Welcome!

Silverlight Authors: Steven Mandel, Gerardo A Dada, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Yeshim Deniz, Greg O'Connor

Blog Feed Post

31 Days of our Favorite Things: Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Replica (Part 5 of 31)

Hyper-V POWER!

Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 (and in the free Microsoft Hyper-V Server include an easy start to a good disaster recovery solution: Hyper-V Replica.  With Hyper-V Replica you can easily create and maintain an off-line copy – a replica – of a virtual machine on a separate virtualization host.  This means, for example, that if your main location or host for an important virtual machine goes down becomes unavailable, you can easily fail-over to the replica.  The copy will start up and be available in short-order.

“That sounds really great, Kevin!  But what does it cost to set this up?”

Absolutely nothing, other than what you’ve already paid for (the OS).  Hyper-V Replica is just a capability that is included with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and Hyper-V Server

“How do I set it up?”

I’m glad you asked.  There are really two simple requirements to make it happen:

  1. You need to be running Windows Server 2012 with the Hyper-V Role installed (or Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012) on both the source and destination virtualization hosts, and
  2. You need network connectivity between them.  (and don’t  forget the firewall)

Here are my 6 steps to working with Hyper-V Replica:

1. Configuring the Hosts to Allow Replication

In Hyper-V Manager, right-click on, or select the host, and choose Hyper-V Settings…

On the left, select Replication Configuration, and then enable and configure your replication options.

image

2. Setting up a Replica

To configure the replica using Hyper-V Manager, right click on the VM you want to replicate and choose Enable Replication…

Enable Replication...

On the Before You Begin page, click Next

On the Specify Replica Server page, Enter the name of the server that is to be the replication host.

Specify Replica Server

Click Next.

The Specify Connection Parameters page is, um, where you specify your connection parameters.

Specify Connection Parameters

Click Next.

Choose the hard disks you want to replicate on the Choose Replication VHDs page.

Choose Replication VHDs

Click Next.

On the Configure Recovery History page, choose whether you want to keep just the most recent recovery point, or perhaps maintain a number of points in the past that you could recover to.  You also have the option to occasionally perform a VSS copy.

Configure Recovery History

Click Next.

On the Choose Initial Replication Method page, notice that you have options on how you want that big initial replication to take place.  Maybe you don’t want to use the network for that initial large transfer, but instead would prefer to use UPS or FedEx.

Choose Initial Replication Method

Then click Finish on the summary page, and you’re all set.

image

If all was configured properly, you’ll see a new VM appear on the replication host that will be turned off.

3. Verifying the Replica’s Status

You can easily verify the status of your replica by selecting either your original VM or your replica VM in Hyper-V Manager, right-click the VM, click Replication, and then View Replication Health.

View Replication Health

Replication Health

4. Testing the Replica

You can test your replicated machine by right-clicking on the replica VM and under Replication select Test Failover…

Test Failover

Pick the point in time that you want to test, and click Test Failover.

Test Failover

This will create a linked copy VM with the text “ – Test” appended to the name.  Simply start up that VM (go ahead.  It isn’t connected to the network, so it won’t interfere with anything) and verify that it is a useable machine.

5. Disaster Strikes!  Time to Fail Over

The unthinkable has happened.  Time to act.  Your original and important production VM is no longer available.

On the replica VM, right click.  Under Replication, select Failover.

Failover!

Select the recovery point, and click Fail Over.

image

And your replica will start up configured, networked, and ready to take on Dr. Proton.

Recovered VM

6. Removing the Replica

Easy.  On both the source and replica VMs, right click.  Under Replication, select Remove Replication

image

Now you can safely delete your replica from the replication host.

---

Simple, yes?  Do you have any questions?

“Can I have the failover happen automatically?”

Not natively.  In its most simple form, Hyper-V Replica is a manual failover.  However, because you can use PowerShell to drive this entire process, there’s no reason why you (or some third party) couldn’t develop a solution that monitors the state of the source VM and launches a script (or some automation in System Center 2012 Orchestrator) to launch the failover.

“But do I need to have Active Directory?  Or do both of my virtualization hosts need to be in the same domain?”

