtual machines from a primary server/cluster to a replica server/cluster for business continuity and disaster recovery purposes. The Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica provides server, storage and network provisioning guidance which would allow IT administrators to successfully plan for a Hyper-V Replica deployment.

You can download it here: Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica

Thanks to James van den Berg (Microsoft MVP) for the link.