Hyper-V Replica New Features and Backup

by Mark Campbell on September 11, 2014

Clones - Women

(The image above represents an example of replication and replicas – the theoretical cloning of people.  We’ll stay with this theme in our images over the next few posts.)

In our last post we talked about Hyper-V new features and promised that in this post we’d explore the new features of Hyper-V replica specifically.  These include

  • Seamless upgrade.  You can replicate virtual machines from WS2012 to WS2012 R2 using cross-version live migration.
  • Granular VM replication frequency of 30 seconds, 5 minutes, or 15 minutes. You now can set your replication frequency to 30 seconds, 5 minutes, or 15 minutes.
  • 24 recovery points.  You now have up to 24 recovery points spaced at one hour intervals (a 50% improvement from WS2012′s limitation of 16 recovery points.)
  • Linux GOS (Guest Operating System) support.  In WS2012 R2 Hyper-V Linux is getting what Windows previously had – support for file system consistent snapshots and IP address injection in failover.
  • Extended replication.  Replication may be extended (chained) from the primary disaster recovery site to a secondary disaster recovery site.
  • Performance.  Microsoft spent a lot of time and energy on performance and has been able to lower the IOPS (I/O Operations Per Second) and decrease the storage resoruces required on the Hyper-V replica server.
  • HRM (Hyper-V Recovery Manager.  HRM is a Windows Azure service for the management of DR workflows between the on premise (primary) data center and the DR (secondary) data center.  So you might think that HRM allows replication into Azure, right?  Wrong!  HRM is essentially a “management head” for replication between two sites.

Pretty exciting from the standpoint of disaster recovery, right?  So does this mean that Hyper-V replica is a suitable alternative for backup?  We’ll discuss that in our next post.

Anyone out there using Hyper-V replica and had good or bad experiences?  We’d love to hear from you.

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Hyper-V Replica and Backup

by Mark Campbell on September 9, 2014

Clone-Sheep

(The image above represents an example of replication and replicas – the cloning of sheep.  We’ll stay with this theme in our images over the next few posts.)

In the next few blog posts we’ll discuss Hyper-V replica and backup.  In this first post we’ll briefly examine the new features of Windows Server 2012 R2 (WS2012 R2) and specifically the new features of Hyper-V replica.

The new and updated features of WS2012 Hyper-V include the following

  • Shared VHDX is new and enables multiple virtual machines to access the same virtual hard disk (VHDX) file.
  • VHDX resize has been updated;  with this feature you you can now dynamically resize virtual hard disks while the virtual machine is running.
  • VM export has been updated; with this feature you can now dynamically export a virtual machine (or a virtual machine checkpoint) while the virtual machine continues to run.
  • Storage QoS (Quality of Service) is a new feature that allows you to specify minimum and maximum IOPS (I/O Operations Per Second) for each virtual disk in a virtual machine.
  • Live migrations has been updated to enable improved performance and cross-version live migrations.
  • Generation 2 VMs provide secure boot, SCSI virtual hard disk boot, SCSI virtual DVD boot, PXE boot, and UEFI firmware support.  It also supports the following GOS’s: WS2012, WS2012 R2, Windows 8 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit.
  • Direct file copy via Hyper-V integration services.
  • Failover clustering with Hyper-V allows you to protect network adapters and storage.
  • Enhanced session mode allows the redirection of local resources in a VM connection session.
  • Enhanced Linux support enhancement for improved video, dynamic memory, online VHDX resizing, and a Windows Azure online backup capability.
  • Automatic VM activation (AVMA) allows you to install WS2012 R2 VMs without having to manage product keys on a VM-by-VM basis.
  • Hyper-V networking has undergone a major upgrade; there are quite a few virtual networking improvements.
  • Hyper-V replica has a significant number of new features.

In our next post we’ll explore the Hyper-V replica features specifically.

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