Simplified SMB Multichannel and Multi-NIC Cluster Networks
One of the seemingly small feature enhancements in Windows Server 2016 Failover clustering is simplified SMB multichannel and multi-NIC cluster networks. In Windows 2016 failover clustering now recognizes and uses multiple NICs on the same subnet for cluster networking (Cluster & client access).
Why was this introduced?
The growth in the capabilities of the hardware ( Compute, memory, storage & networking) meant that failover clustering had to leverage this capability more easily and for more use cases than before. Talking about SMB, that now also is used for not “only” CSV and live migration but also for Storage Spaces Direct and Storage Replica.
- It gives us better utilization of the network capabilities and throughput with Storage Spaces Direct, CSV, SQL, Storage Replica etc.
- Failover clustering now works with multichannel as any other workload without the extra requirement of needing multiple subnets. This is more important that it seems to me at first. But in many environment getting another VLAN and/or extra subnet is a hurdle. Well that hurdle has gone.
- For IPv6 Link local Subnets it just works, these are auto configured as cluster only networks.
- The cluster Validation wizard won’t nag about it anymore and knows it’s a valid failover cluster configuration
See it in action!
You can find a quick demo of simplified SMB multichannel and multi-NIC cluster networks on my Vimeo channel here
In this video I demo 2 features. One is new and that is virtual machine compute resiliency. The other is an improved feature, simplified SMB multichannel and multi NIC cluster networks. The Multichannel demo is the first part of the video. Yes, it’s with RDMA RoCEv2, you know I just have to do SMB Direct when I can!
You can read more about simplified SMB multichannel and multi-NIC cluster networks on TechNet in here. Happy Reading!
I wrote about this little Gem of a PowerShell Commandlet Get-VMHostSupportedVersion before in here (there a bit more info on the impact of a VM configuration version in that blog). Now at TPv5 I took a new peak and what do we find?
We now have version virtual machine configuration version 7.1 at TPv5. We also got 2 new version ID’s 254.0 for Prerelease and 255.0 for Experimental. Clearly Microsoft has plans here. I’ll update this blog with a link to the documentation when I find it.
All bets are open as to where we’ll land at RTM for the virtual machine configuration version. I’m guessing that we’re feature complete at Technical Preview 5 but version numbers can get funky. Will all TP version be supported at RTM? Normally upgrades from beta / preview versions are not supported but on the other hand some people in early adopter programs are working on it already so I’m guessing they will. We’ll see, but that’s where I put my money.
When it comes to NUMA Spanning and Virtual NUMA in Hyper-V or anything NUMA related actually in Hyper-V virtualization this is one subject that too many people don’t know enough about. If they know it they often could be helped by some more in depth information and examples on anything NUMA related in Hyper-V virtualization.
Some run everything on the defaults and never even learn more l they read or find they need to dive in deeper for some needs or use cases. To help out many with some of the confusion or questions they struggled with in regards to Virtual NUMA, NUMA Topology, NUMA Spanning and their relation to static and dynamic memory.
As I don’t have the time to answer all questions I get in regards to this subject I have written an article on the subject. I’ve published it as a community effort on the StarWind Software blog and you can find it here: A closer look at NUMA Spanning and virtual NUMA settings
I think t complements the information on this subject on TechNet well and it also touches on Windows Server 2016 aspects of this story. I hope you enjoy it!
Business continuity has just gotten a new and improved way of providing consistent access to Azure SQL Server databases. Azure SQL Database now supports powerful geo-replication features for all service tiers. Read that again: for ALL service tiers!
Now, anyone who’s ever worked on providing business continuity knows this is hard to do and get right than it sounds. Whether you use SQL Server databases or other mature and quality ways of persisting data you know from experience that maintaining a consistent copy of your data read/write is a challenge.
The way to deal with that challenge is often to have one read/write master copy and have one or more read only copies. The idea is that during a disaster you’ll be able to serve the majority of your needs with a a read only copy and have at least a basic, good enough service until the issue is fixed or a new read/write copy comes on line. It all sounds great but achieving this and maintaining access to the data during a full blow disaster isn’t easy. You need multiple geographical locations and provide access to them. The latter preferably transparent to the clients. These are case where public cloud computing shines and now more then ever as Azure SQL Database now supports powerful geo-replication features for all service tiers.
There’s no more need to upgrade to premium and this capability replaces standard geo replication. Business continuity is rapidly becoming a de facto way of designing and building apps as the cost & complexity blocking this are being torn down.