2012
03.30

This week I clocked up a lot of miles doing another 4 corners tour of Ireland, with the MSFT partner team, speaking to MSFT partners in Belfast, Galway and Cork.  It covered a number of things with different speakers, cloud, Windows 8, Windows Server 8, and I spoke for around an hour on System Center 2012 and Windows Server 8 Hyper-V.  The audience was mostly a manager/sales audience so we kept more to the business side of things, but some tech just proves the argument, and I had a feeling that nothing would do that better than Hyper-V Replica.

If you’re presenting to this kind of audience, it’s one thing to show them a new product they can sell, and that will get some interest/traction.  But if you can show them a whole new service that they can develop and use to do develop yet another service, and be able to sell this to the breadth audience that hears way too much about Fortune1000 tech, then you really have a winner.  And that’s Hyper-V Replica:

  • A DR replication solution built into Hyper-V, at no extra cost, designed for small/medium businesses with commercial broadband
  • Replicate from host-host, host-cluster, cluster-host, or cluster-cluster.
  • Replicate office to office, data centre to data centre, branch office to HQ, or customer to hosting provider (which could be a managed IT services company with some colo hosted rack space) … and maybe use that as an entry point into a cloud/IaaS solution for SMEs.

And that’s the hook there.  Most MSFT partners have experience with s/w based replication in the past.  It’s troublesome, and often assumes lots of low latency bandwidth and a 3rd witness site.  Not so with Hyper-V Replica, as I demonstrated in this video:

Of all the stuff I’ve presented in the last 2 weeks, Hyper-V Replica was the one that caused the most buzz, and rightfully so in my opinion.  It’s an elegant design; the genius is the “simplicity” of it.  It should prove to be reliable, and perfect for the audience it’s being aimed at.

6 comments so far

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  1. Is Hyper-V replica something that can be considered in replacement of backups for disaster recovery?

    For example, rather than using something like Altaro Hyper-V Backup to create copies of the VM’s in a stale state to be restored manually, would it be safe if one set up a Hyper-V replica in some off-site location, and then in the event of main host failure, restore from the replica?

    I would assume one can’t do a file-level restore of items within the replica, unless it’s a manual copy process. If so, perhaps the entire backup process could be replaced with Hyper-V Replica?

    • Hi Jeff,

      No. Backup is a historical record that you recover files from. DR replication is failover (manual or automatic – manual in this case) in the event of losing a site. When designing DR, you should ideally have both offsite backup in the DR site and the DR replicas to start up.

  2. Is it possible to use replica as failover on the same site? I have a machine with an application that uses a local DBF database. So a cluster or something would not work. But virtualizing might if I can replicate this machine.

    • You can, but it is not intended for that. Hyper-V Replica replicates every 5 minutes, assuming all is well. If you fail over, that’s up to 10 minutes of data you have missing. What you need is a cluster, and Hyper-V Replica is not a cluster. It is for disaster replication between sites.

  3. I’m trying to configure Hyper-V replica to an offsite location for a client. Basically we’re hosting a server for them at our own office.

    Client Domain Hyper-V -> Offsite Workgroup Hyper-V

    ‘ve been racking my brain trying to achieve this with self-signed certificate procedure provided by Microsoft with no luck:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj134153.aspx

    The error says “The connection with the server terminated abnormally (0x00002EFE)”

    If I understand how digital certificates work correctly, the self-signed certificate assigned needs Subject Alternate Names to include both internal FQDN to satisfy the Hyper-V Replica and external FQDN for the WAN connection.

    Since makecert.exe does not support SAN, it doesn’t look like this is possible without using VPN?

    • Brian – you ever figure this out? Same problem here. . .

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