Actually, no.  You have the option of using certificate authentication to make the trusted configuration.  (CLICK HERE for details on how to use certificates for Hyper-V Replica.)

“Do my virtual machines need to be running particular operating systems for this to work?”

Nope.  There is nothing required of the guest operating system.  You could be running the original Duke Nukum on DOS 6.22 in your VM, and this will still work.

“I’ve heard good things about using Windows Azure for hosting my virtual machines and extending my datacenter into the cloud.  Can I create my replica up in my Windows Azure account?” 

Currently the answer to that is no.  But I’ve heard this question enough times, and really it does make sense.. so I have to imagine (and that’s all I personally have to go on) that Microsoft is considering doing that.  Consider the ramifications, though… setting up a replica means configuring something beyond just standing up a virtual machine in Hyper-V.. so the process has to have the ability to manipulate the hypervisor.  I could see it happening sometime, but I don’t know when.

“Can I replicate machines that are in clusters?  And can I replicate into or out of another cluster?”

Yes and yes.  You will think of the cluster as and treat it as a single machine.  And to do that there is a special role that you need to add to the cluster called the Hyper-V Replica Broker.  This defines a new named entity that becomes either the source or the destination for replicas coming into or out of a cluster.   For more details on this, check out this Wiki article.

“What about PowerShell?  Can I use PowerShell to set up a replica?  Can I use it to do the failover or even get status on current replicas?”

Yes, yes, and yes. 

For example, to configure the replica destination host, you could use these commands to configure the firewall to allow inbound replication on the destination, and set a server up as a new replication host (each numbered line is a separate complete PowerShell command or script line):

  1. Enable-Netfirewallrule -displayname "Hyper-V Replica HTTP Listener (TCP-In)”
  2. Import-Module Hyper-V
  3. $RecoveryPort = 8080
  4. $ReplicaStorageLocation = “D:\Example”
  5. Set-VMReplicationServer -ReplicationEnabled $true -AllowedAuthenticationType Kerberos -IntegratedAuthenticationPort $RecoveryPort -DefaultStorageLocation $ReplicaStorageLocation -ReplicationAllowedFromAnyServer $true

And then to create a replication (each numbered line is a separate complete PowerShell command or script line):

  1. Import-Module Hyper-V
  2. $ReplicaServer = “Recovery1.contoso.com”
  3. $RecoveryPort = 8080
  4. $PrimaryVM1 = “CRMVM”
  5. $PrimaryServer = “Primary1.contoso.com”
  6. Enable-VMReplication -VMName $PrimaryVM1 -ReplicaServerName $ReplicaServer -ReplicaServerPort $RecoveryPort -AuthenticationType Kerberos -CompressionEnabled $true -RecoveryHistory 0
  7. Start-VMInitialReplication –VMName $PrimaryVM1

For the full story, here is the Microsoft online documentation of  Hyper-V Replica: Hyper-V Replica Overview - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj134172.aspx 
(NOTE: as of today, the online documents are still based on the RC code.  I’m sure it will be updated soon to work with RTM.)

And to give Windows Server 2012 a try,

---

So what do you think?  Good stuff?  Let’s discuss in the comments.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Kevin Remde

Kevin is an engaging and highly sought-after speaker and webcaster who has landed several times on Microsoft's top 10 webcast list, and has delivered many top-scoring TechNet events and webcasts. In his past outside of Microsoft, Kevin has held positions such as software engineer, information systems professional, and information systems manager. He loves sharing helpful new solutions and technologies with his IT professional peers.

A prolific blogger, Kevin shares his thoughts, ideas and tips on his “Full of I.T.” blog (http://aka.ms/FullOfIT). He also contributes to and moderates the TechNet Forum IT Manager discussion (http://aka.ms/ITManager), and presents live TechNet Events throughout the central U.S. (http://www.technetevents.com). When he's not busy learning or blogging about new technologies, Kevin enjoys digital photography and videography, and sings in a band. (Q: Midlife crisis? A: More cowbell!) He continues to challenge his TechNet Event audiences to sing Karaoke with him.

@ThingsExpo Stories
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, discussed recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model for s...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, discussed how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your aud...
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effici...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...