Hyper-V Replica – Windows Server 2012 R2
What is Hyper-V Replica ?
Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Role introduces a new capability, called Hyper-V Replica. It is a built-in replication mechanism at a virtual machine (VM) level. Hyper-V Replica can asynchronously replicate a selected VM running at a primary (or source) site to a designated replica (or target) site across the network (LAN/WAN).
The following diagram shows Hyper-V Replica concept.
A replication process will replicate (create) an identical VM in the Hyper-V Manager of a target replica server. Subsequently the change tracking module of Hyper-V Replica will track and replicate the write-operations in the source VM every based on a set interval after the last successful replication regardless the associated vhd files are hosted in SMB shares, Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs), SANs, or with directly attached storage devices.
Hyper-V Replica – Requirements
Above both a primary site and a replica site are Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V hosts. And the former runs production or the so-called primary VMs. While the latter hosts replicated ones which are off and each is to be brought online, should a corresponding primary VM experience an outage. Hyper-V Replica requires neither shared storage, nor a specific storage hardware. Once an initial copy is replicated to a replica site, Hyper-V Replica will replicate only the changes of a configured primary VM.
It goes without saying that assessing business needs and developing a plan on what to replicate and where is essential. In addition, both a primary site and a replica site (i.e. Hyper-V hosts run source and replica VMs, respectively) must enable Hyper-V Replica in the Hyper-V Settings of Hyper-V Manager. IP connectivity is assumed when applicable. Notice that Hyper-V Replica is a server capability and not applicable to client Hyper-V such as running Hyper-V in a Windows 8 client.
Establishing Hyper-V Replica Infrastructure
Once all the requirements are put in place, enable Hyper-V Replica on both a primary site (i.e. a Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V host where a source VM runs) a target replica server. And then followed by configure an intended VM at a primary site for replication. The following is a sample process to establish Hyper-V Replica.
How to Enable Hyper-V Replica
Identify a Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V host as a primary site where a target source VM runs. Enable Hyper-V Replica in the Hyper-V settings in Hyper-V Manager of the host. The following are Hyper-V Replica sample settings of a primary site. Repeat the step on a target replica site to enable Hyper-V Replica. In this article, DEVELOPMENT and VDI are both Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V hosts where the former is a primary site while the latter is the replica site.
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